Geography

We are entering an exciting new phase in global development where geography will steer great intellectual and practical leaps.  Bristol is deeply involved with the people and the debates that will lead those changes and you could be part of that journey.

Renowned for teaching and research in human and physical geography, we aim to inspire you and help you to develop the skills that will lead to a successful career when you graduate.

Why study Geography at Bristol?

Geography is an extraordinarily rich discipline. Our courses are taught in a friendly, stimulating environment where we aim to challenge you. You will be exposed to the work of some of the most renowned scholars in the field covering glaciology, hydrology, spatial modelling, political economy, historical and cultural geography and environmental change. 

After a common year one programme, you will choose specialist units, comprising all human geography, all physical geography, or a mixture of the two. Specialist units will enable you to engage with cutting-edge material in your final year and beyond by developing your knowledge and skills.

Field trips and practical work help embed what you learn in lectures and tutorials; residential courses are held in the UK in year one and overseas in year two.  The skills that you acquire throughout your course are applied in a self-directed dissertation project in year three, which comprises a large part of the whole degree.

See the School of Geographical Sciences on film.

What kind of student would this course suit?

There is no typical Bristol geography student, however, all share a keen curiosity about the world. Some are highly numerical and able to develop mathematical models of the earth’s climate; others enjoy using statistics to understand issues such as social segregation and the outbreak of war. Some students are passionate about contemporary social theory, while others are fascinated by the relationships between people and their environments.

Whether you’re interested in the science of modelling, the uncertainties of future sea levels in Greenland and the Antarctic, or quantitative human geography and global development, Bristol offers the ideal lab and field opportunities.

Every day my inbox is flooded with opportunities – internships, research projects, extra-curricular activities – all of which are the University getting students involved. The University is constantly updating its facilities, which reinforces its friendly and inclusive environment.

Alexandra, Second year, LLB Law

How is this course taught and assessed?

There is a strong commitment to theoretical and conceptual work, with substantial training in collecting and analysing geographical data.

Lectures cover core topics, explain key concepts, and help students to understand assigned readings. In tutorials, small-group discussions explore core and specialised material and develop your writing and presentation skills.

Practicals provide training in research methods and skills, with hands-on exercises conducted alone and/or in groups. These skills are put to use in fieldwork away from the University, collecting original data.

Most units are assessed with both an unseen final exam and one or more pieces of coursework, some of which may be group based. The dissertation is an independently planned and executed research project supported by a supervisor.

What are my career prospects?

Our graduates excel in a variety of careers thanks to the specialist nature of our courses and the skills they acquire in computing, statistics, literacy and critical thinking.

Some of our graduates find work in areas directly related to geography, while others discover their knowledge and training provides them with a route into different professions or further study. Recent graduates have gone into risk analysis, management consultancy, finance, technology, communications and computer software development.

Read more about what students from Geography go on to do after graduation.

Did you know?

  • Students from more than 180 countries study with us, and we share more than 150 exchange links with institutions worldwide.
  • Our Students' Union has over 200 student-run societies, and the Richmond Building, home to the Students' Union, is undergoing a £30-million renovation.
  • 11 Bristol graduates and members of staff have been awarded Nobel prizes.

Subject leaflet

Download the Geography leaflet 2017 (PDF, 366kB)

Disclaimer

Important disclaimer information about our courses.

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