Human Geography BSc(Hons)

2020-21 (also available for 2021-22)

Places available in clearing. Find out more.

Start date

21 September 2020

Duration

3 years full-time
4 years inc. placement year

About the course

People, communities, cultures, economies and their influence on why things happen the way they do; that’s what encapsulates human geography. It helps shape the view of how we might do things tomorrow and in the years ahead.

  • This course covers a range of subjects including contemporary social structures and inequalities within society, cultures and regions, plus the opportunity to examine the role geopolitics has on our contemporary world. Underpinning all of this is the theme of sustainability and planetary boundaries. You’ll have the chance to concentrate on human geography themes but will also be offered module options from the Geography BSc(Hons) course.
  • There’s an optional work placement year in the third year to help you to gain real-world experience and insight to boost your employability. During your final year you’ll also have the opportunity to conduct independent research as part of your dissertation.
  • We also firmly believe in ‘learning through doing’ and since fieldwork is an integral part of any geographers training, you’ll find that we’ve embedded field-trips, including residential field courses in Years 1 and 2, into all three of our Geography degrees, so you can fully embrace the fantastic opportunities that learning in the field presents.
  • All our teaching staff are educated to doctoral level have expertise in a range of geography subject areas and by studying this course you'll become eligible for membership of the Royal Geographical Society giving you access to resources, events, and networking opportunities via the Royal Geographical Society community.

Course scholarships available – up to £3000. More details.

Course detail

Core modules:

Research Skills

Research in science ranges from finding out what is already known to carrying out investigations to add to our store of knowledge. This module provides the requisite background skills for successful completion of an honours degree in geographical sciences. Basic generic skills involving literacy, numeracy and use of IT are applied to summarizing, understanding, interpreting and presenting data generated by field and laboratory investigations. Throughout the module emphasis is on learning the skills that will be used in various parts of the degree programme. Acquisition of learning skills takes precedence over memorizing facts. Learning about current topics in geography involves finding peer-reviewed research literature (using library facilities and database searches), the application of qualitative and quantitative research methods, and summarizing findings with source attribution in reports or other forms of communication, and using correct scientific style. Basic statistics is taught using spreadsheet and statistics programs. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) provide frameworks for gathering, managing, and analysing data. You'll also have the opportunity to build up a portfolio of evidence relating to your skills for Personal Development Planning.

Global Earth Cycles

This module introduces you to the natural global processes that have shaped the world we live in. It will explore how the past and current environment has been influenced and the interaction between the biosphere and the geosphere. It will begin with the emergence of life on earth and how the generation of oxygen via photosynthesis transformed the terrestrial environment. The module will then progress to examine the classical nutrient cycles (C, N, S, P, Fe, I) and how human intervention has modified and accelerated them. The role of basic soil processes (CEC, hydraulic conductivity, alkalinity etc) in the retention and release of elements and how these impact plant, animal and human nutrition will also be explored. The module will particularly focus on the impacts of agriculture, industry and global climate change. The module has a strong practical component with a focus on fieldwork, data collection, analysis and reporting. The fieldwork element of this module will be delivered during scheduled class time.

People and Place

This module introduces you to the major themes in contemporary human geography, which essentially focuses on people and places. The nature of human’s interaction with their space is extremely diverse and covers a multitude of factors including social and cultural interactions, either within or between specific locations. This module introduces the concept of regions and inter-regional variation. Population movements, social structures and urbanisation are also all addressed in this module. The fieldwork element of this module will be delivered as part of the residential field course.

Sustainability

This module introduces you to the theories and concepts underpinning sustainability. Sustainability is one of the major themes in contemporary human geography. Definitions vary depending on your discipline but ultimately centre on ensuring that our activities are undertaken without compromising future generation’s ability to live using the same resources.

Option modules:

Choose two from a list which may include-

Dynamic Living Systems

This introductory module in biogeography defines and explains the major geographic patterns of life on Earth and explores how different terrestrial and oceanic ecosystems are shaped by natural processes and human activity. Some of the planetary processes and nutrient cycles introduced in the Global Earth Cycles mdoule are re-considered in this module from the perspectives of contemporary and prospective global patterns of animal, plant, and microbial diversity. Introductory consideration of the interaction between organisms with their environments provides a foundation for the intermediate level module Ecological Adaptation and Conservation Management. The course is primarily lecture-based but a number of tutorials are included to reflect on and provide supplementary information for the lecture course. A short oceanography-themed laboratory series also features on the module. This module can be taken independently of other foundation-level geography modules, but the oceanography-themed laboratory classes provide a complement to the analytical work performed for the module Global Earth Cycles.

Earth Processes

This introductory course in physical geography examines the physical structure and landforms of the Earth. The processes driving geomorphological developments will be examined. Plate tectonics created the massive structures, which have subsequently been sculpted by erosional forces (wind, water, ice and waves) to create the contemporary topography our society inhabits. The module will also introduce you to the study of fluvial processes, which play an important part in landscape development and create the topography on which many of the World’s major cities are located. Coastal processes and landforms are also briefly covered. The course is primarily lecture based but a number of tutorials are included to provide supplementary information on specific aspects of the course content. The fieldwork element of this module will be undertaken during the residential field course.

Climate, Meteorology and Atmospheric Systems

This course introduces you to the fundamentals of climate and atmospheric science. Climatology covers changes in climate over variable periods of time, whilst the meteorology section of this module addresses variations in weather, both long-term and short. The course is primarily lecture based but a number of workshops/lab classes are included to collect and interpret weather data.

Entry requirements

To find out if you're eligible for this course, please email our Clearing Helpline Team at study@hud.ac.uk

Meet our students


Louise Britton and Summer Cunningham are in their first year studying Geography at the University of Huddersfield. Hear about the highlights from their field trip to Blencathra Field Centre and the Lake District in March 2019. What they learnt, who they met and how will it help them on their course in the future.

Placements


In the third year of this course, you’ll get the chance to step out of the classroom and into the real world on an optional placement year in an organisation related to your areas of interest. This is when you’ll really be able to see your knowledge in action, pick up invaluable skills for your future career and boost your employability to help you hit the ground running after graduation.

You could stay to do your placement in the UK or experience a new culture and work abroad for one year. Where could this year take you?

Teaching excellence

  1. Huddersfield is a TEF gold-rated institution delivering consistently outstanding teaching and learning of the highest quality found in the UK (Teaching Excellence Framework, 2017).
  2. We won the first Global Teaching Excellence Award recognising the University’s commitment to world-class teaching and its success in developing students as independent learners and critical thinkers (HEA, 2017).
  3. Here at Huddersfield, you’ll be taught by some of the best lecturers in the country. The University is joint first in England for the proportion of staff with teaching qualifications (HESA 2020).
  4. For the past ten years, we’ve been the UK’s leading university for National Teaching Fellowships too, which rate Britain’s best lecturers. It’s all part of our ongoing drive for teaching excellence, which helps our students to achieve great things too.
  5. We’re unique in the fact that all our permanent teaching staff* have, or are completing, doctorates. This expertise, together with our teaching credentials, means that students here learn from knowledgeable and well-qualified teachers and academics who are at the forefront of their subject area.

*Permanent staff, after probation: some recently appointed colleagues will only obtain recognition in the months after their arrival in Huddersfield, once they have started teaching; research degrees applies to those on contracts of more than half-time.

UK and international fieldwork

Allowing us to put theory into practice, fieldwork is an integral part of our three Geography degree courses. During the course of your studies you'll have the opportunity to participate in a number day trips in and around Yorkshire, as well residential trips to destinations in the UK and overseas.

First year undergraduate field trip to Blencathra Field Centre and the Lake District in March 2019.

Your career


By developing clear conceptual understanding of core geography principles together with hands-on experience of key techniques and approaches related to its practice, our Human Geography BSc(Hons) is designed to give you the skills sought by a range of graduate recruiters. These include communication/presentation fluency, team-working, fieldwork expertise, environmental, social and commercial awareness, IT literacy, report writing, data analysi and GIS, time management and investigative skills, among others.

Geography graduates typically progress into careers in:

* Teaching: school, college, university

* Research: climate change, sustainability

* Environmental Management: environmental monitoring, environmental impact officer

* Planning: GIS analyst, policy advisor, land surveying

* Finance Banking: insurance, auditing

* Commercial Enterprises: management, data analysis

* Travel/Tourism: writing/promotion, sales professional

* Development: NGOs, charities

* Nature Conservation: biodiversity officer, planning ecologist 

 

For more information on careers available to geography graduates, please check the Royal Geographical Society's careers web page.

Student support

At the University of Huddersfield, you'll find support networks and services to help you get ahead in your studies and social life. Whether you study at undergraduate or postgraduate level, you'll soon discover that you're never far away from our dedicated staff and resources to help you to navigate through your personal student journey. Find out more about all our support services.

Important information

We will always try to deliver your course as described on this web page. However, sometimes we may have to make changes as set out below.

Changes to a course you have applied for

If we propose to make a major change to a course that you are holding an offer for, then we will tell you as soon as possible so that you can decide whether to withdraw your application prior to enrolment.

Changes to your course after you enrol as a student

We will always try to deliver your course and other services as described. However, sometimes we may have to make changes as set out below:

Changes to option modules

Where your course allows you to choose modules from a range of options, we will review these each year and change them to reflect the expertise of our staff, current trends in research and as a result of student feedback or demand for certain modules. We will always ensure that you have a range of options to choose from and we will let you know in good time the options available for you to choose for the following year.

Major changes

We will only make major changes to the core curriculum of a course or to our services if it is necessary for us to do so and provided such changes are reasonable. A major change in this context is a change that materially changes the services available to you; or the outcomes, or a significant part, of your course, such as the nature of the award or a substantial change to module content, teaching days (part time provision), classes, type of delivery or assessment of the core curriculum.

For example, it may be necessary to make a major change to reflect changes in the law or the requirements of the University’s regulators; to meet the latest requirements of a commissioning or accrediting body; to improve the quality of educational provision; in response to student, examiners’ or other course evaluators’ feedback; and/or to reflect academic or professional changes within subject areas. Major changes may also be necessary because of circumstances outside our reasonable control, such as a key member of staff leaving the University or being unable to teach, where they have a particular specialism that can’t be adequately covered by other members of staff; or due to damage or interruption to buildings, facilities or equipment.

Major changes would usually be made with effect from the next academic year, but this may not always be the case. We will notify you as soon as possible should we need to make a major change and will carry out suitable consultation with affected students. If you reasonably believe that the proposed change will cause you detriment or hardship we will, if appropriate, work with you to try to reduce the adverse effect on you or find an appropriate solution. Where an appropriate solution cannot be found and you contact us in writing before the change takes effect you can cancel your registration and withdraw from the University without liability to the University for future tuition fees. We will provide reasonable support to assist you with transferring to another university if you wish to do so.

Termination of course

In exceptional circumstances, we may, for reasons outside of our control, be forced to discontinue or suspend your course. Where this is the case, a formal exit strategy will be followed and we will notify you as soon as possible about what your options are, which may include transferring to a suitable replacement course for which you are qualified, being provided with individual teaching to complete the award for which you were registered, or claiming an interim award and exiting the University. If you do not wish to take up any of the options that are made available to you, then you can cancel your registration and withdraw from the course without liability to the University for future tuition fees and you will be entitled to a refund of all course fees paid to date. We will provide reasonable support to assist you with transferring to another university if you wish to do so.

When you enrol as a student of the University, your study and time with us will be governed by a framework of regulations, policies and procedures, which form the basis of your agreement with us. These include regulations regarding the assessment of your course, academic integrity, your conduct (including attendance) and disciplinary procedure, fees and finance and compliance with visa requirements (where relevant). It is important that you familiarise yourself with these as you will be asked to agree to abide by them when you join us as a student. You will find a guide to the key terms here, along with the Student Protection Plan, where you will also find links to the full text of each of the regulations, policies and procedures referred to.

The Office for Students (OfS) is the principal regulator for the University.

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