We offer both this BA and a BSc in Geography. The entry requirements, curriculum and career opportunities associated with each are the same, and you should decide which course to apply for on the basis of your A-level background, your interests within geography and your future plans. All students take courses in the three main subject areas of Human Geography, People and Environment and Physical Geography. There is increasing flexibility as you progress through the three-year programmes, with optional course units covering a wide range of interests and issues in geography, including economic, cultural, political, medical, urban, and historical geography, globalisation, ecology, hydrology, palaeoenvironments, geoarchaeology, glaciology, climatology, geomorphology, remote sensing and geographical information systems. By the end of the programme you will be able to carry out a piece of independent research and will have developed the skills required to embark on a professional career or to begin postgraduate research and study.
-Introductory residential field course in the Lake District before registration.
-Overseas fieldwork in the second year, including Crete, Cuba, Donegal, New York, and Southeast Spain.
-Study abroad option in the second year, for either or both semesters, including France, Spain, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, The Netherlands and Germany.
Additional course information
The School of Environment and Development runs a number of innovative single and joint honours undergraduate programmes in Geography, Planning and Architecture. These programmes examine contemporary debates about the built, natural and social environments within which we live. Drawing on research carried out within the School, the undergraduate teaching programme provides students with an opportunity to engage with academics working at the cutting edge of such debates and to explore issues at first hand through a range of local and international fieldwork programmes.
Geography has been taught at Manchester for more than one hundred years. It is now part of the School of Environment and Development, and is located in a brand new state of the art building (from July 2007) on the main campus. With over 25 members of academic staff, Geography is a strong discipline group with a wide range of teaching and research interests. We have a vibrant community of students, postgraduates and academic staff. Indeed, Geography at Manchester has been rated excellent for teaching, has a highly rated international research reputation and is rated highly in a variety of university guides. We are also fortunate in being situated within one of the nation's most interesting regions with regards to its landscape, heritage and cultural vibrancy. Manchester was the focal point of the industrial revolution, surrounded by a landscape that mixes industrial heritage with a huge variety of scenery. The city became associated with technical innovation, such as the first railways and the first computer, and with political innovation through figures such as Emmeline Pankhurst and Friedrich Engels. The modern city has added to this international reputation in the spheres of culture and sports. Such a richness of landscape, history and arts cannot but inspire the geographical imagination of those who come to study here.
Course content for year 1
In each semester, compulsory lecture course units establish the basis for a range of pathways through the degree programme. You may also choose to take a further two courses in Geography or to take Free Choice options (see below).
Lecture course units are complemented by practical work (Approaches to Geographical Research) and by an integrated programme of small group work including tutorials and team projects. Fieldwork is central to the degree programmes. In the first year, fieldwork is conducted in Manchester and the North West region, with an introductory residential field course in the Lake District before you register, then day trip fieldwork covering human geography in semester one and physical geography in semester two.
You may take a 'Free Choice' subject outside Geography in your first year, choosing from a wide range of units available throughout the University. Our current students take Free Choice subjects that include languages (eg German, French, Spanish, Italian, Dutch, Russian); sciences (eg Biochemistry, Chemistry, Biology, Earth Science, Psychology, Maths); social sciences (eg Economics, Accounting, Planning and Landscape, Government, Politics, Anthropology, Sociology, Psychology, Women's Studies) and Arts (e.g. English, Drama, Music, History, History of Art, Archaeology, Middle Eastern Studies, Philosophy, Religions and Theology).
Course content for year 2
In the second year, you can choose all of your course units within Geography, or you may decide to continue with a free choice element - either continuing your first-year area, or choosing a new subject for study. You might also decide to spend either one or two semesters of your second year studying in Europe through the Socrates Exchange Programme - we currently have links with Universities in France, Spain, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, The Netherlands and Germany - or further afield through our exchange programmes with a wide range of partner institutions in North and Latin America, Asia and Australia.
During the second year, you choose seven course units, two elements of which may lie outside Geography. In addition, you will complete a lecture course on Key Issues in Geography. Small group work helps you to develop your academic and transferable skills. In semester one you undertake a course in Communication Skills, which is jointly run with the Careers Service. In semester two, you will begin work towards your dissertation (which is handed in after Christmas in your third year), through tutorials, practical classes and lecture sessions. You will also go on one of the overseas field courses.
Course content for year 3
In the third year, you will choose three course units from approximately eleven available in any one year. The range of optional course units is common to both the BA and BSc degree programmes and allows you to get experience of geography at the research face, as members of staff lead courses dealing with their areas of particular expertise and interest. The lecture courses encourage student participation and often include a practical element. In addition, you will continue to explore the ways in which we gain geographical knowledge through the General Paper Support sessions, and you will undertake a team project evaluating a classic geographical text.
Geography has one of the best graduate employment records in the country, and Manchester geographers have an excellent record of gaining employment. A degree programme in geography gives you the opportunity to develop a range of different skills including initiative, flexibility, teamwork, communication skills, information retrieval and research skills, independence and the ability to solve problems and prioritise and manage your own time. Our graduates are employed in a wide variety of occupations including finance, education, marketing, sales, the media, advertising, land management, environmental work, the diplomatic service, health service, law and social work. Many others choose to undertake further study either on Masters or PhD courses, often staying at Manchester to do so.
What our students say
I think the Geography department at Manchester is fantastic as it has many lecturers who specialise in a broad number of fields. This allows you a greater choice of subjects and to tailor your degree to how you would like and what really interests you! The lecturers are approachable and friendly and this creates a good, relaxed working environment
(Second Year Student, BA Geography)