The world is facing a huge environmental crisis. Human activities are driving climate change, land degradation, pollution of the land, ocean and atmosphere, and extinction of plants and animals at rapidly increasing rates. An integrative approach is critical for understanding the present state of planet Earth and to predict what the future may hold.
Physical Geography is the integrative science that deals with processes and patterns in the atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere and geosphere, and the interaction of humans and their environment.
Our graduates are in demand for both their specialist and transferable skills. You'll build skills in presenting your ideas in reports and orally, in data collection, presentation and analysis, and in the investigation and computer simulation of environmental processes.
Your expertise will equip you to tackle important real-world problems in environmental management and environmental policy in a range of organisations, from the public sector, such as Defra, to private industry, and non-governmental organisations, such as the National Trust.
You can convert your 3-year degree into a 4-year degree by spending an additional year on an industrial placement or overseas, before returning to Leeds to complete your final year of study. Read "Study abroad and work placements".
Fieldwork is an integral part of all our geography degrees. All compulsory fieldwork in Years 1 and 2 is funded by the School.
This programme has been accredited by the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG). Accredited degree programmes contain a solid academic foundation in geographical knowledge and skills, and prepare graduates to address the needs of the world beyond higher education. The accreditation criteria require evidence that graduates from accredited programmes meet defined sets of learning outcomes, including subject knowledge, technical ability and transferable skills.
Each year of this programme is designed around a combination of compulsory core modules, as well as opportunities to take optional modules and/or discovery modules so you can choose additional subjects of interest. The balance of compulsory to core modules depends on the year and programme of study and is explained fully in the programme catalogue. If you study this programme part-time you'll study fewer modules in each year.
If you opt to study abroad or to join our year in industry scheme you will do this at the end of Year 2, returning to your final year of study once completed.
These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.
Entry requirements, fees and applying
A-level: AAB preferably including geography
If geography is not included then we would expect two A-levels from biology, chemistry, geology, maths and physics. Offers exclude general studies and critical thinking.
GCSE: A*-B English and maths
To find out more about our links with industry, read Study abroad and work placements.
Up to 80% of our undergraduates secure appropriate graduate employment within six months of graduating; others go on to do further study.
Here is a snapshot of the kinds of careers our graduates pursue:
Further study and training
Find out about your career prospects first-hand from employers and graduates of the School in our employability video!
In the School of Geography we take your future very seriously and know that employability is uppermost in many students' minds. If you choose to study geography at Leeds, you can be confident that you're not only joining a university whose graduates are targeted by top employers, but that as geography graduates, your employment opportunities couldn't be more exciting and wide-ranging.
We structure this programme to ensure you develop the key transferable skills sought by graduate recruiters, skills such as: team-working, commercial awareness, report-writing, fluency in oral communication and presentation, numerical analysis, IT expertise and investigative skills.
We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That's one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.
Leeds for Life is our unique approach to helping you make the most of University by supporting your academic and personal development. Find out more at the Leeds for Life website.
The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.
Study abroad and work placements
You can convert your 3-year degree into a 4-year study abroad degree by spending an additional year overseas, before returning to Leeds to complete your final year of study. You don't apply directly to this course, instead you can register your interest with us once you've enrolled on the 3-year degree.
To be eligible for Study Abroad you'll need to maintain a good average in your assessments in years 1 and 2 and, for some destinations, you may have to show you have the necessary language skills. Read more about eligibility on the Study Abroad website.
The Study Abroad Office and the School provide guidance to help you set up a study place at one of the University's partner institutions from around the world. Find out more at the Study Abroad website.
The School of Geography has long-established partnerships with a number of overseas universities who reserve places each year specifically for Leeds geographers.
European (Erasmus) destinations
*Starred institutions may offer a programme in English. Students may apply for department-specific or university-wide destinations. Academic suitability and language requirements should be discussed with your School Study Abroad Coordinator prior to application.
Teaching takes place in English at all these universities:
Find out more from staff and students in our study abroad video
'Recruiters have confirmed that a record 32% of this year's entry-level positions are expected to be filled by graduates who have already worked for their organisations – either through paid internships, industrial placements or vacation work.'
(The Graduate Market in 2016, High Fliers Research)
At Leeds our aim is to ensure our students thrive in their academic studies and leave us as highly employable graduates with a wide range of skills and attributes sought after in today's job market. Leeds is one of the few geography departments in the UK to offer a year in industry scheme which allows you to extend your three-year programme to a four-year industrial degree.
This is a fantastic opportunity to add value to your CV, experience the 'real world' first-hand and, in many cases, be offered a permanent job with the placement company on graduating. With staff dedicated to helping you to secure a placement that is right for you, and by keeping in close contact with you throughout your placement year, we ensure you get the most out of your time with your chosen company.
You don't have to decide to do a placement year before you start your course, you can register your interest with us once you've enrolled on the 3-year degree.
Find out first-hand from employers and year in industry students about your options!
Ask any of our students and they will tell you that taking part in field trips is one of the most enjoyable and memorable aspects of the geography programmes at Leeds.
We offer BA field trips at each level of study and they provide a great opportunity to study a fascinating subject in contrasting environments away from the University. During the field trips you will learn essential fieldwork and team working skills, transferable skills that will prove invaluable to your future career. Field trips are also a fantastic way to travel and see new places and to get to know your tutors and other students better.
On this course the fieldtrips offered are:
Level 1 – Malham
Level 2 – Austrian Alps, Algarve, Portugal and Mallorca, Spain
Level 3 – New Zealand
Watch our field trip videos to the Austrian Alps and Malham!