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. Geology investigates the dynamics of the earth, from its origins over 4.5 billion years ago to the processes that define how we live today. The two disciplines together have an important role in understanding how humans can deal with environmental change in the future.
Delivered jointly by the School of Geography and School of Earth and Environment, this degree combines the study of physical geography and the earth sciences. You'll tackle diverse questions, from how the climate is likely to change in the future to the impact of building housing estates in river catchments. At the same time, you'll study the origins of rocks and minerals, the evolution of life on earth, volcanism, geological mapping and the use of geological natural resources.
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 - a wide range of field trips will equip you with fieldwork and teamwork skills, and you'll have the option to focus on the topics that interest you by choosing a specialist pathway in Year 3. All compulsory fieldwork in Years 1 and 2 is funded by the School.
This course gives you the option to study modules that secure professional accreditation from The Geological Society of London.
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.
In Year 3, you can choose to follow one of three "pathways" which allow you to focus on specific areas of geography and geology that suit your own interests and career plans. You'll be able to sample a range of modules before deciding on which pathway to take. Advice on which pathway you should take will be provided by your tutor throughout years 1 and 2 of your studies.
Geography leaning pathway: you specialise in geography in Year 3 and carry out your independent research project in the subject, under the supervision of a geography tutor.
Geology leaning pathway (non-accredited): you take more specialized modules in geology and carry out an independent geological mapping project between years 2 and 3 under the supervision of a geology tutor.
Geology-leaning pathway (accredited): You'll also be able to take a combination of modules from years 2 and 3 that secure professional accreditation by The Geological Society of London. This will grant you fast-track progression towards obtaining Chartered Geologist status, which is the key professional qualification for a career in some commercial spheres of employment.
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 including a science and preferably geography
If geography is not included, we would expect two science A-levels from biology, chemistry, geology, maths and physics. We do not accept general studies and critical thinking.
GCSE: A*-B English and maths
Geography-Geology graduates are highly regarded by employers for their teamwork, problem solving, IT and data handling and manipulation skills. They find jobs across a range of sectors including environmental regulation, environmental consultancy, mineral exploration, engineering geology, and the hydrocarbon/petroleum industry.
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:
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 BSc 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, Yorkshire, Pembrokeshire and the Lake District
Level 2 – Austrian Alps, Algarve, Portugal, Ireland
Level 3 – New Zealand, Cyprus
Watch our field trip videos to the Austrian Alps and Malham!