Human geographers explore how people interact with the world around them, how globalisation is shaping the world, and the impact this is having in terms of urban development, population growth, sustainability, ethnicity, class and gender.
Studying human geography allows you to think about the kind of world you'd like to live in, and offers the skills to have a say in how future society develops.
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 use of specialist mapping software. Broad expertise and knowledge will equip you to tackle important real-world problems in a range of organisations and sectors, from the public sector (such as working for local government), to private industry (as a retail analyst or location planner) and for non-governmental organisations (such as Amnesty International as a policy and campaigns officer).
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".
We give you a £500 allowance to cover the costs of optional field trips across Levels 2 and 3.
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 across the University so you can choose additional subjects of interest. The balance of compulsory and optional 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. You will have a personal tutor all the way through your degree.
In year one, you'll develop a grounding in the core concepts and themes of human geography, plus key academic writing and digital learning skills. Core modules explore different geographies of a changing world, including economic globalisation, neighbourhood change, urbanisation and cities, migration, health, development, environmental management and sustainability. We focus on issues of justice, difference, identity, nature, space and place across different scales and ideologies.
In year two, you'll be provided with a core programme of research and career skills training that you'll supplement from optional modules that cover geo-politics and international development, service analysis and planning, economic geography, the development of modern cities, citizenship and identity, natural resource management, and sustainable transport.
In year three, you'll be required to undertake a significant independent final year project - currently a dissertation - alongside a suite of optional modules that cover subjects such as urban social movements, creating alternative futures, population and health geographies, location analysis, global insecurities, migration and encounter, and healthy transport. You will also have the choice of a research, work or teacher placement.
We also offer a 'year in industry' scheme which allows you to extend your three-year programme to four years and gain employment experience first-hand across public, private and voluntary sectors. We also offer 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.
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: AAA preferably including geography.
If Geography is not included then we would expect two A-levels from History, English, Economics, Sociology, a modern language, Psychology, Mathematics and Biology.
GCSE: English and Mathematics at grade B or above, or an appropriate English language and Mathematics qualification.
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 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 – Leeds
Level 2 – Belgrade, Montpellier, Helsinki
Level 3 – Athens, Buenos Aires, Miami
Watch our field trip video to Montpellier!