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School of Geography

BSc Geography and Mathematics

This information is for courses starting in September 2016, if you are applying for September 2017 please visit the University’s Course Listings.

Geography and mathematics are complementary disciplines. This programme develops a blend of intellectual skills, analytic, computational and discursive, which will distinguish you as having the flexibility and capability of synthesis that employers increasingly value.
As well as the numerous career opportunities open to well-qualified science graduates, there are many fast growing niche fields, such as environmental consultancy and civic planning, with strong demand for highly numerate graduates with technical geography expertise.

Why study physical geography?

Physical geography covers the basic environmental processes that control (i) the climate system, (ii) how landscapes change over time, (iii) how soils develop and provide the basis of the world’s food supply, and (iv) how different ecosystems function. As a physical geographer, you will also become proficient in presenting your ideas in reports and orally, in data collection, presentation, and analysis, and in the investigation and computer simulation of environmental processes. Apart from the excitement of understanding how the natural world functions, your expertise as a physical geographer 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 (as, for example, an environmental impacts specialist), and NGOs (such as the National Trust).

Why study mathematics?

Studying mathematics is fun, satisfying, interesting and challenging. The wide range of modules allow you to follow the subjects that interest you most and that match your future ambitions.

A mathematics degree will provide you with a range of transferable and specific skills, so your available career choices are the envy of other graduates. We give you the chance to shape your degree with your aspirations in mind and this makes our graduates some of the most sought after by key employers.

Four-year degree options

Why not enhance your university experience and build your career by considering a Study Year Abroad or a Year in Industry? Further information on these programme variants can be found in the tabs above.

How you study

Contact time

At Level 1 you will have approximately 12-16 hours per week 'contact time', i.e., participation in a session which is taught, led or facilitated by a member of staff (lectures, seminars, tutorials, or lab classes), in addition to several sessions where you will work in a group without staff supervision. The amount of contact time reduces a little at levels 2 and 3, having developed the skills and confidence for more autonomous and self-directed learning.

Independent learning

Part of studying at university is that you will take increasing responsibility for your own learning as you progress through your degree. Developing the skills to think and work independently is crucial to your success both at university and in your future career. Independent study involves a lot of reading around the subject, and although this may seem daunting at first, we will guide and support you to ensure you are able to:

  • use the Library resources and find information
  • read critically and develop a balanced argument
  • plan and prepare academic assignments
  • take and make good notes
  • develop strategies for dealing with the volume of reading required for your course
  • effectively manage your time to meet deadlines


Lectures are a student’s staple diet - the main source of information and knowledge - but probably quite different to anything you have encountered at school. Lectures are usually 50 minutes long and may be attended by over 150 students at Level 1, but are smaller at Level 2 and smaller still at Level 3.

Lectures are a great way to introduce you to a topic, but you are never really sure whether you have understood a subject area until you have had the chance to discuss it in more detail in smaller groups. For this reason we also deliver teaching through tutorials (groups of six); seminars (groups of approximately 30); computer classes; lab practical classes; group-work; online exercises and fieldwork. Opportunities for extra help, including 'drop-in' workshops, one-to-one assistance, and an extensive programme of generic skills training offered by Skills@Library, are also readily available.


The style of learning and teaching at university is quite different to what you will have been used to at school or college. At university, you are expected to read widely for each module you study. A twenty-credit module equates to 200 hours study time, which includes contact time (lectures, classes), independent reading and study time, preparation of assignments and exam revision. A full workload is 120 credits at each level of study, so you are expected to spend about 40 hours per week during term-time on your studies.


We appreciate how important it is that you receive prompt and constructive feedback on all your work so that you know how well you are progressing with your studies. Feedback also provides us with an opportunity to advise you on any particular areas where we feel you may benefit from further reading or additional study skills support. Different styles of feedback that you are most likely to encounter in your studies include:

  • One-to-one, group or whole class verbal feedback
  • Peer review feedback
  • Electronic feedback via email or posted on the VLE (Blackboard)
  • Written feedback – on a feedback sheet, and as annotations on your work
  • Example or model answers made available to the whole group


We monitor attendance to ensure that we can identify and help you if you are experiencing any personal or academic difficulties which are impacting on your ability to study. Attendance is compulsory and registers are taken at some sessions. We ask you to notify the School if you are unable to attend for any reason.


Assessment methods vary from module to module, and this gives you the flexibility to choose modules based on the assessment criteria that suits your particular strengths. Types of assessment include:

  • examinations
  • individual or group reports
  • practical exercises
  • individual or group presentations
  • essays
  • posters
  • projects (such as the dissertation)
  • reflective logs

Your time will be divided almost equally between modules from geography and mathematics.

Year 1: In geography you will develop essential skills in presenting and analysing geographical data, gain an understanding of the different research approaches used by physical geographers and have the opportunity to choose from a range of optional modules focusing on our living planet and environmental change.

In mathematics you will study key topics, including calculus, differential equations and linear algebra, and you will also study probability and statistics.

Years 2 and 3: You have increasing flexibility to choose from a wide range of advanced modules in geography, mathematics and statistics, including topics such as environmental statistics.

If you opt to study abroad or to join our year in industry scheme you will pursue this at the end of Year 2, returning to your final year of study once completed.

Full course details can be found in our programme catalogue

Year 1

Year 1 provides you with the foundational skills in physical geography and mathematics. You will be taught in small groups (tutorials), in lectures, in the computer and chemical laboratory, and in the field, and introduced to some key issues within physical geography and mathematics.


You will study the following compulsory geography modules:

ODLM1000: Studying in a Digital Age

GEOG1081: Data Analysis and Physical Geography Tutorials

This module introduces the ways in which physical geographers seek to understand the natural world around them (and the human impact on the natural world). In small groups (5-7 students) you will learn how to read and understand academic papers, the scientific process, and how to write cogent and convincing explanations of the different research approaches used in physical geography.

This module will give you foundational skills in geographical information systems (GIS), statistics, and report writing that will underpin the rest of your degree. These skills are gained using a virtual geomorphological tour through the fascinating arid environment of Death Valley, California.

You will also study two of the following optional geography modules:

GEOG1065: Nature, Society and Environment

  • What do we mean by sustainability?
  • What is an ecosystem service?
  • Is there such a thing as environmental justice?
  • How will climate change affect human societies?
  • What is re-wilding?

GEOG1040: Dynamic Landscapes

  • Why are there mountains?
  • Are glaciers the most erosive features in the natural world, 'bull-dozing' all before them?
  • How much do 'slow' processes, such as soil creep, shape landscapes?
  • How does water move through the landscape and how does it affect weathering and erosion processes around the world?
  • What is a geomorphological hazard?

GEOG1045: Living Planet

  • What are biogeochemical cycles and why are they also known as 'cycles of life'?
  • What is a soil and how do soils affect life on earth?
  • What is a biome and how did the earth's biomes form?
  • Why are flamingos pink?
  • How do ecosystems respond to human disturbance?

GEOG1055: Environmental Change: Past and Future

  • Is climate change really happening?
  • How rapidly has climate changed in the past?
  • How many ice ages have there been?
  • How have humans responded/adapted to climate change in the past?
  • What does the future hold for planet earth under a changing climate?


You will also study the following compulsory mathematics modules:

  • MATH1050 Calculus and Mathematical Analysis                   
  • MATH1055 Numbers and Vectors                                   
  • MATH1060 Introductory Linear Algebra       
  • MATH1400 Modelling with Differential Equations    
  • MATH1710 Probability and Statistics I                          
  • MATH1712 Probability and Statistics II

You must enrol on 120 or 125 credits. Further details are available in the programme catalogue.

Year 2

Year 2 builds on year 1 and helps develop your skills in computational physical geography and the design and execution of research projects. You will also build on your specialist subject knowledge as a physical geographer. You have the choice between a week-long residential field trip to the Austrian Alps, Majorca or the Cevennes in southern France and an optional specialist careers module to help you plan your post-degree options.

In the mathematics half of the programme you will develop the more abstract ideas of vector spaces and linear transformations and increase your understanding of fluid mechanics and electromagnetism. For those interested in teaching there is also the option of a module where you will conduct activities within a school or college, through mathematics lessons or an existing mathematics club.


You will study the following compulsory modules in geography:

GEOG2115: Research project and statistical skills in physical geography

one of the following week long field trips:

GEOG2006: Field class - The dynamic environment of the European Alps (Austria)

  • What physical forms and processes are peculiar to Alpine environments?
  • How is a knowledge of physical geography essential to understanding Alpine environments?
  • What processes in particular have shaped the Alpine landscape (e.g. glacial and fluvial processes)?
  • How can these be studied and measured in the field, and what techniques are most useful?
  • How might climate change and human activities influence Alpine landscapes?
  • How do Alpine processes affect human resources such as hydro power and water supply?

GEOG2007: Fieldclass - The dynamic environment of Mallorca (Spain)

  • What physical and biological processes characterise the landscape of Mallorca?
  • How has the environment of Mallorca changed over time in response to human activity and shifts in sea-level and climate?
  • How can present and past processes be studied and measured in the field, and what research approaches and techniques are most useful?
  • What does the future hold for Mallorca, and what challenges face its environmental managers?

GEOG2008: Fieldclass - The dynamic environment of the western Algarve (Portugal)

  • What influence did the western Algarve have on cartography, navigation and European exploration of the world?
  • How do semi-arid environments differ from the environment in the UK?
  • How can we understand environments of tens of millions of years ago from the evidence contained within coastal cliffs?
  • How are water resources managed in southern Portugal?
  • What is the influence of recent large dams on river health?
  • How do geology and wave climate affect beach and hydrological processes?
  • What is the influence of the long history of human occupation in southern Portugal on the landscape?

Optional modules include:

GEOG2060: Living within limits: natural resource management for sustainable development

This module explores the interface between physical and human geography, and explores how humans 'exploit' their natural environment. Key questions that will be discussed on the module include:

  • What is a natural resource?
  • What are the different approaches to natural resource management?
  • Are there limits to growth and how well does the 'technofix' model describe resource use?
  • How is environmental and resource policy developed?
  • What role do non-governmental advocacy groups and the private sector play in policy making?

GEOG2080: Earth Surface Processes

This module focuses on hydrological and geomorphological processes and landforms in temperate and glacierised catchments, and provides answers to questions such as:

  • How do hydrological and glacial processes respond to climate change?
  • Why do rivers flood and how can we reduce the flood hazard?
  • How do avalanches occur; how great a hazard are they?
  • What are the factors that control the magnitude and severity of glacial outburst floods?

GEOG2085: Ecosystems: process, pattern and change

  • What evolutionary processes have shaped life on earth?
  • What are mass extinctions and how do they occur?
  • How do biomes and ecosystems function?
  • How does the global carbon cycle interact with climate?
  • What is the 'Anthropocene'?

GEOG2090: Climate Systems

  • How can we conceptualise and model (using computers) the global climate system?
  • What are the most important controls on global climate?
  • What is the role of the oceans in the global climate system?
  • Why, in its recent geological past, has the earth undergone repeated glaciations and de-glaciations?
  • What are the causes and nature of recent climate change?

GEOG2015: Career Skills in Geography

  • What career opportunities are there for geography graduates?
  • What processes do companies use to select their employees?
  • How can I write a CV that impresses potential employers?
  • How should I conduct myself at an interview?
  • What can I do now that will help my employment prospects when I graduate?


You will study the following compulsory mathematics modules:

  • MATH2080: Further Linear Algebra                      
  • MATH2365: Vector Calculus        
  • MATH2375: Linear Differential Equations and Transforms  

Optional  modules include:

  • MATH2051: Geometry of Curves and Surfaces 
  • MATH2061:
  • MATH2391: Nonlinear Differential Equations      
  • MATH2600: Numerical Analysis 
  • MATH2620: Fluid Dynamics 1     
  • MATH2715: Statistical Methods
  • MATH2735: Statistical Modelling
  • MATH2740: Environmental Statistics
  • MATH2800: Mathematics into Schools   
  • MATH2900: Maths at Work
  • MATH2920:

You must enrol on 120 or 125 credits. Further details are available in the programme catalogue.

Year 3

In Year 3 you will work on a large, independent research project – the dissertation – with specialist help from an academic tutor. The dissertation is your chance to tackle a geographical or mathematical research question (or questions) of your choice and to put into practice the skills and subject knowledge you have acquired in the first two years. The topic-based modules range from computer modelling of environmental processes to soil hydrological and biochemical processes and there is a wealth of options on the mathematics half of the programme.


Optional modules in geography include:

GEOG3600: Dissertation

In this module you design and undertake your own piece of original research with guidance from an academic tutor. This is your chance to make an original contribution to knowledge and to put into practice the skills and subject understanding you have gained in the previous two years. Many projects involve answering geographical research questions through field data collection and subsequent data analysis. However, some projects are almost entirely laboratory-based and some involve computer modelling.

GEOG3062: New Zealand Fieldtrip

The New Zealand field trip takes place in early December and lasts for two weeks. Initially, there is a guided tour of several glaciated parts of the Mt Cook National Park. You will then undertake an independent research project in the Matukituki valley near Wanaka, Mt Aspiring National Park. In this project you will study first-hand some of the most dynamic glacial, hydrological, geomorphological and ecological systems anywhere in the world. The module boasts an excellent staff-student ratio, exceptional resources in the form of supplementary material, and the field trip is an excellent example of research-led teaching because it capitalises on considerable staff research expertise in this area. As a student on this module, you will not be disappointed!

GEOG3065: Water Science and Management

  • How do the natural dynamics of river systems influence their morphology, flows, water quality and biological communities?
  • What are the most serious issues requiring the management of rivers and their catchments?
  • How can hydrological and geomorphological alterations benefit river ecosystems by improving water quality?
  • What are the approaches to managing water sustainably, both in an environmental context and within water supply/treatment networks?
  • How do key water policies and legislation impact on the management of our rivers?

GEOG3121: Creating Alternative Futures

  • What are the different kinds of alternative futures urban areas face?
  • How will key challenges such as peak oil, climate change, social and spatial justice impact on our urban spaces?
  • What role will eco-modernisation, localisation, state renewal and grassroots democracy have to play in determining these futures?
  • How will the multi-faceted nature of urban change impact on future urban scenarios and alternatives in practice?

GEOG3180: Management of Wilderness and Global Ecosystems

  • What are wildernesses and why should we protect them?
  • How is the idea of wilderness linked to the rise of the 'environmental movement'?
  • Why is wilderness an essential component of the ecosystem services model?
  • How can GIS be used to identify, map and manage wilderness landscapes?
  • What is rewilding and why should we create more wilderness?
  • How does wilderness feature in world conservation policy?

GEOG3440: Environment, Conflict and Policy

  • What are the key principles underlying policies aimed at solving environmental conflicts?
  • What is the fundamental science underlying the application of these key principles?
  • How do actual environmental disputes develop and how can contrasting viewpoints of different stakeholders be reconciled?
  • When does the politics of policy sometimes override science?
  • How can negotiation skills be used in practise to manage debates on environmental conflict?

GEOG3520: Workplace Co-operative Project

This module is mutually exclusive with GEOG3820: Research Placement. The module provides students with an opportunity to:

  • Work in collaboration with an outside organisation on a project that is of use to the organisation and suitable as an advanced component of a degree in Geography.
  • Design, negotiate, record and manage their work in cooperation with an academic supervisor and a member of staff from the outside organisation.

GEOG3530: Geographers into Teaching - School Placements

GEOG3690: Tropical forests and Sustainable Development

  • How resilient have tropical rain forests been to environmental change during geological history?
  • What is the role of glacial ‘refugia’ in shaping current tropical rain forest communities?
  • How have indigenous people affected tropical rain forests landscapes?
  • What factors control the diversity of tropical rain forests?
  • How do tropical rain forests affect the climate system?
  • Is sustainable development possible in SE Asia?
  • What constraints on economic and social development are imposed by the fragile natural environments of SE Asia?
  • How do national-governmental and international policies affect land-use in SE Asia?
  • In a land-use context, what is meant by 'good governance'?
  • What are the causes of land-use change in SE Asia and what is the relationship between land-use change and social and economic development?

GEOG3710: Digital worlds: computer simulation of Earth's dynamic environments

  • What is an environmental model and why do scientists and environmental managers use models?
  • How can models be both wrong and useful?
  • How are models constructed?
  • How are models tested and used both by practitioners (e.g., policy makers) and scientists?
  • What is a numerical experiment and what can it tell us about an environmental system?

GEOG3820: Research Placement

This module is mutually exclusive with GEOG3012: New Zealand Research Project and GEOG3520: Workplace Co-operative Project. In this module students undertake a substantial piece of original research on a project put forward by an academic supervisor. Often, the project will be an important part of a wider research programme of the supervisor. Students will be expected to contribute to the design of the project and will gain an in-depth appreciation of how academics ‘do’ research. The module is useful for those considering a career in research through study for a higher degree (MSc or PhD).

GEOG3875: Biogeochemical Cycles: Process to Policy

Global biogeochemical cycles describe the movement of biologically important elements through the Earth System (the combination of atmosphere, oceans, rocks and biota). The processes which govern such cycles are fundamental to all life, and result in a complex series of interactions and feedbacks. This module takes an Earth System Science approach to the study of the global cycling of biologically important elements, such as carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorous. You will learn about the processes governing the movement of these elements, and how to represent them using simple box models and address questions such as:

  • How do biogeochemical cycles combine to control Earth evolution, regulation, and climate?
  • How have humans impacted biogeochemical cycles, and what are the future implications of this?

GEOG3885: Ecosystems of the Quaternary

With a focus on the Quaternary period of Earth’s history (the last 2.6 million years), this module uses a palaeoecological approach to address the following questions:

  • How have modern ecosystems come into being?
  • How do plants and animals respond biogeographically to climate change?
  • What effect have Quaternary climate cycles had on the evolution of species and communities?
  • How can we apply this knowledge to managing the ecological consequences of human impact on the environment?

GEOG3895: Timescales of Global Change

This module considers global change across different timescales of Earth history

  • What was the composition of the earliest atmosphere and the makeup of the earliest environments?
  • How has co-evolution of life and the atmosphere effected environmental global change?
  • How can deep-time palaeobiology inform modern conservation?
  • What is the evidence for global change during the Quaternary?
  • How do we trace human environmental impacts in the palaeoecological record?
  • What is the Anthropocene?
  • What is the scope and nature of human interactions with the environment?
  • What are the drivers of recent environmental change?
  • How do we apply scientific knowledge to environmental management, conservation and restoration?
  • How do we assess the impacts of modern climate change and proposed mitigation strategies?

GEOG3669 The Cryosphere

  • What role do sea ice, snow and glaciers play within the Earth system?
  • How has the cryosphere evolved over the last ten to twenty thousand years?
  • What are the processes that will drive the evolution of sea ice, snow and glaciers in the future?
  • Are there feedbacks linking cryospheric and climatic change and how will these evolve in a warming climate?
  • What techniques can we use to measure contemporary crysopheric change?
  • How do cryospheric scientists handle uncertainty in predictions of change?


Optional modules in mathematics include:

  • MATH3365: Mathematical Methods       
  • MATH3385: Quantum Mechanics             
  • MATH3375:
  • MATH3397: Nonlinear Dynamics              
  • MATH3414: Analytic Solutions of Partial Differential Equations 
  • MATH3424:
  • MATH3458: Geophysical Fluid Dynamics               
  • MATH3459: Astrophysical Fluid Dynamics                             
  • MATH3531: Cosmology
  • MATH3567: Evolutionary Modelling                        
  • MATH3620: Fluid Dynamics 2     
  • MATH3714: Linear Regression and Robustness
  • MATH3723: Statistical Theory    
  • MATH3772: Multivariate Analysis             
  • MATH3802: Time Series
  • MATH3823: Generalised Linear Models
  • MATH3830: Statistical Shape Analysis
  • MATH3880: Introduction to Statistics and DNA
  • EDUC3060: Mathematics Education        
  • MATH2016: Analysis
  • MATH2040: Mathematical Logic 1            
  • MATH2051: Geometry of Curves and Surfaces
  • MATH2210: Introduction to Discrete Mathematics                           
  • MATH2391: Nonlinear Differential Equations      
  • MATH2410: Special Relativity     
  • MATH2600: Numerical Analysis
  • MATH2620: Fluid Dynamics 1
  • MATH2640: Introduction to Optimisation             
  • MATH2650: Calculus of Variations            
  • MATH2715: Statistical Methods
  • MATH2740: Environmental Statistics
  • MATH2750: Introduction to Markov Processes  
  • MATH2775: Survival Analysis      
  • MATH3000: Information Skills in Mathematics
  • MATH3015: History of Mathematics                       
  • MATH3082: Project in Pure Mathematics 1                          
  • MATH3083: Project in Pure Mathematics 2          
  • MATH3422: Project in Applied Mathematics
  • MATH3423: Project in Applied Mathematics
  • MATH3752: Project in Statistics 1             
  • MATH3753: Project in Statistics 2

Students must enrol on 120 or 125 credits, including at least 100 credits of level 3 modules, with at least 40 credits of level 3 Mathematics, and at least 40 credits of level 3 Geography modules. Educ 3060 counts as Mathematics modules for this purpose. Further details are available in the programme catalogue.




BSc Geography and Mathematics FG81

GCSE Levels

English and Mathematics at grade B or above.

A Levels

Three A Levels at grades AAB including an A in Mathematics and preferably including Geography.

If Geography is not included then we would expect two science A-levels from Biology, Chemistry, Geology and Physics. Offers exclude General Studies and Critical Thinking.

International Baccalaureate

35 points overall with 17 points at Higher Level 6 in Mathematics.

Scottish Highers/Advanced Highers

Grades AAAABB/AAB Mathematics.

Cambridge Pre-U

Grades D3, D3, M2 Mathematics.


We accept BTEC qualifications in a relevant subject area but only in combination with other A Levels, including Mathematics.

International and non-standard qualifications

We welcome applications from a range of backgrounds; from applicants coming to university following school or college, from those who have taken or are planning to take a gap year, from applicants looking to return to studying after some time out of the education system (including those taking Access courses in relevant subject areas), from overseas applicants, and from applicants with non-standard qualifications.

Overseas applicants must fulfil our English Language requirement: IELTS 6.0 with no less than 5.5 in each component skill.

Please email geo-ug-enq(at) for advice regarding international or non-standard qualifications.


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.

All compulsory fieldtrips at level 1 and 2 are paid for. This includes four nights at Malham Tarn, one week in Austria, Spain or Portugal, plus all day trips associated with all modules at levels 1 and 2.

Level 1



This four day fieldtrip to the Yorkshire Dales is based at the Malham Tarn Field Centre. Malham Tarn is one of only eight upland alkaline lakes in Europe and the site is an internationally important National Nature Reserve. The focus of the trip is to research the unique landscape of the Yorkshire Dales in terms of geology, geomorphology, hydrology, ecology and soils. We will also investigate how the landscape has changed in relation to climate change and human impacts in the past, and how it may change in future.

Level 2

Austrian Alps

Austrian Alps

This one week residential field trip to the Hohe Tauern Alps in Austria is based in the hotel Rudolfshutte, Uttendorf which is located 2,300 m above sea level, surrounded by glaciers and 22 imposing 3,000-meter peaks of the Hohe Tauern National Park. The emphasis throughout the trip is on research into mountain environments including glaciology, proglacial rivers, vegetation, soils and water quality.
(Offered as an alternative to the Mediterranean field trip).

Structure and content
Preparation for the field class is through a series of computer and reading based fieldwork planning/familiarisation exercises. Subjects covered include Alpine glaciation and glacial processes, fluvial sediments and bedforms in proglacial channels, soil types and processes, water quality, vegetation types and ecological relationships, natural resource exploitation, mountain hazards and human adaptations, conservation and national park management, GIS and remote sensing. The emphasis is on field research including training in field techniques and the formulation of hypotheses for research projects. The module is mainly assessed on work done in the field.

Algarve, Portugal


This one week residential field trip to western Portugal is based in the Parque Natural da Sudoeste Alentejano e Costa Vincentina. Students will stay at the Hotel Residencial Salema in a small fishing village located just 9 miles from the south-western tip of Europe and giving access to the geomorphologically diverse south and west coastlines. A wide range of research themes will be covered on the trip, with particular focus on coastal processes, hillslope hydrology and water resource management in an area of intense water stress.

Structure and Content

The emphasis is on field research including training in field techniques and the formulation of hypotheses for research projects. The module is mainly assessed on work done in the field. Subjects covered include the history of navigation, cartography and exploration from the port of Sagres, water quality and fluvial geomorphology downstream of dams, water resource management, rock slope stability, beach hydrology, tsunami processes, dryland vegetation and soil, limestone geomorphology, national park management, GIS and remote sensing.



This week long field trip is to the Balearic island of Mallorca which boasts a Mediterranean climate all year round and some dramatic scenery. During the trip you will have the opportunity to develop an understanding of the distinctive characteristics of the climate, geology and vegetation in Mallorca and how they have changed over time.
(Offered as an alternative to the Austrian and Cevennes field trip).

Structure and content

You will be introduced to the different environments of Mallorca and to a range of different fieldwork skills which you will put into practice by working in a small group on a self-directed project. Several sites on the island will be visited by coach to cover several themes including limestone geology and geomorphology, Quaternary environmental change, human impacts on vegetation, and contemporary environmental issues.

Level 3

New Zealand

New Zealand

This field trip to the central Southern Alps on South Island, enables third year students to get first-hand experience of conducting field-based research in physical geography in an exotic and challenging environment. This is a landscape with a diverse range of tectonic, glacial and fluvial landforms, and a wide range of vegetation and fauna. It has one of the highest sediment delivery rates in the World, which presents an incredible opportunity to dramatically understand processes that have formed, and are forming the landscape. We arrive in Queenstown ('the outdoor adventure capital of the World') and are based near Wanaka. We spend several days on a guided tour, visit a local academic and/or governmental research institute, and conduct our own field research.
See New Zealand field trip website

Structure and content
In semester one, you are required to complete an online Virtual Field Course briefing and introduction. They must also produce a research proposal, including a budget and a full risk assessment, and defend this at an 'interview'.

The field trip normally takes place in early December, and lasts for two weeks. During the trip you will collect field data in groups but will be individually responsible for processing, interpreting and presenting that data. Many different aspects of both modern and past glacial, fluvial and ecological phenomena can be investigated and advice towards topical research and staff research interests will be given.

In semester two, you are required to give an oral presentation at a 'School of Geography Third Year Conference'. Additionally, the 4000 word final report will take the format of an academic paper or short communication, and will be included within a bound 'proceedings' volume.

Study Abroad Brochure

Study abroad

Leeds offers a fantastic study abroad scheme to a wide range of destinations. Those who are accepted onto the scheme will transfer from the standard three-year BSc Programme to a four-year ‘international’ programme and will study abroad between levels 2 and 3.

Where can I go?

We have long-established partnerships with a number of overseas universities who reserve places each year specifically for Leeds geographers.

European (Erasmus) destinations

Students applying for either Spain or France are required to have competence in the language, but at the University of Utrecht teaching takes place in English.

Worldwide destinations

Teaching takes place in English at all the above universities.

Further worldwide destinations through the Study Abroad Office

In addition to the above options, Geography students can enter the university-wide competition for a place at a university partnered by Leeds through the Study Abroad Office.

What costs are involved?

Students studying abroad pay a reduced fee to Leeds, but no fee to the overseas university.

How is study abroad assessed?

To qualify for the scheme you need a minimum 2:1 average in your first and second year. The study abroad year is assessed on a ‘pass/fail’ basis. Grades achieved overseas do not contribute numerically towards the Leeds degree classification.

Why study abroad?

Studying abroad brings many benefits, academically, socially and personally:

  • International experience to enhance your CV and increase your employability
  • A chance to step outside your comfort zone, develop your skills, maturity and confidence – you will definitely reap the benefits in your final year of study
  • An ideal way to further your studies in a new context and learning environment
  • A fantastic opportunity to travel and make new friends which might not be possible in the future

Year in industry

Recruiters have confirmed that 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 upon 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.

NB - You do not need to decide before applying whether you want to do a Year in industry - students make this decision in level 2.

To see what our students think and to find out more about the benefits of the year in industry programme read our brochure and watch the video below:

Year in Industry Brochure
Year in Industry Brochure


Investing in your future

We take your future very seriously and know that employability is uppermost in many students’ minds. If you choose to study geography and maths at Leeds, you can be confident that you are 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 the BSc programme to ensure you develop the key transferable skills sought after 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.

Read our employability leaflet to find out about all the opportunities available to you, both at School and University level, to enhance your employment prospects. 

Graduate destinations

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 or for more detailed information click here.

Environmental management

  • Conservation
  • Land and water management
  • Public utilities

Management and consultancy

  • Transport planning and consultancy
  • Graduate schemes in multinational companies
  • IT and business consultancy

Using GIS

  • Retail planning
  • Direct marketing
  • GIS companies

Government and NGOs

  • Local government administration
  • Civil service (police, armed forces)
  • Regional and overseas development


  • Banking
  • Insurance
  • Financial services

Further study and training

  • Vocational Masters
  • PhD study
  • Teacher training/conversion courses

Below you will find a number of career profiles in areas where maths graduates have been employed: