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School of Geography

Geography and Sociology BA

For 2018 entry course see BA Geography and Sociology 2018

Geography and Sociology BA
(Full time) 2019 start


Key facts

  • UCAS code: LL37
  • Start date: September 2019
  • Duration/Mode: 3 years full time
  • Typical A level offer: AAB
    (specific subjects required)
  • UK/EU fees: See fees section below
  • International fees: £20,750 (per year)
  • Study abroad option: Yes
  • Work placement option: Yes
  • Course terms and conditions

This varied degree allows you to explore the complexity of society and explore key ideas and themes in human geography.

Core modules will examine the social, cultural, economic and political processes that shape human experience, the structure of society, the impact of social divisions and the changing nature of human action. You’ll also investigate how we plan cities, regions and resources, and learn to use the Geographical Information Systems that help us build spatial models of human geography.

From this foundation, you’ll have the freedom to focus on topics that suit your own interests – we offer a wide range of optional modules that reflect the diversity of our research interests in both subjects. Drawing on expertise in both the School of Geography and the School of Sociology and Social Policy, you could study political, urban, social and development geography alongside disability studies, urban disorders, the sociology of gender or racism and ethnicity studies and many others.

Extending this degree

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.


Course terms and conditions

Course content

Year 1 encourages you to think sociologically, discovering key concepts and debates within the subject and examining the formation and emergence of modern societies. Geography modules will focus on processes of urban change by focusing on Leeds itself, and examine the key themes in human geography through practical classes and tutorials. Optional modules will allow you to learn about the methods and techniques of social research or examine aspects of society’s relationship with the natural environment.

This provides the foundation for the following year, when you’ll explore the important thinkers and traditions in the history of sociology and learn more about some of the major ideas and themes in human geography. You’ll develop your research skills with an additional module in one of your subjects – you choose which. From there you’ll start to gain specialist knowledge in your chosen areas through a selection of optional modules, focusing on topics from disability studies to development geographies, or from drugs to service planning.

In your final year, you’ll research a sociological topic of your choice in depth to complete your dissertation, working with your academic supervisor. Around this you’ll choose further optional modules examining issues such as class division, migration, health geographies, sex work or protest movements.

Course structure

These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.

Year 1

Compulsory modules

  • Local to Global: Geographies of a Changing World (Joint Honours) 20 credits
  • People, Place and Politics (Joint Honours) 20 credits
  • Studying in a Digital Age (Environment) 5 credits
  • Sociology of Modern Societies 20 credits
  • Formations of Modernity 20 credits

Optional modules

  • Nature, Society and Environment 20 credits
  • Understanding and Researching the City 20 credits
  • Understanding and Researching Contemporary Society 20 credits

Year 2

Compulsory modules

  • Central Problems in Sociology 20 credits

Optional modules

  • Career Skills in Geography 10 credits
  • Political and Development Geographies 20 credits
  • Service analysis and planning 20 credits
  • Geographies of Economies 20 credits
  • Geographies of Economies (international and discovery students) 10 credits
  • Helsinki: urban growth and sustainability 20 credits
  • Montpellier: urban and rural development 20 credits
  • Belgrade: urban and social geographies of a Balkan city 20 credits
  • The Making of the Modern City 20 credits
  • The Making of the Modern City: European and Colonial Capitals 10 credits
  • The Making of the Modern City: In Search of Utopia 10 credits
  • Citizenship and Identity: Comparative Perspectives 20 credits
  • Living within limits: natural resource management for sustainable development 20 credits
  • Political and Development Geographies: The shaping of the world 10 credits
  • Research Methods: Ideas and Practice in Human Geography 30 credits
  • Research in Human Geography: Ideas, Methods and Tutorial 10 credits
  • Sociology and Social Policy Research Methods 20 credits
  • Crime, Law and Regulation 20 credits
  • Disability Studies: An Introduction 20 credits
  • The Sociology of Gender 20 credits
  • Health and Society 20 credits
  • Debates in Childhood and Youth 20 credits
  • The Sociology of Culture 20 credits
  • Sociology of Work 20 credits
  • Racism, ethnicity, migration and decolonial studies 20 credits
  • Urban Disorders, Social Divisions and Social Control 20 credits

Year 3

Optional modules

  • Urban and Regional Development: A Case Study of Athens 20 credits
  • Global Cities: Buenos Aires 20 credits
  • Contested Cities 20 credits
  • Creating Alternative Futures 20 credits
  • Advanced Population & Health Geographies 20 credits
  • Geocomputation and Location Analysis 20 credits
  • Geographies of Global Insecurities 20 credits
  • Workplace Co-operative Project 20 credits
  • Geographers into Teaching: School Placements 20 credits
  • Global Cities: Miami 20 credits
  • Dissertation (Concise) 20 credits
  • Human Geography Dissertation 40 credits
  • Research Placement 20 credits
  • Spaces of Migration and Encounter 20 credits
  • Sociology Dissertation 40 credits
  • Postcolonialism and Critical Muslim Studies 20 credits
  • Disability Rights and the International Policy Context 20 credits
  • Education, Culture and Society 20 credits
  • State Crime and Immorality 20 credits
  • Contemporary Children, Young People and Families 20 credits
  • The Social Life of Data 20 credits
  • Sociology of Consumerism 20 credits
  • Class in Everyday Life 20 credits
  • Ethnicity and Popular Culture 20 credits
For more information on typical modules, read Geography and Sociology BA in the course catalogue

Broadening your academic horizons

At Leeds we want you to benefit from the depth and breadth of the University's expertise, to prepare you for success in an ever-changing and challenging world. This course gives you the opportunity to broaden your learning by studying discovery modules. Find out more on the Broadening webpages.

Learning and teaching

We use a range of teaching and learning methods to help you gain diverse skills. These will include seminars and workshops where you can discuss in more depth the topics set out in traditional lectures. We emphasise the importance of participation, presentation skills and group work.

The teaching structure varies depending on your level of study – for example, in Year 1 you might expect to have six or seven lectures and three or four seminars per week. However, independent study is also a vital element of the course, as it allows you to develop your research and critical skills while preparing for taught sessions.

You’ll also have a personal tutor – one of our academics – who will be on hand to offer you guidance and support on academic issues, such as module choices, as well as career and personal matters.


Modules will use a variety of assessment methods. As well as traditional exams, you could also be asked to complete projects based on essays and case studies, policy briefs, group presentations, work logs, research briefs, project proposals or development agency reviews. In your final year you’ll also submit a 12,000 word dissertation.

Entry requirements, fees and applying

Entry requirements

A-level: AAB including A in Geography

GCSE:English and Mathematics at grade B (6) or above, or an equivalent English language and Mathematics qualification.

Alternative qualifications

  • Access to HE Diploma: Complete 60 credits with 45 Level 3 credits at Distinction
  • Cambridge Pre-U: D3,D3,M1
  • International Baccalaureate: 35 overall (6,5,5 higher)
  • Irish Highers (Leaving Certificate): (Leaving Certificate): AAAAAB
  • Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers: AAAAB overall (AB at higher level)
  • Other Qualifications: A-level Sociology is not a requirement for any of our courses – we design Year 1 modules for students both with and without previous knowledge of the subject.We accept A-level General Studies. However, in general you should be in the process of studying Social Science, Arts and Humanities subjects for A-level. See our Accepted A-level subjects document to see which subjects we accept.

Read more about UK and Republic of Ireland accepted qualifications or contact the School’s Undergraduate Admissions Team.

Alternative entry

We’re committed to identifying the best possible applicants, regardless of personal circumstances or background.

Access to Leeds is an alternative admissions scheme which accepts applications from individuals who might be from low income households, in the first generation of their immediate family to apply to higher education, or have had their studies disrupted.

Find out more about Access to Leeds and alternative admissions.


We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications. For information contact the School of Geography Undergraduate Admissions Team.

International foundation year

If you have the ability to study for a degree but don’t have the qualifications to enter directly to level one, you might consider studying a foundation year. We have formal links with the following foundation year programmes:

If you are applying from an alternative foundation year provider, please contact our admissions team to find out if your qualification is suitable for entry to our courses.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

Improve your English

If you're an international student and you don't meet the English language requirements for this programme, you may be able to study our undergraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.

How to apply

Apply to this course through UCAS. The institution code for the University of Leeds is L23. Check the deadline for applications on the UCAS website.

It is also possible to study this programme part time. The programme content is the same but you will study at a lesser intensity. Find out more about how to apply, support available and the part-time student experience at the Lifelong Learning Centre.

International students apply through UCAS in the same way as UK/EU students. Our network of international representatives can help you with your application. If you’re unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.

Admissions policy

Faculty of Environment Undergraduate Admissions Policy 2019


UK/EU: See fees section below

International: £20,750 (per year)

For UK and non-UK EU full-time students starting in 2018, the fee for 2018/19 will be £9,250. 

For UK and non-UK EU full-time students starting in 2019, the fee for 2019/20 will be £9,250. 

The fee may increase in future years of your course in line with inflation, and as permitted by law. For example, the increase of 2.8% in 2017/18 was based on the government’s forecast for the RPI-X measure of inflation.

The UK government has confirmed that non-UK EU students starting in the 2019/20 academic year will have home fee status and be eligible for UK government student loans. The UK government has not confirmed the situation for future years, so keep checking our website for updates.

If you take a study abroad or work placement year, you’ll pay a reduced tuition fee during this period. For more information, see Study abroad and work placement tuition fees and loans.

Read more about paying fees and charges.

Part-time fees are normally calculated based on the number of credits you study in a year compared to the equivalent full-time course. For example, if you study half the course credits in a year, you will pay half the full-time course fees for that year.

Additional cost information

Field classes are optional for BA students. We currently allocate £500 towards the cost of an optional field trip at level 2 or 3. Additional costs may be incurred.

Scholarships and financial support

We offer a range of scholarships.

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There is help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government. Find out more in our Undergraduate funding overview.

Career opportunities

Graduate destinations

Our graduates secure employment with some of the biggest UK companies in human resources, communications management, broadcasting and advertising. They are also ideally equipped to work in the public and third sector including in the civil service, teaching, youth work, fostering/children’s services, probation services, social work, prison service, housing and homelessness prevention.

Postgraduate opportunities

Graduates from this programme are well prepared for postgraduate study across a range of disciplines. Our recent graduates have gone on to study sociology, social Policy, teacher training, journalism, occupational therapy, human resources, marketing, town planning, social work, criminal justice studies and social research.

Careers support

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.

Placement opportunities

Study abroad

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.

Find out more at the Study Abroad website.

School of Geography partnerships

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

  • Denmark: University of Copenhagen *
  • France: Université Grenoble Alpes
  • France: Université Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense
  • Netherlands: Utrecht University *
  • Norway: University of Bergen *
  • Spain: Universidad de Valencia

*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.

Worldwide destinations

Teaching takes place in English at all these universities:

  • The University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
  • The University of McMaster, Ontario, Canada
  • The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia
  • The University of Adelaide, Australia
  • The National University of Singapore
  • The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Find out more from staff and students in our study abroad video

Work placements

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.


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.