Department of Geography

Frequently asked questions

What's the difference between a BSc and a BA in Geography?

BSc degrees are geared towards those students with science backgrounds who have interests in the physical and natural science aspects of geography. Our BA degrees are designed for those students with backgrounds in the social sciences and humanities who are interested in the human, social, economic, cultural and historical aspects of the subject.

I'm undecided: I like aspects of human and physical geography, which should I apply for?

At Sussex, our aim is to produce well-rounded Geography graduates, and our degrees are designed with plenty of in-built flexibility and choice. If you are registered for a BA degree, you can still opt to take some BSc modules; similarly, if you are taking one of our BSc degrees, you can take some BA options. You should apply in the first instance for the degree that best reflects your background: BSc if you have studied predominantly sciences, BA if you have studied predominantly social sciences and humanities subjects. Also be aware that some of our degrees ask for specific qualifications (especially the BSc degrees), so you should check out the entry requirements listed with each course in our Undergraduate Prospectus.

I'm interested in one of your joint degrees but have not studied the other subject before. Will that be a problem?

Not necessarily. We look more favourably on those applicants who have some background in that particular subject, but it is not always essential (especially if you provide a strong personal statement in your UCAS form as to why you wish to study that particular joint subject).

How easy is it to change degrees once I'm at Sussex?

While we discourage the wholesale chopping and changing of degrees, we do nevertheless recognise that some students realise that their choice of a particular degree might not be for them only once they've started at Sussex. Under such circumstances, we encourage those students to seek immediate advice from their Academic Advisor, who may then be able to recommend transfer to an alternative degree.

Can I study abroad during my degree?

Yes, you can spend one terms or one full year studying Geography in one of our partner institutions overseas, usually based in either Europe or North America. Refer to Study abroad.

How many undergraduate places are there on your degrees?

We generally accept around 100 students each year across all our BA and BSc Geography degrees.

I want to take a gap year after my A levels. Should I apply now or wait until next year?

Apply now – if you meet your offer conditions, you will automatically go straight to the top of the pile for the following year. You can then start your gap year knowing that you have a guaranteed place.

What qualifications do I need?

Refer to our Undergraduate Prospectus, where each course is listed with all relevant entry requirements.

I'm a mature student and don't have 'traditional' A-level qualifications. Will that disadvantage me in applying?

Not at all. Sussex encourages applications from mature students and is happy to look at any potential candidate, with or without formal qualifications (though you must still apply via UCAS). Refer to Mature students and wider experience.

Are there any bursaries or scholarships available?

Refer to Funding for undergraduate study.

Can I visit?

Of course – we encourage students to visit and check out both the campus and the Department. For students who have not yet made any UCAS choices, we participate in a number of University-wide Open Days (held from June to October), for which advance booking is essential. Once you have applied to Sussex, you will be invited to a Geography-only Admissions Day (a choice of dates are offered between January and April). At both of these types of event, you will have the opportunity to look around the Department and the campus, hear about Geography at Sussex from the Admissions Tutor, and also meet existing undergraduates. If you are unable to make any of these days, you can still take advantage of the University's weekly campus tours (though these do not include any specific Geography-related content).

Any other questions?

Feel free to contact:

Dr Ceri Oeppen, ARTS C C253, University of Sussex,
Falmer, Brighton, BN1 9SJ
Tel: 01273 872880