Geography BSc

Geography

Key information

Duration:
3 years full time
Typical A-level offer:
AAB-ABB
UCAS code:
F801
Start date:
September 2018

At Sussex, you’ll learn from experts in climate change and geomorphology who’ll help you understand changes to our environment, and the key debates around the future of our planet.

And even when you’re working closer to home, our setting – within the UK’s newest National Park – means you’ll take your learning out into the field.

“The university’s location is perfect – there are fieldtrips to learn about local geography, including the geology of the South Downs.” Georgia LilleyGeography BSc

BSc or BA?

Course Overview
Geography BSc

You explore environmental and physical geography, climate and landscape change.

Geography BA

You study the relationships between human societies and their environments.

We also offer this course as a four-year MArts and a four-year MSci, following the same path for the first three years of study as the BA and BSc, respectively. We also offer this course as a four-year MSci with research placementsFind out about the benefits of an integrated Masters year.

Entry requirements

A-level

Typical offer

AAB-ABB

Subjects

You will have A-levels which include Geography or another science subject.

GCSEs

You will have GCSE (or equivalent) Mathematics, with at least grade C (or grade 4 in the new grading scale).

You should also have a broad range of GCSEs (A*-C), including good grades in relevant subjects.

Other UK qualifications

Access to HE Diploma

Typical offer

Pass in the Access to HE Diploma with 45 level 3 credits at Merit or above, including 24 at Distinction.

Subjects

The Access Diploma would ideally contain substantial amounts of Level 3 credit in Geography and/or another science subject.

GCSEs

You will also need GCSE (or equivalent) Mathematics, with at least grade C (or grade 4 in the new grading scale).

International Baccalaureate

Typical offer

32 points overall from the full IB Diploma.

Subjects

Including at least 5 in higher level Geography or another science subject.

Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma (formerly BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma)

Typical offer

DDD

Subjects

For the BSc as well as having the BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma you would preferably have an A-level in Geography or another science.

GCSEs

You will also need GCSE (or equivalent) Mathematics, with at least grade C (or grade 4 in the new grading scale).

You should also have a broad range of GCSEs (A*-C), including good grades in relevant subjects.

Scottish Highers

Typical offer

AABBB

Subjects

You will have evidence of Geography or another science subject.

GCSEs

You will also need Mathematics at Standard Grade, grade 1 or 2.

Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced

Typical offer

Grade B and AB in two A-levels.

Subjects

You will have A-levels which include Geography or another science subject.

GCSEs

You will have GCSE (or equivalent) Mathematics, with at least grade C (or grade 4 in the new grading scale).

You should also have a broad range of GCSEs (A*-C), including good grades in relevant subjects.

International baccalaureate

Typical offer

32 points overall from the full IB Diploma.

Subjects

Including at least 5 in higher level Geography or another science subject.

European baccalaureate

Typical offer

Overall result of at least 77%

Additional requirements

Evidence of existing academic ability in Geography is desirable (normally with a final grade of at least 8.0).

Other international qualifications

Australia

Typical offer

Relevant state (Year 12) High School Certificate, and over 85% in the ATAR or UAI/TER/ENTER. Or a Queensland OP of 5 or below.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of existing academic ability in Geography is desirable.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Austria

Typical offer

Reifeprüfung or Matura with an overall result of 2.2 or better for first-year entry. A result of 2.5 or better would be considered for Foundation Year entry.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of existing academic ability in Geography is desirable.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Belgium

Typical offer

Certificat d'Enseignement Secondaire Supérieur (CESS) or Diploma van Hoger Secundair Onderwijs with a good overall average. 

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of existing academic ability in Geography is desirable.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Bulgaria

Typical offer

Diploma za Sredno Obrazovanie with excellent final-year scores (normally 5.5 overall with 6 in key subjects).

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of existing academic ability in Geography is desirable.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Canada

Typical offer

High School Graduation Diploma. Specific requirements vary between provinces.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of existing academic ability in Geography is desirable.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

China

Typical offer

We usually do not accept Senior High School Graduation for direct entry to our undergraduate courses. However, we do consider applicants who have studied 1 or more years of Higher Education in China at a recognised degree awarding institution or who are following a recognised International Foundation Year.

If you are interested in applying for a business related course which requires an academic ability in Mathematics, you will normally also need a grade B in Mathematics from the Huikao or a score of 90 in Mathematics from the Gaokao.

Applicants who have the Senior High School Graduation may be eligible to apply to our International Foundation Year, which if you complete successfully you can progress on to a relevant undergraduate course at Sussex. You can find more information about the qualifications which are accepted by our International Study Centre at  http://isc.sussex.ac.uk/entry-requirements/international-foundation-year .

 

 

 

 

 

 

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of existing academic ability in Geography is desirable.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Croatia

Typical offer

Maturatna Svjedodžba with an overall score of at least 4-5 depending on your degree choice.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of existing academic ability in Geography is desirable.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Cyprus

Typical offer

Apolytirion of Lykeion with an overall average of at least 18 or 19/20 will be considered for first-year entry.

A score of 15/20 in the Apolytirion would be suitable for Foundation Year entry. Find out more about Foundation Years.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of existing academic ability in Geography is desirable.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Czech Republic

Typical offer

Maturita with a good overall average.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of existing academic ability in Geography is desirable.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Denmark

Typical offer

Højere Forberedelseseksamen (HF) or studentereksamen with an overall average of at least 7 on the new grading scale.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of existing academic ability in Geography is desirable.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Finland

Typical offer

Finnish Ylioppilastutkinto with an overall average result in the final matriculation examinations of at least 6.0.

Additional requirements

Evidence of existing academic ability in Geography is desirable.

France

Typical offer

French Baccalauréat with an overall final result of at least 13/20.

Additional requirements

You will normally need to have a final mark of 12/20 in Geography.

Germany

Typical offer

German Abitur with an overall result of 2.0 or better.

Additional requirements

Evidence of existing academic ability in Geography is desirable (normally with a final mark of 12/15).

Greece

Typical offer

Apolytirion with an overall average of at least 18 or 19/20 will be considered for first-year entry.

A score of 15/20 in the Apolytirion would be suitable for Foundation Year entry. Find out more about Foundation Years.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of existing academic ability in Geography is desirable.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Hong Kong

Typical offer

Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE) with grades of 5, 4, 4 from three subjects including two electives. 

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of existing academic ability in Geography is desirable.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Hungary

Typical offer

Erettsegi/Matura with a good average.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of existing academic ability in Geography is desirable.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

India

Typical offer

Standard XII results from Central and Metro Boards with an overall average of 75-80%. 

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of existing academic ability in Geography is desirable.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Iran

Typical offer

High School Diploma and Pre-University Certificate.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of existing academic ability in Geography is desirable.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Ireland

Typical offer

Irish Leaving Certificate (Higher Level) at H1 H2 H2 H3 H3.

Additional requirements

Irish Leaving Certificate Higher Level subjects must include Geography or another Science at grade H1.

You must have at least grade O4 in Mathematics.

 

Israel

Typical offer

Bagrut, with at least 8/10 in at least six subjects, including one five-unit subject.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of existing academic ability in Geography is desirable.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Italy

Typical offer

Italian Diploma di Maturità or Diploma Pass di Esame di Stato with a Final Diploma mark of at least 81/100.

Additional requirements

Evidence of existing academic ability in Geography is desirable.

Japan

Typical offer

Upper Secondary Leaving Certificate is suitable for entry to our Foundation Years. Find out more about Foundation Years.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of existing academic ability in Geography is desirable.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Latvia

Typical offer

Atestats par Visparejo videjo Izglitibu with very good grades in state exams.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of existing academic ability in Geography is desirable.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Lithuania

Typical offer

Brandos Atestatas including scores of 80-90% in at least three state examinations (other than English).

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of existing academic ability in Geography is desirable.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Luxembourg

Typical offer

Diplôme de Fin d'Etudes Secondaires.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of existing academic ability in Geography is desirable.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Malaysia

Typical offer

Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM). As well as various two or three-year college or polytechnic certificates and diplomas.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of existing academic ability in Geography is desirable.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Netherlands

Typical offer

Voorereidend Wetenschappelijk Onderwijs (VWO), normally with an average of at least 7.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of existing academic ability in Geography is desirable.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Nigeria

Typical offer

You are expected to have one of the following:

  • Higher National Diploma
  • One year at a recognised Nigerian University
  • Professional Diploma (Part IV) from the Institute of Medical Laboratory Technology of Nigeria
  • Advanced Diploma

You must also have a score of C6 or above in WAEC/SSC English.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of existing academic ability in Geography is desirable.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Norway

Typical offer

Norwegian Vitnemal Fra Den Videregaende Skole- Pass with an overall average of at least 4.

Additional requirements

Evidence of existing academic ability in Geography is desirable.

Pakistan

Typical offer

Bachelor (Pass) degree in arts, commerce or science.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of existing academic ability in Geography is desirable.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Poland

Typical offer

Matura with three extended-level written examinations, normally scored within the 7th stanine.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of existing academic ability in Geography is desirable.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Portugal

Typical offer

Diploma de Ensino Secundario normally with an overall mark of at least 16/20. 

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of existing academic ability in Geography is desirable.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Romania

Typical offer

Diploma de Bacalaureat with an overall average of 8.5-9.5 depending on your degree choice.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of existing academic ability in Geography is desirable.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Singapore

Typical offer

A-levels, as well as certain certificates and diplomas.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of existing academic ability in Geography is desirable.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Slovakia

Typical offer

Maturitna Skuska or Maturita with honours, normally including scores of 1 in at least three subjects.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of existing academic ability in Geography is desirable.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Slovenia

Typical offer

Secondary School Leaving Diploma or Matura with at least 23 points overall.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of existing academic ability in Geography is desirable.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

South Africa

Typical offer

National Senior Certificate with very good grades. 

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of existing academic ability in Geography is desirable.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Spain

Typical offer

Spanish Título de Bachillerato (LOGSE) with an overall average result of at least 8.0.

Additional requirements

Evidence of existing academic ability in Geography is desirable.

Sri Lanka

Typical offer

Sri Lankan A-levels.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of existing academic ability in Geography is desirable.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Sweden

Typical offer

Fullstandigt Slutbetyg with good grades.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of existing academic ability in Geography is desirable.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Switzerland

Typical offer

Federal Maturity Certificate.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of existing academic ability in Geography is desirable.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Turkey

Typical offer

Devlet Lise Diplomasi or Lise Bitirme is normally only suitable for Foundation Years, but very strong applicants may be considered for first year entry. Find out more about Foundation Years.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of existing academic ability in Geography is desirable.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

USA

Typical offer

We look at your full profile taking into account everything you are studying. You must have your high school graduation diploma and we will be interested in your Grade 12 GPA. However, we will also want to see evidence of the external tests you have taken. Each application is looked at individually, but you should normally have one or two of the following:

  • APs (where we would expect at least three subject with 4/5 in each)
  • SAT Reasoning Tests (normally with a combined score of 1300) or ACT grades
  • and/or SAT Subject Tests (where generally we expect you to have scores of 600 or higher). 

We would normally require APs or SAT Subject Tests in areas relevant to your chosen degree course.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of existing academic ability in Geography is desirable.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

My country is not listed

If your qualifications aren’t listed or you have a question about entry requirements, email ug.enquiries@sussex.ac.uk.

English language requirements

IELTS (Academic)

6.5 overall, including at least 6.0 in each component

IELTS scores are valid for two years from the test date. Your score must be valid when you begin your Sussex course. You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test.

If you are applying for degree-level study we can consider your IELTS test from any test centre, but if you require a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) for an English language or pre-sessional English course (not combined with a degree) the test must be taken at a UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI)-approved IELTS test centre.

Find out more about IELTS.

Other English language requirements

Proficiency tests

Cambridge Advanced Certificate in English (CAE)

For tests taken before January 2015: Grade B or above

For tests taken after January 2015: 176 overall, including at least 169 in each skill

We would normally expect the CAE test to have been taken within two years before the start of your course.

You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Find out more about Cambridge English: Advanced.

Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE)

For tests taken before January 2015: grade C or above

For tests taken after January 2015: 176 overall, including at least 169 in each skill

We would normally expect the CPE test to have been taken within two years before the start of your course.

You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Find out more about Cambridge English: Proficiency.

Pearson (PTE Academic)

62 overall, including at least 56 in all four skills.

PTE (Academic) scores are valid for two years from the test date. Your score must be valid when you begin your Sussex course. You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Find out more about Pearson (PTE Academic).

TOEFL (iBT)

88 overall, including at least 20 in Listening, 19 in Reading, 21 in Speaking, 23 in Writing.

TOEFL (iBT) scores are valid for two years from the test date. Your score must be valid when you begin your Sussex course. You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Find out more about TOEFL (iBT).

The TOEFL Institution Code for the University of Sussex is 9166.

English language qualifications

AS/A-level (GCE)

Grade C or above in English Language.

Hong Kong Advanced Level Examination (HKALE)/ AS or A Level: grade C or above in Use of English

French Baccalaureat

A score of 12 or above in English.

GCE O-level

Grade C or above in English.

Brunei/Cambridge GCE O-level in English: grades 1-6.

Singapore/Cambridge GCE O-level in English: grades 1-6.

GCSE or IGCSE

Grade C or above in English as a First Language.

Grade B or above in English as a Second Language

German Abitur

A score of 12 or above in English.

Ghana Senior Secondary School Certificate

If awarded before 1993: grades 1-6 in English language.

If awarded between 1993 and 2005: grades A-D in English language.

Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE)

 Level 4, including at least 3 in each component in English Language.

Indian School Certificate (Standard XII)

The Indian School Certificate is accepted at the grades below when awarded by the following examination boards:

Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) – English Core only: 70%

Council for Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) - English: 70% 

International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB)

English A or English B at grade 5 or above.

Malaysian Certificate of Education (SPM) 119/GCE O-level

If taken before the end of 2008: grades 1-5 in English Language.

If taken from 2009 onwards: grade C or above in English Language.

The qualification must be jointly awarded by the University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate (UCLES).

West African Senior School Certificate

Grades 1-6 in English language when awarded by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) or the National Examinations Council (NECO).

Country exceptions

Select to see the list of exempt English-speaking countries

If you are a national of one of the countries below, or if you have recently completed a qualification equivalent to a UK Bachelors degree or higher in one of these countries, you will normally meet our English requirements. Note that qualifications obtained by distance learning or awarded by studying outside these countries cannot be accepted for English language purposes.

You will normally be expected to have completed the qualification within two years before starting your course at Sussex. If the qualification was obtained earlier than this we would expect you to be able to demonstrate that you have maintained a good level of English, for example by living in an English-speaking country or working in an occupation that required you to use English regularly and to a high level.

Please note that this list is determined by the UK’s Home Office, not by the University of Sussex.

List of exempt countries

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Australia
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Canada**
  • Dominica
  • Grenada
  • Guyana
  • Ireland
  • Jamaica
  • New Zealand
  • St Kitts and Nevis
  • St Lucia
  • St Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • United Kingdom
  • USA

** Canada: you must be a national of Canada; other nationals not on this list who have a degree from a Canadian institution will not normally be exempt from needing to provide evidence of English.

Admissions information for applicants

Transfers into Year 2

Yes. Find out more about transferring into Year 2 of this course. We don’t accept transfers into the third or final year.

If your qualifications aren’t listed or you have a question about entry requirements, email ug.enquiries@sussex.ac.uk.

Why choose this course?

  • Ranked 6th in the UK for Geography and Environmental Studies (The Guardian University Guide 2018).
  • 96% for overall satisfaction for Physical Geography (National Student Survey 2016).
  • Excellent choice of global field-trip destinations, currently including locations such as Los Angeles, the Mojave Desert, Dubai and China.

Course information

How will I study?

Year 1 introduces you to key areas of concern in geography today and equips you with the core geographical and study skills necessary to develop your understanding of global change and global challenges.

You learn through lectures, tutorials, workshops and fieldwork, and work individually and in groups. Core modules analyse critical issues such as:

  • development and migration
  • climate and environmental change
  • landscapes and landforms.

Options allow you to further explore specialist topics within geography.

Modules

These are the modules running in the academic year 2017. Modules running in 2018 may be subject to change.

Core modules

Options


Customise your course

At Sussex, you can choose to customise your course to build the sort of degree that will give you the knowledge, skills and experience that could take you in any direction you choose.

Explore subjects different to your course – electives and pathways allow you to complement your main subject. Find out what opportunities your course offers

Gain programming skills and apply them to areas such as digital media, business and interactive design. Find out about our Year in Computing

How will I study?

You focus on core topics in environmental and physical geography (such as global climate and landscape change), specialise in areas of interest and receive skills training.

You can also choose to study topics such as:

  • GIS (geographical information system)
  • conservation and environmental change
  • sustainable development.

Field trips

Get involved in fieldwork from the start of your course. You develop research, analytical and team-working skills in regions where our academics actively conduct research. 

In Year 2, you can pick from an exciting range of locations: current destinations include China, the Mojave Desert, Dubai and Los Angeles. There is also a UK-based field trip.

Find out about the 2,000-year-old artefacts found by a Sussex student on a field trip to the Mojave desert.

Find out more about Geography field trips at Sussex

Modules

These are the modules running in the academic year 2017. Modules running in 2018 may be subject to change.

Core modules

Options


Customise your course

At Sussex, you can choose to customise your course to build the sort of degree that will give you the knowledge, skills and experience that could take you in any direction you choose.

Explore subjects different to your course – electives and pathways allow you to complement your main subject. Find out what opportunities your course offers

Gain programming skills and apply them to areas such as digital media, business and interactive design. Find out about our Year in Computing

Study abroad (optional)

Apply to study abroad – you’ll develop an international perspective and gain an edge when it comes to your career. Find out where your course could take you.

Beautiful nature, dog sledging in the Artic, Swedish 'fika', and a great social life. I could not have chosen better!”Georgia Donati Clarke
Geography BSc Studied abroad in Sweden 

Placement (optional)

A placement is a great way to network and gain practical skills. When you leave Sussex, you’ll benefit from having the experience employers are looking for. Find out more about placements and internships.

Please note

If you’re receiving – or applying for – USA federal Direct Loan funds, you can’t transfer to the version of this program with an optional study abroad period or optional placement. Find out more about American Student Loans and Federal Student Aid

How will I study?

In third year, you work on your individual research project, supervised by a member of faculty, in which you use the skills and research training developed throughout your course.

And by choosing from topics such as climate science, global environmental change and food security, you tailor your study to your interests.

Modules

These are the modules running in the academic year 2017. Modules running in 2018 may be subject to change.

Core modules

Options

I work at the interface of terrestrial ecology, land use, hydrology and climate change. This is linked to my teaching.Dr Alexander Antonarakis
Lecturer in Geography

Fees

Fees are not yet set for entry in the academic year 2018. Note that your fees, once they’re set, may be subject to an increase on an annual basis.

The UK Government has confirmed that if you’re an EU student applying for entry in September 2018, you'll pay the same fee rate as UK students for the duration of your course, even if the UK leaves the EU before the end of your course. You'll also continue to have access to student loans and grants. Find out more on the UK Government website.

Find out about typical living costs for studying at Sussex

Scholarships

Details of our scholarships are not yet set for entry in the academic year 2018.

Careers

Graduate destinations

96% of Geography BSc students were in work or further study six months after graduating. Recent graduates from our Geography BSc have gone on to jobs such as:

  • project team leader, EnviroComms
  • campaign co-ordinator, The Climate Group
  • sustainability assistant, UBM.

(HESA EPI, Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education Survey 2015)

Your future career

With a Geography BSc, you develop research, numerical, analytical and resource-management skills.

This means you can go on to careers in sectors including international development and environmental conservation, or into graduate jobs at charities, and the public and private sectors.

Working while you study

Our Careers and Employability Centre can help you find part-time work while you study. Find out more about career development and part-time work

“I now lead a team responsible for assessing the impact of incoming information on navigational charts of the world’s oceans and seas.” Nick BiddiscombeGeography BSc
Team leader, Impact Analysis, UK Hydrogrphic Office

Human Geographies of the Modern World

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 1

Skills and Concepts in Geography I: Becoming a Geographer

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 1

The Natural World

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 1

This interdisciplinary module provides you with a foundation for studying physical geography and ecology. After introducing systems theory and major evolutionary and ecological questions, it considers geology (Earth structure and composition, continental drift, plate tectonics, geological time), setting a framework for studying macro-evolution (patterns and processes, history of life, major extinctions and radiations, historical biogeography). This is followed by an introduction to earth system science, focusing on the hydrosphere and biosphere, and leads into macro-ecology, where we discuss local to global patterns of biodiversity, factors controlling species distribution and abundance, biogeography.

Environmental Management and Sustainable Development

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1

This module explores contemporary debates on environmental management and sustainable development from a perspective that bridges physical and human geography. It examines the development of core scientific and social theories and discourses that underpin contemporary management of the environment and sustainable development. In particular it explores the trade offs between the three different pillars of sustainability; economics, environment and society. These trade offs are explored in relation to a range of real world problems, including climate change, biodiversity loss and energy use. The module explicitly deals at a range of geographical scales, from the global to the local, as well as considering different approaches to the management of natural resources.

Skills and Concepts in Geography II: Quantitative and Analytical Skills

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1

This module provides you with essential skills in quantitative and analytical methods, enabling you to evaluate different types of numerical data in human and physical geography. Topics include essential maths, trigonometry, descriptive statistics, inferential statistics, least squares regression, mechanics and modelling.

Each week a generic lecture introduces a particular topic and this is supported by practical-based workshops in which you gain experience in these skills. The workshops are based on exercises related to the substantive content of the modules of Geographies of Development and Inequality (for BA Geographers) and The Natural World 2 (for BSc Geographers). To provide intellectual coherence, you will be placed in workshop groups based upon your degree programme.

Understanding Earth

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1

Introduction to Evolution and Biodiversity

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 1

It has been said that 'nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution' (Dobhansky, 1973). Understanding the principles of how the diversity of life has evolved is essential for any biologist. This module will introduce the basic theories and priciples in evolutionary biology including the mechanisms by which it works. The module will also introduce you to the diveristy of life and how it is classified using selected taxonomic groups of organisms as examples to teach the core principles.

Culture Across Space and Time

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1

This module examines the relationship of culture to place, difference and identity. Drawing on key theoretical debates and case studies, culture will be explored in the context of social change and crises, incorporating topics such as:

  • the impact of globalisation and transnationalism on everyday life
  • the impact of consumption on behaviour and life choices
  • the changing relations of multiculturalism, racism and marginalisation
  • and the representation of culture in public spaces.

Throughout the module cultural issues will be deciphered through the prism of racial, ethnic, class and gender relations at local and global levels.

Introduction to Ecology and Conservation

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1

This module provides a broad introduction to the main principles of ecology and conservation. Topics to be covered include population ecology (population growth, regulation, species interactions - competition, predation, mutualisms), community ecology (trophic structures and food webs, biodiversity, ecosystem services).

We then move on to macro-ecology, where we discuss local global patterns of biodiversity, factors controlling speicies distribution, abundance and biogeography. Finally we move on to consider applied issues in ecology and conservation, including habitat loss and fragmentation, invasive species, harvesting and ecological restoration.

Environmental Research Skills (BSc Geog)

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 2

This module aims to equip you with the skills needed to carry out your final-year Geography dissertation. It provides experience in obtaining primary scientific data using a range of fieldwork, laboratory analytical and ICT methods to help you to address specific research questions.

These methods will be placed in a wider research context by embedding them in a series of lectures and workshops about topographic mapping, microclimate, invertebrates, freshwater ecology, population estimation, plant ecology and soils.

This preparation includes an introduction to the scientific method, how best to collect samples, and how to use statistics to analyse your data.

Some of your field and laboratory work will be based around a single study-site on campus in order to elucidate the coupling amongst numerous environmental parameters and processes.

Global Climate Change

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 2

This module takes an interdisciplinary view on the scientific basis of claims of global climate change, the human responsibility and the future implications of the change. In doing so it is largely based around theoretical and evidence based elements of climate science. Half of the module is dedicated to providing a sound basis for undergraduate level critical understanding of the science of contemporary climate change for the present-day and in the future. The other half provides the foundations for a critical understanding of the basis of future climate impacts.

Global Landscape Dynamics

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 2

You are introduced to the properties of earth surface materials, how they are shaped and how they interact with hydrology and ecology via climatic controls.

These themes form the basis for examining the dynamics of slopes, rivers, coasts, glaciers, permafrost and deserts, as well as landscapes developed in particular rock types such as limestone and granite.

In the context of global environmental change this module provides the intellectual framework for understanding the impact of natural and human forcing factors on the world's landscapes.

Conservation Biology I

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 2

After an introduction to the major threats to global biodiversity, the module will explore a series of broad conservation themes. The first half will focus on the species level, exploring some of the particular threats faced, why species become rare and endangered, and what measures can be taken to halt or reverse population declines and how populations of threatened species can be restored. The module then adopts a habitat and ecosystem focus, working up from a consideration of specific habitats and their management to a landscape approach and exploring methods for repairing damaged habitats and ecosystems.

Introduction to Sustainable Development

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 2

This module aims to provide an understanding of the principles of sustainable development and, in particular, an introduction to the role of science and technology in contributing to key sustainable development challenges.

We explore the origins of the concept of sustainable development and the core ideas that underpin it. We examine the ways in which sustainable development is interpreted by different interest groups, along with the assumptions made and the contradictions that arise. These ideas are illustrated through a series of contemporary case studies that highlight efforts to address sustainable development challenges from the local to international, and examine the role of science and technology within these contexts.

Conservation Biology II

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 2

The module follows logically from the Conservation Biology I module taught in Term 1. It starts with an in-depth consideration of the major threats to world biodiversity that were first introduced in Conservation Biology I. It then considers the national, European and international system of conservation designations and their associated legal framework. After a consideration of how modern molecule genetics can be used to clarify and address various conservation issues, the module finishes with considering how people and wildlife interact, both positively and negatively, and how emergent conflicts can be resolved.

Environmental Perspectives on Development

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 2

The module explores development with an explicit focus on environmental issues. You will look at the relationships between development and the environment: the consequences of development on the environment, environmental constraints to development, and problems of development in marginal environments. You will examine how the environment and issues around sustainability have been considered (or ignored) in relation to development and how this has changed over time. The module includes historical perspectives on environment and development, illustrating continuities and changes in policies related to environment and development. It also explores core issues around environmental management and development in relation to key resources, such as wildlife, forests and water.

Geographical Information Systems

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 2

This module is designed to introduce you to the various components that constitute a Geographical Information System (GIS), while providing you with practical skills in using these tools. Using leading GIS software, you will gain direct experience of a range of data collection and input, database, analytical and visualisation techniques. These will include:

  • georeferencing
  • vector/raster integration
  • and data classification.

This methodology will be illustrated through a range of social and environmental applications, emphasising its decision-assisting potential and looking at some real world examples from the fields of disaster management and development.

Geography Overseas Field Class

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 2

In year 2 all students studying at Sussex go on a field class, either overseas or a non-residential one in Sussex. We offer an extensive and unrivalled set of international field class options for those who wish to choose them. In previous years, students have gone on trips to the US (Los Angeles), China and Vietnam. Students will carry out data collection for a period of about 10 days. Analysis and writing up of a learning diary will take place upon their return. The field class presents an opportunity for faculty to familiarise students with a location in which they themselves may conduct research and gives students the experience of carrying out their own research in that location.

Ice Age Earth

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 2

This module examines the ways in which the Earth's environmental and climatic processes have changed during the recent Ice Ages; approximately the last 2.6 million years.

You explore the physical, biological and chemical evidence for these past changes using a range of different records (including ocean sediments, ice cores, stable isotopes and fossil plants and insects), and couple this with an assessment of natural forcing mechanisms, geological dating techniques and earth-surface processes.

This broad, interdisciplinary approach provides a valuable 'palaeo' perspective from which to evaluate the evidence for 21st century global warming and associated environmental change, and will be attractive to students of Physical Geography and the Environmental, as well as Biological sciences.

Natural Resource Management

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 2

This module provides an introduction to the principles of the management of natural resources in the industrialised and developing world. It helps students to understand and describe major components of resource management problems and how to use this knowledge to explore practical resource management issues. It analyses competing priorities and value judgments in natural resource management and human pressures on resources due to population, social and economic demands. It explores the economics of major resource problems in land use, agriculture, forestry, recreation, conservation, and in fresh and salt waters, and examines the role of the ecology alongside other disciplines in addressing the key resource management challenges.

Southeast England Field Class

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 2

The Southeast England Field Class introduces you to a particular field destination in SE England usually including the local Sussex region. After a series of preparatory lectures you will carry out data collection in situ for a period of about 10-14 days. Analysis and the writing up of a research report will take place upon your return. The module presents an opportunity for faculty to familiarise you with a location in which you conduct research and gives you the experience of carrying out your own research in that location.

Geography Thesis

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn & Spring Teaching, Year 3

During your final year, you are required to prepare a study to illustrate their ability to design and implement an empirical investigation in geography. The Geography Project entails the collection and analysis of primary data. You will have been given instruction in specific techniques of collecting and handling data and primary source material as well as advice on the presentational format required in the Level 2 module Research Skills, and will be given individual supervision in the design, conduct and writing up of your project throughout your final year.

Advances in Climate Sciences

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 3

This module is an introduction to climate science with particular focus on climate feedbacks, climate observations, climate variability and climate analyses. The module will highlight the major challenges in climate sciences (e.g. global carbon cycles and aerosols), and significant climate phenomena, such as El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO). Practical sessions will enable you to gain hands-on experience in creating climate analysis and statistical plots using real-life data from climate observatories and outputs from existing climate models.

Animal-Plant Interactions

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 3

This module examines the impact of social, economic and technological transformations on people, the environment and ecology in the Tropics. A wide temporal perspective will be adopted incorporating historical perspectives, present day impacts and future scenarios. The module will also compare local and international perspectives on wildlife, ecotourism and environmental protection. You will cover, amongst other topics:

  • the continuing impact of colonisation
  • sustainability in marginal environments
  • the roles of indigenous environmental knowledge
  • intellectual property rights
  • and biotechnology.

Cultures of Colonialism

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 3

This module introduces you to the colonial practices, discourses and cultures across the nineteenth century British Empire and their legacies. It examines the British metropole and its colonies within a single analytical framework, tracking the exchange of people, ideas and objects along the networks that connected them. Initially you will cover the main approaches to the study of British colonialism, including traditional imperial history and postcolonialism. The latter part of the module investigates cultural, social and political impacts of British colonialism at specific sites across the empire, including India, North America and New Zealand.

Disasters, Environment and Development

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 3

In this module, you look at the connections between disasters, the environment and development. 

The negative impacts of environmental and climatic change and environmentally-related disasters threaten to roll back decades of development gains. Building resilient and sustainable societies means addressing climate and disaster risks, understanding the links between these issues and integrating these risks, as well as potential opportunities, into development planning and budgeting. 

The module is split into three parts:

  • concepts, exploring similarities and differences in concepts and frameworks and terminology used in these different areas
  • problems, looking at issues of droughts, floods and food security, complex disasters, environmental migration, trapped populations and resource wars
  • solutions, examining the possible avenues that may help address these problems, including remittance bonds, serious games, blended knowledge and science for humanitarian emergencies and resilience.

Geographies of Rising and Declining Powers

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 3

This module examines the relative economic performance of the main world regions, focusing particularly on comparative economic performance and political dynamics in China and Europe. The module draws on geographic and political economic theories to explain geographies of wealth, poverty and power and explores the social, political and cultural foundations of economic life. You will study the main drivers of change, situating this within a wider context of globalisation, environmental and technological change and increasing economic and political interdependence.

Geographies of Violence and Conflict

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 3

Conflict and violence are major components of social process, transformation and change – locally, nationally and internationally. This module gives you an overview of how geographers (and other social scientists) have thought about, studied, and explained, violence and conflict. For example, whether violence and conflict are considered an exceptional situation or a ‘normal’ aspect of societal change.

The module highlights the multiple scales at which conflict and violence occur, from domestic violence to international war. Nevertheless, emphasis will be placed on how violence and conflict affect people (and groups of people) at the micro-level of personal experience rather than simply looking at macro-level aggregate patterns. You will be encouraged to examine the differences between diverse forms of violence. For example, does it make sense to consider structural violence (eg racism, sexism) in the same way as physical (or direct) violence?

The first third of the module will focus on the theories and concepts through which violence and conflict have been explained. The second two-thirds will apply these theories and concepts to a range of diverse examples (such as resource wars, undocumented migration, war games and toy guns, counter-insurgency and urban policing).

Geohazards and Risk Assessment

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 3

Earth surface processes and natural hazards pose significant challenges to society and infrastructure.

The expansion of global population and urbanisation, coupled with the potential impacts of climate change on natural processes, are anticipated to result in more frequent natural disasters and an increase in their associated risks.

An understanding of geohazards can be used to evaluate the opportunities for sustainable development and engineering through cost effective mitigation of natural hazards and risk.

The module integrates academic and commercial training with real case work. The course structure and content is based on real-world problems and will be taught by leading practitioners and academic experts in the discipline.

Home

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 3

You explore the meaning of home and how this is represented in literature and film. 

Workshops focus on domestic practices of home in terms of:  

  • consumption
  • display and identification
  • the inhabitation of the embodied and sensuous home space
  • family
  • heteronormativity and gendered practices of home (un)making
  • the lifecourse and home as a site of childhood and ageing
  • the politics of housing and home, including displacement, domicide and homelessness
  • migration, belonging and transnational home-making.

Our studies of the representation of home in literature and film will be complemented by a trip to the Geffrye Museum of Home.

Landscape, Nature and Representation

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 3

This module focuses upon the representation of landscapes and nature, and considers the ways in which representations are sites through which ideas, visions and imaginations are set to work. You will assess the production and impact of such representations, critically analysing a range of textual sources from a variety of origins which claim to represent landscape and natures. This will incorporate art, literature, music, the media and cartography.

Class, Community, Nation

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 3

Conservation in Practice

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 3

The module aims to:

  • familiarise students with the management practices required to maintain key habitats in western Europe, and with conservation issues concerning specific groups of organisms in those habitats
  • examine issues in practical conservation at the level of NGOs, governments and society in general
  • introduce students to professionals currently working in conservation, in order to give them a realistic idea of what the work involves, as well as an indication of employment opportunities.


The module will consist of a combination of lectures, seminars by internal and external guest speakers and field visits to local nature reserves for demonstrations of practical conservation management and survey techniques.

Decolonial Movements

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 3

Global Environmental Change

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 3

Environmental change has become a central global issue with serious implications for the social and natural world. There is a need to monitor the earth's signs of change, especially where ground information is spatially limited, filled with error, or unavailable. Remote sensing datasets are vital in monitoring local, regional and global changes.

This module enables you to understand and use remote-sensing datasets to answer fundamental questions about our changing planet. This will involve:

  • understanding the nature of remote sensing
  • the different instruments and techniques and processing and manipulation of raw signals
  • applying it to different fields within the earth and environmental sciences (atmosphere, cryosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere).

Remote Sensing in the atmosphere is used for weather monitoring, greenhouse gas detection, and pollution. Remote sensing in the cryosphere is used in determining the presence, absence and change of ice cover over the earth's surface. Remote sensing in the hydrosphere monitors the oceans, organic and inorganic ocean constituents, sea surface temperatures, el nino events, land water fluxes, and flooding events. Remote Sensing in the biosphere monitors the component of the earth that supports life, and is sensitive to changes in climate, such as vegetation structure, composition, land cover types, soil moisture, leaf chemical components, phenology, change detection, plant stress and photosynthesis, transpiration and surface temperatures.

Global Food Security

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 3

Achieving food security for 10 billion people while reducing the environmental footprint of agriculture is a major challenge of the next century.

In this module, we will discuss papers on the multiple dimensions of this challenge, including the biophysical, economic, nutritional, socio-political, and institutional.

We will take a global perspective on the issues, drawing upon both global-scale research as well as case studies from different regions of the world to understand the geography of agricultural production, its environmental footprint, and of malnutrition.

Key topics include:

  • global change and sustainable agriculture
  • what is food security?
  • globalisation: the economics, finance and trade of food
  • impact of climate change: mitigation and adaptation potential of agriculture
  • farm management: soil-water-fertilizers
  • livestock
  • emerging issues in food security: biofuels, GMOs, labels, diets, urban agriculture, organic agriculture, permaculture.

Rural Livelihoods in the Global South

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 3

This module considers the varied nature of rural livelihood systems in developing countries.

You consider changes in livelihoods through livelihood diversification and migration, and the interconnectedness of the global and the local in causing change in rural societies. You also explore the impact of different agents of change on livelihoods. This will include:

  • the role of non-governmental organisations
  • the impact of modern biotechnology
  • the effects of trade on livelihoods, amongst other important examples.

The module draws primarily (though by no means exclusively) on evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa and India.

Tropical Rainforests: Biogeography and Conservation

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 3

The module aims to develop an understanding of tropical rainforest (trf) ecosystems and the consequences of their great antiquity, present rapid destruction and uncertain future. You will examine and evaluate the many hypotheses attempting to explain the astonishing species richness of trfs and explore their complex ecological organization. Sustainable use of trfs is contrasted with their ever-increasing destruction by peasant farmers, timber companies, cattle ranchers and other commercial interests. You will learn about the impact of trf destruction on world climates, global biodiversity, and natural resources. Future prospects for conservation and management are assessed, including less damaging methods of timber harvesting, ecotourism, the potential of a new 'carbon market' (REDD++) and the role and contribution of scientist and international conservation organisations. The coursework and seminar series associated with the module will introduce skills of practical use to you if you decide to follow a career within conservation - the main focus being the development of an original grant proposal to the Royal Geographical Society.

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