Environmental Geography is a broad discipline encompassing the significant aspects of the Earth sciences that address global issues.
Environmental Geography is the study of the interaction between humans and the natural environment. Using their distinctive skills set, environmental geographers are able to explain how Earth functions as a system, one with a long history, an ever-changing present and a future affected by our actions.
The skills and understanding of environmental geographers make them uniquely placed to solve complex and wide-ranging environmental problems that arise in the landscape. This degree will help you to develop these skills and perspectives by providing opportunities for conducting fieldwork in a range of exciting environments and for conducting cutting-edge research with leading scientists in environmental geography.
South Wales is a fascinating area in which to explore environmental geography. From the mountains in the north to the great tidal estuary in the south, the area encompasses a huge range of natural environments and consequently provides us with abundant study opportunities.
NOTE: As an alternative to the conventional three-year BSc course, there are four-year MESci and MESci (International) schemes. These focus on research training and critical analysis, making students who take these programmes very employable in a range of professions. Both feature a master’s research dissertation in year four and the international MESci includes a year studying at a university overseas.
This programme involves a common first term allowing you to experience aspects of Earth Sciences and Geography before finally deciding upon which honours degree course you wish to pursue.
We offer residential field courses abroad in year two, and the final year will be led by highly research active staff.
A major summer project between years two and three actively encourages you to devise and design your own independent research.
|Next intake||September 2018|
|Typical places available||The School typically has approx 150 places available.|
|Typical applications received||The School typically receives approx 740 applications.|
|Typical A level offer||BBB, including two sciences (from Chemistry, Physics, Biology,Geography, Geology, Mathematics, Applied Science, Environmental Studies, Archaeology, Computing, ICT, Physical Education (PE), Psychology, or Sports Science) and, where applicable, a pass in the practical element of the science A level. Please note, General Studies will not be accepted.|
|Typical Welsh Baccalaureate offer||The Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate will be accepted in lieu of one A-Level (at the grades listed above), excluding any specified subjects.|
|Typical International Baccalaureate offer||30 points, including two sciences at HL from from Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Geography, Geology, Mathematics, Applied Science, Environmental Studies, Archaeology, Computing, ICT, Psychology, Physical Education (PE), or Sports Science|
|Alternative qualifications||Alternative qualifications may be accepted. For further information on entry requirements, see the School of Earth & Ocean Sciences admissions criteria pages.|
|English Language requirements||If you are an overseas applicant and your first language is not English, please visit our English Language requirements page for more information on our accepted qualifications.|
|Other requirements||You will require GCSE Maths at grade C or grade 4 and GCSE English or Welsh Language at grade C or grade 4.|
We are currently working with our students to update and improve the content of this course. The information shown below reflects the current curriculum and is likely to change. The review of the course is expected to be completed by August 2018 and this page will be updated by end of October 2018 to reflect the changes.
This is a three-year full-time degree. Years one and two contain compulsory modules and there are some options in year three.
The School is currently reviewing modules for Year 3 of this programme. Therefore no module information is currently available.
The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2018/19 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2018.
The programme structure is very flexible. All of our Earth and Ocean Science degree programmes share a common first semester. This is designed to give you a sound foundation in Earth Sciences upon which to build. In total you will earn 120 credits for the year, through a mixture of 10-credit and 20-credit modules.
At the end of your first semester you will decide whether to continue with your original degree choice or choose another of our Earth Science degrees.
You will be given the framework for explaining the functioning of the Earth system, including the controls on global climate. You will also learn about anthropogenic issues such as pollution, including its causes, assessment, monitoring and clean-up.
You will study the basics of Earth science necessary for your degree as well as an introduction to maps, topological work and geomorphology. Your first year will also include modules in environmental chemistry and biological systems.
In year two the modules you will take are chosen to provide a wide knowledge base and transferable skills base to make you as employable as possible in a competitive job market. In total you will earn 120 credits for the year, through a mixture of 10-credit and 20-credit modules.
You will study a wide variety of modules that include basic terrestrial and marine ecology, soils, biogeochemistry and landscape evolution. There is an emphasis on skills in sampling, data collection and analysis, and much of this is field-based.
Other important training includes the use of Geographical Information Systems and the planning, execution and reporting of project work. Local fieldwork in the spring will bring many of these skills together in preparation for your main degree project.
In the final year, you will complete your project work, presenting it in the form of a professional report. There are a few compulsory modules, but most are optional, allowing you to follow your own interests and aspirations within environmental geography.
As in previous years, the final year consists of a mixture of taught knowledge and skills. In this final part of your degree, the emphasis is on synthesis, bringing together the separate strands, skills and interests to encourage a more holistic understanding of the subject.
Optional final-year modules will vary from year to year and there are sometimes restrictions in availability due to lack of demand, oversubscription, timetable clashes or the need for you to have taken certain other modules first.
The University is committed to providing a wide range of module options where possible, but please be aware that whilst every effort is made to offer choice this may be limited in certain circumstances. This is due to the fact that some modules have limited numbers of places available, which are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, while others have minimum student numbers required before they will run, to ensure that an appropriate quality of education can be delivered; some modules require students to have already taken particular subjects, and others are core or required on the programme you are taking. Modules may also be limited due to timetable clashes, and although the University works to minimise disruption to choice, we advise you to seek advice from the relevant School on the module choices available.
How will I be taught?
The School of Earth and Ocean Sciences has an excellent tradition of teaching, delivered by lecturers who are experts in their field. In addition the School is able to maintain a friendly and informal approach brought about by staff-student interactions during fieldwork.
The modular course structure enables the School to offer an exciting and relevant spectrum of vocational degree courses. These cover a wide range of modern geosciences from the traditional geology approach to the more industry-focused exploration and resource geology, through to the equally applied environmental geoscience and water-borne marine geography.
The first semester is common to all degree programmes and you then confirm your chosen course in January of your first year. This offers you a chance to sample university teaching styles before committing to a particular degree or pathway.
Teaching in the School is conducted by a variety of methods:
- formal lectures
- laboratory practicals
- IT practicals
Formal lectures and practical classes have an emphasis on students taking ownership of their own learning programme and ‘learning how to learn’.
Fieldwork is a vital format for understanding the Earth sciences and all students go on at least one residential field trip each academic year as well as numerous specialist day trips.
How will I be supported?
All students are assigned a personal tutor who will hold timetabled tutorials: fortnightly in year one and monthly during other years. Your tutor will be a specialist in your degree course and will advise you on both academic and pastoral matters.
You will have a nominated supervisor for your major final year project.
You will have access through the Learning Central website to relevant multimedia material, presentations, lecture handouts, bibliographies, further links, electronic exercises and discussion circles. Opportunities for you to reflect on your abilities and performance are available through the Learning Central ‘Personal Development Planning’ module.
The University offers a range of services including the Careers Service, the Counselling Service, the Disability and Dyslexia Service, the Student Support Service, and excellent libraries and resource centres.
You will receive written feedback for written coursework assignments and oral feedback for assessed presentations.
How will I be assessed?
Modules will be assessed to test knowledge and understanding through:
- practical assignments
- essay assignments
- oral presentations
- formal examinations.
What skills will I practise and develop?
You will acquire and develop a range of valuable skills, both those which are discipline specific and more generic ‘employability skills’.
- communicating ideas, principles and theories effectively by oral and written means
- work effectively in a team and as an individual
- using the internet, databases, spreadsheets, word processing and graphic packages
- effective time management and organisational skills
- a commitment to lifelong learning through engaging in the process of personal development planning and ownership of your own learning
- problem solving, reliability, loyalty, social conduct, tact, attitude to learning and research, leadership, resilience, decision-making and reasoning.
UK and EU students (2018/19)
The University reserves the right to increase tuition fees in the second and subsequent years of a course as permitted by law or Welsh Government policy. Where applicable we will notify you of any change in tuition fee by the end of June in the academic year before the one in which the fee will increase.
Visit our tuition fee pages for the latest information.
Financial support may be available to individuals who meet certain criteria. For more information visit our funding section. Please note that these sources of financial support are limited and therefore not everyone who meets the criteria are guaranteed to receive the support.
Students from outside the EU (2018/19)
Tuition fees for international students are fixed for the majority of three year undergraduate courses. This means the price you pay in year one will be the same in years two and three. Some courses are exempt, including four and five year programmes and Medical and Dental courses. Visit our tuition fee pages for the latest information.
Will I need any specific equipment to study this course/programme?
Specialist equipment for working in the field and any other equipment appropriate for your degree will be provided by the School.
In addition to studying the varied landscapes of South Wales, Environmental Geography students currently take part in residential trips to:
- Snowdonia National Park in year one to study the impacts of glaciations on the modern environment
- the Netherlands in year two to study water management and coastal defences
- Tenerife, Spain, in the final year to further our understanding of geomorphology, hazards, soils, water, sustainability, climate and biomes
Students undertake a major summer project between years two and three, which involves independent research to develop knowledge and understanding of the physical, biological, and chemical controls on the environment.
The School offers a number of different potential projects from which you can choose, but students are actively encouraged to devise and design their own projects. Students often choose or devise projects that relate to the environment close to their homes, but some choose projects that take them abroad to the Mediterranean, Africa or the USA.
In 2015/16, 90% of the School’s graduates who were available for work reported they were in employment and/or further study within six months of graduation.
Typical jobs for graduates include engineering geologist, environmental consultant, hydrogeologist, geotechnical engineer, exploration geologist, hydrographic surveyor and scientific diver.
Employers included local government plus companies and organisations such as the Environment Agency, BAM Construct UK, Airbus and Wales and West Utilities.
- Environmental Advisor
- Software Analyst
- Environmental Consultant
- Pollution Monitor
If you are thinking about Studying Marine Geography at Cardiff University, don't. Unless you are a geologist.
The first semester is ALL GEOLOGY, and what's worse is you have to exams for these in May/June. You only do them for one semester also and so you forget everything you learnt in the first semester because you thought it was all **** and didn't pay attention because you were studying a marine geography degree and NOT a geology degree.
If you've chosen marine geography at Cardiff do it somewhere else, as unless you enjoy and want to do modules which are completely irrelevant to the course its not worth it.
The second semester is fine because you do modules for your degree but then at the end of the second semester, now, you start to have to revise for a subject and modules that at the end of the day don't reflect your first year as a MARINE GEOGRAPHY undergrad because they are irrelevant.
Seriously, unless you've done A level geology and like geology don't do it, because you will tear your heart out in the first semester and when it comes to revising for the exams.
As a second year marine geographer, you come to learn that the modules you do in first year are relevant and justifiable to the degree scheme. Yes there might be quite a lot of geology in the first year, however bits of this ARE relevant to your degree scheme as you need to have a background understanding when undertaking an EARTH SCIENCE degree scheme. The modules you undertake in first year are clearly stated on the module catalogue as well.
If you are really struggling then you should talk to your tutor and get some help, or leave; the course is not for everyone. However, in second and third year modules are completely relevant, yes they may not all be marine based however you wouldn't go far in the industry without a background knowledge of the earth science system.
I personally did not do A-level geology and did find some of the modules hard but I worked at it and passed just fine.
I wouldn't badmouth Marine Geography at Cardiff University as you are actually on one of the top marine geography degree schemes in the country so you should count yourself very lucky!!
Just stick with it, and next year I'm pretty sure you will be thinking completely the opposite and praising the Earth staff and everything the degree has to offer you.