Physical Geography (2016 Entry)

Course type: Single Honours, Dual Honours, Major.
Entry requirements: Read more about entry requirements
Typical offer:BBB or ABC
Tuition fees: Read more about tuition fees
Duration and mode of study: 3 years, Full time
Location of study:Keele University campus
Subject Area: Geography, Geology and the Environment, Faculty of Natural Sciences

Clearing 2016

For an up to date list of courses available through clearing, please see Current Vacancies and Clearing Entry Requirements

Course Overview

Discover new ways to understand and appreciate the natural world as you explore the rapidly evolving science behind Earth’s changing landscapes and environments.

This course, ranked top for student satisfaction in the 2015 National Student Survey, focuses on Earth as a global environmental system. We take an inter-disciplinary perspective that will allow you to embed influences from fields such as geology, environmental science and life sciences into your studies. With our global approach you will discover landscapes and points of view that transcend traditional boundaries. You will learn to collect and interpret evidence in the field and in the laboratory, acquiring skills in surveying, GIS and a range of physical and chemical analytical techniques. You will have the chance to apply your new skills on field courses in the UK and overseas.

Single Honours

Below is an indicative range of modules you could study as part of single honours Physical Geography. 

First year 

Core modules: 

  • Fundamentals of Physical Geography 
  • Geographical Skills
  • People and Environment
  • The Practice of Physical Geography
  • Global Warming or a New Ice Age?
  • Geography and Geographers 

Elective modules: 

  • Greening Business
  • Dinosaur Planet
  • Introductory Geology for Environmental Scientists 
  • Human Geographies
  • Practising Human Geography
  • Entrepreneurship 

Second year 

Core modules: 

  • Practical Physical Geography 
  • Dynamic Geographies
  • Regional Landsystems
  • Geographical Research Training
  • Concepts and Debates in Geography

Elective modules: 

  • Human Impact on the Environment
  • Geoscience and Society
  • Work Placement
  • Practical Human Geography 
  • Space and Society
  • Entrepreneurship

Third year 

Optional core modules: 

  • Double Dissertation 
  • Single Dissertation 
  • Glaciers and Glacial Geomorphology
  • Global Environmental Change
  • Water Resources
  • Inspirational Landscapes
  • Applied GIS
  • Coastal Environments

Elective modules 

  • Trees in their Environment
  • Natural Hazards
  • Contemporary Topics in Environmental Science 

Dual Honours

Below is an indicative range of modules you could study as part of dual honours Physical Geography. 

First year 

Core modules: 

  • Fundamentals of Physical Geography 
  • Geographical Skills 
  • The Practice of Physical Geography 
  • People and the Environment 

Second year 

Core modules: 

  • Dynamic Geographies 
  • Practical Physical Geography
  • Regional Landsystems
  • Geographical Research Training 

Third year 

Optional core modules: 

  • Double Dissertation 
  • Single Dissertation 
  • Critical Literature Review 
  • Glaciers and Glacial Geomorphology
  • Global Environmental Change
  • Water Resources
  • Natural Hazards
  • Inspirational Landscapes
  • Applied GIS
  • Coastal Environments 

Major Minor

Below is an indicative range of modules you could study as part of major honours Physical Geography. 

First year 

Core modules: 

  • Fundamentals of Physical Geography 
  • Geographical Skills 
  • The Practice of Physical Geography 
  • People and the Environment 

Second year 

Core modules: 

  • Dynamic Geographies 
  • Practical Physical Geography
  • Regional Landsystems
  • Geographical Research Training 

Third year 

Optional core modules: 

  • Double Dissertation 
  • Single Dissertation 
  • Glaciers and Glacial Geomorphology 
  • Global Environmental Change
  • Water Resources
  • Natural Hazards
  • Inspirational Landscapes
  • Applied GIS
  • Coastal Environments
  • Trees in their Environment 

Course workload

This contact time measure is intended to provide you with an indication of the type of activity you are likely to undertake during your programme. The data is compiled based on module choices and learning patterns of students on similar programmes in previous years. Every effort is made to ensure this data is a realistic representation of what you are likely to experience, but changes to programmes, teaching methods and assessment methods mean this data is representative and not specific.

Undergraduate courses at Keele contain an element of module choice; therefore, you will experience a different mix of contact time and assessment types dependent upon your own individual choice of modules. The figures below are an example of activities that you may expect on your chosen course by year/stage of study. Contact time includes scheduled activities such as: lecture, seminar, tutorial, project supervision, demonstration, practical classes and labs, supervised time in labs/workshop, fieldwork and external visits. The figures are based on 1,200 hours of student effort each year for full-time students.

First year

  • Scheduled learning and teaching activities – 25%
  • Guided independent study – 75%

Second year

  • Scheduled learning and teaching activities – 27%
  • Guided independent study – 73%

Third year

  • Scheduled learning and teaching activities – 15%
  • Guided independent study – 85% 

Skills and Careers

What will this mean for my future?

Geography graduates are highly employable. Your degree from Keele will equip you for future employment or advanced study, and will establish a lifelong appreciation of the world around you. Your skills could take you into directly related careers such as environmental planning or consultancy, or you could apply them in industries such as energy, agriculture, meteorology or construction. Your problem-solving skills and global, interdisciplinary approach will be of value in a huge range of careers.

Visit our Careers pages (new window)

Codes and Combinations

Codes and Combinations

All students who study a science subject are candidates for the degree of Bachelor of Science (with Honours) (BSc Hons).

can be combined with:

Single Honours, Major and Foundation course information

Physical Geography with Foundation Year: F803 View KIS Stats

Full Unistats data is available at unistats.direct.gov.uk (opens new window)

Study abroad

On the Physical Geography programme you have the opportunity to spend a semester abroad in your second year studying at one of Keele’s international partner universities. Exactly which countries are available depends on the syour choice of degree subjects. An indicative list of countries is on the website Partner Universities however this does not guarantee the availability of study in a specific country as this is subject to the university’s application process for studying abroad.

No additional tuition fees are payable for studying abroad but you do have to bear the costs of travelling to and from their destination university, accommodation, food and personal costs. Depending on the destination you are studying at additional costs may include visas, study permits, residence permits, and compulsory health checks. You should expect the total costs of studying abroad to be greater than if they study in the UK, information is made available from the Global Education Team throughout the process, as costs will vary depending on destination. 

Find out more about the course

Our Course Information Documents (CIDs) are designed to give you all of the details you need to make an informed decision about what and where to study.

Single Honours Course Information Document (PDF) Dual Honours and Major Minor Course Information Document (PDF)

2017 Entry details

Our full course information for 2017 entry is yet to be finalised. We may make changes to our course content from year to year in order to keep pace with current research and innovation.

Our typical offer for 2017 entry for single honours Physical Geography is ABB, and for dual honours Physical Geography is ABB-BBB.

Here is a list of indicative modules for 2017 entry:

First year

  • Fundamentals of Physical Geography
  • Geographical Skills
  • People and the Environment
  • Global Warming or a New Ice Age*
  • Geography and Geographers*

Second year

  • Practical Physical Geography
  • Geographical Research Training
  • Regional Landsystems
  • Concepts and Debates in Geography*

Third Year

  • Dissertation
  • Glaciers and Glacial Geomorphology
  • Coastal Environments
  • Applied GIS
  • Global Environmental Change
  • Water Resources
  • Inspirational Landscapes
  • Natural Hazards

*Single Honours Physical Geography only

It is important that you read the information at Terms and Conditions which explains how and why we might need to make changes to the educational services that we provide.