The Geography and Natural Hazards BSc (Hons) course applies geographical knowledge to the study of natural hazards, such as volcanoes, earthquakes, tsunamis, tornadoes, wildfires, tropical cyclones and flooding. We aim to give you an in-depth understanding of the processes responsible for these hazards, which affect millions of people each year.
- The course takes an integrated and practical ‘geographical’ approach to the study of natural hazards at a local and global scale.
- You will have the opportunity to learn how to apply the latest techniques for hazard assessment and mitigation with opportunities for hands-on experience, both in the field and within our modern GIS laboratory, which feature industry-standard software like ArcGIS and ENVI.
- All of our geography courses have a strong focus on your future employability. They are designed to equip you with core knowledge, skills and expertise within the broad field of geography, together with a range of analytical abilities and transferrable professional skills to find employment on successful graduation.
All of our Geography degrees are designed to develop your knowledge of the spatial organisation and evolution of the human and physical environment, within the broad field of geographical and geoscientific inquiry.
In all three years, you will be supported to develop your practical analytical and problem-solving skills, with appropriate training in how to conduct robust independent research in the laboratory or in the field, as well as detailed critical analysis and methods of reporting.
Why you should study this course
- Current academics have research expertise in volcanic remote sensing, climate change and flooding.
- A diverse range of optional modules allow you to tailor your degree to suit your interests with topics such as climate change, GIS and Remote Sensing and savage earth.
- You will have opportunities to gain experience through professional training and international field experience*.
- To augment field trip experiences, you will have the chance to be taught in the Simulation Centre, which is one of the most advanced interactive people training and development centres in the UK.
International experience opportunities
Geography is a global subject and international themes are core to our teaching. Whilst the UK experiences natural hazards such as flooding, it rarely experiences some of the more destructive events, such as earthquakes, tsunamis and severe storms. As such, much of our teaching relies of using case studies from overseas, such as the tsunamis that regularly impact the Pacific region and hurricanes which often hit the Caribbean.
All students are given the opportunity to complete an overseas field course as part of their studies. For example, past students have visited Taiwan and Tenerife, where they examined the natural hazards posed by the island’s active volcano, and to understand the measures that can be taken to address these. Others undertook a community outreach programme in Indonesia, assisting local communities in development projects such as building and maintaining rural schools. In all cases, the fieldtrips are designed to enable you to see first-hand how particular natural hazards pose a significant threat in different environments, enabling you to apply your specialist research skills in an international context.
You can also take the opportunity to work or study abroad. Past students have spent time working at the volcano observatories in Alaska, Hawaii and Mexico; others have undertaken placements with GNS in New Zealand and with the United States Geological Survey in California. Others have gone to study at one of our associate universities teaching in English throughout Europe, America and the Far East. The Geology and Natural Hazards programme at the University of Reykjavik in Iceland has proved popular.
Employment prospects are excellent for graduates with specialist skills and knowledge in natural hazard assessment and prevention. As the incidences of geological hazards increase, so too does the need to monitor, prevent, warn and manage their impact.
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