Geography (BA) is one of the highest ranked courses in the UK and can prepare you for careers in many areas including local government, urban planning, environmental agencies, international development, the arts, retail, finance, ICT, education and research.
Having taught Geography for over 40 years, Coventry is ranked as the 7th best university in the UK for ‘Geography and Environmental Studies’ in the Guardian University Guide 2019.
Focusing on human and environmental geography, this course explores the relationships between people, places and environments and their impact on society. You will have opportunity to develop an understanding of how historical and modern activities affect our cultural and built environment, such as globalisation, development and sustainability. We will examine our invasive processes – some harmful, others helpful – like farming, construction, biodiversity or conservation.
We offer a common first year across two of our Geography degrees, so students will touch upon topics covered in the other degree, namely physical geography (BSc Geography). All two degrees have fieldwork, both here in the UK and overseas, embedded within them. Past students have visited the Lake District to study processes of change in human and physical environments; Dorset to put into practice various human geography field techniques, examining themes such as agriculture, historical change of the urban landscape, land management and conflict; and the Gambia to study development in the West African context.
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. Our modular degree also allows for a strong element of personalisation.
Why choose this course?
Our Geography course is not only recognised nationally for the excellence and quality of teaching, but also has the highest levels of student satisfaction. In the latest National Student Survey (NSS) 2016, we achieved 100% student satisfaction overall and with all aspects of teaching.
We will explore which geographical factors contribute to the distribution of wealth, opportunities and privileges within society, engaging with key global issues including the sustainable provision of food, housing and livelihoods. You will also have opportunity to learn about how diverse communities interact with pressing socio-economic and environmental concerns, such as climate change, poverty, social exclusion, population growth and sustainable living in a competitive global economy.
All of our Geography courses have a strong focus on your future employability, evidenced by the success of past graduates, nine in 10 of whom were in work or further study six months after graduation (DLHE 2014/15). 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 graduation.
Throughout your studies, you will have opportunity to undertake residential fieldwork to apply geographical knowledge to real-world concerns. In the first year, all students are required to take part in a three-day residential field course, followed in the second year by a five-day residential, both UK-based. In the past students, have visited North Wales to study social and cultural impacts of tourism, The Peak District to study and the Royal Geographical Society in London to access the wealth of resources owned by the RGS and see first-hand what student membership of the RGS can offer.
International experience opportunities
Geography is a global subject and globalisation is a core theme running through course content and international themes are core to our teaching. As such, much of our teaching relies on the use of case studies from around the world; your lecturers will often draw on examples related to their research, such as child headed households in post-conflict Rwanda, for example.
There are exciting opportunities for international field work in your final year. Past students have visited Taiwan to understand the measures that can be taken by people to address the natural hazards and our current students explored The Gambia in West Africa to experience first-hand the workings of village communities and the challenges they face in education and health. You will also be given strategic briefings by government officials, investigate the relationship between trade, aid and development and conduct fieldwork in rapidly urbanising environments.
The optional sandwich year provides additional opportunities to broaden your international perspective by either studying or working abroad for a year. In the past, some students have chosen to study related subjects at Madrid, while others have undertaken placements volunteering in schools in South Africa, working for global charities in India and participating in a community outreach programme in Jordan, assisting local communities in development projects. Others have taken the opportunity to spend their summer performing voluntary work in the USA to enhance their skills and experience of an increasingly connected world.
Successful Geography graduates possess a number of skills that are highly valued by employers. They are literate and numerate, experienced in solving complex problems and developing solutions for multiple stakeholders through the collection and analysis of information. As such, excellent employment prospects are available.