Undergraduate study - 2018 entry

BSc Geography

UCAS code: F800

Duration: 4 years

Delivery: Full-time

School: GeoSciences

College: Science and Engineering

Study abroad

Year 1

You will study the compulsory courses Human Geography and Physical Geography, which introduce key geographic ideas. They focus on global economic, social and environmental problems and change.

You can also choose courses from other academic areas. BSc students will target courses that expand their scientific grounding while MA students often focus on humanities. The range of courses offered gives you a chance to try something new.

Year 2

You will take Fundamental Methods in Geography which includes a field trip to the Scottish Highlands. You will also take at least two from Economic & Political Geography, Environmental Sensitivity & Change, Social & Cultural Geography and Geomorphology. As in Year 1 you will have significant flexibiity in your option choices.

Year 3

You will focus on the aspects of geography that interest you most, Compulsory courses, Nature of Geographical Knowledge, Research Skills, and Research Design lead you through the process of planning independent geographical research for your dissertation in Year 4 and teach important transferable skills.

Field trips are also offered, with Athens, Cape Town and Wales among recent destinations. You will also choose option courses in geography.

Year 4

Your final year has a central focus on developing and producing your dissertation – your opportunity to produce an independent and original piece of geographical research. Your topic will be supervised by a member of academic staff operating at the research frontier of your chosen topic.

You will also choose three further optional geography courses, as in Year 3 being drawn from across the whole field of geographical research, and including fieldwork opportunities that, subject to demand, include Iceland, the Western Isles of Scotland, Berlin, or the Scottish Highlands.

Your programme is completed by studying Geography, Science and Civil Society, a course that showcases the many applications geographical research has in addressing and solving real-world challenges.

Programme structure

Find out more about the compulsory and optional courses in this degree programme.

We publish the latest available information for this programme. Please note that this may be for a previous academic year.

Programme structure (2017/18)

Our facilities

Geography is based in a spacious and historic building on Drummond Street, in the University’s Central Area campus.

The building contains well-equipped lecture and seminar rooms and laboratories for physical geography, image processing and geographical information science and modelling.

Study abroad

There are opportunities to study abroad as part of the University's Year Abroad and Erasmus exchange programmes.

How will I learn?

Teaching is through a mixture of lectures, tutorials, practical classes, field components and project work. You will complete a dissertation in your fourth year.

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed on the basis of coursework and exams. In addition you will have classwork that is assessed and will provide formative feedback.

Programme details

Find out more about this programme's aims, what you will learn, how you will be assessed and what skills and knowledge you will develop.

We publish the latest available information for this programme. Please note that this may be for a previous academic year.

Programme details (2017/18)

Studying geography at Edinburgh prepares you for a range of careers, including scientific and humanities research, planning, surveying, environmental consultancy, conservation, energy, teaching, non-governmental organisation work and geospatial data analysis.

A significant number of graduates also move on to careers such as finance, marketing and law, or go on to further postgraduate study and research.

Typical offer

The typical offer is likely to be:

  • SQA Highers: AAAA. Students with more than one science are preferred.
  • A Levels: AAA. Students with more than one science are preferred.
  • IB: 37 points with 666 at HL. Students with more than one science are preferred.

Minimum entry requirements

  • SQA Highers: AABB by end of S5 or AABBB/AAAB from S4-S6, with a minimum of BBB achieved in one year of S4-S6, to include two from Geography (preferred), Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Geology; with National 5 Mathematics at Grade B.
  • A Levels: ABB in one sitting, to include two from Geography (preferred), Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Geology; with GCSE Mathematics at Grade B or 6.
  • IB: 32 points overall and award of IB Diploma with 555 at HL to include two from Geography (preferred), Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics or Physics. Diploma must include Mathematics SL 5, if not held at HL. If you do not have SL Maths please contact the admissions office.

Find out more about entry requirements

International students

We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of international qualifications.

Entry requirements by country

For direct entry to second year the minimum requirements must be exceeded, including the following:

  • SQA Advanced Highers: AAB to include Geography plus one from Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics, Biology or Geology. Students with more than one science or Mathematics are preferred.
  • A Levels: A*AA to include Geography, plus one from Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics, Biology or Geology.
  • IB: 38 points overall and award of IB Diploma with 666 at HL to include Geography, plus one of Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics.
Other entry pathways

Entry to many degrees in Science & Engineering is possible via other qualifications (eg HNC/D, Access, SWAP).

You must provide evidence that your written and spoken English is at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies.

English language tests

If English is not your first language, you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your spoken and written English:

  • IELTS Academic module overall 6.5 with 5.5 in each component
  • TOEFL iBT 92 or above with 20 in each section
  • Cambridge English: Advanced or Proficiency overall 176 with 162 in each component
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic): Total 61 with at least 51 in each ""Communicative Skills"" section
  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with a distinction in all four components

About English language requirements


For SQA and GCSE students, unless a higher level is specified in the stated entry requirements, a pass is required in English at the following grades or higher:

  • SQA National 5 Grade C
  • SQA Standard Grade 3
  • SQA Intermediate 1 Grade A
  • SQA Intermediate 2 Grade C
  • GCSE Grade C or 4
  • IB Standard Level Grade 5

Key Information Sets (KIS) are part of a government initiative to enhance the information that higher education institutions provide about their degree programmes.

KIS are available for most undergraduate programmes and are intended to make it easier for you to find information about the programmes you are interested in studying. It is one of many sources of information available that will enable you to make an informed decision on what and where to study.

You can also use this website to find more information on our programmes and the learning environment you will experience at the University of Edinburgh.

Please note that some programmes do not have data available and will not display a KIS.

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees for BSc Geography

Additional Costs

You will incur costs on compulsory field trips. For 2016/17, these were around: Year 2 = £85, Year 3 = £700 + £250 (Human Geography) / £200 (Physical Geography), Year 4 = £350 (Physical Geography) / £250 + £250 (Human Geography).

Destinations include Kindrogran, Cape Town (Human Geography), Snowdonia (Physical Geography), Athens (Human Geography), Iceland (Physical Geography), Berlin (Human Geography) and Western Isles (Human Geography).

Find more information about field trip costs on the GeoSciences website.

Field trip costs


For more information on how much it will cost to study with us and the financial support available see our fees and funding information.

Fees and funding

More information

How to apply

School: GeoSciences

College: Science and Engineering