Undergraduate study - 2023 entry
Open to the world

Subject area: Geography

Why choose Geography at the University of Edinburgh?

  • We are 17th in the world and 6th in the UK for geography in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2022.

  • Field trips are at the heart of our geography degrees.

    Our hands-on approach to learning takes you beyond the classroom to develop real-world experience and skills prized by employers.

    Your field experiences will be hard work, rewarding and loads of fun. Oh – and they're free.

  • Learn from one of the UK's largest and most successful groupings of geographers, Earth and environmental scientists. Many of them are world experts in their field. We keep your degree up-to-date, diverse, and exciting by sharing our discoveries with you.

    With our research and industry networks, we open up a world of opportunities and empower your degree with real-world relevance.

    Our geography degrees are also accredited by the Royal Geographical Society with the Institute of British Geographers.

  • Edinburgh is ranked 2nd in the UK and 12th in the world in the QS Best Student Cities 2022. A fantastic place to live, it’s also the perfect location to study geography. Our vibrant capital is an irresistible blend of history and modern city life. And ancient volcanoes, rugged coastlines, misty mountains and forest glens are right on your doorstep.

Study abroad

After visiting Edinburgh in my final years of secondary school, I knew the BSc Geography would be my cup of tea. It offers an array of learning opportunities and is particularly accommodating to different learning styles.

During my studies, I have acquired a detailed and well-rounded skill set regarding the physical components of our world. This was facilitated by the high standards of teaching throughout the vast range of courses on offer.

All in all, I couldn’t recommend this degree enough.

Erin Mills BSc (Hons) Geography
Erin Mills BSc (Hons) Geography

Introducing Geography

Do you:

  • have a love of the outdoors, the environment, and a hunger to understand how our planet works?
  • have a keen interest in cultures and societies?

Are you:

  • concerned about how the changing climate is impacting our environment and landscapes?
  • curious about the relationship between politics and the environment?

Geography may be for you!

Geography is the study of the way the world works. You can explore the forces that drive our ever-changing planet including:

  • volcanoes
  • flooding
  • climate change

You will also investigate a range of human issues such as:

  • sustainability
  • social justice
  • health

Understanding geography is becoming increasingly important in today's world. Join us as our planet and humanity face some of the biggest challenges we have ever known.

Making a difference starts here. Are you ready?

Our degrees

You can explore geography:

  • as a natural science through physical geography, or
  • through the social sciences and humanities as human geography

Our geography programmes are interdisciplinary. This means they include aspects of both human and physical geography. We believe it's important to understand our impact on the world and our ways of living within it.

Bachelor of Science (BSc) Geography

The BSc is an environmental geography degree. It specialises in physical geography. Using natural science, you will learn about the Earth's surface processes.

You will explore our ever-changing world, from volcanoes and glaciers to environmental degradation and climate change.

Master of Arts (MA) Geography

You will specialise in human geography, which is key to understanding and resolving many of society's most pressing problems.

Learn about the relationships between people and their social, cultural, political, and economic worlds.

Life changing field trips

Field trips are at the heart of our degrees.

We know that getting out in the world is essential for understanding how it works.

Our field courses and day excursions are hard work and fun. Often they will provide some of your most memorable moments. So, you have many opportunities to get your hands dirty!

You could be:

  • investigating the impacts of people, climate and volcanism on the Icelandic landscape
  • meeting with community groups about the impacts of urban racial segregation

We will take you beyond the classroom to apply your learning to real-life situations.

Our hands-on approach to learning helps build your confidence and practical experience. It also gives you valuable field skills prized by employers.

The locations and experiences of each trip will vary. We want to enrich you with a broad understanding of how the world works.

Our compulsory field trips or field courses are free, including travel and accommodation.

To ensure our degrees are accessible and inclusive, we offer alternative learning experiences.

Want to know more?

You can access our blog posts and videos about fieldwork experiences on the School of GeoSciences website.

How will I learn?

We embrace a hands-on approach to learning, so you will have plenty of access to our:

  • specialist research facilities
  • laboratories
  • supercomputers
  • field equipment

We also host several collaborative centres of research excellence.

You will study past environments, whilst considering how we can also plan for future environments, and reduce the impact we have on the planet.

You will learn from our wide range of experienced geography academics. Many of them are leaders in their fields.

Our research-led, industry-informed teaching incorporates the latest developments in your field. We keep your degree up-to-date, diverse, and exciting by sharing our discoveries with you.

We also have an extensive network of experts contributing to our degrees. They help ensure your degree has real-world relevance and make you highly sought after by employers.

Through our links, you will also be able to network and explore work and project opportunities.

What is it really like to study with us?

No one knows what it's like to study here more than the students themselves.

Our students are sharing their experiences - from studying to living in Edinburgh and everything in between.

Get social with us:

Edinburgh is your ideal base

Edinburgh is ranked 2nd in the UK and 12th in the world in the QS Best Student Cities 2022.

Edinburgh is not only a fantastic city to live in; it's also the perfect location to study geography. Our vibrant capital is an irresistible blend of history and modern city life.

You could find yourself in the most remarkable places – researching Scotland’s 7000 miles of coastline, the Gaelic culture of the Highland and Islands, or the challenges of restoring our upland ecology.

Immerse yourself among rugged coastlines, misty mountains, forest glens and sparkling freshwater lochs.

We will also take you on day trips throughout your studies to help you make the most of our local surroundings.

It is no surprise we are regularly voted one of the most desirable places to live in the world!

Take a virtual tour

You can take a closer look at the School of GeoSciences and explore our facilities and campus on the University's Virtual Visit site.

Discover our city's landmarks, our campuses, accommodation and get video tours - all in one place.

Take a virtual tour of the School of GeoSciences