Geography BSc (Hons)

UCAS code F820

What is special about this course?

see sample learning materials

If you are inspired by understanding the world around you then geography is for you. At both local and global levels, many of the main challenges facing the world in the 21st century are related to geography. Studying an exciting mix of physical and human geography, this course will equip you with the wide range of knowledge and skills needed for the modern workplace.

The BSc (Hons) Geography* is an accelerated degree that can be completed in three years rather than the traditional four. Graduating early allows you to get out there and start earning, travelling or signing up to postgraduate study a year ahead of your peers.

Field trips are a valuable and memorable part of studying geography and this course includes several: both day trips in the local area and longer residential trips. This involves two compulsory residential field trips, one in Scotland and one in Europe. These are currently in the Cairngorms (year 2) and the Swiss Alps (year 3)**. You will be required to pay a contribution towards the costs of these trips. Further information is available upon request.

*subject to validation
**locations of field trips may vary

Special features

  • An accelerated study programme: complete a four-year honours degree in three years
  • Mix of online learning and face-to-face teaching, with small group study on campus
  • Online learning materials available 24/7 via laptops, tablets or mobiles
  • Focus on employability within the curriculum: geography graduates have high levels of employability
  • Field trips to the Cairngorms and Swiss Alps*

(You may also be interested in our BSc (Hons) Sustainable Development course)

*locations of field trips may vary


We offer modern student accommodation at a number of our locations.

Entry requirements

  • For September 2020, entry to this course is only available into year 2, via HNC Applied Sciences or HNC Social Sciences (15 SCQF credits)
  • Applicants with other qualifications or experience will be considered on an individual basis
  • Successful applicants may be required to complete a PVG Disclosure Check and become PVG Scheme Members in order to undertake certain modules on this course

Year 1 - CertHE

Please apply to the HNC Applied Sciences or HNC Social Sciences if you wish to study the first year of this course.

Year 2 - DipHE/BSc

Three semesters: Sept-Nov, Jan-Mar and May-July. Modules may include:

  • Global environmental change     
  • Atmosphere, weather and climate
  • Employability skills for geographers
  • Earth surface processes
  • Urban and rural geography
  • Collecting and interpreting data for geographers
  • Workplace experience: developing transferable skills
  • The geography of tourism and sustainability
  • Research and design skills for geographers

Year 3 - BSc/BSc (Hons)

Three semesters: Sept-Nov, Jan-Mar and May-July. Modules may include:

  • Field skills for geographers
  • Climate change: impacts and adaptation
  • GIS and remote sensing
  • Sustainable agriculture systems
  • Glaciation
  • Natural hazards and mitigation
  • Globalisation, sustainability and uneven development

You must also complete a dissertation.

How will I study my course?

Coronavirus (COVID-19) update

For direct applicants and continuing students into year two and three: Our priority is to provide a safe learning environment for all students and staff. We will continue to review government guidance as lockdown measures shift over the next few months and will inform you of any further changes to the information provided below about your course. You will study the course through our blended learning approach. In semester one, September 2020, the theory elements will mainly be delivered online through a combination of video conference seminars, tutor-supported study and self-directed study using the university's virtual learning environment. You will also have the opportunity to do an online induction at the start of the course. On-campus activities, practical sessions and field trips will be introduced in line with the developing Scottish Government public health measures and guidance, including social distancing, with practical elements and field trips most likely in semester two (from January 2021).
  • Full-time
  • With support from university staff, you will learn through a combination of face-to-face tutorials and online study, including live-chats, discussion boards and group tasks. Collaborative learning tools such as wikis will enable you to work with others to build online content
  • Online materials can be viewed on laptops, tablets, smartphones and consoles
  • This will be supplemented by field trips, practical sessions and work experience, as well as individual online study through the university's virtual learning environment (VLE)
  • You will be required to pay a contribution towards the field trips
  • You will also have support from your lecturers via email and phone

Externally Hosted Technology

  • Part of this course will be conducted on sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Both sites are externally hosted technologies run by service providers that are not connected with the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI). If you don't use these services you will need to register with the service providers. Registration involves providing personal data and acceptance of the terms, conditions, data use policy and cookie use policy for each service provider. Please read the information on Facebook and Twitter on the university website carefully. Application to this course indicates that you have read, understood and agreed to the registration conditions for Facebook and Twitter. Should you require more information please email the university's Information Line

How long will my course last?

  • Full-time: 3 years

You will spend about two hours a week reading the online lecture material, plus two hours a week in online group work and two hours a week in face-to-face tutorials. You will be studying three modules at a time, so a typical week would consist of 18 hours of structured study time and the remaining hours would be spent in self-directed study. In some weeks there may also be field trips.



Where can I study my course?

  • Inverness College UHI

Start date

  • September



For students normally domiciled in Scotland or the European Union/EEA (outside of the UK) and with a term time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

Full-time (120 credit modules) per year £1,820 £1,820
Part-time (structured) (3 x 20 credit modules) per year £645 £645
Part-time (unstructured per module) (per 20 credit module) £215 £215

Rest of UK students

For students living in the rest of the UK (England, Wales and N. Ireland, including Channel Islands and the Isle of Man) studying this course full time, the following fees apply:

Year 1 CertHE (120 credits) £9,000 £9,000
Year 2 DipHE/Degree (180 credits) £9,000 £9,000
Year 3 Degree/Honours (180 credits) £9,000 £9,000

Part-time (per 20 credit module) - £1,500.

Fees are payable in advance each academic year unless otherwise agreed.

There are a number of funding options available to UK and EU students to help you pay for your studies and your cost of living while studying.

International students

For students who do not normally reside in the UK or European Union and with a term-time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

Year 1 CertHE (120 credits) £12,800 £13,200
Year 2 DipHE/Degree (180 credits) £19,200 £19,800
Year 3 Degree/Honours (180 credits) £19,200 £19,800

Further information on international course fees.

A no fee increase guarantee is available for self-funding full-time and structured part-time RUK and International undergraduate students for continuous and contiguous study for the same award, up to the permitted standard time limit for the relevant award.


External scholarships and financial support may be available. Contact the relevant university partner college for more information. 

Additional Costs

This course includes several field trips which includes:

  • Day trips in the local area
  • Longer residential trips

And two compulsary residential field trips which are currently in:

  • Cairngorms (year 2)
  • Swiss Alps (year 3)

You will be required to pay a contribution towards the costs of these trips. Further information is available upon request.

What can I do on completion of my course?

Once you have completed your BSc (Hons) Geography course, you could progress to a career in:

  • Government departments and agencies e.g. Scottish Environment Protection Agency; Environment Agency; Scottish Natural Heritage; English Natural Heritage
  • Planning departments of local authorities
  • Natural resource industries, such as oil, gas, coal, aggregates
  • Water industry and flood management
  • Environmental consultancy
  • Waste and recycling
  • Travel and tourism
  • Public policy
  • Urban regeneration
  • Retail and business
  • Teaching

Is there more information available online?

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You can use the above QR code to connect directly to the course details.

What our students, graduates and staff say

I can’t think of anywhere better to study geography in the UK with the Cairngorms on our doorstep. This course has already opened my mind to many possibilities. I am starting to move towards the environmental and renewable sector. Before starting the course, I worked in a very busy pharmaceutical lab as a research and development technician based at Foresterhill campus in Aberdeen. This wasn’t the career for me but I learnt so much and it gave me the confidence boost I needed for my next chapter. 

Rose Agus, 2nd year BSc (Hons) Geography student

The field trips allowed me to explore my own country and included a 'once in a lifetime' opportunity to hike across the Swiss Alps and walk along the snout of a glacier. My work experience was spent with SSE where I utilised skills I’d gained from the degree conducting both habitat and geological/archaeological surveys. It also provided me with contacts in the company and gave me a basic knowledge of GIS systems which gave me a 'head start' within the GIS module. I plan to go on to postgraduate study with the hope of eventually ending up in a career with renewable energy. 

Kieran Young, BSc (Hons) Geography graduate

As well as allowing me to remain in the Highlands whilst pursuing an undergraduate degree, I was also drawn to the accelerated course structure. Being able to complete a four year degree in three years was a big draw for me. The blended learning approach also resonated, meaning that a lot of the course could be completed from home, but that I still had access to face-to-face contact with tutors. I’m interested in pursuing postgraduate study after my degree, before moving into research, lecturing or environmental work. 

Jamie MacManaway, 2nd year BSc (Hons) Geography student

Apply for Geography BSc (Hons)

I want to start in Aug/Sep 2020

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at the University of the Highlands and Islands. We operate a fair and open admissions system committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination. We consider all applications on merit and on the basis of ability to achieve, without discrimination on grounds of gender, age, disability, ethnicity and socio-economic background. We welcome applications from all prospective students and aim to provide appropriate and efficient services to students with disabilities.