Geography

Students on a field trip

At local, national and international level, the main challenges facing the world in the 21st century are related to geography.

The impacts of climate change in the coming decades on countries and regions will be significant.

Adapting to flash flooding and drought; the security of water, food and energy supplies; and population growth, migration, loss of biodiversity and the spread of disease, are just some of the challenges we face.

It means geographers are in increasing demand as their skills are required to address the environmental, economic and societal challenges of the future.

The University of the Highlands and Islands - through Inverness College UHI - offers a three-year, accelerated-study BSc (Hons) in Geography

This allows our students to enter employment or postgraduate study one year ahead of their peers.

Overall satisfaction rates for our BSc (Hons) Geography programme stand at 100% (National Student Survey, 2019)

So many of the world's current issues… boil down to geography… global warming… food and energy security… degradation of land and soils from over-use and misuse… spread of disease… consequences of migration… impacts of economic change on places and communities” - Michael Palin (2011)

Programme information

Programme information

On our BSc (Hons) Geography degree you will gain an insight into a range of practical, social, economic and enviornmtnal issues, studying both physical and human geography, with an emphasis on physical-environmental studies.

  • Physical geography covers climate, atmosphere, landscapes, natural processes, glaciation and energy use.
  • Human geography covers societies and their distribution and interaction, including sustainable development, urban and rural geography, population growth and globalisation.

In addition to learning core skills related to fieldwork, including GIS and remote sensing, preparing maps and diagrams and using social surveys, you will also develop a wide range of employability skills such as team working, problem solving, research and data analysis and communication and IT skills.

Other things to know: 

  • While the first year follows a traditional study pattern, year two and three include a summer semester allowing you to complete your studies in three years, rather than four;
  • There are no exams on this course - you are assessed by coursework only;
  • The course includes fieldwork trips in various locations in the Scottish Highlands and a week long field trip in the Swiss Alps* 
  • There is a strong focus on employability, with a module on employability skills and a work placement in year three;
  • Students enjoy a mix of online learning and face-to-face teaching. Tutorials consist of small groups of students, who learn together on campus, supported by online materials, allowing you the flexibility to study whenever and wherever it suits you.

“Most geography graduates are numerate, literate, good team workers, can think analytically and critically, and are highly computer literate. Geography consistently attracts large numbers of high quality students with excellent grades," - Royal Geographical Society (2013)

Apply now

Do you have more questions?

Contact BSc (Hons) Geography programme leader Dr Anne-Marie Nuttall.

Email: geography.ic@uhi.ac.uk 

Telephone: 01463 273 000

Please note, there is a cost to the student for the compulsory overseas trip. Locations may vary.

Progression routes

Progression routes

Careers our graduates go into:

  • Government departments and agencies e.g. the 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

Many geography graduates also choose to go on to postgraduate study. Popular programmes at the University of the Highlands and Islands include:

MSc Sustainable Energy Solutions

MSc Developing Low Carbon Communities

MSc Leadership and Management

MSc Sustainable Rural Development

MLitt Archaeological Studies

MSc Ecotourism

MA Health and Wellbeing

MSc Sustainable Mountain Development

Jamie MacManaway

Student: Jamie MacManaway

"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.

The tutors are really knowledgeable and supportive, and the small class sizes mean that we get to know them all on a personal basis, and get plenty of opportunity to ask questions of them.

Inverness College UHI is an amazing place to study Geography, and I’d wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone who wishes to explore this fascinating subject in a close-knit, supportive environment."

Rosemarie Agus

Student: Rose Agus

"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. It's made my career decisions easier and clearer, and I am starting to move towards the environmental and renewable sector.

It is a fantastic university, I would highly recommend to anyone wishing to go down the earth science route. My lecturers are very involved and regular meetings with your personal academic tutor gives you a sense of belonging and it is good to know you have someone to turn to if times get hard."

Keiran Young

Student: Keiran Young

"With the degree being so broad it opens up many avenues not only to further study, but a wide range of possible career paths. The campus is also a joy to study in, with state of the art facilities and a fresh approach to teaching, it's really a place you can grow academically. My work experience was spent with SSE where I used the skills I'd gained from the degree, conducting both habitat and geological/archaeological surveys. 

For anyone considering this course, I'd say 'go for it.' You will experience unforgettable once in a lifetime trips and a better understanding of the world around you."

Dr Ann Marie Nuttull

Staff: Dr Anne-Marie Nuttall

Dr Nuttall's research interests include learning technology and how students interact with it; experiential learning during expeditions and fieldwork; and mass balance and dynamics of Arctic, Alpine and Himalayan glaciers.

"I am a physical geographer with broad interests in processes shaping the surface of the earth, but particularly the impact of glaciers on the landscape, and the impact of climate change on glaciers."