University of Reading cookie policy

We use cookies on to improve your experience, monitor site performance and tailor content to you

Read our cookie policy to find out how to manage your cookie settings

We recognise that everyone learns differently. Our academics use varied teaching and assessment methods to allow you to perform to your best.

Teaching and assessment

We teach you through a combination of:

  • lectures
  • practical classes
  • field work
  • small group tutorials
  • online resources.

Some of our lectures are available for download as podcasts.

Assessment methods include:

  • coursework
  • written exams
  • written assignments and reports
  • class exercises
  • oral assessment and presentation
  • practical skills assessment.

Research-led teaching

Your final year will be spent carrying out a personal research project under the supervision of a member of academic staff allocated according to the topic you choose.

Our staff work on a wide range of research projects both in the UK and around the world. Our research feeds directly into your studies and our excellent equipment and facilities are available to our students during teaching and for final-year research.

Learn more about Professor Nicholas Branch's research into climate change in Peru

Learn from researchers who are making a positive impact

Professor Hannah Cloke's research on flooding focuses on developing techniques to help us prepare better for flooding by improving forecasting. It saves lives through improving early warning systems in flood-prone parts of the world, and reduces the impact of flooding on businesses.

Read more about Professor Cloke's research

Modules that prepare you for the workplace

Jonathan Cocks studied BSc Geography (Human and Physical) at the University of Reading and developed his practical, applied skills and transferable skill set through the course.

Jonathan chose the Preparing for Floods module which was developed with input from organisations that hold a real stake in the issues explored in the course, including staff from the Environment Agency, Met Office and Red Cross Climate Centre.

Learning from professionals in the field allowed Jonathan to gain insight into a variety of potential sectors, organisations, and roles, helping to prepare him to enter the job market with a clear direction.

“Taking this module meant that I got to work directly with people who used the concepts I was learning about in their day-to-day roles, and really made it clear how relevant my course was to the issues I care about.”

Jonathan Cocks

BSc Geography (Human and Physical)

Placement opportunities

Gain invaluable work experience and explore your career options by undertaking a placement or year of professional experience during your studies*.

Placements offer an exciting opportunity to enhance work-related skills and develop a network of contacts, as well as strengthening career prospects and cultivating direct experience in a potential career field.

Year of professional experience

You will have the opportunity to take a year of professional experience following your second year. This is a fantastic opportunity to hone your skills in a real work environment, gain direct experience in your chosen field, and build up your CV.

Students have recently worked for:

  • Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust
  • Department for Education
  • Hydro-Logic
  • Dyer & Butler 
  • GSK
  • Mott MacDonald
  • Thames Water.

Research projects

We offer opportunities for you to work with partner organisations on research projects. These provide a fantastic opportunity for you to work alongside employers, on a topic about which you are passionate, and develop a network of contacts. Recent examples of organisations with whom students have worked include:

  • Thames Water
  • Environment Agency
  • Reading Borough Council
  • Earth Trust
  • Reading Buses
  • West Berkshire Wildlife Group.


Read how Professor Sally Lloyd-Evans has made placements part of her research

Placements within the University

Vacation placements are sometimes available within the University through schemes such as the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Scheme (UROP). This allows students to work as part of one of the Department's research groups during the summer.

The University's Careers Placement and Experience Centre provide all Reading students with information about a wide range of placement opportunities including:

  • Summer Enterprise Experience & Discovery (SEED) internship scheme
  • Undergraduate Research Opportunities Programme (UROP)
  • Reading Experience and Personal Development (RED) Award.

*Programmes with a Professional Placement Year (also known as 'Year in Industry' or 'Placement Year') are fully dependent on students securing their own placement opportunity, normally through a competitive recruitment process. The University provides dedicated career and application support for placement year students.

Students who do not secure a placement or who are unable to complete the placement year due to extenuating circumstances, have the option to transfer to a three-year variant of their programme with agreement from their school/department.

Initially I started on a three-month unpaid placement with the Forestry Commission, and was offered a contract following that ... I gained a lot of experience and it was good fun to do as well.

Ben Jones

BSc Environmental Science with a year of professional experience

Students photographed conducting field work on a trip to Almeria

Field classes

Develop critical skills in field techniques, observation skills, data analysis and presentation both in national and international field classes.


Life in the Department

Join a welcoming, supportive community, where you'll have opportunities to get to know fellow students in field classes and group work, as well as at events hosted by the student-run GeogSoc.


Why study with us?

A degree in geography or environmental science opens the door to a large number of careers. Learn from internationally recognised academics and gain practical experience on study trips in the UK and abroad.

Athena SWAN Silver Award