BSc Geography (Human and Physical)
Explore our natural and human worlds – and the complex relationships between the two – with our BSc Geography (Human and Physical) degree.
By combining your study of human and physical geographies, you can explore a hugely diverse range of topics. For example, you can examine:
- the differences and dynamics of political systems and cultures
- sustainable development of urban spaces
- the way the natural environment responds to – and recovers from – change.
This three-year course also offers you the chance to help address issues critical to our shared global future, including:
- climate change
- natural disasters
- social inequalities
At Reading, our geography research feeds directly into our teaching, so you’ll study current topics of interest in the field. You’ll also work with internationally renowned academics, whose projects investigate topics like neighbourhood regeneration, resilience and sustainability, food and consumerism in the media, and responses to epidemics in developing countries.
You will also have the flexibility to decide where to focus your attention as your degree progresses, so you can adapt the degree to suit your interests as they evolve.
Your learning environment
You’ll learn from internationally recognised academics in the University of Reading’s Department of Geography and Environmental Science. Our experts are researching issues of global importance, including:
- globalisation and development
- hydrology, landscapes and ecology
Develop technical laboratory skills to help apply your knowledge in areas such as modelling, surveying and measurement, and technologies such as GIS (Geographic Information System) and remote sensing.
We’ll support you to make a difference as you apply your lessons to what you’re passionate about. For example, recent students have campaigned successfully for the University’s students’ union to stop using plastic straws, and participated in a community action group to improve public transport for local socially deprived areas.
- Read about Jack Abrey, a recent graduate who travelled to Madagascar with WaterAid and the Scouts to help improve access to clean water and safe toilets across the country.
You’ll have opportunities to work on research projects within the School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science and other departments across the University.
You can also join GeogSoc, a student-run society for geography and environmental science undergraduates. As one of the University’s largest student societies, GeogSoc is a great way to meet people, build your network, and participate in events like club nights, quizzes, and the annual summer and winter formals.
One of the most popular components of our BSc Geography (Human and Physical) degree are its field classes.
Field classes are subsidised and you’re guaranteed a place on at least one field trip.
In addition to UK-based field work, we currently offer field classes to:
- Naples, Italy, where you can climb Mount Vesuvius and learn about the historical impacts and future evacuation plans for volcanic eruptions.
- Berlin, Germany, where you can explore neighbourhood spaces and social history.
- Crete, Greece, where you can research the relationship between human activity and the environment – and the impact of tourism in particular.
- Iceland, where you can study the geomorphology of the area, the history of the landscape, and aspects of the archaeological and cultural history of human activity on the island.
- Almeria, Spain, where you can investigate the geology, hydrology, and soils.
We are also developing additional field classes to Africa and Latin America.
Find out more about our field work:
- Rory Fitz-Gerald, a recent graduate, went on a field class to Crete and says that “getting out into the world and seeing first-hand what you are learning about is invaluable.”
As part of your degree, you can apply to study for a year abroad at one of our partner universities in Australia, Canada, the USA, or across Europe. For example, recent destinations have included Melbourne, Australia and Ottawa, Canada.
In the autumn of your final year, you’ll also have the chance to study abroad for a term – either in the Netherlands (Groningen), Denmark (Aarhus), or Norway (Bergen or Svalbard). All classes are conducted in English and bursaries are available to help with travel and accommodation costs.
Visit our Study Abroad website for more information.
Placements with BSc Geography (Human and Physical)
Enhance your employability and build your network by applying for placements during your degree. Opportunities include year-long and summer placements.
You’ll have opportunities to work with partner organisations on research projects, with some of our recent students working with organisations such as:
- Thames Water
- Environment Agency
- Reading Borough Council
- Earth Trust
- Reading Buses
- West Berkshire Wildlife Group.
You can also choose to spend a year on a professional placement (between your second and final year) with our four-year BSc Geography (Human and Physical) with Professional Experience degree.