BSc Geography (Human)
Explore the relationship between human societies and the environments they inhabit with our BSc Geography (Human) degree.
On this three-year course, you'll study the dynamics and differences in cultures, political systems, economies and landscapes, and discover the links between them.
Examine issues that are critical to our shared global future, including:
- climate change
- globalisation and international labour markets
- social deprivation
- water pollution.
You'll 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 studies will equip you with essential subject-specific knowledge and transferable skills, including:
- qualitative and quantitative surveying techniques
- design and implementation of fieldwork and research projects
- team-working, communication and leadership
- GIS (Geographic Information System) and remote sensing
- computer modelling
- spatial analysis.
Your learning environment
At the University of Reading, you'll learn from internationally recognised academics in the Department of Geography and Environmental Science. In the National Student Survey 2023, 100% of our students studying BSc Geography (Human) said that teaching staff were good or very good at explaining things. Our experts are researching issues of global importance, including:
- globalisation and development
- hydrology, landscapes and ecology
Our research expertise feeds directly into the topics you will study throughout your degree, giving you access to the latest developments in human geography. Current projects include neighbourhood regeneration, resilience and sustainability, food and consumerism in the media, and responses to epidemics in third world countries.
- Professor Hilary Geoghegan is leading the National Environment Research Council's £1.3m 'Community for Engaging Environments' project, which offers students the opportunity to get involved in professional research.
We'll support you to make a difference as you apply your lessons to what you're passionate about. Recent students have successfully campaigned 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) are its field classes.
All of our compulsory field classes are heavily subsidised by the Department, and the cost of the first-year Southern England class and second-year Scotland class are included in your fees.
We currently offer field classes to:
- Southern England - study a range of social, cultural, economic and environmental issues.
- Stirling, Scotland - expand your knowledge of geomorphology, environmental change and nature restoration.
- Berlin, Germany - explore neighbourhood spaces and social history.
- Iceland - study volcanic processes and glaciology, energy resources, and the history of the landscape.
- Nanjing, China - improve your understanding of approaches used to address a range of environmental issues.
- Southern England and Wales - explore the inter-relationships between a range of social, economic and environmental problems.
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 semester – 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.
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) with Professional Experience degree.