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Chemistry Research, Durham University
Durham University
Durham
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Geography at Durham

I’m starting to think about uni choices and whilst I’m in year 11 so it’s in no way a rush i would appreciate if someone could tell me a bit about a geography BA at Durham I’ve read around here a bit but not seen much other than it (Durham not geography specifically) is supposed to be pretentious and there’s f all about geography so any opinions on whether it’s a good course and you enjoyed it or not are appreciated :smile:
Original post by 15hoursrevision
I’m starting to think about uni choices and whilst I’m in year 11 so it’s in no way a rush i would appreciate if someone could tell me a bit about a geography BA at Durham I’ve read around here a bit but not seen much other than it (Durham not geography specifically) is supposed to be pretentious and there’s f all about geography so any opinions on whether it’s a good course and you enjoyed it or not are appreciated :smile:

im in first year Ba geography and honestly really enjoying it. The department is the largest in the uni and the facilities are really good. The subject is really interesting and def widens ur perceptions and group work is great to meet ppl. There is a lot of private school ppl here but you do find ur friends and some of my best friends went to private school so it’s really not something to worry about too much. Hope this helps
Chemistry Research, Durham University
Durham University
Durham
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I'm currently a third year BA Geography student at durham, I have one last online exam essay next week then I am done! I think the course is very interesting and intellectually stimulating content wise, I have definitely learnt more about and increased by general knowledge about the world, I have studied modules from mapping and scale, postcolonialism, feminist geography, citizenship, development, abolitionism, the Israel and Lebanon conflict and the geographies of war, climate change and climate migration and so on.

The work style is quite varied depending on what modules you do. I only picked modules with exam essays or presentations / coursework essays, although there are modules that have you code for a website or submit annotated bibliographies etc as the assessment. In my opinion, second year is a lot harder than third year, especially the social research in geography module. You have about 7 deadlines each week during the second term of second year which is a lot, definitely prepare or do some essays over the Christmas break!

In third year you will have a lot more free time for your dissertation. My advice is to start collecting your dissertation data early on, especially the September before third year. As long as you have an achievable project (as you actually have to collect some forms of data from the world or other people), it should be okay. In third year you often get to decide your essay title for coursework anyway, which I prefer a lot more than second year. I got a mid 2:1 overall in second year, but have only got firsts so far this year!

However, there have been many negatives too. Firstly, your essay and summative work is never marked on time due to delays or strike action, it usually takes 2-3 months to receive essay feedback which can be quite frustrating. Unfortunately, there aren't many jobs related to geography itself, and studying an arts / humanities BA degree in complete honesty is a lot less competitive, employable and a lower salary than a science or BSc degree. If you study physical geography I think this is more employable as you can become an environmental consultant at companies like Stantec, Arcadis or Arup.

With my geography BA degree, I have been rejected from pretty much all jobs and internships I have applied for, to do with corporate social responsibility or environmental / sustainability consultant / planner etc. Despite paying £28k for a degree I have only been successful in getting a job in a café or an 18k per year admin assistant, rather than a graduate job or graduate scheme. In my opinion and if I could go back in time, I would have done maths a level and studied a BSc more scientific and quantitative degree.

That's not to say there aren't jobs out there or you will be less successful than me, but for humanities graduates jobs are fewer and far between and much more competitive. My advice to you as a year 11 is to pick maths or economics for a level, do A-levels with some mathematics / quantitative component! Ultimately, I have enjoyed the content of my degree, but overall it isn't very employable or related to pretty much any specific jobs - lots of BA geography graduates work in marketing or recruitment etc without a specific degree requirement (from what I have seen on Linkedin). If you enjoy geography it's a great degree, but I would do a degree that is more employable and directly related to specific vocations / industries. Overall, I wouldn't recommend my degree, I would say geography BSc or economics is better.
Original post by Anonymous
I'm currently a third year BA Geography student at durham, I have one last online exam essay next week then I am done! I think the course is very interesting and intellectually stimulating content wise, I have definitely learnt more about and increased by general knowledge about the world, I have studied modules from mapping and scale, postcolonialism, feminist geography, citizenship, development, abolitionism, the Israel and Lebanon conflict and the geographies of war, climate change and climate migration and so on.

The work style is quite varied depending on what modules you do. I only picked modules with exam essays or presentations / coursework essays, although there are modules that have you code for a website or submit annotated bibliographies etc as the assessment. In my opinion, second year is a lot harder than third year, especially the social research in geography module. You have about 7 deadlines each week during the second term of second year which is a lot, definitely prepare or do some essays over the Christmas break!

In third year you will have a lot more free time for your dissertation. My advice is to start collecting your dissertation data early on, especially the September before third year. As long as you have an achievable project (as you actually have to collect some forms of data from the world or other people), it should be okay. In third year you often get to decide your essay title for coursework anyway, which I prefer a lot more than second year. I got a mid 2:1 overall in second year, but have only got firsts so far this year!

However, there have been many negatives too. Firstly, your essay and summative work is never marked on time due to delays or strike action, it usually takes 2-3 months to receive essay feedback which can be quite frustrating. Unfortunately, there aren't many jobs related to geography itself, and studying an arts / humanities BA degree in complete honesty is a lot less competitive, employable and a lower salary than a science or BSc degree. If you study physical geography I think this is more employable as you can become an environmental consultant at companies like Stantec, Arcadis or Arup.

With my geography BA degree, I have been rejected from pretty much all jobs and internships I have applied for, to do with corporate social responsibility or environmental / sustainability consultant / planner etc. Despite paying £28k for a degree I have only been successful in getting a job in a café or an 18k per year admin assistant, rather than a graduate job or graduate scheme. In my opinion and if I could go back in time, I would have done maths a level and studied a BSc more scientific and quantitative degree.

That's not to say there aren't jobs out there or you will be less successful than me, but for humanities graduates jobs are fewer and far between and much more competitive. My advice to you as a year 11 is to pick maths or economics for a level, do A-levels with some mathematics / quantitative component! Ultimately, I have enjoyed the content of my degree, but overall it isn't very employable or related to pretty much any specific jobs - lots of BA geography graduates work in marketing or recruitment etc without a specific degree requirement (from what I have seen on Linkedin). If you enjoy geography it's a great degree, but I would do a degree that is more employable and directly related to specific vocations / industries. Overall, I wouldn't recommend my degree, I would say geography BSc or economics is better.

Thankyou so much, funnily enough I ended up doing maths, economics and geography A level so this is actually really useful in deciding what I want to do as I have been dithering between geography BA, geography BCS and geography with economics combined honours.

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