From exploring landscapes and how they are shaped, to interpreting satellite Earth observation and GIS data, to monitoring environmental changes from Space, the study of geography is more relevant than ever.
If you're particularly focused on enhancing your employability and have a keen interest in physical geography, this scheme will equip you with highly desirable practical, numerical and computational skills for a wide range of careers. These include regional planning, environmental management, local authority work, financial planning, computing or business and retail management.
Our strong relationships with industry enable us to provide great work experience opportunities to enhance your employability. We help you to find your work placement and support you during your year in industry.
Swansea is Welsh University of the Year and runner up for The University of the Year (Times & Sunday Times University Guide 2019). Our students rank us consistently highly in the National Student Survey (94% in 2018), are ranked 9th in the UK for student satisfaction (Guardian University Guide 2020) and we are ideally placed to offer exceptional fieldwork opportunities. Just a short drive from the UK's first designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Gower Peninsula, you will have easy access to the Brecon Beacons, rural west Wales and the urban and industrial landscapes of South Wales. You'll also have an opportunity to carry out fieldwork overseas in Austria, Malaysian Borneo, Mallorca or Vancouver.
Through this degree, you will explore topical issues such as glacial environments and processes, global environmental change, global geophysics and plate tectonics. You'll also get the chance to develop some valuable transferable work skills in your penultimate year of study through an industrial placement.
You will be taught in our Â£4.2m state-of-the-art Science laboratories, in a vibrant and friendly department ranked 8th in the UK for research impact (REF 2014) and 20th for research quality (Times & Sunday Times University Guide 2018). You'll have access to our high-performance computer lab for processing and interpreting satellite Earth observation and GIS data, a stable isotope ratio mass spectrometer, a climatic test chamber, mineral magnetic characterisation equipment and an automatic organic carbon analyser.
You will learn from internationally renowned academics including Professor Tavi Murray, the first woman to be awarded Polar Medal by HM Queen, Professor Adrian Luckman, who has achieved global media coverage for his climate change research, Professor Peter North, who received international coverage of his work with NASA, and Professor Siwan Davies, whose work focuses on the dramatic changes to our climate.
"All the lecturers were incredibly helpful and committed to the students. Definitely choose to study at Swansea, not only will you receive an outstanding level of teaching from all lecturers, you will have an incredible experience outside of University exploring everything Swansea has to offer."
- Jack Philpott, BSc Physical Geography
In Year 1 you'll study several compulsory modules covering topics such as global environmental change, Earth in action and Earth's changing face. You will then choose from optional modules covering geographical skills and methods, writing skills and personal development planning and practical field projects, and topics such as sustainability, people place and nation, colonial and postcolonial geographies, mobilities and migration and geology.
In Year 2, you'll choose from a range of optional modules covering data analysis, approaches to physical geography and environmental research methods, and topics such as geographic information systems, glacial environments and processes, the Earth from Space, quaternary environmental change, global vegetation patterns and dynamics, urban modelling, Earth history and geological record of past environments. You'll also have an opportunity to take part in an overseas field trip.
In Year 3, you'll spend a minimum of 40 weeks in an industrial placement in a UK company. Occasionally, opportunities may arise outside of the UK. You'll receive support from our placements team during your 2nd year to help you prepare for and secure a relevant industrial placement.
In Year 4, you'll undertake your dissertation and choose from a range of optional modules covering topics such as glaciology, humid tropical environments and landscapes, meteorology and atmospheric science, plate tectonics and global geophysics, environmental modelling and the climate of the last 1,000 years. You'll also have the opportunity to undertake an interdisciplinary field trip to the Indian Himalayas (Sikkim).
On the BSc Physical Geography course you will be taught through a combination of lectures, tutorials, seminars, practical classes and field classes. You will be assessed through a variety of methods, including examinations, coursework, practical work, fieldwork and continuous assessment from tutorials. You will also complete a dissertation in Year Three.
Application deadline details:
I loved Swansea so much – I wasn’t sure what to expect, but the place blew me away. Wind Street is the best! There are so many things to do, although my favourite was talking the walk along the coast to Mumbles, a tiny fishing village, getting a cup of tea in the local café and getting away from it all for a while. Everyone was incredible open and welcoming, the beach was stunning and host to some very good memories, the course was amazing and my tutors were so inspiring. Everyone’s been so friendly and supportive.
Swansea is a really supportive environment, the university really looks after its students and we have a really high quality of living. Swansea university has pretty much anything you need. For me it’s better than home. I like to think of myself as part welsh these days.
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