Core modules introduce the geographical perspectives on cultural and environmental problems, and different approaches to their causes and solutions.
In Year 1 you will take introductory modules which prepare you for more specialised study. The four modules are: Introduction to Human Geography, Geography of the Oxford Region, Introduction to Environmental Geography, and Concepts in Geography. You will also be recommended to take a selection of specialist modules, including Introduction to Prehistoric Archaeology and Environmental Sustainability. These courses all involve both individual and group work, and The Geography of the Oxford Region involves fieldwork.
In Year 2 the compulsory Geographical Enquiry and Field Research double module emphasise the importance of fieldwork as part of your research methods training. You will undertake fieldwork as part of a residential course that gives you the opportunity to design and carry out your own research.
In both years 2 and 3 you will be able to specialise in the areas of geography that interest you most. See below for the current options.
Study is undertaken at three levels which broadly correspond to the first, second and third year of full-time academic study.
Full-time students are required to pass a minimum of 24 modules over the three year period in order to qualify for an honours degree. Each module has a credit rating of 15 points. Each level comprises 120 credits and students must receive 360 credits in total to graduate with a BA/BSc (Hons) degree.
As our courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the modules you can choose from may vary from that shown here.
The Geography course offers three/four compulsory single modules:
- Introduction to Human Geography (Semester 1, single and combined honours)
- Geography of the Oxford Region (Semester 1, single and combined honours)
- Introduction to Environmental Geography (Semester 2, single and combined honours)
- Concepts in Geography (Semester 2, compulsory for single honours, recommended for combined honours).
Recommended modules include:
- Environmental Sustainability
- Deep History
Other optional modules can be selected from a range offered by the Department of Social Sciences.
Years 2 and 3
Year 2 has one compulsory core double module which runs across both semesters:
- Geographical Enquiry and Field Research
You will also have a range of advanced optional modules from which to choose. They emphasise the practice of enquiry and research in context with specialist areas of staff expertise in the discipline. These modules are:
- Cities: Geographies of the Urban Experience
- Conservation and Heritage Management
- Culture and Global Change
- Development and Social Change
- Environmental Decision Making
- Environmental Hazard Management
- Earth Systems
- Geographical Information Systems
- Human Evolutionary Biology and Geography
- Independent Study: Work and Community Related Learning.
In your final year, if you are following the single honours degree programme, you will undertake a dissertation, which is a double module. If you are following the combined honours degree programme the geography dissertation is optional; you may choose to undertake an interdisciplinary project with your combined honours subject, or take a taught double module as an alternative.
You will choose from a selection of advanced honours modules which deal with the material of geography at a higher level of abstraction, require greater independent research, provide opportunities for reflective practice and prepare you for the world of work:
- Arid Zone Environments
- Atmosphere and Climate
- Cultural Geographies of Nature
- Dawn of Civilisation
- Future Cities
- Geographical Research and Practise
- Geography Dissertation (double, compulsory for single honours, optional for combined honours)
- Independent Study
- The Geographical Imagination (double)
These modules enable you to specialise and also draw upon your knowledge of the three central themes of social and cultural change, environmental management and human origins.
Modules in detail » Module diagrams »
Geographers have undertaken work placements at a variety of NGOs, sometimes as part of their own research projects. These include management support roles with Oxfordshire's Wychwood Volunteers and participation in the International Citizenship Service programme with Operation Raleigh on a community project in India.
The module Independent Study: Work and Community Related Learning provides opportunities for students to develop an academic programme of study alongside work experience, community work or volunteering.
Students organise placements themselves, and are responsible for their own travel and associated costs, therefore it is advised that they organise placements bearing this in mind. Oxfordshire based placements are accessible via public transport - often via the University’s subsidised BROOKESbus service, which is free to bus pass holders. Placements in London will incur higher travel costs; for example, a day return ticket on the Oxford Tube costs £14 (subject to change, for the latest fares see the Oxford Tube website). It is encouraged that students explore opportunities for their placement provider to cover travel costs if they opt for a placement which is not local.
Field work is one of the cornerstones of Geography at Oxford Brookes. We provide a range of opportunities for field investigations in the Oxford region, other parts of Britain and abroad.
During the first two years of your degree, you are introduced to geographical research techniques through practical and field courses. These courses provide training in research design, use of IT, and quantitative and qualitative methods that form the basis of geographical investigations.
You will participate in a number of local field trips in your first year, providing an introduction to aspects of human and environmental geography. In your second year, a one-week residential field course gives you the opportunity to apply your research skills. In your final year, many students undertake independent fieldwork as part of their dissertation. The Expedition module (optional) may also offer opportunities to undertake overseas fieldwork.
Where will I go?
Destinations for the second year compulsory field trip vary from year to year, but in recent years we have visited Malta, Gibraltar and Almeria, Spain.
How much will it cost?
Travel and accommodation for your compulsory field trip in the second year is included within your fees, but you will be responsible for living costs whilst you are away. This cost is dependent on location and exchange rate. You may also be required to contribute towards the cost of any additional trips for optional modules; this can involve responsibility for travel, accommodation, and living costs.
We do not expect students to purchase any compulsory course books, as they are all available in the library. If students wish to purchase additional books to supplement their reading this is at their own discretion.
It is advised that students ensure that they have sensible footwear and a weatherproof jacket for fieldwork.
We encourage our Geography students to go on academic exchange as part of their degree course, both to broaden horizons and to increase understanding of the discipline. You can study for one or two semesters at any approved institution in Europe, the USA, Canada or Australia. We also have a special relationship with the University of Malta. The credits you earn while studying abroad will be transferred to your Oxford Brookes degree course.
Tuition fees are paid as they would
be if you remained in the UK, either to Oxford Brookes via your Student Loan or
directly to Oxford Brookes according to your preference.
You will be responsible for all other
costs such as accommodation, purchasing your airfares, travel and health
insurance and visas.
For more information about exchanges, European work placements and other study abroad programmes, visit our pages on studying abroad and exchanges.
Free language courses for students - the Open Module
Free language courses are available to full-time undergraduate and postgraduate students on many of our courses, and can be taken as a credit on some courses.
Please note that the free language courses are not available if you are:
- studying at a Brookes partner college
- studying on any of our teacher education courses or postgraduate education courses.
Attendance pattern Most formal classes are held between 09:00 and 17:00 during the working week. The main exceptions are formal fieldwork classes, which may also be organised across the weekends.
Research is not just for postgraduates. From your second year onwards we encourage you to become actively involved in research design through both your field work and project work.
In your final year, the dissertation is an extended piece of original research that offers the opportunity to specialise on a geographical topic of your choice; combined honours students may choose to combine both subjects in an interdisciplinary project. There is also an excellent opportunity to write and publish original research in Geoverse, our in-house journal of undergraduate research.
On rare occasions we may need to make changes to our course programmes after they have been published
on the website. For more information, please visit our
Changes to programmes