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 modules are: Introduction to Human Geography, Geography of the Oxford Region, Introduction to Physical Geography. Single honours students will also take Concepts in Geography and Investigating Geography. You will also be recommended to take a selection of specialist modules, including Sustainability and Development, and Deep History. These courses all involve both individual and group work, and The Geography of the Oxford Region and Investigating Geography involve 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/five compulsory single modules:
- Introduction to Human Geography (Semester 1, single and combined honours)
- Geography of the Oxford Region (Semester 1, single and combined honours)
- Investigating Geography (Semester 1, Single Honours only)
- Introduction to Physical Geography (Semester 2, single and combined honours)
- Concepts in Geography (Semester 2, compulsory for single honours, recommended for combined honours).
Recommended modules include:
- Sustainability and Development
- Deep History
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:
- Carbon Management and Technology: Addressing Climate Change
- Cities: Geographies of the Urban Experience
- Conservation and Heritage Management
- Development and Social Change
- Elvis to Punk: Historical Geographies, 1957-1977
- Environmental Decision Making
- Environmental Hazard Management
- Earth Systems
- Geographical Information Systems
- Human Evolutionary Biology and Geography
- Independent Study: Work and Community Related Learning
- Political Geography: Place and Power.
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
- Oceans and the Marine Environment
- The Making of the American West
- 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.
As a Geography student, You will participate in a number of local field trips in your first year on the module Geogrpahy of the Oxford Region, providing an introduction to aspects of human and environmental geography. Single honours students will participate in a UK-based field course (3-4 days). In your second year, a one-week residential field course for all geography students 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 or Independent Study modules (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 the single honours first year compulsory field trip, and the compulsory field trip for all geography students 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.
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
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