Undergraduate BSc (Hons)

Geography with Foundation Year

School of Environment & Life Sciences

Full-time

Part-time

With placement

Attendance

Four year

Eight year

Five year

Course

September 2019

Next enrolment
Introduction

In a nutshell

This course will provide you with a strong foundation in geography, allowing you to develop your skills and progress onto the BSc (Hons) Geography degree.

During the BSc (Hons) Geography with a Foundation Year you will study modules that will help to increase your knowledge and understanding of the social and natural sciences necessary for understanding contemporary environmental issues. You will also benefit from taking part in free field trip opportunities, where you will develop and practice your field skills.

Learn about climate change and its effect on people and places; glaciers and the impacts on water resources around the globe; relationships between changing urban environments and quality of life; relationships between fluvial processes, river restoration and management strategies; computer-based mapping and modelling using Geographical Information Systems and Science (GIS) and remote sensing techniques; and critical evaluation of policy and research.

You will:
  • Gain a broad, basic knowledge of geographical principles to prepare you for more advanced study of geography
  • Develop and practice your field skills on a number of free field trips
  • Increase your knowledge and understanding of the social and natural sciences necessary for understanding contemporary environmental issues
Placement

options available

Course accreditations
Royal Geographical Society accreditation logo

This is for you if...

1.

You are returning to education or seeking to develop your career in a new direction

2.

You want to increase your knowledge and understanding of the social and natural sciences

3.

You didn't meet the entry requirements for the BSc (Hons) Geography

Course details

All about the course

Fieldwork is a key element of this course and trips are aligned with the specialist modules, allowing you to develop applied skills and gain practical experience. You may go on day trips to the Peak District, the Yorkshire Dales, and cities such as Sheffield and Liverpool. Residential field trips take place in the UK and the European Alps. You will only pay a modest non-refundable deposit for field courses, which are otherwise 100% subsidised by the university.

Small group teaching is a key benefit of this course and there are strong links between course content and staff research interests. Study and IT skills are embedded in this programme, as is the use of computing facilities for data handling and Geographical Information Systems and Science (GIS) for environmental mapping and modelling.

Foundation year

Environmental Conservation

Understand key ecological concepts, explore biogeography, appraise conservation techniques and consider priorities and issues in management of habitats and wildlife.

Earth Processes

Explore the interactions of earth processes, geological structures and environmental functions, the use of resources e.g. fossil fuels including fracking and consider the differential impacts of a range of geological hazards – earthquakes, volcanic activity and rising sea levels.

Data Handling

Develop skills for application of statistical and mathematical methods and practise using Information Technology for effective presentation and communication of data and ideas.

Professional Communications

Develop life-long learning skills including techniques for self-assessment and reflection, written and verbal communication skills for meetings, debates and presentations.

Choose two modules from

Chemical Principles

You'll start to understand the significance of the structure of atoms, their classification in the periodic table, chemical reactions and bonding to form organic and inorganic molecules and the importance of pH.

Science for Health

Evaluate a range of environmental and scientific factors that interact to influence health – e.g. pollution, nutrition, drug development and consider examples of environmental interventions and clinical trials.

Scientific Methods

Take a hands-on approach to develop biological and chemical laboratory skills, practise environmental and fieldwork techniques, and apply scientific knowledge in the interpretation of results of experiments and surveys.

Biological Principles

Explore the characteristics of plant and animal cells which are the building blocks of all life forms; their interactions with micro and macro environments, and learn about the diversity of animal and plant life in a range of ecosystems.

Year one

Sustainability and Environment

You will examine sustainability at local, national and global scales and explore a range of case studies. Sustainability is a concept that cuts across disciplines and provides a framework for managing environmental issues. Project work will allow you apply your knowledge of the principles of sustainable development to assess and classify real-world problems and suggest solutions.

Earth Surface Processes

This module provides a broad introduction to the physical processes that take place within the geosphere and biosphere, focusing on those linked to the nature of landforms, global ecosystems and environmental change. You will develop a sound understanding of the inter-relationships between physical environmental processes and human activity, including natural hazards, climate change and biodiversity.

People, Place and Space

This module examines the role of people in shaping the human environment and focuses on key concepts such as place, power, scale and networks. You will learn about how the shape and form of cities is influenced by social and political issues, and how new technologies are changing the nature of human interactions in cities, states and across the world.

Environmental Resources

Environmental resources include food, energy and water, and spatial and temporal variation in the availability of these resources is arguably the most important issue for society in the twenty first century. This module introduces energy and water resources as fundamental concepts and examines current problems related to climate change, food security and pollution.

Applied Skills and Field Course

The first part of this module provides you with the applied skills to manage and analyse data using descriptive statistics, inference, graphs, hypothesis testing, and correlation and regression. It also introduces information searching and retrieving skills, data presentation and report writing. The second part of the module involves a residential field course in the UK where you will collect, analyse and present data to put into practice what you have learned.

Academic Tutorial

You take a weekly one hour tutorial with a member of academic staff in a group of 6-8 students. The module develops your academic skills and helps you develop your personal and professional skills for study and for work. You will work on a range of geographical/environmental management problems linked to the core first year modules The tutorials involve discussion, debate, and problem-solving, and provide you with a regular forum for monitoring your progress.

Year two

Consultancy Project

This innovative module supports the development of personal and professional skills. You will carry out a group-based project for an external client and learn about team work, project planning and time management. You will work with an academic advisor to write a project plan, allocate tasks to the team, carry out an investigation, and report the results to a client.

Physical Environments International Field course

This module will provide you with experience of fieldwork in an environment in an international location that is relevant to one or more thematic themes being studied. You will apply data collection and observation techniques learned in Semester 1 (on applied skills’ modules) in the field in relevant locations.

Geographical Information Systems and Science

This module introduces the theory and practice of acquiring environmental data using global positioning systems, aerial photography and satellite remote sensing. It develops practical skills in the use of geographical information systems (GIS) that can be deployed in projects, dissertations and work. The module promotes hands-on learning, using state-of-the-art mapping software and mapping technologies.

Research Methods

This module equips with you with the range of research skills relevant for further study and the workplace, and prepares you for your Dissertation in final year. You will learn about the research process, the nature of scientific writing, research design, risk assessment and ethical considerations, and how to write a research proposal. The work is supported by fortnightly, small-group tutorials with a member of academic staff.

Choose one option from

Applied Environmental Skills (Geography)

This module will provide you with the opportunity to critically evaluate applied environmental science concepts, practical methodologies and complex scientific issues using a range of primary and secondary information sources. The lecture sessions will assist detailed knowledge development and understanding of key multi-disciplinary issues in the forefront of environmental sciences.

Fluvial and Glacial Systems

This module introduces the concepts and theories that underpin fluvial and glacial systems including hill slope processes, fluvial network development and glacial teleconnections. You will explore the stability characteristics of fluvial systems in UK-based fieldwork and the hydrological and geochemical properties of rivers in Alpine environments in the Fieldwork module.

University Wide Language

Courses are available in: Arabic, German, French, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese and Spanish.

Choose one option from

Economic Geography

In this module you will examine the connections between the global economy, and society and environment, in the developed and developing worlds. The scale of study is from local to global and the work involves coursework based on a 'dragon's den' activity where you will work on a project in a group, and the pitch and report your findings to a panel of experts.

Monitoring Environmental Change

This module combines fieldwork, laboratory analysis, and computer-based mapping and modelling, to explore ways to monitor environmental change in a range of environments. It covers both biotic and abiotic targets and critically examines the nature, quality and reliability of environmental data.

University Wide Language

Courses are available in: Arabic, German, French, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese and Spanish.

Year three

Dissertation (40 credits)

The Dissertation is a key feature of the course providing you with an opportunity to undertake a challenging independent research project with guidance of a member of academic staff. Your research topic is defined in second year and in third year you focus on data analysis, data interpretation and report writing. The module fine-tunes your research skills and provides you with a wide range of skills that may deployed in further study or the workplace.

Choose two options from

Environmental Remote Sensing

This module will develop your understanding of the principles of remote sensing and the issues associated with applying remote sensing data to solve real-world problems. It will expose you to a range of remotely sensed data and help you to develop a clear understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of methodologies that employ such data.

Development and Global Challenges

In the first part of the module, we will critically engage with the evolution of development theories and approaches and their relationship with wider global phenomena such as colonialism and globalisation. In the second part, we will understand the concept of sustainable development and investigate a range of global challenges such as food security, poverty, inequality, migration, water supply, energy security and climate change. The module will draw upon a range of diverse case studies from the global south and the global north and will allow you to focus more in depth in the study of one of the indicated global challenges.  

Modelling Environmental Systems

This module is designed to develop your skills in understanding and creating models of the environment. The module will introduce the concepts about how models of the environment are created, the different types of models that exist and how they are formulated. You will also learn how to create models using a range of programming and coding techniques (including R, Python and Matlab). The module will start from first principles, so there is no requirement to have any prior knowledge of programming.

University Wide Language

Courses are available in: Arabic, German, French, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese and Spanish.

River Restoration and Management

You will learn about the relationships between fluvial processes and river restoration and management strategies. Underpinning theory on river hydromorphology, fluvial geomorphology, and sediment processes provides a sound basis for evaluating the success of different river engineering strategies. Field work in UK rivers provides practical experience of the impacts of river management, and an appreciation of the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches.

Sustainable Cities

Overall, Sustainable Cities is a broad module covering a wide variety of topics, allowing you to focus on elements relevant to your specific field of study. This module will engage with a host of ideas and concepts, from urban agriculture, which involves farming in cities, to methods for greening cities and the role of key actors in managing these spaces. Semester two focuses on the rise of megacities, with a specific focus on the social and environmental issues present in such complex environments; it builds on the themes from semester one and enables you to focus on a topic which is of interest to you.

Environmental Decision Making Systems

This module examines the role of decision-making in the management of natural resources and ecosystem services. You will investigate the role of environmental modelling in supporting environmental decision-making and assess the effectiveness of decision-making tools including Environmental Impact Assessment, hazard and risk analysis, and life-cycle analysis.

Applied Freshwater Biology

This module aims to enable you to gain a knowledge and critical understanding of the biology and ecology of freshwater systems relevant to the water industry and related organisations which regulate and control pollution of the aquatic environment.

It also provides you with the necessary skills and techniques to undertake biological and chemical evaluation of water quality ecology, fish population and condition to apply these in novel situations to generate data for interpretation. In particular, you will be provided with the necessary laboratory skills to test water quality to the standards of the Water Framework Directive UK.

University Wide Language

Courses are available in: Arabic, German, French, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese and Spanish.

Please note that it may not be possible to deliver the full list of options every year as this will depend on factors such as how many students choose a particular option. Exact modules may also vary in order to keep content current. When accepting your offer of a place to study on this programme, you should be aware that not all optional modules will be running each year. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the available options on or before the start of the programme. Whilst the University tries to ensure that you are able to undertake your preferred options, it cannot guarantee this.

What will I be doing?

Teaching

Teaching is through a combination of lectures, fieldwork , tutorials, practical classes, computer based learning, project work and assignments.

Assessments

Assessments will be based on a combination of examinations and continuous assessment. This will include field reports, reflective diaries, essays, problem-solving exercises, data analysis, seminars, and research projects, and will involve a mixture of group and individual work.

School overview

Our School is renowned for the quality of its teaching and research, and is supported by over 80 academic staff at the forefront of their specialisms. Our expanding suite of programmes cover geography and environmental management (GEM), wildlife, biology, chemistry, disease ecology and biomedical sciences and we work closely with our partners to ensure course content develops the skills that employers are looking for.

We have recently been presented with a ‘Bronze Award’ from the Equality Challenge Unit’s (ECU) Athena SWAN Charter for our commitment to gender equality.

If you are looking for a vibrant, welcoming and highly professional environment in which you can realise your potential, the School of Environment and Life Sciences at the University of Salford offers you a world of opportunities.

Our facilities

We have recently invested in the development of a new, state-of-the-art, integrated teaching laboratory known as the Bodmer Lab. The Bodmer Lab is a specialist, purpose built facility and ensures our students benefit from the latest technologies to support their learning and remain on the cutting edge of innovation and discovery.

Employment and stats

What about after uni?

Salford geography graduates have gone on to work in environmental consultancies, utility companies, transport logistics, housing organisations, and have pursued careers in primary and secondary teaching. Others have gone on to take Masters or PhD degrees in a geographical discipline.

A taste of what you could become

A cartographer

A surveyor

An environmental consultant

A planning surveyor

A town planner

And more...

Career Links

Links with industry

This course includes modules that allow you to work with external agencies including companies, research organisations and voluntary groups. Specific modules where you will work directly with external organisation are the Consultancy Project in the second year, where you work exclusively with real world organisations to solve real world problems; the GIS modules in the second and third year, where you will work with an international company involved in providing digital mapping; and the River Restoration and Management module, where you will work with a range of external agencies and consultancies on real world projects.

Placement opportunities

We encourage all students to undertake a placement year between years two and three of study. Placement years are arranged by the student with our support.

Further study
  • MSc Geographical Information Systems
  • MSc Environmental Assessment and Management
  • MSc Environmental Modelling
Requirements

What you need to know

Applicant profile

We welcome those coming from school or college, with or without an A level in Geography but with interests in geography and a passion for fieldwork.  We also welcome those returning to education, either via Access qualifications or by taking the foundation year route.

English language requirements

International applicants will be required to show a proficiency in English. An IELTS score of 6.0 (no element below 5.5) is proof of this. If you need to improve your written and spoken English, you might be interested in our English language courses.

Standard entry requirements

GCSE

English language and mathematics at grade C or grade 4 and above

You must fulfil our GCSE entry requirements as well as one of the requirements listed below.

UCAS tariff points

64 points

GCE A level

64

BTEC National Diploma

MPP

Scottish Highers

64 points from Higher Level

Irish Leaving Certificate

64 points from Higher Level

Access to Higher Education

64 points

European Baccalaureate

Completion of two full years study and an awarded qualification

Alternative entry requirements

Salford Alternative Entry System (SAES)

We welcome applications from students who may not meet the stated entry criteria but who can demonstrate their ability to pursue the course successfully. Once we have received your application we will assess it and recommend it for SAES if you are an eligible candidate.

There are two different routes through the Salford Alternative Entry Scheme and applicants will be directed to the one appropriate for their course. Assessment will either be through a review of prior learning or through a formal test.

How much?

Type of study Year Fees
Full-time home/EU 2019 £8,250 for Foundation Year and £9,250 for subsequent years.
Part-time 2019 Your annual fee will be calculated pro rata to the full-time fee according to the number of credits you are studying.
Additional costs

All field trips are funded by the school but you may need to consider additional costs such as food and spending money. 

International field trips that are part of core modules are also funded by the school but you will need to pay towards international field trips that are part of optional modules (although these are subsidised by the school) and you will be made aware of these costs before selecting the module. 

You should also consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.

Apply now

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Enrolment dates

September 2019

September 2020

UCAS information

Course ID F817

Institution S03