Undergraduate BSc (Hons)


School of Science, Engineering and Environment




With placement


Three year

Six year

Four year

Next enrolment

September 2019

Add to shortlist

In a nutshell

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.

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, Sheffield and Liverpool. In addition there are residential field courses across the UK, abroad in Scandinavia and other international locations.

This course received 100% overall students satisfaction [University of Salford analysis of unpublished NSS 2019 data]

This course is accredited by the Royal Geographical Society.

You will:
  • Learn about climate change, glaciers, fluvial processes and river restoration and how they impact on people and the environment
  • Participate in fieldwork to gain real-world experience
  • Benefit from small group teaching

options available


students accepted

Course accreditations
Royal Geographical Society accreditation logo

This is for you if...


You have an interest in geography and have a passion for fieldwork


You are interested in the scientific aspects of geography


You want the opportunity to go on international residential field courses

Course details

All about the course

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.

You can choose to specialise or take modules across the whole spectrum of geography. If you are interested in specialising in human geography then have a look at our BA Geography programme.


    Year one

    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.

    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.

    Year two

    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.

    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.

    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.      

    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.

    Plus 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.

    Choose two options from

    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 is through a combination of:

    • Lectures
    • Fieldwork
    • Tutorials
    • Practical classes
    • Computer based learning
    • Assignments
    • Project work


    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
    • Research projects

    Assessments will involve a mixture of group and individual work.

    School of Science, Engineering and Environment

    The School of Science, Engineering and Environment aims to transform the quality of life for society and the wellbeing of future generations through a better and more sustainable future. Our research expertise includes the built environment, cancer, data security, dementia, marine conservation, robotics, and sustainability.

    We place our students at the heart of everything we do. With over 200 dedicated academic, technical and administrative members of staff we offer a robust support system for our student community. Our expanding suite of multidisciplinary programmes cover acoustics, architecture, biology, biomedicine, chemical sciences, computing, construction, engineering, environment (built and natural), geography, mathematics, physics, property, robotics, surveying and wildlife.

    If you're looking for a vibrant, welcoming and highly professional environment in which you can realise your potential, the School of Science, Engineering and Environment 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 master's 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

    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.


    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.



    What you need to know


    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.


    International applicants will be required to show a proficiency in English. An IELTS score of 6.0, with 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


    English language and mathematics at grade C or 4 or above

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

    UCAS tariff points

    112 points - Geography preferred but not essential. General Studies is accepted in combination with other A level subjects.

    A level

    112 points - Geography preferred but not essential. General Studies is accepted in combination with other A level subjects.

    BTEC National Diploma


    BTEC Higher National Diploma

    Possible entry to year three

    Foundation Degree

    Possible entry to year three

    Access to HE

    112 points from QAA approved Access to HE Diploma

    Scottish Highers

    112 points - Grade C Maths and English required. If taking GCSEs in English Language and Mathematics to be awarded in 2017 and beyond, in England, a grade 4 will be required.

    Irish Leaving Certificate

    112 points from Higher Level

    European Baccalaureate

    Pass in Diploma of at least 60% including at least one science subject

    International Baccalaureate

    29 points

    Alternative entry requirements

    Salford Alternative Entry Scheme (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 2019/20 £9,250per year
    Full-time international 2019/20 £12,660per year
    Part-time 2019/20 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

    All Set? Let's Apply?

    Enrolment dates

    September 2019

    September 2020

    UCAS information

    Course ID F800

    Institution S03