Geography embraces the study of human societies and their environment, and is one of the few subjects in which human and physical aspects of the environment are integrated. Our flexible degree programme enables students to gain anunderstanding of the major global, regional and local processes that shape our world and the challenges we will face in the future.
Geography Degree highlights
An outstanding reputation for teaching and research - in the QS World Ranking 2018/19, Geography at Queen’s sits in the top 200 of all geography courses around the world.
- There are many exciting opportunities to study abroad, with options to spend one semester or one academic year in Europe, USA, Canada or Australia.
- The BSc Geography degree is accredited by the Royal Geographical Society. This means the programme has been assessed in line with the QAA subject benchmark statement for geography.
- We regularly consult and develop links with a large number of employers including the Northern Ireland Environment Agency, Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland, National Trust and the Geological Survey of Northern Ireland. The employers provide both snapshot advice on their work, as well as run more in-depth advice sessions. We also run a careers seminar programme with guest speakers.
World Class Facilities
- The Geography building houses a modern lecture theatre, a number of adaptable classrooms, the Centre for GIS and Geomatics, a Map Library with vast collections of historic maps, a scientific laboratory for analysing water and sediment samples, and a student resource room.
At Level 2 students have the opportunity to select from a range of international fieldtrips, which currently includes Belgium, Mallorca, and Malta. We also offer a number of domestic fieldtrips within Northern Ireland throughout the three years of the degree.
Introduction Our degree provides fundamental skills and knowledge while allowing students to tailor their degree according to their interests and ambitions. There are three levels, outlined below. Stage 1 Students must take four core modules within Geography, which normally comprises:
• Dynamic Earth
• Human Geographies of the Modern World
• Processes and Principles of Physical Geography
• Spaces of Development
Students must then take a further two modules (or a single double-weighted module) from outside Geography.
Students typically choose modules offered by Anthropology, Archaeology-Palaeoecology, Biological Sciences, Planning, and Politics.
Stage 2 Students must take three core modules, which normally comprises:
• Contemporary Approaches to Geographical Enquiry
• Geographical Research Skills
• Landscapes and Geographical Information (GIS)
Students must then take a further three modules. Typical options (which occasionally vary slightly from year to year) include:
• Cultural and Political Geography
• Geographies of Economic Restructuring and Social Change
• Global Environmental Change
• International Fieldwork (select between Belgium, Mallorca and Malta)
• Sustaining the Biosphere
Stage 3 Students must take one (double-weighted) core module, selecting between:
• Geography at Work
• Geography Dissertation
Students must then take a further four modules. Typical options (which vary from year to year) include:
• Advanced Geographical Information Systems (GIS)
• Arid Environments
• Climate Change
• Coastal Environments
• Environmental Geopolitics
• Geographies of Contested Territories
• Geographies of Ethnicity
• Geographies of Global Finance
• Geography of War and Public Memory
• Geography, Science and Society
• Maps and Mapping
• Sea Level Change: Past, Present, and Future
• Spaces of Urbanisation
• Volcanoes: Environmental and Societal Impacts
People teaching youDr Donal Mullan
Director of Undergraduate Programmes in Geography
Natural and Built Environment
Donal is a lecturer in physical geography specialising in the development of regional and site-specific future climate change scenarios.
Contact Teaching Times
Large Group Teaching 6 (hours maximum)
Lectures per week
Medium Group Teaching 2 (hours maximum)
2 seminars, workshops, practical classes, laboratory sessions or field work per week
Personal Study 30 (hours maximum)
studying and revising in your own time each week, including preparing for tutorials and seminars, working on assignments, group project work and self-guided study using handouts / online support
Small Group Teaching/Personal Tutorial 1 (hours maximum)
Tutorials (or in final year, project supervision) per week
Learning and Teaching
At Queen’s, we aim to deliver a high quality learning environment that embeds intellectual curiosity, innovation and best practice in learning, teaching and students support to enable student to achieve their full academic potential.
Within Geography we do this by providing a range of learning experiences which enable our students to engage with subject experts, develop attributes and perspectives that will equip them for life and work in a global society and make use of innovative technologies and a world class library that enhances their development as independent, lifelong learners. Examples of the opportunities provided for learning on this course are:
- E-Learning technologies
Information associated with lectures and assignments is often communicated via a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). A range of e-learning experiences are also embedded in the degree through, for example: interactive group workshops in a flexible learning space; IT and statistics modules; podcasts and interactive web-based learning activities; opportunities to use IT programmes associated with design in practicals and project- based work.
Introduce basic information about new topics as a starting point for further self-directed private study/reading. Lectures also provide opportunities to ask questions, gain some feedback and advice on assessments (normally delivered in large groups to all year group peers).
- Personal Tutor
Students are allocated a Personal Tutor who meets with them on several occasions during the year to support their academic development.
Students will have opportunities to develop technical skills and apply theoretical principles to real-life or practical contexts. Many Geographic Information Systems and Physical Geography modules have associated practical classes, ranging from 3 to 9 hours study per week, depending on the module content.
- Self-directed study
This is an essential part of life as a Queen’s student when important private reading, engagement with e-learning resources, reflection on feedback to date and assignment research and preparation work is carried out.
Significant amounts of teaching are carried out in small groups (typically 10-20 students). These provide an opportunity for students to engage with academic staff who have specialist knowledge of the topic, to ask questions of them and to assess their own progress and understanding with the support of peers. Students should also expect to make presentations and other contributions to these groups.
- Supervised projects
In final year, students will be expected to carry out a significant piece of research on a topic or practical methodology that they have chosen. They will receive support from a supervisor who will guide them in terms of how to carry out research and who will provide feedback on a number of occasions during the write up stage.
- Work placements and Field Classes
Students taking ‘Geography at Work’ undertake a work-placement during Level 3. This module provides significant learning and employability enhancement opportunities.
During level 2, field classes take place in destinations that currently include Belgium, Mallorca and Malta. Shorter field classes are also embedded in a number of optional modules at different levels.
Details of assessments associated with this course are outlined below:
- The way in which students are assessed will vary according to the Learning objectives of each module. Some modules are assessed solely through project work or written assignments. Others are assessed through a combination of coursework and end of semester examinations. Details of how each module is assessed are shown in the Student Handbook which is provided to all students during their first year induction.
As students progress through their course at Queen’s they will receive general and specific feedback about their work from a variety of sources including lecturers, module co-ordinators, placement supervisors, personal tutors, advisors of study, and peers. University students are expected to engage with reflective practice and to use this approach to improve the quality of their work. Feedback may be provided in a variety of forms including:
- Feedback provided via formal written comments and marks relating to work that students, as individuals or as part of a group, have submitted.
- Face to face comment. This may include occasions when students make use of the lecturers’ advertised “office hours” to help address a specific query.
- Placement employer comments or references.
- Online or emailed comment.
- General comments or question and answer opportunities at the end of a lecture, seminar or tutorial.
- Pre-submission advice regarding the standards you should aim for and common pitfalls to avoid. In some instances, this may be provided in the form of model answers or exemplars which students can review in their own time.
- Feedback and outcomes from practical classes.
- Comment and guidance provided by staff from specialist support services such as, Careers, Employability and Skills or the Learning Development Service.
- Once students have reviewed their feedback, they are encouraged to identify and implement further improvements to the quality of their work.
- E-Learning technologies
In addition, to the entrance requirements above, it is essential that you read our guidance below on 'How we choose our students' prior to submitting your UCAS application.
Applications are dealt with centrally by the Admissions and Access Service rather than by the School of Natural and Built Environment. Once your on-line form has been processed by UCAS and forwarded to Queen's, an acknowledgement is normally sent within two weeks of its receipt at the University.
Selection is on the basis of the information provided on your UCAS form. Decisions are made on an ongoing basis and will be notified to you via UCAS.
For entry last year, applicants for this degree must have had, or been able to achieve, a minimum of five GCSE passes at grade C/4 or better (to include English Language and Mathematics), though this profile may change from year to year depending on the demand for places. The Selector also checks that any specific entry requirements in terms of GCSE and/or A-level subjects can be fulfilled.
Offers are normally made on the basis of three A-levels. Two subjects at A-level plus two at AS would also be considered. The minimum acceptable is two subjects at A-level plus one at AS though applicants offering this combination will be considered on an individual basis depending on the degree for which they have applied. The offer for repeat candidates may be one grade higher than for first time applicants. Grades may be held from the previous year.
Applicants offering two A-levels and one BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/National Extended Certificate (or equivalent qualification), or one A-level and a BTEC Diploma/National Diploma (or equivalent qualification) will also be considered. Offers will be made in terms of performance in individual BTEC units rather than the overall BTEC grade(s) awarded. Please note that a maximum of one BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/National Extended Certificate (or equivalent) will be counted as part of an applicant’s portfolio of qualifications. The normal GCSE profile will be expected and any subject requirements must be met.
Applicants offering other qualifications will also be considered. The same GCSE (or equivalent) profile is usually expected of those applicants offering other qualifications.
Those offering a relevant Higher National Certificate (HNC) or Diploma (HND) are considered individually on their own merits for entry to Stage 1. For applicants offering a HNC, the current requirements are successful completion of the HNC with 1 Distinction and remainder Merits. For those offering a HND, at least at least one first year unit must be at Merit grade. Where offers are made students would be expected to achieve Merits in all units assessed in final year. For those offering a HNC or HND, some flexibility may be allowed in terms of GCSE profile.
The information provided in the personal statement section and the academic reference together with predicted grades are noted but, in the case of degree courses in the School of Natural and Built Environment, these are not the final deciding factors in whether or not a conditional offer can be made. However, they may be reconsidered in a tie break situation in August.
A-level General Studies and A-level Critical Thinking would not normally be considered as part of a three A-level offer and, although they may be excluded where an applicant is taking four A-level subjects, the grade achieved could be taken into account if necessary in August/September.
Applicants are not normally asked to attend for interview.
If you are made an offer then you may be invited to a Faculty/School Visit Day, which is usually held in the second semester. This will allow you the opportunity to visit the University and to find out more about the degree programme of your choice and the facilities on offer. It also gives you a flavour of the academic and social life at Queen's.
If you cannot find the information you need here, please contact the University Admissions and Access Service (firstname.lastname@example.org), giving full details of your qualifications and educational background.
For information on international qualification equivalents, please check the specific information for your country.
English Language Requirements
An IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in each test component or an equivalent acceptable qualification, details of which are available at: http://go.qub.ac.uk/EnglishLanguageReqs
If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this degree programme, INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for admission to this degree.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we will be offering Academic English and Pre-sessional courses online only from June to September 2020.
- Academic English: an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level
- Pre-sessional English: a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English.
International Students - Foundation and International Year One Programmes
INTO Queen's offers a range of academic and English language programmes to help prepare international students for undergraduate study at Queen's University. You will learn from experienced teachers in a dedicated international study centre on campus, and will have full access to the University's world-class facilities.
These programmes are designed for international students who do not meet the required academic and English language requirements for direct entry.
The INTO progression course suited to this programme is
INTO - English Language Course(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)
Studying for a Geography degree at Queen’s develops core skills and employment-related experiences that are valued by employers, professional organisations and academic institutions.
Some graduates pursue careers in geography-related areas such as urban and rural planning, environmental conservation and management, careers in GIScience and teaching. A significant number develop careers in a wide range of other sectors, eg management, marketing, NGOs, financial services, the civil service (especially land and property, environment, and development agencies), computing (especially using geographic data), and various graduate programmes.
We regularly consult and develop links with a large number of employers including the Northern Ireland Environment Agency, Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland, the National Trust, Land and Property Services and the Geological Survey of NI (GSNI), who provide advice on our programmes and in-depth careers sessions on their work.
We have embedded a careers programme within our personal tutoring system. There will also be the opportunity to learn from employers on career opportunities, support in building your CV, and practice in applying and interviewing for graduate-level jobs.
We regularly consult and develop links with a large number of employers including the Northern Ireland Environment Agency, Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland, National Trust, and the Geological Survey of Northern Ireland. The employers provide both snapshot advice on their work, as well as run more in-depth advice sessions. We also run a careers seminar programme with guest speakers.
Additional Awards Gained(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)
Prizes and Awards(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)
Degree plus award for extra-curricular skills
In addition to your degree programme, at Queen's you can have the opportunity to gain wider life, academic and employability skills. For example, placements, voluntary work, clubs, societies, sports and lots more. So not only do you graduate with a degree recognised from a world leading university, you'll have practical national and international experience plus a wider exposure to life overall. We call this Degree Plus. It's what makes studying at Queen's University Belfast special.
Fees and Funding
Northern Ireland (NI) £4,395 England, Scotland or Wales (GB) £9,250 Other (non-UK) EU * £4,395 International £20,800
Tuition fee rates are calculated based on a student’s tuition fee status and generally increase annually by inflation. How tuition fees are determined is set out in the Student Finance Framework.
* The tuition fees that EU students starting courses at UK universities following the agreed transition period are required to pay will depend on what is agreed as part of the UK's exit negotiations. Please refer to www.qub.ac.uk/brexit-advice/information-for-students
Additional course costs
Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies.
Students can borrow books and access online learning resources from any Queen's library.
If students wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow them from the University Library, prices per text can range from £30 to £100. A programme may have up to 6 modules per year, each with a recommended text.
Students should also budget between £30 to £75 per year for photocopying, memory sticks and printing charges.
Students undertaking a period of work placement or study abroad, as either a compulsory or optional part of their programme, should be aware that they will have to fund additional travel and living costs.
If a final year includes a major project or dissertation, there may be costs associated with transport, accommodation and/or materials. The amount will depend on the project chosen. There may also be additional costs for printing and binding.
Students may wish to consider purchasing an electronic device; costs will vary depending on the specification of the model chosen.
There are also additional charges for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.
In Year 2 students have an opportunity to take an optional field-based module. Currently field-based modules are offered in aspects of physical geography (Belgium), human geography (Malta) and the integration of both aspects of the subject (Mallorca). These modules include a period of residential field work overseas. Students who enrol in these modules are liable to pay additional costs to cover flights, accommodation and local transport. The cost is typically between £400-500.
How do I fund my study?
There are different tuition fee and student financial support arrangements for students from Northern Ireland, those from England, Scotland and Wales (Great Britain), and those from the rest of the European Union.
Information on funding options and financial assistance for undergraduate students is available at http://www.qub.ac.uk/Study/Undergraduate/Fees-and-scholarships/.
Each year, we offer a range of scholarships and prizes for new students. Information on scholarships available.
Information on scholarships for international students, is available at http://www.qub.ac.uk/International/International-students/International-scholarships/.
How and when to Apply
How to Apply
Application for admission to full-time undergraduate and sandwich courses at the University should normally be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Full information can be obtained from the UCAS website at: www.ucas.com/students.
When to Apply
UCAS will start processing applications for entry in autumn 2020 from 1 September 2019.
Advisory closing date: 15 January 2020 (18:00). This is the 'equal consideration' deadline for this course.
Applications from UK and EU students after this date are, in practice, considered by Queen’s for entry to this course throughout the remainder of the application cycle (30 June 2020) subject to the availability of places.
Applications from International (non-UK/EU) students are normally considered by Queen’s for entry to this course until 30 June 2020. If you apply for 2020 entry after this deadline, you will automatically be entered into Clearing.
Applicants are encouraged to apply as early as is consistent with having made a careful and considered choice of institutions and courses.
The Institution code name for Queen's is QBELF and the institution code is Q75.
Further information on applying to study at Queen's is available at: http://www.qub.ac.uk/Study/Undergraduate/How-to-apply/
Terms and Conditions
The terms and conditions that apply when you accept an offer of a place at the University on a taught programme of study. Queen's University Belfast Terms and Conditions.
Additional Information for International (non-EU) Students
- Applying through UCAS
Most students make their applications through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) for full-time undergraduate degree programmes at Queen's. The UCAS application deadline for international students is 30 June 2020.
- Applying direct
The Direct Entry Application form is to be used by international applicants who wish to apply directly, and only, to Queen's or who have been asked to provide information in advance of submitting a formal UCAS application. Find out more.
- Applying through agents and partners
The University’s in-country representatives can assist you to submit a UCAS application or a direct application. Please consult the Agent List to find an agent in your country who will help you with your application to Queen’s University.
Fees and Funding
- Applying through UCAS