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 an understanding of the major global, regional and local processes that shape our world and the challenges we will face in the future.
Geography Degree highlights
- There are many exciting opportunities to study abroad, with options to spend one semester or one academic year in continental Europe, the USA, Canada or Australia.
Our international field trips allow students to study geography in unique places such as Malta, Mallorca and Belgium.
- 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 maintain links with a large number of employers including the NI Environment Agency, Ordnance Survey, National Trust and the Geological Survey of NI.
Students have the opportunity to take project-based placements with local and national employers such as Belfast City Council and Habitat for Humanity.
- We offer a designated ‘Geography and Employability’ module that is run in collaboration with QUB’s Careers, Employability and Skills directorate. This includes employer workshops, job application skills development, and one-to-one meetings with tutors and careers professionals.
World Class Facilities
- .The Elmwood Building, home of Geography at Queen’s, houses a modern lecture theatre, adaptable teaching spaces, the Centre for GIS and Geomatics, an extensive Map Library, the GeoArc Laboratory for analysing water and sediment samples, and a student resource room.
Internationally Renowned Experts
- Geography at Queen’s is home to a community of world- leading experts in geographical research, including in Environmental Science, Climate Change, Cultural and Historical Geography, Geopolitics, GIS and Population Geography.
- Field Trips
Second-year students have the opportunity to select from a range of international fieldtrips, which currently includes ‘Managing Environmental Issues & Natural Hazards’ (Belgium), ‘Exploring Dynamic Environments’ (Mallorca), ‘Space, Culture and Mobility’ (Malta) and ‘Urban Landscapes’ (Belgium).
We also offer a number of domestic fieldtrips throughout the degree programme, such as to Scrabo (Newtonards) and Mount Stewart (Co. Down). Geography
Students are encouraged to join the Geography Society, which hosts social events throughout the academic year
Students are invited to contribute to, and join the editorial team, of our in-house student journal The Graticule
- There are many exciting opportunities to study abroad, with options to spend one semester or one academic year in continental Europe, the USA, Canada or Australia.
Introduction Our degree provides fundamental skills and knowledge while allowing students to tailor their degree according to their interests and ambitions. Year 1 Students must take four core modules within Geography:
• Human Geography: Society, Power and Culture
• Physical Geography: Earth, Fire and Ice
• Human Geography: Society, Economy and Population
• Physical Geography: Earth, Wind and Water
Students must then take a further two modules from outside Geography, typically from Anthropology, Archaeology and Palaeoecology, Biological Sciences, Planning, and Politics.
Year 2 Students must take three core modules:
• Contemporary Approaches to Geographical Enquiry
• Geographical Research Skills
• Landscapes and Geographical Information Systems (GIS)
Students must then take a further three modules. Typical options include:
• Cultural and Political Geography
• Geographies of Economic Restructuring and Social Change
• Global Environmental Change
• International Fieldwork (select from Belgium, Mallorca and Malta)
Students may alternatively select two of the above optional modules and select up to one module from outside Geography.
Year 3 Students must take one (double-weighted) core module, selecting from:
• Geography Dissertation
• Geography at Work
Students must then take a further four modules. Typical options (which may vary from year to year) include:
• Advanced GIS
• Climate Change
• Coastal Environments
• Environmental Geopolitics
• Geographies of Contested Territories
• Geographies of Ethnicity
• Geography, Science and Society
• Maps and Mappings
• Sea Level Change: Past, Present, and Future
• Spaces of Urbanisation
• Geographies of Outer Space
People teaching youDr .Oliver Dunnett
Director of Undergraduate Programmes in Geography
Natural and Built EnvironmentDr. Donal Mullan
Dr. Dunnett is a Senior Lecturer in Human Geography specialising in cultural, historical and political geography. His teaching includes introductory human geography (colonialism, landscape, rural geography), cultural geography (utopianism, postcolonialism, moral geographies), the Malta field course, and a third-year optional module on the geographies of outer space.
Senior Lecturer in Physical Geography
Dr. Mullan is a Senior Lecturer in Physical Geography specialising in climate science, specifically in developing future climate scenarios for regions and locations and examining the impacts on a range of natural and socio-economic systems.
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 (including or in final year, project supervision) per week
Learning and Teaching
At Queen’s, we cultivate a high-quality learning environment that embeds intellectual curiosity, innovation and best practice in learning, teaching and student support to enable students to achieve their full academic potential.
Within Geography we do this by providing learning experiences which enable our students to engage with subject experts, while developing attributes and perspectives that enhance their development as independent, lifelong learners.
Examples of the opportunities provided for learning on this course are:
Fieldwork is an essential part of studying geography at Queen’s, learning about unique places through embedded experience. Fieldwork involves specific research skills such as participant observation, survey work and interacting with local people. During Year 2, residential field classes take place in Belgium, Mallorca and Malta that focus on either physical geography, human geography, or a combination of both. Shorter field classes are also embedded in a number of optional modules throughout the degree programme.
Lectures are a traditional method of teaching at University, and involve medium-sized or large groups of students, sometimes the entire year-group. As well as providing essential summaries of key concepts and case studies, lectures are intended to provide a spark to intellectual curiosity and to encourage independent research through recommended reading. They typically include interactive and multimedia elements such as short reflective activities, audio-visual content and presentations of up-to-date scientific data. Our state-of-the-art Elmwood Lecture Theatre is the home of lectures in Geography at Queen’s.
Our virtual learning environment, Canvas, is where tutors provide subject-specific material and interactive content to support the learning objectives of each module. This includes lecture slides, reading lists and assessment briefings, and is the hub for module announcements and discussion forums. MS Teams is our video-conferencing software, and can be used for remote student supervisions, other virtual meetings and group-work. These platforms have allowed us to move our degree programmes online when needed during the pandemic, as well as providing new opportunities for online collaborative learning.
Practicals are an important part of a wide range of geography modules. Here, students develop their technical and observational skills in our range of laboratories and teaching suites. This includes the use of ArcGIS software in our designated GIS Laboratory, the use of specialist scientific equipment in our newly-renovated GeoArc Teaching Laboratory, and the analysis of historic OS maps in the Geography Map Library.
- Self-directed study
This is an essential part of life as a Queen’s student, when reading, engaging with online resources, reflecting on feedback, and assignment research and writing is carried out.
- Seminars and academic tutorials
Significant amounts of teaching are carried out in small groups (typically 5-10 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
Students are allocated a Personal Tutor who meets with them on several occasions during the year to support their academic development. This is an important way in which students are taught to improve their core academic skills, as well as being an opportunity for subject-specific discussion and debate in small groups.
- Work placements
Students taking ‘Geography at Work’ undertake a work-placement during Year 3. This module provides significant learning and employability enhancement opportunities.
Details of assessments associated with this course are outlined below:
- The ways in which students are assessed varies 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-term 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 receive general and specific feedback about their work from lecturers, module co-ordinators, personal tutors, advisors of study, and peers. Students are expected to engage with reflective practice to improve the quality of their work. Feedback may be provided in a variety of forms including:
- Formal written feedback (both summative and specific in-text commentary) and marks relating to work submitted for assessment. All feedback on formal assignments includes ‘three points to improve’ that students can work on for their next assignments.
- Face-to-face comments and discussion in lectures, tutorials, practicals and seminars. Students are encouraged to ask questions and engage with their lecturers during teaching sessions.
- Feedback from personal tutors on students’ overall academic progress, provided through regular personal tutorials
- Pre-submission advice regarding the standards to aim for and common pitfalls to avoid. In some instances, this may be provided in the form of model answers or examples which students can review in their own time.
- Comment and guidance provided by staff from specialist support services such as, Careers, Employability and Skills or the Learning Development Service.
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 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 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 (email@example.com), giving full details of your qualifications and educational background.
Our country/region pages include information on entry requirements, tuition fees, scholarships, student profiles, upcoming events and contacts for your country/region. Use the dropdown list below for specific information for your country/region.
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.
- 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 GIS and teaching. A significant number develop careers in a wide range of other sectors, e.g. 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 NI Environment Agency, Ordnance Survey, 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 offer a designated ‘Geography and Employability’ module that is run in collaboration with QUB’s Careers, Employability and Skills directorate. This includes employer workshops, job application skills development, and one-to-one meetings with tutors and careers professionals.
Additional Awards Gained(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)
Prizes and Awards
Prizes are available for student attainment, e.g. for best academic performance in Year 1. Final-year dissertations of exceptional quality are submitted by supervisors to the research group competitions organised by the Royal Geographical Society.
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
Fees and Funding
Northern Ireland (NI) 1 £4,630 Republic of Ireland (ROI) 2 £4,630 England, Scotland or Wales (GB) 1 £9,250 EU Other 3 £22,000 International £22,000
1 EU citizens in the EU Settlement Scheme, with settled status, will be charged the NI or GB tuition fee based on where they are ordinarily resident. Students who are ROI nationals resident in GB will be charged the GB fee.
2 EU students who are ROI nationals resident in ROI are eligible for NI tuition fees, in line with the Common Travel Agreement arrangements.
3 EU Other students (excludes Republic of Ireland nationals living in GB, NI or ROI) are charged tuition fees in line with international fees.
All tuition fees quoted are for the academic year 2022-23, and relate to a single year of study unless stated otherwise. Tuition fees for 2023 will be updated later in 2022, and will be subject to an annual inflationary increase, unless explicitly stated otherwise.
NI, GB and ROI fees for 2022 entry will be published soon. International fees for 2022 entry can be viewed here: www.qub.ac.uk/International/International-students/International-tuition-fees
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.
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 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 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 2023 from 1 September 2022.
Advisory closing date: 25 January 2023 (18:00). This is the 'equal consideration' deadline for this course.
Applications from UK and EU (Republic of Ireland) 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 2023) subject to the availability of places.
Applications from International and EU (Other) students are normally considered by Queen’s for entry to this course until 30 June 2023. If you apply for 2023 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: 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 2023.
- 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