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Programme Specification for the 2019/0 academic year

BSc (Hons) Geography with Study Abroad

1. Programme Details

Programme nameBSc (Hons) Geography with Study Abroad Programme codeUFS4GOAGOA02
Study mode(s)Full Time
Academic year2019/0
Campus(es)Streatham (Exeter)
NQF Level of the Final Award6 (Honours)

2. Description of the Programme

This version of our popular programme on the Streatham campus will provide you with a broad understanding of geographical processes and the physical environment. It provides you the opportunity to develop your interests and research in physical geography along whilst developing transferable and discipline specific skills. Underpinning theory and core concepts are taught in lectures, seminars and tutorials, whilst computer practicals, fieldwork and lab work allows you to apply this knowledge to real physical geography data.

You will develop a range of skills specific to the geographer as well as a series of cognitive, generic and transferable skills. In compulsory modules of the programme you develop skills such as statistical analysis, learning to code for data analysis, geospatial investigation and mapping through the use of GIS, image analysis of earth observation data and data collection in the field. Training is provided on industry-standard software packages for spatial data analysis which are important skills across all sectors in business, government and science.

The BSc programmes offer the opportunity for you to undertake physical geography research methods, participate in a physical geography field trip, and carry out a physical geography dissertation. These are the key features that distinguish them from the BA Geography programmes.

Studying abroad offers you a fantastic opportunity to expand your educational and cultural experiences. Moreover, research indicates that 64% of employers consider an international experience important for recruitment and report that graduates with an international background are given greater responsibility more frequently. 92% of employers involved in a study conducted in 2014* indicated that they look for skills such as openness to and curiosity about new challenges, problem-solving and decision-making skills, confidence, and tolerance towards other personal values and behaviours. The study revealed that studying abroad had a positive impact on the development of these skills and concluded that the employability and competences of students greatly benefit from mobility.

*European Commission (2014) The Erasmus Impact Study, Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union, 2014

3. Educational Aims of the Programme

The BSc (Hons) Geography with Study Abroad programme is intended to show Geography as a dynamic discipline concerned with processes and patterns in human and natural environments. It aims to provide you with a broad understanding of the complex interrelationships of the physical environment and human society. The programme offers opportunity to develop interests in the discipline and research into the specific aspects of physical geography in which the department has specialised. Through fieldwork in physical geography and other forms of experiential learning, this programme particularly aims to promote curiosity about natural environments, ability to problem solve and critically evaluate and, through a variety of pedagogies, to enable you to develop a range of skills specific to the physical geographer as well as a series of cognitive, generic and transferable skills.

The Study Abroad module will provide you with the opportunity to study some aspects of Geography in a university abroad and to give you an insight into the culture of the host country. 

4. Programme Structure

5. Programme Modules

The following tables describe the programme and constituent modules. Constituent modules may be updated, deleted or replaced as a consequence of the annual programme review of this programme.

You may take optional modules as long as any necessary prerequisites have been satisfied, where the timetable allows and if you have not already taken the module in question or an equivalent module.

You may take elective modules up to 30 credits outside of the programme in each stage of the programme with permission as long as any necessary prerequisites have been satisfied, where the timetable allows and if you have not already taken the module in question or an equivalent module.

You are also permitted to take the five-credit module GEO3910 Professional Development Experience in Stages 2 and 4. Registration on this module is subject to a competitive application process. If taken, this module will not count towards progression or award calculation.

Stage 1

90 credits of compulsory modules, 30 credits of optional modules.

Compulsory Modules

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
GEO1211 Earth System Science: The History of Our Planet 15No
GEO1213 Earth System Science: Our Changing Planet 15No
GEO1310 Geographies of Environment and Sustainability 15No
GEO1311 Study Skills for Physical Geographers 15Yes
GEO1312 Fieldwork in Physical Geography 15No
GEO1316 Concepts in Geography 15No

Optional Modules

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
GeoS S1 Human opt for BSc Geog 2019-0
GEO1105 Geographies of Place, Identity and Culture 15 No
GEO1106 Geographies of Global Change 15 No

Stage 2

a It is compulsory to take a field course in the second year. You must select one field course module from GEO2307B, GEO2307C, GEO2307D, GEO2307E, GEO2307F and GEO2314A.

b You must choose 30-60 credits from the Physical Geography and interdisciplinary Geography modules listed.

c You may then choose 0-30 credits from other level 5 Geography modules listed.

Compulsory Modules


CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
GeoS S2 BSc Geog field courses 2019-0 [See note a above]
GEO2307B Physical Geography Brazil Field Trip 15 No
GEO2307C Physical Geography California Field Trip 15 No
GEO2307E Physical Geography Virtual Field Trip 15 No
GEO2314A Human and Physical Geography Bay of Naples Field Trip 15 No
GEO2307F Physical Geography Slovenia Field Trip 15 No
GEO2320 Applied GIS for Physical Geographers 15No
GEO2331 Research Design in Physical Geography 15No
GEO2332 Numerical Methods for Physical Geographers 15No

Optional Modules

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
GeoS S2 Physical-Inter opt for BSc Geog 2019-0 [See note b above]
GEO2221 Catchment Hydrology and Geomorphology 15 No
GEO2230 Reconstructing Past Environments 15 No
GEO2231 Landscape Dynamics 15 No
GEO2232 The Cryosphere 15 No
GEO2316 Volatile Planet 15 No
GEO2317 Climate Change: Science and Society 15 No
GEO2318 Workplace Learning for Geographers 15 No
GEO2321 Introduction to Remote Sensing 15 No
GeoS S2 Human opt for BSc Geog 2019-0 [See note c above]
GEO2120 Political Geographies 15 No
GEO2133 Global Lives: Multicultural Geographies 15 No
GEO2131 Nature, Development and Justice 15 No
GEO2132 Global Urban Futures 15 No
GEO2134 Everyday Lives 15 No

Stage 3

120 credits of compulsory modules.

For your year abroad you will agree a suite of modules in your host institution with the College Study Abroad Coordinator. Details of individual modules that may be taken whilst abroad can be found by accessing the partner institution’s factfile at and navigating to the “Course Requirements” section of that factfile where a link to the modules on offer in the partner institution is displayed.

Compulsory Modules

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
GEO3601 Study Abroad 120Yes

Stage 4

30-45 credits of compulsory modules, 75-90 credits of optional modules.

d You must choose either GEO3321 or GEO3322.

Compulsory Modules

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
GEO3321 BSc Dissertation [See note d above]45Yes
GEO3322 BSc Dissertation [See note d above]30No

Optional Modules

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
GeoS SF BA-BSc Geog opt 2019-0
GEO3101 Gender and Geography 15 No
GEO3117 Geographies of Rurality 15 No
GEO3121 Cultural Geographies of Landscape 15 No
GEO3123 Geographies of Material Culture 15 No
GEO3126 The Geography of Monsters: Science, Society and Environmental Risk 15 No
GEO3129 Images of the Earth 15 No
GEO3131 Geographies of Creativity, Economy and Society 15 No
GEO3139 Geographies of Technology 15 No
GEO3140 Geographies of Education and Learning 15 No
GEO3142 Geographies of the Body 15 No
GEO3144 Geopolitical Cultures 15 No
GEO3223 Landscape Systems Management 15 No
GEO3224 Tropical Coastal Environments: Geomorphology and Environmental Change 15 No
GEO3225 Climate Change and its Impacts 15 No
GEO3227 Weather 15 No
GEO3232 Peatland Ecosystems 15 No
GEO3239 GIS for Professionals 15 No
GEO3241 Fire Ecology and Fire Management 15 No
GEO3242 Historical, Functional and Conservation Biogeography of Plants 15 No
GEO3243 Ice Sheets and Sea Level 15 No
GEO3244 Neotropical Environmental Change 15 No

6. Programme Outcomes Linked to Teaching, Learning and Assessment Methods

Intended Learning Outcomes
A: Specialised Subject Skills and Knowledge

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)
On successfully completing this programme you will be able to:
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) will be...
...accommodated and facilitated by the following learning and teaching activities (in/out of class):...and evidenced by the following assessment methods:

1. Illustrate the nature of change within human and physical environments.
2. Compare the reciprocal relationships between physical and human environments.
3. Explain the significance of spatial relationships as influences upon human and physical environments.
4. Summarise the diversity and interdependence of places at various spatial scales.

In Stage 1, primarily through tutorials, compulsory modules and through subject-based learning in human geography modules. At Stage 2, through fieldtrips, research training and work-based learning experiences. Implicitly through lectures, seminars and directed study in the context of a variety specific topic-based option modules in all Stages.

ILO 1 Explicitly through coursework and examinations in compulsory modules and throughout other module based assessments in Stages 2 and 4 (depending on options taken).

ILOs 2-3 Much of Stage 1 is explicitly interdisciplinary, as are a number of option modules in Stages 2 and 4. These modules are assessed against student’s understanding about interconnections through essays and exams.

ILO 4 This is assessed in the Stage 2 field course and implicitly through coursework and written examinations associated with topic-based modules.

Intended Learning Outcomes
B: Academic Discipline Core Skills and Knowledge

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)
On successfully completing this programme you will be able to:
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) will be...
...accommodated and facilitated by the following learning and teaching activities (in/out of class):...and evidenced by the following assessment methods:

5. Evaluate the diversity of approaches to the generation of knowledge and understanding deriving from experience of the epistemologies of the natural sciences.
6. Identify geographical concepts in different situations.
7. Apply ideas to new situations and with a systematic approach to accuracy, precision and uncertainty.

Explicitly introduced as a concept in Stage 1 compulsory modules, and later in Stage 2 research training and fieldwork-based modules. Expanded through subject-based learning in optional modules in Stages 2 and 4. Applied by student in independent dissertation.

ILO 5 Coursework in research training modules and fieldwork based modules in Stages 1 and 2 and in the dissertation.

ILO 6 Field class training and through coursework and exams in all modules in all Stages.

ILO 7 Explicitly assessed in project work in Stage 1 and applied and assessed in the dissertation.

Intended Learning Outcomes
C: Personal/Transferable/Employment Skills and Knowledge

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)
On successfully completing this programme you will be able to:
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) will be...
...accommodated and facilitated by the following learning and teaching activities (in/out of class):...and evidenced by the following assessment methods:

8. Evaluate the issues involved in applying research design and execution skills within the specific context of primary research.
9. Evaluate the diversity of specialised approaches to, and techniques of, collecting, analysing and presenting information on the physical environment.
10. Synthesise information and recognise relevance, develop a sustained and reasoned argument, and evaluate and articulate weaknesses in the arguments of others.
11. Communicate ideas, principles and theories effectively and fluently by written, oral and visual means in a manner appropriate to the intended audience.
12. Illustrate and discuss the contested and provisional nature of knowledge and understanding and articulate and communicate teaching/learning methods and strategies.
13. Identify, formulate and evaluate questions or problems, and identify and evaluate approaches to problem-solving.
14. Use C&IT tools effectively and appropriately to select, analyse, present and communicate geographical information, effectively and appropriately interpret and use numerical statistical information, and apply basic and more advanced numerical skills effectively and appropriately to geographical information.

Personal transferable employment skills and knowledge are embedded in all modules. Stage 2 modules are strongly focused towards developing skills for use in the dissertation and in real life situations. Explicitly through directed practical exercises in Stage 1 and 2 research training modules; in field courses in Stages 2 and 4 and in dissertation supervisions in Stage 4. Implicitly through lectures, seminars and directed study in specific topic-based option modules in all Stages. Students have the option of a work-based module. Applied in self-directed dissertation.

ILO 8 Coursework in modules focusing on research training and fieldwork and the dissertation.

ILO 9 Data analysis methods are explicitly assessed in level 4 and 5 research training modules, and implicitly in option modules in all Stages.

ILO 10 Through coursework, essays, projects and exams in all modules in all Stages.

ILO 11 Through coursework, essays, projects and exams in all modules in all Stages.

ILO 12 Through critical writing tasks assessed in a range of modules through Stages 2 and 4 and in the dissertation.

ILO 13 Explicitly through coursework in Stage 1 and 2 research training and fieldwork-based modules and the dissertation.

ILO 14 Explicitly in coursework for research training modules in Stages 1 and 2.

7. Programme Regulations

Programme-specific Progression Rules

To progress to Stage 2 you should normally achieve an average mark of at least 60% in Stage 1, otherwise you will be required to transfer to the three year programme. This is to ensure that only those students who are likely to succeed in their Year Abroad are selected.

The Year Abroad counts as a single 120 credit module and is not condonable; you must pass this module to graduate with the degree title of BSc Geography with Study Abroad. If you fail the Year Abroad module your degree title will be commuted to BSc Geography. You will be assessed by your host university during your academic year abroad with their grades converted back to University of Exeter grades to contribute towards your degree classification. The rules governing failure and referral will be determined by the host institution.


Full details of assessment regulations for all taught programmes can be found in the TQA Manual, specifically in the Credit and Qualifications Framework, and the Assessment, Progression and Awarding: Taught Programmes Handbook. Additional information, including Generic Marking Criteria, can be found in the Learning and Teaching Support Handbook.

8. College Support for Students and Students' Learning

All students in Geography are allocated Personal Tutors who monitor and advise you on your academic progress and performance throughout your degree programme. Each Personal Tutor keeps a record of your performance which culminates in a detailed record of achievement which is used, in addition to formal assessments, to help inform personal references requested by prospective employers. Personal Tutors provide pastoral oversight for non-academic problems (advising students as necessary on the availability of appropriate specialist and professional assistance), and encourage and facilitate Personal Development Planning through use of ePDP.

In addition, you take a compulsory, mainly tutorial-based, 15-credit Level 4 module on ‘Study Skills for Physical Geography’ (GEO1311). This module aims to a) raise your awareness of the role you must yourself play in the learning process, b) facilitate your development as independent learners, and c) direct your acquisition of a range of specialist and generic skills.

You attend University and Discipline Induction courses on arrival, and are given University and Discipline Handbooks, providing information on programmes, the structure of the Geography Discipline, general information, contact numbers, etc. This information is updated through the Discipline’s website and ELE, which also provides a point of access to all learning and teaching materials. Student learning is supported by the Discipline’s ‘Advanced Computing Laboratory’, which provides dedicated support for GIS and other Discipline computing needs. This resource is in addition to a variety of university-level facilities, including the University Library and IT Services.

You can apply to the Myrtle Murray Travel Award for financial support of fieldwork. All teaching staff maintain an ‘open door’ policy to facilitate student access. Staff email addresses are also made available to you to further facilitate staff-student contact. There is also student representation at all levels in the Discipline and programme development takes place with explicit consultation, notably through the Student-Staff Liaison Committee and formal representation of students on the Discipline Education Committee and at the termly Discipline meeting.

The College complies with the University’s Code of Practice on Study and Work Experience Abroad. The name of the member of staff acting as the programme’s Co-ordinator for study abroad is made known to you before you leave Exeter, and this person is responsible for liaison and oversight of your progress during the year abroad. Contact will be maintained with you during your year abroad by regular email communication.

9. University Support for Students and Students' Learning

Please refer to the University Academic Policy and Standards guidelines regarding support for students and students' learning.

10. Admissions Criteria

Undergraduate applicants must satisfy the Undergraduate Admissions Policy of the University of Exeter.

Postgraduate applicants must satisfy the Postgraduate Admissions Policy of the University of Exeter.

Specific requirements required to enrol on this programme are available at the respective Undergraduate or Postgraduate Study Site webpages.

11. Regulation of Assessment and Academic Standards

Each academic programme in the University is subject to an agreed College assessment and marking strategy, underpinned by institution-wide assessment procedures.

The security of assessment and academic standards is further supported through the appointment of External Examiners for each programme. External Examiners have access to draft papers, course work and examination scripts. They are required to attend the Board of Examiners and to provide an annual report. Annual External Examiner reports are monitored at both College and University level. Their responsibilities are described in the University's code of practice. See the University's TQA Manual for details.


12. Indicators of Quality and Standards


13. Methods for Evaluating and Improving Quality and Standards

The University and its constituent Colleges draw on a range of data to review the quality of educational provision. The College documents the performance in each of its taught programmes, against a range of criteria on an annual basis through the Annual Programme Monitoring cycle:

  • Admissions, progression and completion data
  • In Year Analysis data
  • Previous monitoring report
  • Monitoring of core (and optional) modules
  • External examiner's reports and University and College responses (reported to SSLC)
  • Any Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Body/accrediting body or other external reports
  • Consultation with employers and former students
  • Staff evaluation
  • Student evaluation
  • Programme aims

Subject areas are reviewed every four years through a periodic subject review scheme that includes external contributions. (

14. Awarding Institution

University of Exeter

15. Lead College / Teaching Institution

College of Life and Environmental Sciences (CLES)

16. Partner College / Institution

Partner College(s)

Not applicable to this programme

Partner Institution

Not applicable to this programme.

17. Programme Accredited / Validated by


18. Final Award

BSc (Hons) Geography with Study Abroad

19. UCAS Code


20. NQF Level of Final Award

6 (Honours)

21. Credit

CATS credits ECTS credits

22. QAA Subject Benchmarking Group

[Honours] Geography

23. Dates

Origin Date


Date of last revision