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Human Geography

L720 BA (Hons) 3 years


Are you keen to specialise in human geography and explore the cultures, economies and societies that make up our world past and present? BA Human Geography gives you the chance to explore a breadth of topics including: globalisation, international development, social justice, cities past, present and future, economy and society; cultures, identities, gender and power, global historical geographies, and Victorian London. Plus, geographies of biomedicine and global health is unique to this programme. We will train you in innovative research methods from visual analysis to interviewing and GIS. Exciting fieldtrips allow you to experience research for yourself and include destinations in the UK as well as India, Ireland and the USA*.

Colombian student Vivian Hughes captured this image in Honduras while working on her dissertationx

Why study human geography at Queen Mary?

  • Join one of the UK’s leading research universities (member of the Russell Group) and receive a globally-recognised degree
  • Explore the world with us on fieldwork in places such as Boston and Los Angeles (USA), Belfast and Dublin (UK and Ireland), Mumbai (India) as well as UK-based fieldwork in your first year including Durham (England) as well as right here in London*
  • Develop analytical techniques using geographical information systems (GIS) to analyse data and build reports
  • Extend your skills and develop your CV by taking up some of our volunteering, work experience or study abroad opportunities and be supported throughout your degree with advice from dedicated geography careers staff
  • Learn from leaders in the discipline – our staff’s research publications were ranked 5th in the UK while the department was ranked 11th overall for its excellence (REF2014). They have acted as advisers too for international organisations including the BBC, CNN, World Bank, UNESCO, Department of Health, HM Treasury and more.
  • Design your own project alongside our experts and develop the skills to become a researcher in your own right
  • Be confident – the majority of our students said they were satisfied overall with their QMUL Geography degree programmes – 96 per cent for our human geographers making us second in London for this score. (National Student Survey 2015).
  • Live in the no.1 city in the UK to be a student; no. 3 in the world based on desirability, academic standards, job prospects and affordability (QS Best Student Cities 2015).
•    Field work destinations and availability can vary year-to-year and also depend on the module combinations you choose


Year 1

Compulsory modules:

  • Ideas and Practice in Geography and Environmental Science
  • Geography in the World
  • Research Methods for Geographers and Environmental Scientists
  • People and the Environment
  • Global Worlds
  • Reinventing Britain
  • Geographies of Biomedicine and Global Health

Year 2

Compulsory module:

  • Geographical Research in Practice

Options include:

  • Geographical Information Systems
  • Geography, Identity, Belonging
  • Society, Culture and Space
  • Spaces of Uneven Development
  • Urban Futures
  • Health, Biomedicine and Society
  • Boston Reworked: The Making of a North American City

Year 3

Compulsory module:

  • Independent Geographical Study

Options include:

  • Gender and Development
  • Geography, Identity, Belonging
  • Advanced GIS
  • Urban Futures
  • Religion, Belief and Space
  • Victorian London: Economy, Society and Culture
  • The Geopolitics post 9/11: War, Security and Economy
  • Globalisation and Regional Development
  • Development Futures: Mumbai Unbound
  • Geography, Technology and Society
  • Boston Reworked: The Making of a North American City
  • Politics and Geographies of Global Health
  • Geographies of Nature
  • Geographies of Democracy
  • Contemporary India: Politics, society and economy
  • Readings in Geography: Geographies of Nature or Geographies of Deomocracy

Entry requirements


Typical grades required: AAB-BBB from the best three A-levels (excluding General Studies).  Though A-level Geography is preferred, it is not required. We usually ask for a grade B in Geography or another appropriate subject.

Excluded subjects:

General Studies.

International Baccalaureate:

Subjects and grades: 30-32 points overall.

Vocational and other qualifications:

The College accepts a wide range of qualifications such as; Access and Foundation programmes, vocational awards, Irish Leaving Certificate, Scottish Highers and other Baccalaureates.

Post-offer open days 2016

The School of Geography holds three open days for students who are in receipt of an offer to study at QMUL Geography known as The Festival of Geography. The three dates for 2016 are:
  • Wednesday February 3rd
  • Wednesday February 17th
  • Wednesday March 2nd
The Festival is a celebration of our subject areas and gives you the opportunity to sample a 'day in the life' here at QMUL Geography. You'll meet with students and staff, tour our facilities, attend lectures and get all the information you'll need to see what becoming a part of one of the top geography departments in the world is all about.

Learning and teaching

Our modules are delivered through a range of different teaching and learning methods. On average, you will spend 10 hours per week in a combination of lectures, seminars tutorials and practical classes.

Class sizes range from introductory lectures in the first year (50-100 students) to smaller lectures and seminars (around 20-50 students) in the second and third years, with plenty of opportunities for group work and discussion.

You will also take part in regular tutorials (small groups sessions with a member of academic staff) where you will receive further advice and guidance on getting to grips with readings and course material and developing your study skills. In the final year these are replaced with one-to-one meetings with your tutor as you prepare for your independent research project and plan your future career.

Many of the modules also include fieldwork components (in the UK and abroad) where you spend a day or up to several weeks in the field with members of staff putting your research skills into practice.

Independent Study:

For every hour spent in classes you will be expected to complete a further 2-3 hours of independent study. Your individual study time could be spent preparing for, or following up on formal study sessions; reading; producing written work; completing projects; and revising for examinations.

The direction of your individual study will be guided by the formal study sessions you attend, along with your reading lists and assignments. However, we expect you to demonstrate an active role in your own learning by reading widely and expanding your own knowledge, understanding and critical ability.

Independent study will foster in you the ability to identify your own learning needs and determine which areas you need to focus on to become proficient in your subject area.  This is an important transferable skill and will help to prepare you for the transition to working life.


Most of our modules are assessed through a combination of coursework and examination. Coursework takes a variety of forms, including extended essays, short reports, posters, oral presentations and group work. You will also participate in problem-based learning (PBL), where you work in small, collaborative groups with guidance from the lecturer or seminar leader.

Coursework is submitted throughout the academic year. Exams are held in May and June. Most students must complete a final-year Independent Geographical Study or Project in Environmental Science of 10,000 words based upon an original study of their choice.

Fees and finance

Tuition fees

Fees are charged at a Home/EU rate for UK and EU nationals, and an overseas rate for International students - find out more about how your tuition fee status is assessed.

You can either take out a Tuition Fee Loan (see Funding section below) to pay your fees or, if you are paying them yourself, you can pay in instalments.

Tuition fees for a year abroad or placement year on a full time undergraduate course will be a proportion of the full fee for the year in which you commence your time abroad or placement.

For information on field trip and other course related costs which are not included in your tuition fee, please contact the relevant Department/School.

See more general information about fees.

Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 7676


Queen Mary has a substantial package of scholarships and bursaries which will benefit around 50 per cent of our undergraduate student body.

Scholarships and Bursaries available at Queen Mary for Home/EU Students

There are a number of scholarships and bursaries available each year for home students. Visit our Bursaries and Scholarships page for more information.

Visit our Advice and Counselling website for more information about financial support.

Scholarships available at Queen Mary for International Students

There are a number of Scholarships available each year for International Students including bursaries and scholarships in a range of subject areas.

Find out more about international scholarships.

Some International students may also be eligible for a fee reduction.

Loans and Grants available to help with tuition fees and living costs

Student Finance England administers all grant and loans for your studies if you normally live in England.

If you live in WalesScotland or Northern Ireland you have an equivalent Student Finance department for your region.

Through Student Finance England, you can apply for (figures relate to programmes starting from September 2016):

  • A Tuition Fee Loan of up to £9,000 to pay all or part of your fees
  • A Maintenance Loan of up to £10,702 to help pay your living costs like rent, food and travel
  • Extra grants if you have a disability or you have children or an adult dependant
  • You might get a grant to cover some travel expenses if you normally live in England but study away from home. If you’re a medical or dental student you might also qualify for help with the costs of attending clinical placements in the UK.

Visit Student Finance Information to find out more about:

  • How to apply for student finance
  • What eligibility rules apply, including if you already have a degree or previous higher education study
  • What the income thresholds are and how much you might personally get for each element of Student Finance
  • What to do if you have problems getting your Student Finance

Other financial help on offer at Queen Mary

We offer one to one specialist support on all financial and welfare issues through our Advice and Counselling Service, which you can access as soon as you have applied for a place at Queen Mary.

Our Advice and Counselling Service also has lots of Student Advice Guides on all aspects of finance including:

  • Additional sources of funding
  • Planning your budget and cutting costs
  • Part-time and vacation work
  • Money for lone parents

For more information visit the Advice and Counselling service website, or call +44 (0)20 7882 8717.

Graduate Employment

In an increasingly globalised world, the skills and knowledge of geographers and environmental scientists make our graduates more employable than ever. Not only are Geography graduates the least likely to be unemployed among the social sciences, but this rate is also lower than the average for all other subjects1. In fact, with 96% of QMUL Geographers in work or further study 6 months after graduation2, our students are significantly above the national average for geography graduates.

What our graduates do next

Whether taking transferable skills into diverse careers from business to health or using subject knowledge to inform environmental policy or scientific analysis, our successful geographers and environmental scientists can be found across the graduate work market.

We’re proud to see our graduates working at local, national and international organisations:

• Business Analyst, Goldman Sachs
• Engineering Geologist, ARUP Hong Kong
• Policy Adviser, UK Cabinet Office
• Head of Strategy, Thomson Reuters
• Principal, The Rochester Grammar School
• Project Manager, UK Power Networks
• Graduate Geomorphologist, Jacobs
• Corporate Partnerships Coordinator, CRISIS
• Assistant Organiser, Citizens UK
• Consultant, Reading Agricultural Consultants
• Police Constable, Kent Police

How we support you

The QMUL Careers and Enterprise Team is on hand to support you throughout your degree. There’s lots of opportunities to build your CV while you’re at Queen Mary, including:

•    Taking part in workshops and events such as career tutorials, careers assignments, networking events, and one-to-one careers consultant CV help
•    Attending some of the 90+ employer-led events each year from seminars to large fairs.
•    Getting advice from Enterprise Support if you’re interested in running your own commercial or social enterprise.
•    Building your experience by taking a placement from our award-winning QProjects work experience scheme from internships to part-time work, full-time jobs to volunteering.

For more information visit:

1 What do graduates do? September 2014
2 Destination of Leavers from Higher Education 2014


Name: Thomas Ganly

Studied: BA Human Geography, class of 2015

Thomas Ganly, BA Human Geography, class of 2015, Queen Mary University of London

From: Uckfield, East Sussex
Currently: Studying Graduate Diploma in Law, BPP Law School

How did your degree help with your current studies?

"Geography has allowed me to develop a wide range of skills that have been key to helping me in my current studies. Being a research-based degree, you quickly learn how to sift through vast amounts of information. It has taught me how to work efficiently which is beneficial to any postgraduate study or career path. 

"Through presentations, fieldwork and independent research, my degree also helped me develop strong communication skills. This has enabled me to present complex information in an accessible and succinct manner. Furthermore, I believe that geography teaches students to take into account the broader picture, allowing us to form well-rounded and balanced arguments, which is crucial to any aspiring lawyer."

Tell us about your time leading the Geography Society?

"One of our most successful events was a guest lecture in which the geographer Professor Danny Dorling came to give a talk on inequality. Using exciting and unconventional visual representations he gave us an insight into the ways in which one can measure inequality within Britain and across the globe. At the end of his lecture students and staff had the opportunity to share their views and questions with Danny.

"We also had a variety of social events such as an 80s roller-disco, an exclusive late-night visit to the Natural History Museum, and numerous cocktail nights. These were great ways to get students together and increase the already strong community of the School of Geography."

Name: Kayla Schaefer

Studying: BA Human Geography

Kayla Schaefer, BA Human Geography, Queen Mary University of London

Why did you choose to study at Queen Mary?

"I chose to study at Queen Mary because of its strong Human Geography programme and the reputation of the school. I also wanted to study in central London and experience everything a big city has to offer.

"The professors are amazing. They are all actively researching things in their field, and share their findings with us. They encourage us to be involved in our local communities and push us to see the wider pictures of things happening in our world today."

How did you find your academi and social experience at Queen Mary?

"Last year, on one of our modules we worked closely with an organisation called London Citizens. We actually got to go into local primary schools and teach kids about the Olympics 2012. It was so interesting to catch a glimpse of how these school kids go about their everyday lives and how they view an event as big as the Olympics coming right to their doorstep.

"I'm a member of the Geography Society – it’s such a great group of people, and we always have fun doing events together. I also do a lot of volunteering with kids and homeless people, which is incredibly rewarding. It’s eye opening to get off campus and see how the city operates."


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