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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?

Our Human Geography BA gives you the chance to explore a breadth of topics including: globalisation and international development; geopolitics; social justice; cities past, present and future; economy and society; culture and identity; gender and power; global historical geographies; geographies of biomedicine and global health. We will train you in innovative research methods, from visual analysis to interviewing and geographical information systems (GIS). Exciting field trips allow you to experience research for yourself and include destinations in the UK as well as India, Malaysia and the USA.*

Study abroad

You can choose to apply for a 4-year version of this degree with a full year abroad. We have links with universities around the world, including Europe, North America, Australia, and Asia (specific partnerships for each programme may vary). Studying abroad is an excellent way to grow in confidence and broaden your outlook on life by experiencing another culture, while making friends and having fun. When you return to QMUL, you will have a new perspective on life for your final year and will be awarded the 'With a Year Abroad' variant in your degree title, which will help you stand out to employers. During your year abroad you'll pay only 15% of your tuition fees to QMUL (Home/EU students; international students pay 50%), and while you don't need to pay any tuition fees at the partner institution abroad, you will need to cover the cost of your transport to your destination and your living expenses, including accommodation. Find out more about study abroad opportunities at QMUL including semester-long Erasmus+ and other exchanges. To apply for the 4-year version of this degree, search for 'Human Geography with a Year Abroad' on UCAS (course code: L72Y, institution code: Q50).

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), Mumbai (India), Kuala Lumpur and Penang (Malaysia), as well as UK-based fieldwork including opportunities 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 School was ranked 11th overall for our research excellence (Research Excellence Framework 2014)
  • Design your own project alongside our experts and develop the skills to become a researcher in your own right
  • Live in the no.1 city in the world to be a student (QS Best Student Cities 2018), and study in one of the top 100 geography departments in the world (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2018)

* Compulsory UK-based fieldwork in the School of Geography is undertaken at no extra cost. Optional overseas fieldwork in the second and third year ranges from £400 to £1,400 approximately, some with additional flight costs (based on costs in the year 2017/18). Destinations can vary year-on-year, are subject to availability and are dependent on the module combinations chosen. Overseas field class modules run in alternate years. Places on some field class modules are limited. If field trip modules are oversubscribed, places will be allocated by ballot. Students participating in overseas field trips are responsible for securing their own visas, if required.

QMUL will aim to deliver your programme so that it closely matches the way in which it has been described to you by QMUL in print, online, and/or in person. However, it is important to realise that in some circumstances, we may change aspects of your programme. See our full terms and conditions at www.qmul.ac.uk/prospective/termsandconditions.

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Hear from our students


For full details on our modules please go to the online module directory

Year 1

Compulsory modules:

  • Cities and Regions in Transition 
  • Geography in the World
  • Global Worlds 
  • Ideas and Practice in Geography and Environmental Science
  • People and the Environment
  • Reinventing Britain
  • Research Methods for Geographers and Environmental Scientists

From 2017 we are introducing the QMUL Model to all our degrees. For further information on this initiative, please contact Professor Dave Horne (Director of Taught Programmes) at d.j.horne@qmul.ac.uk.

Year 2

Compulsory module:

  • Geographical Research in Practice

Optional modules include:

  • Boston Reworked: The Making of a North American City*
  • Contemporary London: Life in the Global Metropolis
  • Cultural Geographies
  • Economic Geographies
  • Geographical Information Systems
  • Geographies of Biomedicine
  • Place, Space and Health Geographies 
  • Society and Space
  • Spaces of Uneven Development
  • Urban Futures: Los Angeles and Las Vegas*

Year 3

Compulsory module:

  • Independent Geographical Study

Optional modules include:

  • Advanced GIS
  • Boston Reworked: The Making of a North American City*
  • Contemporary India: Politics, Society and Economy
  • Economic Futures: Malaysia Emerging*
  • Geographies of Democracy
  • Geographies of Health and Place
  • Geography, Technology and Society
  • Geopolitics post-9/11: War, Security, Economy
  • Globalisation and Regional Development
  • Health, Disease and the City
  • Readings in Geography: Contemporary India; Geographies of Democracy or Geography, Technology and Society
  • Science and Politics of Climate Change
  • Urban Futures: Los Angeles and Las Vegas*

*Field class module

* Compulsory UK-based fieldwork in the School of Geography is undertaken at no extra cost. Optional overseas fieldwork in the second and third year ranges from £400 to £1,400 approximately, some with additional flight costs (based on costs in the year 2017/18). Destinations can vary year-on-year, are subject to availability and are dependent on the module combinations chosen. Overseas field class modules run in alternate years. Places on some field class modules are limited. If field trip modules are oversubscribed, places will be allocated by ballot. Students participating in overseas field trips are responsible for securing their own visas, if required.

QMUL will aim to deliver your programme so that it closely matches the way in which it has been described to you by QMUL in print, online, and/or in person. However, it is important to realise that in some circumstances, we may change aspects of your programme. See our full terms and conditions at www.qmul.ac.uk/prospective/termsandconditions.

Ask us a question

Entry requirements

General Admission Entry Requirements can be found below.

2018 Entry requirements


Grades ABB - BBB at A-Level. We will typically ask for grades ABB. This must include A-Level Geography. If applying without A-Level Geography, your application will be considered where there is an appropriate alternative academic subject. Excludes General Studies.


International Baccalaureate Diploma with a minimum of 32 - 30 points overall, including 6,5,5 - 5,5,5 from three Higher Level subjects. We will typically ask for 32 points overall, including 6,5,5 from three Higher Level subjects. This must include Geography or a related subject at Higher Level.

BTECSee our detailed subject and grade requirements

Minimum five GCSE passes including English and Maths at grade C or 4.


Alternative offers may be made to applicants taking the Extended Project Qualification.

Contextualised admissionsWe consider every application on its individual merits and will take into consideration your individual educational experiences and context. More information on how academic schools and programmes use this information as part of the admissions process, can be found on our contextualised admissions pages.

General Admissions Entry Requirements

English Language Proficiency

All applicants to QMUL must show they meet a minimum academic English language standard for admission and to be successful on the course, to the indicated levels for the area of study. See our guidance on English Language requirements for all degree programmes.

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. You are advised to contact the Admissions team (admissions@qmul.ac.uk) before making an application so that we can give individual advice.

Admission is based on academic merit and on the proven ability of the applicant to achieve success on their chosen programme of study. Every application to Queen Mary is considered on its individual merits with personal statement and reference taken into consideration.

Combined Qualifications

If you are taking a combination of qualifications at Level 3, we will consider your academic profile and may make offers on a case-by-case basis. You are advised to contact the Admissions team (admissions@qmul.ac.uk) before making an application so that we can give individual advice.

Advanced Entry

Subject to the policy of the programme, it may be possible for students to join undergraduate degree programmes at the beginning of the second year of a three or four year degree programme or, sometimes, the beginning of the third year of a four year programme. Please note, not all schools will consider advanced entry. You are advised to contact the Admissions team (admissions@qmul.ac.uk) before making an application for individual advice.

If you are applying for advanced entry on the basis of a post A-Level qualification, such as the BTEC HND, you should apply via UCAS in the usual way. If you wish to transfer your degree studies from another UK higher education institution, you will be considered on the basis of your original A-Level or equivalent qualifications, current syllabus, academic references and results.

We typically expect you to have achieved a 2.1 standard on your current programme and have already met the standard equivalent first year entry requirements. Applications must be submitted via UCAS.

Non-UK students

European and International Applicants

Our students come from over 162 countries and we accept a wide range of European and International Qualifications for entry, in addition to A-Levels, the International Baccalaureate and BTEC qualifications. Please see our International Admissions webpages for further details of our academic requirements, and information regarding how we assess the equivalence of your qualification.

Applicants will typically be expected to be taking academic subjects relevant to the programme of study. You are advised to review the A-Level and IB requirements for an indication of these subjects. If you are at all unclear, the Admissions team (admissions@qmul.ac.uk) is happy to advise you further.

Further Information

For any other enquiries directly relating to our entry requirements, please contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office directly.
Telephone: +44 (0)20 7882 5511
Email: admissions@qmul.ac.uk

See our information and guidance on how to apply.

Learning and teaching

Our modules are delivered through a range of different teaching and learning methods. On average, you can expect to spend between 8-12 hours per week in a combination of lectures, seminars/workshops and practical classes. Class sizes range from large introductory lectures in the first year (50-200 students) to smaller lectures (20-80 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 of up to 10 students 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. These take place weekly in the first year and fortnightly in the second year. 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 can spend time in the field with members of staff, putting your research skills into practice and real world experience. 

Independent Study

For every hour spent in classes you will be expected to complete a further 4-6 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 funding

Tuition fees for Home and EU students

2018/19 Academic Year
Full-time £9,250

Tuition fees for International students

2018/19 Academic Year
Full-time £15,400

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
email: fees@qmul.ac.uk


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 Wales, Scotland 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 environmental scientists and geographers make our graduates more employable than ever. In fact, 93 per cent of full-time, UK-domiciled QMUL geography and environmental science graduates were in work or further study six months after graduation (DLHE 2015).

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 120+ employer-led events each year from seminars to large fairs
  • getting advice 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: careers.qmul.ac.uk

What our graduates do

Whether taking transferable skills into diverse careers from business to health or using subject knowledge to inform environmental policy or scientific analysis, our graduates have gone on to a range of careers. 

Organisations employing our recent graduates include: 

  • ARUP Hong Kong
  • Edmunds Nuttall (now BAM Nuttall)
  • Jacobs
  • UK Power Networks
  • Reading Agricultural Consultants
  • Transport for London
  • UK Cabinet Office
  • Thomson Reuters
  • Rochester Grammar School
  • Goldman Sachs
  • Citizens UK

A sample of our recent graduates' roles include: Engineering Geologist, Graduate Geomorphologist, Project Manager, Environmental Engineer, Graduate Transport Planner, Policy Adviser, Head of Strategy, Business Analyst. 



Megan James, class of 2018

Megan James

"I chose to study at Queen Mary for several reasons: the campus vibe, the location, the range of disciplines and topics covered on my course and how pretty Regent’s Canal is running straight through campus! I really love how diverse the course is; my modules range from global heath and biomedicine to poverty and development in the Global South. I’ve also thoroughly enjoyed how sociable the course is; there are several field trips set up throughout the year to engage you and give you brilliant opportunities to make friends with people on your course.

"Living in east London is absolutely amazing, I can’t fault it! We are in such a brilliant location for so many cultural, social, historical and natural sites that you never run out of places to explore and things to see. Keeping in mind that we’re based so close to central London that everywhere you want to be is only about 20 minutes away.

"There are plenty of extra-curricular activities too that you can get involved in during your degree. For example, I am a course representative, social secretary for Geography Society, I work part time in the Students' Union, I run regularly, and I am an active member of Snow Sports club."

Thomas Ganly, class of 2015, currently Trainee Solicitor at Clifford Chance LLP

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

"Geography has allowed me to develop a wide range of skills that have been key in helping me with my further studies, and in securing my current job. 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.

"One of the most successful events I led as President of the Geography Society, was a guest lecture with Professor Danny Dorling giving 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. Through a variety of other social events that we organised as GeogSoc, I believe it was a great way to get students together and increase the already strong community of the School of Geography."

Kayla Schaefer, class of 2012, currently Finance Manager at Pepperdine University

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

"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 active researchers 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.

"In the second 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. 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 did a lot of volunteering during my degree with kids and homeless people, which was incredibly rewarding. It was really eye-opening to get off campus and see how the city operated."

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