Are you looking to explore the many attractions and dilemmas of the world around us? Geography is an amazing discipline to study at university. Geography at BGU considers changing environments and landscapes, the effects of natural processes on the earth, the interaction of people with the planet, and the fortunes and fates of ecosystems. BGU Geography students also learn about the enjoyment of and exploitation of the world’s natural and human resources, the promotion and protection of environments and peoples, issues of inequality and division, and the ways by which we govern and plan countries, cities and countrysides. Geography at BGU also investigates how geographical information is gathered, analysed and displayed using sophisticated and advanced methods and technologies. In addition to our full-time staff, you will also learn from other specialists and professionals who work with geographical information and skills. Field course experiences will also be a key aspect of your experience.
About Geography at BGU
BGU’s BA (Hons) Geography course aims to cover the spectrum of human and physical areas of enquiry. You will study challenging ideas in geography, but also many of the geographical methods and approaches used in applied work contexts, such as in education and teaching, urban and rural planning, conservation and economic regeneration, market research, risk management, tourism and leisure, and defence. By the end of the course you’ll leave us equipped with a wide range of transferable skills, which can be taken to a broad set of public, private, commercial and third-sector settings.
This course is ideal if you’re interested in the environment and human societies, and want to learn more about how geography features across the world and in everyday life. In order to experience the degree in greater depth we will be giving you opportunities to take part in optional enrichment activities to enhance your knowledge. This includes a range of field courses and trips. A placement module is also an an integral part of the course. On campus you will take part in practical workshops, demonstrations, seminars, small group tutorials and lectures.
What You Will Study
In the first year you will be introduced to the fundamentals of human and physical geography, in order to lay the foundations for later degree-level study. This will be followed up by modules exploring aspects of global change in more detail, and investigating practical applications of geography with reference to a UK field-course context.
In year two you will extend and deepen your understanding and practical skills. You will reflect on the development of geography as a discipline, consider the essential issue of sustainability, examine further human geography today, explore the possibilities of GIS, undertake a placement experience, and investigate the physical and human challenges faced by coastal environments in relation to a European field course option.
In the final year you will examine the challenges of global food supply, study changing urban forms and lifestyles, investigate rural environments with reference to a global field-course option, extend your use of GIS, and apply your knowledge and skills in an extended piece of independent research culminating in a dissertation.
We use a range of assessments which reflect the importance of both thinking and practical approaches in geography, and the importance we give to the future employment skills of our graduates.
Assessment methods include:
- Displays of work
- Oral presentations
- Placement reports
- A dissertation
Our aim is to produce confident geographers who demonstrate well-developed knowledge and awareness, and advanced analytical and communication skills.
Careers and Further Study
- Education and teaching
- Town and country planning
- Market research
- The media
- Tourism and leisure
Modules Year 1
Introducing Human Geographies
In this module you will be introduced to human geography at degree level. You will examine the significance of human geographies, and how geographical perspectives help advance our understanding of societies and peoples.
Data, GIS and Spatial Analysis
In this module you will consider areas of practice relating to the use of data, GIS and spatial analysis, with a particular focus on aspects of historical and cultural change, and local and regional UK contexts.
Population and People: Issues and Approaches
This module explores people and place in the UK context, including demographic change, spatial and cultural mobility, geographical differentiation, and identities.
In this module you will be introduced to degree-level physical geography. You will investigate the importance of physical geography, and how different approaches develop our understanding and management of the earth and natural processes.
Geography in Practice: Field Skills
Students on this module will bring together various aspects of their learning. They will draw on human and physical knowledge and approaches, with a feature of the module being a UK field-course setting.
Coastal and River Environments: Processes, Challenges and Management
This module will focus on coastal and river environments as a fascinating context for studying the impact of physical and human processes, and the challenges that these represent.
Modules Year 2
Geographical Thought and Imagination
In this module you will deepen further your understanding of the discipline of geography. You will learn how it has been shaped by leading geographers, new theoretical thinking, and shifts in fields of research interests and methodologies.
Urban Places: Planning and Change
In this module you will explore the contemporary city in Europe, including historical legacies and current trends.
Rural Spaces: Regions and Landscapes
This module examines rural environments in the European context, including the challenges faced by rural societies, settlements and landscapes.
Contemporary Human Geographies
Students on his module will build on their knowledge and understanding of human geography. The module will study in greater depth a number of political, economic, social and cultural themes and issues for the geographer today.
GIS: Investigating Society
This module investigates the diverse use of spatial data and GIS in understanding societies and the challenges facing people and populations.
Professional Contexts for the Geographer
In this module students will have the opportunity to apply their geographical knowledge and skills in a placement context. Opportunities for placement-based learning will be found typically in settings like schools, local government, heritage management, and charities.
Geographies of Travel, Transport and Tourism
In this module you will explore travel, transport and tourism patterns and processes in the European context, and can be the setting for a residential field course experience.
Modules Year 3
Sustainability and Security: Challenges to Food and Energy Production
This module considers the essential issues of sustainability and food and energy security, and the range of challenges and solutions evident globally.
Physical and Environmental Change: Risks and Hazards
Students on this module explore physical and environmental geographies further, in particular the nature of extreme locations and events.
Advanced GIS: Investigations and Explorations
This module follows on from the GIS module in year 2, and will you will understand further how GIS can be used in specialised areas of geographical research.
Globalisation and Localism: Tradition and Development
In this module you will explore local and regional settings in the contemporary global context, including the challenges to customs and traditions being brought by development today. This module can be the setting for a residential field course experience.
In this module you will apply the knowledge, understanding and skills that you have gained in an extended piece of independent study. A dissertation supervisor will support you in optimising this research opportunity.
Dr Sarah Hemstock – Programme Leader for Geography
Sarah contributes to the teaching of the undergraduate programme in Geography. Sarah’s teaching interests include: rural communities; climate change adaptation; aid effectiveness; sustainable/ resilient development; reducing disaster risk; and sustainable energy.
Professor Chris Atkin
Chris Atkin is a professor in the School of Teacher Development. His recent research has concentrated on the role of education in supporting the development of civil society (India and England) and rural communities (China and England). In parallel with these international comparative studies he has been working with a range of practitioners to support a series of first time researchers as part of a community engagement strategy.
Dr Mark Charlesworth
Mark contributes to the teaching of the undergraduate programme in Geography. Mark’s teaching interests include: applied human geography, applied physical geography, lesson from and limitations of demographic approaches, field skills, application of geography to professional practice, applied sustainability.
Dr Nick Gee
Dr Nick Gee’s primary research interests relate to the social impacts of outdoor learning and he has published articles in peer-reviewed journals, contributed a book chapter and delivered conference papers in this field. Nick has published extensively on Geography fieldwork for GCSE/A level student journals, whilst he has also written articles and reviewed textbooks on a wide range of GCSE/A level Geography topics. His research interests also include ethnography, notions of community, social relationships and evaluation.
Dr Andrew Jackson
Dr Steve Puttick
Dr Steve Puttick is a Programme Leader for the School of Teacher Development, and also a geographer. Prior to joining Bishop Grosseteste University in 2014, Steve was the head of a comprehensive secondary school geography department. The main focus of Steve’s research is on geography education, knowledge, and school subject departments. Steve is a member of the Geographical Association.
Read Steve’s full profile here.
After leaving British Telecom in 1984, John studied geography at university. He went on to teach in primary schools for 18 years firstly in Birmingham and then Sheffield. In school he has led mathematics, environmental studies, geography and music and has taught from FS through to KS3. From 2001 – 2010 he co-ran a gifted and talented Maths Challenge Centre in Sheffield, taught music and worked as a tutor on Early Years courses for the Open University. He moved to work in university-based teacher education full-time in 2006 at Nottingham Trent University where he was a Programme Manager and Partnerships Manager in Primary Education. From there he moved to Leeds Trinity University and on to Bishop Grosseteste in August 2015. His MPhil research investigated environmental issues as perceived by young children. He is especially interested in developments in critical geography and the study and relevance of ‘indigenous knowledge’ to modern society. He is currently researching and writing in these areas. John has had extensive involvement in conservation projects in his local area and beyond.
Catharine Pschenyckyj, Visiting Geography Tutor
Cat is an early career researcher in the final stages of her PhD with a keen passion for teaching. Before undertaking doctoral studies, Cat studied at the University of Reading and received a First Class integrated Masters degree in Environmental Science. Cat’s key research interest is focused on the effects of anthropogenic activities on soils and biogeochemical cycles, with recent work assessing how recovery from soil acidification is contributing to changing carbon cycling in upland peat bogs.
Cat contributes to the teaching of the undergraduate programme in Geography. Her teaching interests focus on physical geography and environmental science, and include: river catchment hydrology and geomorphology; geology; soil science; solute and sedimentation processes; and field work skills.
Funded by the University of Reading (Faculty of Science Studentship), Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Natural Environment Research Council and British Society of Soil Science, Cat ran an acidification manipulation field experiment across two National Parks in the UK: Snowdonia and the Peak District. This aim of this project was to investigate the extent to which increases in dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentrations can be attributed to increased solubility of DOC with acidification recovery, and assess whether there is also a biological mechanism which is contributing to this trend.