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Geography with Foundation Year

BA (Hons)

School - School of Environment & Life Sciences

Subject area - Geography

UCAS Code: F815

Start Date(s): September


4 years full-time
5 years full-time with a placement year
Up to 8 years part-time


UK - £8,250 for Foundation Year, then standard UG fee per year.

Part-time - Your annual fee will be calculated pro rata to the full-time fee according to the number of credits you are studying.

International - £12,660 per year

In Brief:

  • Gain a broad, basic knowledge of geographical principles to prepare you for more advanced study of  Geography
  • Free site visits and field work opportunities to develop and practice skills that will enable success in later years
  • Ideal if you are returning to education or seeking to develop your career in a new direction
  • Part-time study option
  • Overseas study available
  • Work/industrial placement opportunity
  • International students can apply

Course Summary

This course will provide you with a strong foundation in Geography, allowing you to develop your skills and progress onto the BA (Hons) degree in Geography.

The course is ideal if you don’t meet the requirements for direct entry, but still wish to study for an Honours degree. This course may also be attractive if you are returning to higher education or if you wish to change career direction.

During the BA (Hons) Geography with a Foundation Year you will study modules that will help to increase your knowledge and understanding of the social and natural sciences necessary for understanding contemporary environmental issues. You will also benefit from taking part in free field trip opportunities, where you will develop and practice your field skills.

The BA Geography programme enables you to explore the relationship between people and their environment at various spatial scales; it is primarily aimed at those interested in human geography. Situated in the centre of Greater Manchester, you will be able to study the effects of post-industrial decline  and  regeneration in the world’s first industrial city. This programme of study allows you to examine relationships between the global economy, society and environment in the developed and developing world, and to look at the development and sustainability of cities into the 21st century.

At Salford you will experience small-group teaching in one of the UK’s most student-centred universities. You will get all the support you need from friendly and accessible academic staff. Additionally you will benefit from weekly tutorials with your personal tutor, ensuring that you quickly get  to  know other students.

Human geography themes covered generally include: the effects of climate change, food security, mobility, sustainability, demography, economic geography, planning and environmental impact assessment, urban living and quality of life. Study and IT skills are embedded in this programme, as is the use  of  computing facilities for data handling and Geographical Information Systems and Science (GIS) for environmental mapping and modelling. In addition, there are strong links between course content and staff research interests.

Fieldwork is a key element of this course and trips are aligned with the specialist modules, allowing you to develop applied skills and gain practical experience. You may go on day trips to the Peak District, the Yorkshire Dales, Sheffield and Liverpool, as well as residential field courses across the  UK, abroad in Scandinavia and other international locations. .

If you are interested in specialising in physical geography, or a mixture of human and physical, then have a look at our BSc Geography course.

Viola Follini
BA Geography

"The Barcelona trip with the University was an amazing experience from which I have gained many interesting ideas. We met different people from different backgrounds such as professors, students, architects and many others. We had the chance to talk with each of them, asking questions about their projects or general questions regarding our dissertation projects. Overall, it was an incredible opportunity, especially in regards to the amount of material that I have collected for my dissertation. I would like to thank the University of Salford for the opportunity and a special thank you to Stephen Todd and Mike Hardman for taking their time to organise this fantastic trip for us."

Take a look at Viola's video

Foundation Year            

Understand key ecological concepts, explore biogeography, appraise conservation techniques and consider priorities and issues in management of habitats and wildlife.                  
Explore the interactions of earth processes, geological structures and environmental functions, the use of resources e.g. fossil fuels including fracking and consider the differential impacts of a range of geological hazards – earthquakes, volcanic activity and rising sea levels.                  
Develop skills for application of statistical and mathematical methods and practise using Information Technology for effective presentation and communication of data and ideas.                  
Develop life-long learning skills including techniques for self-assessment and reflection, written and verbal communication skills for meetings, debates and presentations.                  

Choose two modules from:

Understand the significance of the structure of atoms, their classification in the periodic table, chemical reactions and bonding to form organic and inorganic molecules and the importance of pH.                  
Evaluate a range of environmental and scientific factors that interact to influence health – e.g. pollution, nutrition, drug development and consider examples of environmental interventions and clinical trials.                  
Take a hands-on approach to develop biological and chemical laboratory skills, practise environmental and fieldwork techniques, and apply scientific knowledge in the interpretation of results of experiments and surveys.                  
Explore the characteristics of plant and animal cells which are the building blocks of all life forms; their interactions with micro and macro environments, and learn about the diversity of animal and plant life in a range of ecosystems.                  

Year one            

You take a weekly one hour tutorial with a member of academic staff in a group of 6-8 students. The module develops your academic skills and helps you develop your personal and professional skills for study and for work. You will work on a range of geographical/environmental management problems linked to the core first year modules The tutorials involve discussion, debate, and problem-solving, and provide you with a regular forum for monitoring your progress.                        
You will examine sustainability at local, national and global scales and explore a range of case studies. Sustainability is a concept that cuts across disciplines and provides a framework for managing environmental issues. Project work will allow you apply your knowledge of the principles of sustainable development to assess and classify real-world problems and suggest solutions.                        
This module provides a broad introduction to the physical processes that take place within the geosphere and biosphere, focusing on those linked to the nature of landforms, global ecosystems and environmental change. You will develop a sound understanding of the inter-relationships between physical environmental processes and human activity, including natural hazards, climate change and biodiversity.                        
This module examines the role of people in shaping the human environment and focuses on key concepts such as place, power, scale and networks. You will learn about how the shape and form of cities is influenced by social and political issues, and how new technologies are changing the nature of human interactions in cities, states and across the world.                        
Environmental resources include food, energy and water, and spatial and temporal variation in the availability of these resources is arguably the most important issue for society in the twenty first century. This module introduces energy and water resources as fundamental concepts and examines current problems related to climate change, food security and pollution.                        
The first part of this module provides you with the applied skills to manage and analyse data using descriptive statistics, inference, graphs, hypothesis testing, and correlation and regression. It also introduces information searching and retrieving skills, data presentation and report writing. The second part of the module involves a residential field course in the UK where you will collect, analyse and present data to put into practice what you have learned.                        

Year 2                

Year 2 extends both knowledge and understanding and increases specialisation in human geography. The programme includes an overseas residential field course to Scandinavia. You take core modules and optional modules in year 2.                

This module examines the key concepts and theories in human geography and how they help explain contemporary relationships between people and place. This is done by considering current affairs and social practices and how they interact with governance systems in the 21st Century and impact on environmental and social issues in the UK. This module will also examine how demography is use to characterise and classify the urban landscape. Formal and informal ways of using green spaces in cities will also be examined.                        
This module equips with you with the range of research skills relevant for further study and the workplace, and prepares you for your Dissertation in final year. You will learn about the research process, the nature of scientific writing, research design, risk assessment and ethical considerations, and how to write a research proposal. The work is supported by fortnightly small-group tutorials with a member of academic staff.                        
This innovative module supports the development of personal and professional skills. You will carry out a group-based project for an external client and learn about team work, project planning and time management. You will work with an academic advisor to write a project plan, allocate tasks to the team, carry out an investigation, and report the results to a client.                        
This module uses a combination of initial lectures to set the scene before an international residential field-course or a series of off-site visits. Currently the residential fieldcourse visits Scandinavia, where you will have the opportunity to examine a range of social and environmental issues in the cities of Copenhagen (Denmark) and Malmo (Sweden).                        
This module introduces the theory and practice of using remote sensing and Geographical Information Systems (GIS) for investigation our environment. You will learn how to acquiring environmental data using satellite remote sensing. This module develops practical skills in the use of GIS for geographical problem solving. This module places an emphasis on hand-on learning using state-of-the-art mapping software and mapping technologies. There are also opportunities to work on real world GIS projects with commercial organisations.                        

Choose one from:

In this module you will examine the connections between the global economy, and society and environment, in the developed and developing worlds. The scale of study is from local to global and the work involves coursework based on a 'dragon's den' activity where you will work on a project in a group, and the pitch and report your findings to a panel of experts.                        
This module is designed to introduce the state's role as a protector of the environment, and to identify those factors influencing environmental policy and law in the UK. You will explore the relationships between regulatory frameworks and environmental standards, and critically assess case studies  the nuclear sector, contaminated land, and air quality management.                  
This module will provide you with the opportunity to critically evaluate applied environmental science concepts, practical methodologies and complex scientific issues using a range of primary and secondary information sources. The lecture sessions will assist detailed knowledge development and understanding of key multi-disciplinary issues in the forefront of environmental sciences.            
Courses are available in: Arabic, German, French, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese and Spanish.                        

Year 3              

This module is about urban liveability – the relationship between people and urban places. You will engage with theories about quality of life and wellbeing and consider the relationship between social practices and the physical infrastructures of cities. You will explore how opinions about quality of  life may be shaped by politics, power, ethnicity, economic status and locality.                        

Choose one from the following:

The Dissertation is a key feature of the course providing you with an opportunity to undertake a challenging independent research project with guidance of a member of academic staff. Your research topic is defined in second year and in third year you focus on data analysis, data interpretation and report writing. The module  fine-tunes your research skills and provides you with a wide range of skills that may deployed in further study or the workplace.                        
This module provides an alternative to the traditional dissertation.  The module is based around a residential fieldtrip on which a piece of research will be carried out.  In the first semester of your final year you will design, in consultation with the module staff, a research project to carry out in the location for the fieldtrip. This initial piece of work will be assessed by an assignment.  You will then go on the fieldtrip and carryout your research project.  In the second semester, again in consultation with staff, you will produce a second assignment outlining the results of your research.  For 2016/17 the fieldwork location was in Barcelona in Spain.                        

Choose three from the following:

This module examines the role of decision-making in the management of natural resources and ecosystem services. You will investigate the role of environmental modelling in supporting environmental decision-making and assess the effectiveness of decision-making tools including Environmental Impact Assessment, hazard and risk analysis, and life-cycle analysis.                        
The aim of this module is to develop your knowledge and understanding of the factors controlling the design, and implementation of GIS solutions to map, monitor and model terrestrial environments. You will also examine the major issues and impacts of GIS evolution and diffusion on society.                        
This module will develop your understanding of the principles of remote sensing and the issues associated with applying remote sensing data to solve real-world problems. It will expose you to a range of remotely sensed data and help you to develop a clear understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of methodologies that employsuch data.                        
This module explores the relationships between human health and environment and the epidemiology and geographical distribution of disease. You will assess the availability and accessibility of health services and their influence on 'well-being' in communities and explore the principles and techniques for health promotion.                        
This module will engages with a host of ideas and concepts, from urban agriculture, which involves farming in cities, to methods for greening cities and the role of key actors in managing these spaces. The rise of megacities, with a specific focus on the social and environmental issues present in such complex environments is also examined.                        
You will develop an understanding of the variety of archaeological approaches to the study of the past and an awareness of the material evidence encountered in Industrial/Post-Medieval/Historical Archaeology.          
Courses are available in: Arabic, German, French, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese and Spanish.

Please note that it may not be possible to deliver the full list of options every year as this will depend on factors such as how many students choose a particular option. Exact modules may also vary in order to keep content current. When accepting your offer of a place to study on this programme, you should be aware that not all optional modules will be running each year. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the available options on or before the start of the programme. Whilst the University tries to ensure that you are able to undertake your preferred options, it cannot guarantee this.

Entry Requirements

Qualification Entry requirements
European Baccalaureate Completion of two full years study and an awarded qualification
You must fulfil our GCSE entry requirements as well as one of the requirements listed below.
English Language and Maths at grade C or above
UCAS tariff points 64 points
GCE A level 64 points
BTEC National Diploma MPP
Scottish Highers 64 points from Higher Level
Irish Leaving Certificate 64 points from Higher Level
Access to HE 64 points

Salford Alternative Entry Scheme (SAES)

We welcome applications from students who may not meet the stated entry criteria but who can demonstrate their ability to pursue the course successfully. Once we have received your application we will assess it and recommend it for SAES if you are an eligible candidate.

There are two different routes through the Salford Alternative Entry Scheme and applicants will be directed to the one appropriate for their course. Assessment will either be through a review of prior learning or through a formal test.

English Language Requirements

International applicants will be required to show a proficiency in English. An IELTS score of 6.0 (no element below 5.5) is proof of this. If you need to improve your written and spoken English, you might be interested in our English language courses.

Applicant profile

We welcome those who are returning to higher education or wishing to change career direction.

Fees and Funding


Fees 2019-20

Type of Study Fee
Full-time £8,250 for Foundation Year, then standard UG fee per year.
Part-time Your annual fee will be calculated pro rata to the full-time fee according to the number of credits you are studying.
Full-time International £12,660 per year

Fees 2018-19

Type of Study Fee
Full-time £6,165 for Foundation Year; £9,250 for subsequent years
Part-time Your annual fee will be calculated pro rata to the full-time fee according to the number of credits you are studying.
Full-time International £12,300 per year

Additional costs

  • Field courses - the cost of the residential field course will be covered by the school but you should consider any additional money you may wish to spend on the field course - especially on the trips abroad.
  • Field trips - you will not be charged for field (day) trips but are expected to provide their own refreshments.

You should also consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.


Teaching is through a combination of

  • Lectures
  • Fieldwork
  • Tutorials
  • Practical classes
  • Computer based learning
  • Guided independent learning in the form of assignments and project work


Assessments will be based on a combination of examinations and continuous assessment. This will include field reports, reflective diaries, essays, problem-solving exercises, data analysis, seminars, and research projects, and will involve a mixture of group and individual work.


Matt Ashmore
Geography graduate
Now a graduate Transport Planner with Atkins

I am a graduate from the University of Salford with an undergraduate degree in Human Geography. My role since leaving Salford is as a Graduate Transport Planner, specifically a transport modeller which means that I create traffic models from data collected. These models can go towards proposals for projects such as new roads, junctions and improving the transport network in general. Mapping is a crucial part of my job and I initially gained these skills working with ArcGIS during my time at university. Other skills I gained from Salford include report writing skills and presentation skills which come in useful in day to day work creating reports for projects and proposals.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Salford, not only learning new skills but putting them to practice. I also had the opportunity to take part in field trips to the Alps and to Scandinavia (which no other course offers!), as well as a number of extra-curricular activities, making new friends along the way and gaining valuable life skills.

Clare Cornes 
BA Geography graduate

My lecturers made my university experience really good as well as developing my passion for the subject. They made a massive effort to make themselves available to the students if there were any questions or issues. They were also really good at letting students explore what was interesting to them, and they kept the assignments really open-ended so we could focus on these things.

Most degrees cover a lot of information but not many include so many different areas, for example: urban sustainability, economics, environmental protection and urban quality of life. Since I’ve started looking at careers I’ve noticed how much I could apply for just because of what was covered in my degree, it’s given me so much range.

Career Prospects

Salford Geography graduates have gone on to careers in environmental consultancies, utility companies, transport logistics and housing organisations, and have pursued careers in primary and secondary teaching. Others have gone on to take Masters or PhD degrees in a geographical discipline.

Links with Industry

This course includes modules that allow you to work with external agencies including companies, research organisations and voluntary groups. Specific modules where you will work directly with external organisation are the Consultancy Project in the second year, where you work exclusively with real organisations to solve real world problems, and the GIS modules in the second and third year, where you will work with an international company involved in providing digital mapping.

Placement Opportunities

We encourage all students to undertake a placement year between years two and three of study. Placement years are arranged by the student with our support.

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