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Geography with Foundation Year

BSc (Hons)

School - School of Environment & Life Sciences

Subject area - Geography

UCAS Code: F817

Start Date(s): September

Duration:

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

Fees:

UK - £6,165 for Foundation Year; £9,250 for subsequent years

International - £12,300 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
  • 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 BSc (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 BSc (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.

Learn about climate change and its effect on people and places; glaciers and the impacts on water resources around the globe; relationships between changing urban environments and quality of life; relationships between fluvial processes, river restoration and management strategies; computer-based mapping  and  modelling  using Geographical Information Systems and Science (GIS) and remote sensing techniques; and critical evaluation of policy and research.

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, and cities such as Sheffield and Liverpool. Residential field trips take  place  in  the UK and the European Alps. You will only pay a modest non-refundable deposit for field courses, which are otherwise 100% subsidised by the university.

Small group teaching is a key benefit of this course and there are strong links between course content and staff research interests. 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.

You can choose to specialise or take modules across the whole spectrum of geography. If you are interested in specialising in human geography then have a look at our BA Geography programme.

https://vimeo.com/178614114

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 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                  

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 will provide you with experience of fieldwork in an environment in an international location that is relevant to one or more thematic themes being studied. You will apply data collection and observation techniques learned in Semester 1 (on applied skills’ modules) in the field in relevant locations.          
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 expert.                              
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.            
This module combines fieldwork, laboratory analysis, and computer-based mapping and modelling, to explore ways to monitor environmental change in a range of environments. It covers both biotic and abiotic targets and critically examines the nature, quality and reliability of environmental data.                              
Courses are available in: Arabic, German, French, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese and Spanish.                  
Plus choose one from:
This module introduces the concepts and theories that underpin fluvial and glacial systems including hill slope processes, fluvial network development and glacial teleconnections. You will explore the stability characteristics of fluvial systems in UK-based fieldwork and the hydrological and geochemical properties of rivers in Alpine environments in the Fieldwork module.                              
Courses are available in: Arabic, German, French, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese and Spanish.                  

Year 3                  

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.                              

Choose FOUR from:

You will learn about the relationships between fluvial processes and river restoration and management strategies. Underpinning theory on river hydromorphology, fluvial geomorphology, and sediment processes provides a sound basis for evaluating the success of different river engineering strategies. Fieldwork in UK rivers provides practical experience of the impacts of river management, and an appreciation of the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches.                              
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 mega cities, with a specific focus on the social and environmental issues present in such complex environments is also examined.              
This module is about urban liveability – the relationship between people and urban places. You will engage with theories about quality of life and well-being 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.                              
This module will introduce theory and concepts of modelling in the environment and life sciences, including in population biology and infectious disease epidemiology. You will develop an appreciation of the practical importance of modelling in real world biological and environmental applications.      
This module aims to introduce the concepts, current research problems, ideas and thinking, in integrated aspects of glaciology, glacier hydrology and mainstream hydrology. Water quantity and quality measurement techniques are studied in the French Alps and supporting work in the laboratory, and using historical records, leads to a deeper understanding of fluvio-glacial process and their links to climate change.                              
Courses are available in: Arabic, German, French, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese and Spanish.            
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.                              
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 employ such data.                              
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.

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 qualificationCompletion of two full years study and an awarded qualification
GCSE
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
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 coming from school or college, with or without an A level in Geography but with interests in geography and a passion for fieldwork.  We also welcome those returning to education, either via Access qualifications or by taking the foundation year route.

Fees and Funding

Fees

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 - a non refundable deposit of £25 is charged for all residential field courses
  • Field trips - students 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


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

Assessment

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.

Employability

Rory Clements
BSc Geography graduate
Now working as a Hydraulic Modeller for RPS Group

The course helped me develop my passion for the environment and specifically hydrology into a future career path, giving me academic, and more importantly, practical experience through a myriad of invaluable field based research. Numerous excursions to places such as the Pennine Alps, Peak District and the European Alps offered a far greater understanding than a pure classroom taught experience could have. A major highlight for me was being in Chamonix watching the military set off avalanches from a helicopter, I doubt without this university arranged trip I would have ever experienced this, or indeed got my dream job. As well as learning, I have met several people who I will remain friends with for the rest of my life.

Nonhlanhla Gump,
BSc Geography graduate

I chose Salford University because it was highly recommended to me by family members and friends who themselves are Salford Alumni. They praised the university for it’s supportive and knowledgeable lecturers, and I am glad that I decided to study at Salford because I can truly say that the quality of teaching support that I received was invaluable.

The BSc Geography degree is flexible, as it allows students to pick modules that suit individual career and future goals. This is very important as not everyone will follow the same career path.

Career Prospects

Salford Geography graduates have gone on to work in environmental consultancies, utility companies, transport logistics, 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 world organisations to solve real world problems; the GIS modules in the second and third year, where you will work with an international company involved in providing digital mapping; and the River Restoration and Management module, where you will work with a range of external agencies and consultancies on real world projects.

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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