Undergraduate BSc (Hons)

Geography with Foundation Year

School of Science, Engineering and Environment

Attendance

Full-time

Part-time

With placement

Course

Four year

Eight year

Five year

Next enrolment

September 2023

Introduction

In a nutshell

Build a greater understanding of the world around you, and learn about climate change and its effect on people and places. This foundation year pathway is designed to help you build both a strong foundation in geography and essential study skills, so you are ready to progress and succeed on the full BSc (Hons) Geography degree. 

This pathway is recommended if you want to study the full honours degree, but don’t meet the direct entry requirements. On successful completion of the foundation year, you will progress on to the full honours degree, where you will build your understanding of the processes that shape the environment and how humans respond to an ever-changing world. 

Accredited by the Royal Geographic Society, the full honours degree is designed to immerse you in human and physical geography. Across a range of carefully-designed modules packed with real-world relevance, you will have the option to focus on human geography, physical geography, or a combination. You also will be able to put your knowledge into practice through a series of funded field trips.

Start your study journey 

Register for our next Open Day to learn more about studying geography, explore our facilities and meet the course team 

You will:

  • Gain a solid understanding of geographical principles to prepare you for more advanced study of geography
  • Develop your practical skills by experiencing a range of free field trips in the UK and overseas
  • Broaden your knowledge of the social and natural sciences that underpin contemporary environmental issues
Placement

options available

Course accreditations

Royal Geographical Society accreditation logo

This is for you if...

1.

You are returning to education or seeking to develop your career in a new direction

2.

You want to increase your knowledge and understanding of the social and natural sciences

3.

You didn't meet the entry requirements for the BSc (Hons) Geography

Course details

All about the course

Geography and environmental management students

Foundation Year

The introductory foundation year is designed to increase your knowledge and understanding of the social and natural sciences, necessary for understanding contemporary environmental issues.

With a focus on your progression, you will build knowledge across the breadth of the subject. You will also experience field and laboratory work, develop your study skills and learn to manage field data.

If you successfully complete and pass the foundation year, you will automatically progress on to the full BSc (Hons) Geography degree.

BSc (Hons) Geography Degree
Course delivery

For three years of study - or four, if you choose to include an industry placement, you will develop a comprehensive range of geography-focused knowledge and skills. You'll take core modules focusing on areas such as sustainability, natural resources, earth processes and the impact of people on places, while building your practical skills through field work. 

You'll also have the opportunity to build specialised knowledge in areas such as geographical information systems (GIS), river management, mitigating climate change and sustainable cities among others. 

Learn more about the course modules in the section below. 

Learning experience

Fieldwork is a key element of this course, and trips are aligned with the specialist modules to develop applied skills and gain practical experience. Residential field trips take place in the UK and the European Alps. Typical day trip destinations include the Peak District, the Yorkshire Dales, and cities such as Sheffield and Liverpool. 

Embedding collaboration with industry and working on real-world projects is another essential aspect of studying environmental at Salford. In your second year you'll have the option complete a group consultancy project, where you'll work on a live brief, set by one of our industry partners, to solve a real-world environmental problem. 

Environment students

Industry Placement

On this course, you will have the opportunity to take an industrial placement year between years two and three. Although you will be responsible for securing your own placement, we will assign you a placement tutor to monitor your progress and assess your final report.

By completing a placement year, you can add 'with professional experience' to your degree award. Industry placements are an excellent way to enhance your CV, gain hands-on work experience and build industry connections.

Foundation year

Environmental Conservation

The Environmental Conservation module provides fundamental introductions to ecology, sustainability, environmental management, ecosystem functions and ecosystem services. It also teaches practical approaches to sustainable resource development, conservation techniques and priorities in habitat and wildlife management. Thirdly, it provides essential skills in literature review and report writing that are extremely useful for a career in the environmental sciences.

Earth Processes

The Earth Processes module provides a fundamental introduction to the study of earth and environmental processes. It takes a systems approach to look at the atmosphere (its structure and composition), hydrosphere (as a global water cycle), biosphere (the living part of the environment) and geosphere (rocks and soils), where the focus is on both the resources and hazards they can offer.

Data Handling

Develop skills for the application of statistical and mathematical methods and practise using Information Technology for effective the presentation and communication of data and ideas.

Professional Communications

This module will provide students with a structured and supportive environment in which to develop their academic practice and professionalism. This will be achieved through a series of lectures and tutor-led seminars that will equip students with the skills required for successful study in Higher Education.

Science for Health

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.

Scientific Methods

This module will help you develop practical skills in the fields of biological, chemical and environmental science. It includes the use of glassware and instrumentation, developing data recording and analysis skills, and foundational laboratory-training. It also aims to train all students on how to write-up experimental work via an interactive learning platform, which includes pre- and post- laboratory training exercises. 

Year one

Earth Surface Processes

An introduction to the physical processes operating across the geosphere and biosphere to provide a solid basis to understand their influence on the landscape and ecosystems. The module looks at the inter-relationships between both environmental and ecological processes with a focus on the impact on human activity. Case studies explore key concepts such as climate change, geohazards and biodiversity.

Environmental Resources

Environmental resources include food, energy and water. 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, water, minerals, and food resources as fundamental topics in environmental resources management and examines current problems related to climate change, food security, water availability and pollution. You will explore these themes through a combination of case study work, site visits, and field and laboratory work.

People, Place and Space

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.

Sustainability and Environment

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.

Academic Tutorial

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. Academic Tutorials module comprise lecture\workshop sessions and a weekly one hour tutorial with a member of academic staff in groups of between six and eight. The tutorials involve discussion, debate, and problem-solving, and provide you with a regular forum for monitoring your progress through your first year.

Applied Skills and Field Course

The Applied skills and fieldwork module provides lectures and associated practical activities (in trimester 1) to identify and source data, describe, and utilise environmental statistics to develop writing and analytical skills associated with spatial and temporal variations in real world data.

In Trimester 2 lectures investigate the role of qualitative research methods and build background detail before the residential field course takes place. Post field course sessions provide opportunities for feedback, questions and guidance before the final assessment. This module introduces water, glaciers, climate change and a mixed methods approach to both desk and field based activities. You will explore these themes through a combination of lectures, practical computer lab sessions and field work. 

Year two

Geographical Information Systems and Science

This module introduces you to the theory and practical implementation of Geographical Information Systems (GIS) to solve environmental and geographical problems. The module will explore the principles relating to how we represent the world inside a computer, before looking at the analytical methods that can be applied to solve spatial problems. You will learn how to be a critical user and how to design and implement solutions using industry standard GIS software. Part of the module is delivered in conjunction with industry partners.

Research in Action

This module equips 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. You will gain experience of international fieldwork in an environment relevant to thematic areas being studied. The work is supported by six, small-group tutorials with a member of academic staff.

Environmental Protection

This module develops an understanding of planning and regulatory frameworks and their role in achieving environmental sustainability. You will learn through a combination of lectures, workshops, field and laboratory work. The learning will draw on case studies from the fields of planning, contaminated land, and noise regulation to enable you to explore the relationships between regulatory frameworks, environmental standards, and sustainable development decision-making. Key agencies, such as ARUP, Jacobs and others, will also play a role in delivery, providing students with a flavour of employment opportunities in the sector.

Choose one option from

Economic Geography

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.

Monitoring Environmental Change

Monitoring Environmental Change explores the concepts and provides the practical experience of contemporary techniques for environmental monitoring of human impacts in a range of environments. The module provides necessary skills and techniques to undertake field work in selected environments, generate data and explore its analysis and interpretation.

University Wide Language

Courses are available in: Arabic, German, French, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese and Spanish.

And one option from:

New

Educational Principles and Practice in STEM

The module will provide you with an introduction to teaching and learning at key stage 4 (level 2 GCSE qualifications) through the application of core educational concepts. You will design and deliver an educational activity for a laboratory, workshop or through an online interactive system. The module will provide a taster for students considering teaching as a career.

Consultancy Project (BSc)

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 teamwork, 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.

Year three

Mitigating Climate Change

You will develop a detailed understanding of the scientific principles underlying how changing climate has an effect on the natural world, urban environments and society. Through this knowledge you will be able to appreciate the implications of climate change on biodiversity, ecosystems and society, and identify what adaptions can be made to mitigate climate change.

Sustainable Cities

Overall, Sustainable Cities is a broad module covering a wide variety of topics, allowing you to focus on elements relevant to your specific field of study. This module will engage 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. Semester two focuses on the rise of megacities, with a specific focus on the social and environmental issues present in such complex environments; it builds on the themes from semester one and enables you to focus on a topic which is of interest to you.

Dissertation (40 credits)

You will undertake independent research guided by the literature relevant to your chosen field of study, to deploy techniques of analysis and enquiry within the discipline. Provided by the practical skills you will be supported by an academic supervisor to design and execute a dissertation project with an understanding of the roles of ethics and risk assessment.

Choose one option from:

Development and Global Challenges

In the first part of the module, we will critically engage with the evolution of development theories and approaches, and their relationship with wider global phenomena such as colonialism and globalization. In the second part, we will understand the concept of Sustainable Development and investigate a range of global challenges such as food security, poverty, inequality, migration, energy security and climate change. The module will draw upon a range of diverse case studies from the global south and the global north and will allow students to focus more in depth in the study of one of the indicated global challenges.  

Environmental Remote Sensing

This module will explore the principles and applications of remotely sensed data with an emphasis on terrestrial applications and optical remote sensing systems. You will learn about the use of satellite and aircraft sensor data to solve environmental problems. You will carry out a real-world, group-based, problem-driven project for a client using remotely sensed imagery.

Modelling Environmental Systems

This module will give you an introduction in the role and implementation of models to solve environmental problems. Environmental modelling is an important tool across policy and decision making in fields such as conservation, wildlife management, biodiversity and climate change.  The module consists of a combination of lectures and computer practicals where you will get hands on experience of different types of models and how they are used to inform environmental decision making. The module is focused on the use of models rather than on mathematical or technical aspects of model development, and so will benefit anyone interested in the rapidly increasing role of models in environmental policy.

University Wide Language

Courses are available in: Arabic, German, French, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese and Spanish.

Plus one option from:

Global Rivers in a Changing Climate

This module will explore in detail the concepts and theories that underpin fluvial and glacial systems including hill slope processes, fluvial network development and glacial systems. You will explore the stability and characteristics of fluvial systems in UK-based fieldwork, and undertake detailed site and desk-based methodological approaches to build your understanding of natural dynamic systems and managed river environments. 

Environment and Wellbeing

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. The module is set in the context of the impacts that environmental factors (including socio-economic factors) have on health and wellbeing.

University Wide Language

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.

What will I be doing?

TEACHING

Teaching is through a combination of:

  • Lectures
  • Fieldwork
  • Tutorials
  • Practical classes
  • Computer based learning
  • Assignments
  • 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
  • Research projects

Assessments will involve a mixture of group and individual work.

School of Science, Engineering and Environment

Rising to the challenge of a changing world, our degree courses are designed to shape the next generation of urbanists, scientists, engineers, consultants and leaders. 

Driven by industry, and delivered by supportive programme teams, you can develop the knowledge and skills to become unstoppable in your career.

Facilities

As a geography student, you will have access to our state-of-the-art, integrated teaching laboratory known as the Bodmer Lab. The Bodmer Lab is a specialist, purpose-built facility and ensures our students benefit from the latest technologies to support their learning and remain on the cutting edge of innovation and discovery.

 

Industry collaboration and research

When you start this degree with Salford, you are also joining a community making a difference in industry, our local region and in our wider society.

Many of our academics and technicians who support your course are also part of a collective delivering collaborative, interdisciplinary, high-impact work in a range of local and global environmental issues and challenges.

Read on and discover how you are part of something bigger.

Employment and stats

What about after uni?

Sustainability professionals

EMPLOYMENT

We've designed the course so you can develop a range of technical and transferable skills and make you highly-employable. In-demand skills for the contemporary geographer include report writing, presentation and communication, data interpretation, software and I.T proficiency, collaboration and project management.

With the global push to be more sustainable and alleviate the impacts of climate change, both public and private sectors are opening up new roles for geography graduates to apply knowledge and skills that can make a difference for our world.

Geography graduates can find careers working with environmental consultancies, utility companies, transport planning and property management. Some also choose to pursue careers in primary and secondary teaching. 

FURTHER STUDY

You might find you want to learn more about the environment through further study. Building on our subject expertise, we offer a range of focused postgraduate courses where you can gain specialist knowledge. Salford graduates and alumni also receive a generous fees discount. 

MSc Environmental Assessment and Management

MSc Health and Global Environment

MSc Safety, Health and Environment

MSc Sustainability

 

A taste of what you could become

A cartographer

A surveyor

An environmental consultant

A GIS specialist

A town planner

And more...

Requirements

What you need to know

INTERNATIONAL APPLICANTS

This course isn’t suitable for international students.

If you are an international student and interested in studying a foundation year, please consider our International Foundation Year course.

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. 

ENGLISH LANGUAGE REQUIREMENTS

All of our courses are taught and assessed in English. If English is not your first language, you must meet our minimum English language entry requirements. An IELTS score of 6.0 (no element below 5.5) is proof of this, and we also accept a range of equivalent qualifications.  

Read more about our English language requirements, including information about pathways that can help you gain entry on to our degree courses. 

Standard entry requirements

GCSE

English language and mathematics at grade C or grade 4 and above. Equivalents are accepted.

You must fulfil our GCSE entry requirements as well as one of the requirements listed below.

UCAS tariff points

64 UCAS points

A level

64 UCAS points

BTEC National Diploma

MPP

Access to HE

64 UCAS points from QAA approved access course. 

Scottish Highers

64 UCAS points from Higher Level

Irish Leaving Certificate

64 UCAS points from Higher Level

European Baccalaureate

Completion of two full years study and an awarded qualification

International Baccalaureate

26 points

Alternative entry requirements

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.

How much?

Type of study Year Fees
Full-time home 2022/23 £8,250 for Foundation Year and £9,250 for subsequent years.
Part-time 2022/23 Your annual fee will be calculated pro rata to the full-time fee according to the number of credits you are studying
Full-time home 2023/24 £8,250 for Foundation Year and £9,250 for subsequent years.
Part-time 2023/24 Your annual fee will be calculated pro rata to the full-time fee according to the number of credits you are studying

Additional costs

All field trips are funded by the school but you may need to consider additional costs such as food and spending money. 

International field trips that are part of core modules are also funded by the school but you will need to pay towards international field trips that are part of optional modules (although these are subsidised by the school) and you will be made aware of these costs before selecting the module. 

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

Apply now

All Set? Let's Apply?

Enrolment dates

September 2023

UCAS information

Course ID F817

Institution S03