Geography BSc (Hons)

Course code F820

What is special about this course?

If you are inspired by understanding the world around you then BSc (Hons) Geography* is for you. At both local and global levels, many of the main challenges facing the world in the 21st century are related to geography. Studying an exciting mix of physical , environmental and human geography, this course will equip you with the wide range of knowledge and skills needed for the modern workplace.

Field trips are a valuable and memorable part of studying geography and this course includes several day trips in the local area as well as residential field trips in Scotland**. We are so lucky to have the amazing geography of the Highlands as our classroom and we make the most of it!

*subject to validation
**you will be required to pay a contribution towards the costs of these trips. Further information is available upon request.

Special features

  • Join a course which has, for two years running, achieved 100% overall satisfaction ratings in the National Student Survey
  • Mix of online learning and face-to-face teaching, with small group study on campus and in the field
  • Online learning materials available 24/7 via laptops, tablets or mobiles
  • Assessment on the 17 core modules is principally done via course work, either individually or via group work - very few exams
  • The remaining 6 optional modules allow you to follow your own interests in sustainable development or environmental science
  • Strong focus on employability within the curriculum: geography graduates have high levels of employability
  • Field trips locally and in the Scottish Highlands

(You may also be interested in our BSc (Hons) Environmental Science or BSc (Hons) Sustainable Development course).


We offer modern student accommodation at a number of our locations.

Entry requirements

  • 3 Highers at grade C or above; at least one must be Geography or a related science and humanities subject* (see list below) OR
  • 2 A levels at grade C or above, including Geography, OR
  • BTEC National Diplomas at MMM or DD and above in a related subject OR
  • Relevant Access to HE diploma PLUS
  • Minimum National 5 or Standard Grade Credit or Intermediate 2, or GCSE grade C/4 in English and Maths
  • Applicants with other qualifications or experience will be considered on an individual basis
  • This is a Category 2 PVG course: PVG Scheme membership is required for specific optional modules/unit(s), where there is guaranteed contact with vulnerable groups in optional module/unit(s), but an alternative pathway exists to achieve target qualification. For further information visit our PVG scheme webpage
  • Advance entry to years two/three may be possible with a relevant HNC/D or with recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).

*Related science and humanities subjects:

  • Biology
  • Biotechnology
  • Chemistry
  • Computing
  • Economics
  • Environmental science
  • Geology
  • History
  • Human biology
  • Land use
  • Mathematics
  • Modern studies
  • Physics
  • Politics
  • Psychology
  • Sociology
  • Travel and tourism

Year 1 - CertHE

Core modules are:

  • Introduction to physical geography
  • GIS for geographers
  • Ecological principles, biodiversity and ID skills

Optional modules may include:

  • Introduction to sustainable development
  • The environment of mountain regions
  • Principles of biology
  • Fundamental chemistry
  • Introduction to global environmental issues
  • Economics and the state
  • Overview of energy use

Year 2 - DipHE

Core modules are:

  • Atmosphere, weather and climate
  • Employability skills for geographers
  • Earth surface processes
  • Collecting and interpreting data for geographers
  • Natural capital and ecosystem services

Optional modules may include:

  • The geography of tourism and sustainability
  • Environmental conservation
  • Freshwater environments

Year 3 - BSc

Core modules are:

  • Field skills for geographers
  • Climate change: impacts and adaptation
  • Workplace experience: developing transferable skills
  • Research and design skills for geographers

Optional modules may include:

  • Sustainable land management
  • Remote sensing: principles and practice
  • Assessment of the environmental impact of development
  • Urban and rural geography

Year 4 - BSc (Hons)

Core modules are:

  • Dissertation

Optional modules may include:

  • Glaciation
  • Natural hazards and mitigation
  • Sustainable agriculture systems
  • Globalisation, sustainability and uneven development
  • Conservation of biodiversity
  • Science and society

How will I study my course?

  • Full-time
  • With support from university staff, you will learn through a combination of face-to-face tutorials and online study, including live-chats, screen-sharing software, discussion boards and group tasks. Collaborative learning tools will enable you to work with others to build online content
  • Online materials can be viewed on laptops, tablets, smartphones and consoles
  • This will be supplemented by field trips, practical sessions and work experience, as well as individual online study through the university's virtual learning environment (VLE)
  • You will be required to pay a contribution towards the field trips
  • You will have topical support from your lecturers via discussion boards and email
  • You will also receive personal support from a dedicated personal academic tutor via one-to-one meetings, email and phone

How long will my course last?

  • Full-time: 4 years

Each semester is 12 weeks long and comprises 3 modules. You are expected to commit to 200 hours of work per module, which equates to 600 hours per semester/50 hours a week – it is an intensive course but only amounts to 24 weeks out of the whole year.

For each module you will spend about two hours a week reading the online lecture material, plus one-two hours a week in synchronous communication with the module leader and up to two hours a week in face-to-face tutorials. You will be studying three modules at a time, so a typical week could consist of up to 18 hours of structured study time and the remaining 32 hours a week would be spent in self-directed study. In some weeks there may also be field trips.



Where can I study my course?

  • Inverness

Start date

  • September



For students normally domiciled in Scotland, with a term-time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

This includes

  • EU nationals with settled or pre-settled status in the UK,
  • EEA/Swiss nationals with settled status in the UK

EEA/Swiss nationals with pre-settled status who are self-employed or migrant workers in the UK.

  2023-24 2024-25
Full-time (120 credit modules) per year £1,820 £1,820
Part-time (structured) (3 x 20 credit modules) per year £915 £915
Part-time (unstructured per module) (per 20 credit module) £305 £305

Rest of UK students

For students living in the rest of the UK (England, Wales and N. Ireland, including Channel Islands and the Isle of Man) studying this course full time, the following fees apply:

Year Level 2023-24 Full-time 2024-25 Full-time
Year 1 CertHE £9,250 £9,250
Year 2 DipHE £9,250 £9,250
Year 3 Degree £9,250 £9,250
Year 4 Honours Free  Free

Part-time (per 20 credit module) - £1,542.

Fees are payable in advance each academic year unless otherwise agreed.

There are a number of funding options available to UK students to help you pay for your studies and your cost of living while studying.

EU/EEA and Swiss nationals without settled or pre-settled status in the UK

Following the UK’s departure from the European Union, the Scottish Government confirmed that EU/EEA and Swiss nationals, who do not have settled or pre-settled status, will be considered as international for fee purposes.  Students will get an automatic scholarship of £4,000 per annum and the 4th year of study will be free for those studying full-time, on continuous study, who have paid for the previous three years at the University of the Highlands and Islands.

This includes EEA/Swiss nationals with pre-settled status who are not self-employed or migrant workers in the UK.

Year Level 2023-24 Full-time With scholarship 2024-25 Full-time With scholarship
Year 1 CertHE £15,360 £10,310 £15,996 £11,996
Year 2 DipHE £15,360 £10,310 £15,996 £11,996
Year 3 Degree £15,360 £10,310 £15,996 £11,996
Year 4 Honours £15,360 Free £15,996 Free

Students will need Student Route visa sponsorship to study on the UK.

International students

For students who do not normally reside in the UK or European Union and with a term-time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:


Full-time (120 credit modules) per year - £15,996

A no fee increase guarantee is available for self-funding full-time and structured part-time rest of the UK, EU and international undergraduate students for continuous study for the same award, up to the permitted standard time limit for the relevant award.


UHI has a number of scholarships, bursaries, awards, and discretionary fund opportunities available to new and current students. Please use the A-Z of funds or use the filter to see which ones may be relevant to you. All students are welcome to apply.

Further information on funding your studies is also available, please see the attached link or contact the relevant UHI partner.

Additional costs

This course includes several field trips, including day trips in the local area and longer residential trips. You will be required to pay a contribution towards the cost of the residential trips. Further information is available upon request.

What can I do on completion of my course?

Once you have completed your BSc (Hons) Geography course, you could progress to a career in:

  • Government departments and agencies e.g. Scottish Environment Protection Agency; Environment Agency; Scottish Natural Heritage; English Natural Heritage
  • Planning departments of local authorities
  • Natural resource industries, such as oil, gas, coal, aggregates
  • Water industry and flood management
  • Environmental consultancy
  • Waste and recycling
  • Travel and tourism
  • Public policy
  • Urban regeneration
  • Retail and business
  • Teaching

Is there more information available online?

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I can’t think of anywhere better to study geography in the UK with the Cairngorms on our doorstep. This course has already opened my mind to many possibilities. I am starting to move towards the environmental and renewable sector. Before starting the course, I worked in a very busy pharmaceutical lab as a research and development technician based at Foresterhill campus in Aberdeen. This wasn’t the career for me but I learnt so much and it gave me the confidence boost I needed for my next chapter. 

Rose Agus, 2nd year BSc (Hons) Geography student

The field trips allowed me to explore my own country and included a 'once in a lifetime' opportunity to hike across the Swiss Alps and walk along the snout of a glacier. My work experience was spent with SSE where I utilised skills I’d gained from the degree conducting both habitat and geological/archaeological surveys. It also provided me with contacts in the company and gave me a basic knowledge of GIS systems which gave me a 'head start' within the GIS module. I plan to go on to postgraduate study with the hope of eventually ending up in a career with renewable energy.

Kieran Young, BSc (Hons) Geography graduate

Choosing this university allowed me to remain in the Highlands while studying. The blended learning approach resonated, meaning that a lot of the course could be completed from home, but I still had face-to-face contact with tutors.
I’m interested in pursuing postgraduate study after my degree, before moving into research,
lecturing or environmental work. 

Jamie MacManaway is in his second year of the
BSc (Hons) Geography at our Inverness College
UHI campus

Apply for Geography BSc (Hons)

I want to start in Aug/Sep 2024

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at the University of the Highlands and Islands. We operate a fair and open admissions system committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination. We consider all applications on merit and on the basis of ability to achieve, without discrimination on grounds of gender, age, disability, ethnicity and socio-economic background. We welcome applications from all prospective students and aim to provide appropriate and efficient services to students with disabilities.