Learn to solve global and local challenges of the 21st century on a course where the Lake District National Park is your immediate outdoor laboratory.
From geomorphological landscapes to the interaction between the physical and human environment to climate change, ecosystems and the rural economy and society, we have created a course for you that has a strong theoretical and broad geographical core.
You won’t just talk about geography; you’ll get on with it.
You’ll get to do field work every week, not just at the end of term - in the stunning landscape of a World Heritage Site - because practical study is integral to this course.
Our broad spectrum of modules means that alongside physical and environmental geography, you’ll gain a deep knowledge of human geography - looking at people’s interaction with the environment, their communities and the complex issues facing society today and in the future.
Your foundation degree will enable you to develop all the academic knowledge you will need to progress onto the full degree programme.
Why Choose University of Cumbria
- Unrivalled Ambleside location - we’re the only university in the UK with a campus in a National Park and a World Heritage Site
- Taught by experienced tutors who conduct national research
- Small class sizes mean you get the best tutor support when you need it
- Access to up-to-date technology used in the modern workplace, including advanced Geographical Information Systems and remote sensing
- Broad range of physical and human geography modules to choose from to suit your interests
- Learn to solve large global challenges down to issues such as small scale flood management, boosting your problem-solving skills
- We ensure your teaching is current and up-to-date, addressing topical and contemporary issues faced by society
- You’ll develop technical, analytical and interpretative skills through your studies to boost your employability
- Opportunity for a work placement in your final year
So, for a Geography degree that brings together human, physical and environmental geography together to give you a breadth of academic knowledge and plenty of hands-on field work, this is it.
Course Study Options
We also offer this course without an integrated foundation year.
Graduates from this degree course can expect to go into a range of careers, including rural resource managers, conservation site managers, teachers, logistics, town and country planning, environmental monitoring and assessment, environmental policy, government agencies, conservation and land management, hydrological assessors, river trust wardens, national park rangers.
Live your Geography degree, with the iconic Lake District acting as your personal laboratory.
Geographers explore the global challenges that face both humanity and the planet in the 21st Century. As such, with environmental responsibility and sustainability becoming increasingly prominent in personal, cultural, economic and political arenas, the BSc Geography with Integrated Foundation Year programme at the University of Cumbria equips its graduates with the knowledge and skills that will prepare you for the dynamic challenges of the coming century. Based initially in Carlisle for the Foundation Year, and then at our Ambleside campus in the heart of the Lake District, you will embrace the mix of natural and social sciences and humanities that create the diversity and exuberance we call Geography. We will explore the differences and dynamics between cultures, political systems, economies and landscapes; but you will also evaluate these as contested spaces that can be viewed through multiple lenses.
Why Choose University of Cumbria?
Where better to study Geography than in an environment where you can immerse yourself in an inspirational landscape every day of your studies? Our unique location allows us to embed high-quality experiential learning throughout the programme. Residential field-courses at Levels 4,5 and 6 take you beyond the Lake District and UK, placing your learning in a global context. In parallel with your degree studies, the unique opportunities and environment offered at the University of Cumbria through schemes such as UpSkill enable you to extend your skills and experience particularly associated with working outside the formal university academic setting and into real-world contexts.
Within the BSc Geography with Integrated Foundation Year programme at the University of Cumbria we particularly celebrate the richness of Geography as an all-encompassing subject. As such, we break down artificial boundaries between ‘Human’ and ‘Physical’ Geography to encourage you to develop the knowledge, skills and practical experience that makes our subject so valued and valuable. We hope by the end of your Geography degree at the University of Cumbria you will have gained an engaged intellectual curiosity and the ability to observe and critically reflect on the world around you.
To do this, we will ground you with a strong theoretical and conceptual framework that is common within many Geography degrees, but one that we then apply into multiple real-world contexts through extensive field-work and practical activities. Our unique location within both an iconic National Park and UNESCO World Heritage Site allows you to undertake high-quality fieldwork throughout every module of the degree at Levels 4-6 as well as multiple opportunities for extensive laboratory, archive and geospatial practice. Consequently, you will become an effective and experienced practitioner of Geography.
Our programme explores many of the key grand challenges that face both humanity and the planet in the 21st Century, for example; climate change and its implications; inequality and difference at individual to global levels; and valuing the ecosystem services we derive from the Earth system. Through your studies, you will develop a progressively more sophisticated understanding of geographical thinking within four broad, interconnected thematic strands.
These four themes are developed through a variety of compulsory and optional modules with an increasing level of choice available as you progress through your studies, enabling you to specialise and follow your own interests as you develop as a Geographer.
- Essential Academic Skills
- Essential Professional Development
- Applied Practice
- Working with Data
- Living Landscapes
- Dynamic Earth
- Geographical Techniques
- Human Geographies 1: Geographies of Landscape
- Human Geographies 2: Environment & Resources
- Geosphere & Atmosphere
- Earth, Wind & Fire
- Research Methods & Statistics for Geographers
- Ecosystem Services
- Geographical Information Systems
Optional modules (subject to availability and demand)
- Environmental Change: Past, Present, Future
- Hydrology & Catchments
- Biogeography & Soils
- Rural Economy & Society
- Cultural Landscapes
- National Parks & Protected Areas
- Conservation Policy, Practice & Philosophy
- Habitats & Ecosystems
- Contemporary Issues in Geography
Optional modules (subject to availability and demand)
- Ecosystem Service Assessment
- Catchment Management
- Upland Resource Management
- Culture, Identity & Place
- Tourism Management
- Work Placement
- Ice & Snow (Cold Environments)
- Wilding & Conservation
- Advanced GIS and Remote Sensing
- Conservation & Society
For detailed summary of all course content please read our programme specification for this course.
Assessment, Feedback, and Teaching and Learning methods
Full details are available in the programme specification.
The teaching timetable should be available from the end of August. Access to the timetable is through the Student Hub – you will be able to access the Student Hub after you have completed online registration. The teaching day is 9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday; please keep your other commitments open until confirmation of your teaching timetable, and bear in mind that many courses will offer placements or fieldwork which sometimes extends into the evenings and weekends.
Have a question about our entry requirements?
40 UCAS tariff points.
Potential to succeed can be measured in a number of ways including academic qualifications and skills obtained outside academic study such as work experience.
You can find out more about the tariff and qualification options from the UCAS tariff table.
Please check selection criteria for any additional entry requirements.
If you are over 21 and returning to study after being in relevant employment for a minimum of 3 years and do not meet the published entry requirements for Year 1 of our degree courses, please do not assume you are not qualified to join us. Our experienced Admissions and Academic staff will review your prior qualifications and professional experience to support your application. The Integrated Foundation Year programmes support your return to education and are specifically designed for students who have the ability to study for a degree but may not have all the necessary qualifications, skills or experience to join the degree in Year 1. Contact our Course Enquiries Team for more information.
Going to higher education can transform a person’s life. We use contextual admissions to make sure that we are accessible to everyone who has the potential to succeed. Qualifications and grades are important, but they are considered alongside other information that helps universities to identify potential and widen access to university level study. For some individuals, the disadvantages they have experienced in their life mean that they have not been able to demonstrate their full academic potential. Where a person lives and their personal circumstances can all affect their educational attainment. We take this context into account and look for an applicant’s potential when making admission decisions. For 2021 the University of Cumbria will make offers to applicants that live in postal code regions with the lowest participation in Higher Education (Polar 4 quintile 1 and 2 – you can check your postcode here https://www.officeforstudents.org.uk/data-and-analysis/young-participation-by-area/search-by-postcode ) Care leavers and mature students returning to education we will make an offer at the bottom of any UCAS Tariff range. Attendance at our Masterclasses and Summer Schools will also allow applicants to receive an offer lower within the tariff range. Find out more about our events at but must meet the terms and conditions of these events.
Apply online through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS), between September and January; they will send your application on to us. Applications submitted after this date will be considered late and the course you have applied for might be full by this time; however, we will consider you for alternative suitable courses.
Their website www.ucas.com provides all the information you need about universities, courses, locations, entry requirements and financial support. You are allowed to select up to five course choices. You need to use the correct UCAS campus and course codes as not all courses are offered at every campus. You will be asked for the following information when you apply online:
Institution code name: UoC
Institution code: C99
- A Ambleside
- B Brampton Road, Carlisle
- E University of Cumbria at Energus, Workington
- F Fusehill Street, Carlisle
- L Lancaster
- T University of Cumbria in London
- Y University of Cumbria at Furness College, Barrow-in-Furness
Applications should be made online directly to the university; visit our website or contact firstname.lastname@example.org for details and guidance. There is no official closing date but we would encourage you to apply as early as possible, as many courses are competitive.
What makes a good application?
We consider all aspects of your application, not simply your qualifications and grades. We look at your academic background and performance, relevant experience (particularly for professional courses where some voluntary or paid experience is required) and your reference. Above all, we look for motivation, commitment and potential-evidence that you can benefit from study at higher education level.
Make sure you include:
- Relevant qualifications/evidence of ability: check our website for the specific entry requirements required for each course. Tell us your previous academic results and your projected grades.
- A supportive reference, from an employer or your school or college.
- A good personal statement.
- Explain clearly what attracts you to the course and tell us about your wider interests and experience. If you are applying for a course that incorporates professional training and placements, you should include any relevant experience or visits you have made in the workplace. Highlight your individual strengths and qualities, personal skills, capacity for teamwork, contribution to the community and your enterprise, originality and determination. Select some activities which bring out these qualities.
When we receive your application, we will send you an acknowledgement and if you are successful at this stage you will get either an offer (with an invitation to visit the campus to which you have applied), or an invitation to interview on a particular date. If we are not able to offer you a place on your chosen course we will usually try to offer you a place on a similar course and will contact you to discuss this. Alternatively, if we think you are suitable, but cannot offer you a place on your preferred campus because of the level of competition, we will offer you a place at another campus if one is available.
And if I accept?
The admissions team will contact you and send further information from February onwards about accommodation, and from May/June onwards about preparing to join the university. If you have any other queries, please telephone the admissions offices for information and advice on 0845 6061144.
We welcome applications for deferred entry on some courses. If you have specific plans during your year out, indicate these on your personal statement as they may be relevant to your course and could enhance your application.
Applications for full-time undergraduate study are made through UCAS. Please see the international pages of our website for full details of our entry requirements (including English-language skills) as well as contacts for advice and support.
From 2009 the UK Border Agency introduced a Points-Based Immigration System (PBS) for students coming to the UK from outside the European Economic Area (EEA). Students entering higher education will need to obtain a Confirmation of Acceptance (CAS) plus finance confirmation to obtain a Tier 4 student visa. UK education providers are licensed by the UK Border Agency. When students apply for their visa (or entry clearance) they will need a valid Certificate of Acceptance of Studies from the university. Please note that a CAS is not a guarantee that a visa will be issued.
See the following websites for further details:www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/studyingintheuk
We have a wide range of scholarships, bursaries, grants and funds available to support you throughout your studies with us. This includes the Cumbria Bursary - a non-repayable bursary designed to support first year students with a household income of less than £25,000.Student Finance
You will need to supply personal protective eqiupment able to with stand the rigours of a Lake District climate, e.g. a waterproof jacket and trousers. Advice can be provided pre-enrolment. There may be additional costs for residential trips depending on destination. Alernative experiences achieving the learning outcomes can be arranged.Additional costs
Resources and facilities
We draw on a broad range of dedicated, student-centred staff from the wider department including geographers, foresters, ecologists, resource managers and outdoor specialists.
You will have access to extensive analytical laboratory space and equipment, extensive field equipment, augmented by the Lake District as our living working laboratory, a well-maintained minibus fleet, a broad range of academic staff, and discipline-specific library resources.