Geography and Politics BA (Hons)

Course code L72P

What is special about this course?

Geography is the study of the Earth, and the link between physical and human landscapes. It explores the inter-relationships between people, place, and the environment, and how these vary across and between places. This degree considers these links from a humanities and social sciences perspective, focusing on issues such as land use, planning and development, globalisation, climate change, energy, and tourism, in order to examine human relationships with the environment. The broad curriculum has been designed to provide you with the knowledge and skills to understand many aspects of our rapidly changing world, equipping you to tackle real-world problems in a range of organisations and sectors, and develop specialist and transferable skills.

The relationship between geography and politics is incredibly close, with the study of borders, territory, population shifts, conflict, nationalism, geopolitics, and environmental politics embedded throughout the modules.

The politics modules of this joint degree will follow the four main pillars of political study; you will study International relations, Comparative politics, and Applied politics, all feeding from the central pillar of Political theory. You can apply to this degree with little more than a keen interest in politics: the modules become incrementally more specialised as the semesters go on and you can choose introductory options that will develop your understanding at a steady pace.

The knowledge and skills taught in this BA (Hons) Geography and Politics are of relevance to many areas of employment, including: renewable energy; energy efficiency; waste management; tourism; rural and community development; agriculture; local government; planning; logistics; and environmental agencies. A significant number of geography graduates move on to careers in finance, marketing and law, or to further postgraduate study, teaching and research, and geography graduates are among the most employable, with skills developed in presenting ideas in reports and oral presentations, in data collection and analysis, and in the use of specialist mapping and statistical software.

Please see our FAQ sheet for further information on this course.

Special features

  • Delivered by tutors with years of experience of teaching by videoconference, online and at a distance, and can be studied from home, full or part-time to suit your circumstances
  • According to the UK's Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), Geography graduates are among the most likely to be employed: more than 90 per cent are in work or further study within six months of graduating (Times Higher Education 2017)

Entry requirements

  • 3 Scottish Highers at grades BBC or above or
  • 2 A levels at grades BC or above
  • At least 2 should be from the list of required subjects
  • Additional qualifications and experiences will be considered on an individual basis

Advanced entry

  • HNC Social Science (12 SCQF credits) with 3 additional SCQF credits at level 7, which is equivalent to 120 degree credit points, and at least grade C in the Graded Unit, will be considered for direct entry to year two

Year 1 - CertHE

You will study the following modules: 

  • Introduction to human geography (S2) 
  • Overview of energy use (S1) 
  • Ideas and ideologies in politics (S1)
  • Evolving politics of the UK (S2)

You will also choose two further option modules from other humanities subjects.

Year 2 - DipHE

You will study the following modules: 

  • Atmosphere, weather and climate (S2) 
  • Introduction to geographical information systems (S2) 
  • History of political ideas (S1)
  • Comparative politics (S2)

You will also choose two further option modules from other humanities subjects. 

Year 3 - BA

You will usually study the following modules: 

  • Assessment of the environmental impacts of development (S1) 
  • Climate change (S2) 
  • Modern political Ideas (S1)

Plus two of the following modules:

  • Sustainable tourism and the environment (S2) OR Advanced social research methods (S1) 
  • Advanced social research methods (S1) OR European politics (S2)

Year 4 - BA (Hons)

You will complete either a Geography or Politics dissertation. 

You will also study one option module from your chosen dissertation subject, plus three option modules from the other subject.

Modules may include:

  • Geopolitical development issues (S1) 
  • Sustainable agriculture systems (S2) 
  • Sustainable energy and waste minimisation (S1) 
  • Democratising Europe (S1)
  • Political theory (S2) 
  • Geopolitics (S1) 

How will I study my course?

  • Full-time
  • Part-time (structured)
  • Part-time (unstructured)
  • You will learn through a combination of video-conference lectures and tutorials, and online study via the university's virtual learning environment (VLE), with support from your tutors.

How long will my course last?

  • Full-time: 4 years @ 40 hours per week
  • Part-time (structured): 8 years @ up to 20 hours per week
  • Part-time (unstructured): variable

Number of hours per week indicates the total number of hours you should dedicate to the course, which includes time spent in lectures and your own time spent on individual study and research.

Where can I study my course?

  • Argyll
  • North, West and Hebrides
  • This fully online course can be studied from anywhere in the world
  • Students based near to one of the listed campuses should apply to, and be enrolled and supported by, their local campus
  • All other students should apply to, and will be enrolled and supported by, UHI North, West and Hebrides

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 the UK students

For students normally domiciled in the rest of the UK (England, Wales and N. Ireland) or assessed as rest of the UK for fee status the following fees apply:

  2023-24 2024-25
Full-time online per year (120 credit modules) £6,120 £6,120
Part-time online (per 20 credit module) £1,020 £1,020

International students

For students who do not normally reside in the UK studying online from their home country, or living in the UK but assessed as international for fee status, the following fees apply:

This includes EU/EEA and Swiss nationals without settled status in the UK and EEA and Swiss nationals with pre-settled status who are not self-employed or migrant workers in the UK.

  2023-24 2024-25
Full-time online per year (120 credit modules) £6,540 £6,960
Part-time online (per 20 credit module) £1,090 £1,160

A no fee increase guarantee is available for self-funding full-time and structured part-time rest of the UK 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

If you wish to attend an optional residential weekend, or to join other field trips, student contributions will be required towards the overall costs incurred. The cost will vary depending on the event, your location and the amount of other funding available towards the event (eg HISA contributions to the Student Society Residential weekend may reduce costs for individual students). Attendance at such face to face events is optional and not essential for completion of the course.  

What can I do on completion of my course?

Once you have successfully completed your BA (Hons) Geography and Politics course, you might like to consider careers in: 

  • Government departments and development agencies
  • Economic development and planning departments of local authorities
  • Renewable energy, energy efficiency and waste management roles
  • Natural and rural heritage organisations
  • Tourism
  • Agriculture
  • Further postgraduate study or research
  • Teaching
  • Government departments and development agencies
  • Economic development departments of local authorities
  • Community enterprises and community energy groups
  • Community land initiatives
  • Natural and rural heritage organisations
  • Voluntary sector development posts
  • International non-governmental organisations
  • Political and economic departments of local authorities
  • Uniformed services
  • Electoral administrations
  • Assisting politicians
  • Trade union movement
  • Political party administration
  • Parliamentary work
  • Civil service
  • Researcher
  • Think tank work
  • Teaching

Apply for Geography and Politics BA (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.