Geography (with a year in industry) BSc (Hons)

Course code F821

What is special about this course?

If you are inspired by understanding the world around you and want the opportunity to gain industry experience then this BSc (Hons) Geography (with a year in industry) 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. This course also allows you to spend a year working in industry to gain invaluable skills and improve your CV, giving you greater career potential upon graduating from university.

Field trips are a valuable and memorable part of studying geography. Being located in the stunning Scottish Highlands bring you to the doorstep of one of the richest natural classrooms in the world, and we make the most of it! This course includes several day trips in the local area, as well as residential field trips in Scotland* and an international fieldtrip in Iceland*. 

*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 achieved 100% overall satisfaction ratings in the National Student Survey
  • Take the opportunity to gain invaluable experience by spending a year working in industry
  • Field trips locally, in the Scottish Highlands, and in Iceland
  • Mix of online-timetabled 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
  • Strong focus on employability within the curriculum: geography graduates have high levels of employability


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 and one science related subject, 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

You will study the following core modules:

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

You will also study 2 of the following optional modules:

  • Economics and the state
  • Fundamental chemistry
  • Introduction to global environmental issues
  • Introduction to human geography
  • Introduction to land reform and community land ownership
  • Introduction to sustainable development
  • Overview of energy use
  • Principles of biology

Year 2 - DipHE

You will study the following core modules:

  • Atmosphere, weather and climate
  • Earth surface processes
  • Employability skills for geographers
  • Practical skills in field ecology

You will also study 2 of the following optional modules:

  • Community energy
  • Environmental conservation
  • Exploring the urban and rural places, people and policies
  • Freshwater environments
  • Sustainable development approaches in an international context (field trip)

Year 3 - BSc

You will study the following core modules:

  • Climate change: impacts and adaptation
  • Field course
  • Research skills and project (STE)
  • Work placement: industry specific skills

You will also study 2 of the following optional modules:

  • Assessment of the environmental impact of development
  • Community-based economic development
  • Globalisation and sustainable development
  • Remote sensing principles and practice
  • Sustainable tourism and the environment

Year 4 - Year in industry

You may have the opportunity to undertake an optional year-long work placement between your BSc and BSc (Hons) years. We will support you to find a suitable placement, however if a placement is not found, you will have the opportunity to transfer to the standard four year course.

Year 5 - BSc (Hons)

You will study the following core modules:

  • Dissertation
  • Glaciation 
  • Natural hazards 

You will also study 2 of the following optional modules:

  • Conservation of biodiversity
  • Science and society
  • Sustainable agriculture systems

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: 5 years (including 1 year in industry)

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.

The above only applies to academic years but you should expect to work full-time (35-40 hours) during your year in industry.

Where can I study my course?

  • Inverness

Start date

  • September


Fees to be confirmed.


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, longer residential trips, and an optional international trip to Iceland. You will be required to cover the travel cost to and from your place of work during your year out in industry and to pay a contribution towards the cost of the residential and international trips. Further information is available upon request.

What can I do on completion of my course?

Once you have successfully completed your BSc (Hons) Geography (with a year in industry), you may wish to pursue a career in:

  • Government departments and agencies such as:
    • 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 chose UHI as it offered the best environment to study geography. My lecturers could not have been more helpful, they were passionate about their subjects and keen to assist in any way – always going the extra mile. UHI’s unparalleled experience in flexible and blended learning worked really well with my circumstances. 

As part of my studies, I undertook a month’s work placement with RSPB Scotland, giving me the opportunity to practice and enhance my GIS skills in a real-world environment. UHI will equip you with everything you need for your career, and continue to support you as a graduate too.  

My favourite thing about UHI is studying surrounded by the beautiful countryside, and all of the outdoor opportunities the Highlands and Islands have to offer. UHI is so much more than a university, it is a family where everyone is interested and invested in your success. 

George studied BSc (Hons) Geography at UHI Inverness.

Apply for Geography (with a year in industry) 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.