You will develop a deep understanding of the processes that shape our planet and how they impact on human activities.
At a Glance
UCAS Institution Name and Code
A Level: ABB
IB: 32 points
This degree gives you the opportunity to focus on physical geography from the very start of the course.
You explore some of the key environmental issues facing our world today, as well as learning Earth science concepts and techniques, with an emphasis on how landscapes evolve.
You will become skilled in an array of techniques for investigating and measuring the natural environment and develop laboratory and GIS skills.
You'll also enjoy fieldwork in both the UK and abroad, with field visits ranging from nearby Northumberland to Iceland, the American Southwest, Ireland and Morocco.
Quality and rankingQuality and ranking
Geography at Newcastle is highly regarded. We rank in the top 10 universities in the UK in The Times/Sunday Times Good University Guide 2016.
We also rank 10th overall in the UK for research (Research Excellence Framework 2014) and 42nd in the world in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2016.
Physical Geography at Newcastle achieved a 97% overall student satisfaction score, ranking us 4th in the UK in the 2016 National Student Survey.
Boost your employability with a work placementBoost your employability with a work placement
Apply to spend a 9 to 12 months on an optional work placement between Stages 2 and 3. You can apply to spend your placement year with any organisation and will receive University support to do so.
You’ll gain first-hand experience of working in the sector, putting your learning into practice and developing your professional expertise.
It will extend your degree by a year and is subject to availability, however it isn't available if you're spending a year studying abroad.
Find out more about Work Placements.
Fieldwork is important throughout this degree. You will take part in:
- an eight-day residential trip to put your technical skills into practice at the end of Stage 1
- a field trip in Stage 2, examining landscapes in Ireland or the American Southwest
- a residential field course in the UK in Stage 3
The North East provides an ideal environment in which to study physical geography and you'll take regular day trips to explore:
- coasts and mountains
- rivers and moorland
- landscapes displaying a rich record of their evolution over lengthy timescales
We are also only an hour from the Lake District, the Scottish Borders and the North York Moors, expanding the superb landscapes we engage with as part of your degree.
Study abroadStudy abroad
UK and EU students have the chance to broaden their academic experience by taking part in a study abroad exchange through the Erasmus scheme. You can study abroad in a European country for between three and nine months.
We have partner institutions throughout Europe (some of which teach in English). Our recent exchange students have studied in:
Teaching and assessmentTeaching and assessment
We use practical surveying classes, complemented by laboratory work, computer-based scientific analysis, and development of models and theories, to deliver a ‘hands-on’ approach to geography.
All of our geography courses enjoy a high level of staff and student interaction, including:
- laboratory work
You will be assessed by a combination of coursework and examinations. Coursework may include reports, essays, presentations and data analysis.
All modules also require a considerable amount of independent study, culminating in a dissertation under expert supervision in Stage 3.
Find out more
Teaching and assessment methods may vary from module to module. More information about each module including specific assessment methods, credits and contact hours, can be found in the Course Details section.
Visit our Teaching and Learning pages to read about the outstanding learning experience available to all students at Newcastle University.
Facilities and supportFacilities and support
You will benefit from industry-standard equipment to support your studies, including:
- field instrumentation
- GPS positioning equipment
- a wide range of photogrammetric and image-handling software and hardware
- extensive computing facilities
Throughout your studies you will use state-of-the-art laboratories, including:
- Geomorphology Laboratory
- Cosmogenic Isotope Laboratory
- Spatial Analysis Laboratory
- Chemistry Laboratory
Take virtual tours of the facilities available to geography students at Newcastle University using the links above.
You will have an academic member of staff as a personal tutor throughout your degree. They can help with academic and personal issues.
Peer mentors will help you in your first year. They are fellow students who can help you settle in and answer any questions you have.
You’ll become part of a really lively community of staff and students in both Schools. GeogSoc is one of the University's largest student-run societies. They organise social events throughout the year.
Compare this course
See how this course compares with others for topics such as student satisfaction, fees and costs and prospects after graduation using the Unistats Key Information Set.
Modules for 2016 entry
The module and/or programme information below is for 2016 entry. Modules may be amended on an annual basis to take account of changing staff expertise, developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback.
Modules/programme information for 2017 entry will be published here as soon as it is available (mid-May 2017).
Our degrees are divided into Stages. Each Stage lasts for an academic year and you need to complete modules totalling 120 credits by the end of each Stage.
You take compulsory modules that give you a firm foundation in physical geography and essential geographic skills.
- CEG1702 Geographic Information Systems
- CEG1705 An Introduction to GNSS and its Applications
- CEG1706 Principles of Remote Sensing
- GEO1005 Environmental Issues
- GEO1019 Physical Geography Field Course
- GEO1020 Introduction to Physical Geography
- GEO1096 Geographical Skills
- GEO1103 Quantitative Geographical Analysis
You take the following compulsory modules:
- GEO2137 Key Methods for Physical Geographers
- GEO2127 Doing Physical Geography Research: Theory and Practice
You also choose one of the fieldtrips below:
You also select 40 credits from the optional modules below:
- GEO2042 Aquatic Pollution
- GEO2135 Rivers
- GEO2136 Reconstructing Quaternary Environments
- GEO2138 Community Volunteering: A Geography Perspective
- GEO2226 Glacial Environments
- CEG2606 Geological Resources
- CEG2609 Research Methods in Environmental Pollution
- CEG2704 Geographic Information Systems: Theory and Application
- CEG2708 Photogrammetry and Laser Scanning I
- CEG2709 Applied Remote Sensing and Image Processing
You may spend Semester 2 studying abroad, subject to agreeing an overall selection of modules with the module leader and with permission from the DPD:
In addition, with the approval of the DPD, alternative optional modules to those listed above may be selected (maximum 20 credits):
- NCL2007 Career Development for second year students
- ARA2004 Environmental Archaeology
- Any other DPD-approved level 5 module
Work Placement (optional)
You can apply to spend 9 to 12 months on an optional work placement between Stages 2 and 3. You can apply to spend your placement year with any organisation and will receive University support to do so. It will extend your degree by a year and is subject to availability. It isn't available if you're spending a year studying abroad. Find out more about Work Placements.
You will select 80 credits from the following list if not already chosen:
- GEO3075 Glacial Meltwater Processes and Products
- GEO3110 Tectonic Geomorphology
- GEO3118 Ice Age World
- GEO3126 Global Environmental Change in the Anthropocene
- GEO3132 Climate Change Debate: Science, Politics and Public Views
- GEO3136 Applied Geomorphology and Natural Hazards
- GEO3142 Weather, Climate Science and Modelling
- GEO3143 Community Volunteering: A Geography Perspective
- GEO3144 Landslides from Pole to Pole
- CEG3701 Advanced GIS Fieldcourse
- CEG3707 Geohazards and Deformation of the Earth
- CEG2708 Photogrammetry and Laser Scanning I
- CEG3715 Environmental Informatics
If you did not take GEO2112 at Stage 2, you may spend Semester 1 studying abroad, subject to agreeing an overall selection of modules with the module leader and with permission from the DPD:
With the approval of the DPD alternative optional modules to those listed above may be selected. Recommended outside options include:
- NCL3007 Career Development for final year students OR
- NCL3008 Advanced Career Development
- ARA3004 Geoarchaeology
- Any other DPD-approved Level 6 module
All candidates are considered on an individual basis. If your qualifications are not listed here, please see our additional entry requirements web pages to find out which other qualifications are considered.
The entrance requirements below apply to 2017 entry.
A LevelsA Levels
ABB including Geography and at least one science-related subject from Maths, Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Geology. General Studies is not accepted. For Biology, Chemistry and Physics A levels, we require a pass in the practical element. GCSE Mathematics is required (minimum grade C) if not offered at a higher level.
Scottish QualificationsScottish Qualifications
AABBB at Higher Grade including Geography and preferably Mathematics and/or at least one other science-related subject from Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics, Biology. Combinations of Advanced Highers and Highers accepted. Mathematics required at National 5, minimum grade C (or Standard Grade or Intermediate 2 equivalent) if not offered at Higher Grade.
Scottish qualifications can be taken in more than one sitting.
International BaccalaureateInternational Baccalaureate
A minimum of 32 points with Geography at Higher Level grade 6. Standard Level Mathematics or Mathematical Studies at grade 4 required if not offered at Higher Level.
Irish Leaving CertificateIrish Leaving Certificate
H1H1H2H2H3 at Higher level, to include Geography and at least one science-related subject from Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics, Biology.
Access QualificationsAccess Qualifications
30 level 3 credits at Distinction and 15 level 3 at Merit. At least 15 level 3 credits in a geographical-based subject and at least 15 level 3 credits in a science-related subject are required. GCSE Mathematics at minimum grade C is required.
Cambridge Pre-UCambridge Pre-U
D3,M2,M2 in Principal Subjects including Geography and at least one science-related subject from Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics, Biology. GCSE Mathematics (minimum grade C) required if not offered at a higher level.
Extended Project QualificationExtended Project Qualification
If you offer the Level 3 Extended Project Qualification in a topic relevant to the degree programme, we will vary our offer to recognise this.
PARTNERS - A LevelsPARTNERS - A Levels
BBC including Geography and at least one science-related subject from Maths, Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Geology. General studies is not accepted. For Biology, Chemistry and Physics A levels, we require a pass in the practical element. GCSE Mathematics is required (minimum grade C) if not offered at a higher level.
The PARTNERS Programme is Newcastle University’s supported entry route for students from schools and colleges in England. Find out more about the PARTNERS Programme.
English Language RequirementsEnglish Language Requirements
Other International QualificationsOther International Qualifications
ABB at A level is typically the minimum required for entry to an undergraduate course. You can check the equivalent grades for qualifications offered in your country.
Undergraduate Admissions Policy
See our Admissions Policy 2017 Entry (PDF: 109 KB).
Physical geography careers
Our graduates’ excellent employment record is a sign of the flexibility and professionalism that our geography degrees develop.
The range of skills that geographers acquire is much sought after by employers, and our graduates therefore have access to a wide variety of careers.
Our degrees provide experience of a host of general skills including written and oral presentation, teamwork, problem solving, numeracy, computing, graphics, mapping, survey methods, research skills.
Geographers are adaptable, and their broad understanding and range of approaches to the world and its problems are relevant to many different jobs.
Organisations that have recruited our graduates in recent years include:
- the Scientific Civil Service
- the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
- Raleigh International
- the Armed Forces
- the National Health Service
- the Environment Agency
- the British Council
- Natural England
- the Scottish Wildlife Trust
- Newcastle City Council
Many of our graduates also enter management roles with companies such as Unilever, Nissan and KPMG; some become accountants, bankers, computer programmers, teachers or research assistants, whilst others take up careers in environmental consultancy.
Others specialise in particular areas of geography by taking an MSc or PhD, and an increasing number travel abroad, in some cases doing voluntary work, before seeking paid employment.
Find out more about the career options for Geography from Prospects: The UK's Official Careers Website.
What our graduates go on to do: employment and further study choices
See what our recent graduates went on to do and view graduate destinations statistics. These statistics are based on what graduates were doing on a specific date, approximately six months after graduation. The most recent data available is for graduates who completed their course in 2014/15.
The destination data is available in varying levels, beginning with the University and moving through Faculty and School down to individual course reports. This final level may give you some useful ideas about possible options after your course or a course you are considering.
Careers and employability at Newcastle
Newcastle University consistently has one of the best records for graduate employment in the UK.
94% of our 2014/15 UK/EU graduates progressed to employment or further study within six months of graduating.
Of our graduates who entered employment 85% were in a professional or managerial position.
We provide an extensive range of opportunities to all students through an initiative called ncl+. This enables you to develop personal, employability and enterprise skills and to give you the edge in the employment market after you graduate.
Fees & Funding
Tuition Fees (UK and EU students)Tuition Fees (UK and EU students)
£9,250 in 2017-18 (subject to government fee regulations and parliamentary approval. If the new regulations are not introduced, the fee will be £9,000).
For programmes where you can spend a year on a work placement or studying abroad, you will receive a significant fee reduction for that year.
- The maximum fee that we are permitted to charge for UK/EU students is set by the UK government.
- As a general principle, you should expect the tuition fee to increase in each subsequent academic year of your course, subject to government regulations on fee increases and in line with inflation.
- Newcastle University has guaranteed that EU students entering our University in 2017 will pay the UK (Home) rate of fee for the full duration of their programme of study.
- Some of our degrees involve additional costs which are not covered by your tuition fees.
- See more information on all aspects of student finance relating to Newcastle University.
Tuition Fees (International students)Tuition Fees (International students)
£17,935 per year
You will be charged tuition fees for each year of your degree programme (unless you are on a shorter exchange programme).
If you spend a year on placement or studying abroad as part of your degree you may pay a reduced fee for that year.
Please note that the tuition fee amount you will pay may increase slightly year on year as a result of inflation.
See more information on all aspects of student finance relating to Newcastle University.
Scholarships and Financial Support (UK and EU students)Scholarships and Financial Support (UK and EU students)
Scholarships and Financial Support (International students)Scholarships and Financial Support (International students)
Before you apply you will need to check the entry requirements for your chosen degree. We accept a wide range of qualifications offered for entry to our degrees. We welcome applications from international students.
Applying to Newcastle University through UCAS
To apply for undergraduate study at Newcastle you must use the online application system managed by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).
UCAS codes for Newcastle University
- institution name - NEWC
- institution code - N21
Ask your teacher or adviser from your school or college for the UCAS buzzword. You need the buzzword when you register on the Apply system. This makes it clear which school or college you are applying from.
All UK schools and colleges and a small number of EU and international establishments are registered with UCAS.
If you are applying independently, or are applying from a school or college which is not registered to manage applications, you will still use the Apply system. You will not need a buzzword.
Making your application
On the UCAS website you can also find out more about: