Human Geography - BSc (Hons)
with a Year Abroad

Join the next generation of geographers preparing to address the challenges facing the modern world. Expand your theoretical knowledge and develop practical field, research and work-related skills in a course that extends beyond the traditional foundations of Geography to address contemporary social and environmental issues. Get to know another country by spending a year abroad at one of our partner universities.

Overview

Examine why the world is changing so quickly and how these changes affect the environment, culture and economies at local, national and global levels. Drawing on expertise from the University’s schools of Law, Sociology, and Anthropology and Conservation, this course equips you with the skills required for a career in business, government agencies, NGOs, education and development.

Experience a different culture, gain a new academic perspective, establish international contacts, and enhance your employability with a year studying abroad.

Reasons to study Human Geography at Kent

  • Choose from a wide selection of optional modules to tailor your degree to your interests.
  • Access state-of-the-art study resources including an ecology laboratory, a field trials area, conservation genetics laboratories, a visual anthropology room and an ethnobiology laboratory.
  • Apply your learning on field trips in the UK and continental Europe. (Optional and residential trips may require support funding from attendees.)
  • Shape your degree outside of the classroom through our EcoGeog Society, with events such as the distinguished lecture by Tim Marshall on his book The Power of Geography.
  • Be part of a community engaged in ecological projects around the world, including members of the Kent Interdisciplinary Centre for Spatial Studies (KISS).
  • Join the supportive and welcoming community on our Canterbury campus, set among green and tranquil open spaces, with access to the world-class resources of our Templeman Library.

What you’ll learn

Developing knowledge and skills for your future employment is a fundamental element of this programme. As well as acquiring generic skills such as analytical writing, oral presentations, team working and leadership, you’ll strengthen your competence as a geographer through regular opportunities for field work and hands-on experience of analytical tools such as geographic information systems and remote sensing imagery. A strong core of Geography modules will give you a sound foundation in the subject, whilst a wide selection of option modules, as well as ‘wild’ modules from other schools, means you can tailor your degree to pursue specialist interests. Through the year abroad you have the opportunity to gain a closer knowledge of your host country.

See the modules you'll study

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Flexible tariff

Make Kent your firm choice – The Kent Guarantee

We understand that applying for university can be stressful, especially when you are also studying for exams. Choose Kent as your firm choice on UCAS and we will guarantee you a place, even if you narrowly miss your offer (for example, by 1 A Level grade)*.

*exceptions apply. Please note that we are unable to offer The Kent Guarantee to those who have already been given a reduced or contextual offer.

Entry requirements

The University will consider applications from students offering a wide range of qualifications. All applications are assessed on an individual basis but some of our typical requirements are listed below. Students offering qualifications not listed are welcome to contact our Admissions Team for further advice. Please also see our general entry requirements.

  • medal-empty

    A level

    BBB including one of Biology, Geography, Chemistry, Environmental Science, Psychology, Geology, Physics, Maths or any Joint Science at grade B or above.

  • medal-empty GCSE

    Mathematics grade C/4 or above

  • medal-empty Access to HE Diploma

    The University welcomes applications from Access to Higher Education Diploma candidates for consideration. A typical offer may require you to obtain a proportion of Level 3 credits in relevant subjects at merit grade or above.

  • medal-empty BTEC Nationals

    Distinction, Distinction, Merit in Countryside Management, Animal Management or Applied Science. Other subjects will be considered on a case-by-case basis

  • medal-empty International Baccalaureate

    30 points overall or 15 points at HL, including 5 at HL or 6 at SL in Biology, Geography, Environmental Science, Psychology, Geology, Chemistry, Physics or Maths.

  • medal-empty International Foundation Programme

    Pass all components of the University of Kent International Foundation Programme with a 60% overall average including 60% in LZ045 Life Sciences (1 & 2), 60% in LZ036 Academic Skills, and 50% in LZ013 Maths and Statistics if you do not hold GCSE Maths at 4/C or equivalent).

  • medal-empty T level

    The University will consider applicants holding T level qualifications in subjects closely aligned to the course.

Typical entry requirements for 2022 entry remain published on the UCAS course search website. These provide a rough guide to our likely entry requirements for Clearing applicants. 

During Clearing (after 5 July), our entry requirements change in real time to reflect the supply and demand of remaining course vacancies and so may be higher or lower than those published on UCAS as typical entry grades. Our Clearing vacancy list will be updated regularly as courses move in and out of Clearing, so please check regularly to see if we have any places available. See our Clearing website for more details on how Clearing works at Kent.

If you are an international student, visit our International Student website for further information about entry requirements for your country, including details of the International Foundation Programmes. Please note that international fee-paying students who require a Student visa cannot undertake a part-time programme due to visa restrictions.

Please note that meeting the typical offer/minimum requirement does not guarantee that you will receive an offer.

English Language Requirements

Please see our English language entry requirements web page.

Please note that if you do not meet our English language requirements, we offer a number of 'pre-sessional' courses in English for Academic Purposes. You attend these courses before starting your degree programme.

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Course structure

Duration: 4 years full-time, 7 years part-time

The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This listing is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.    

You study a combination of compulsory and optional modules and can alos take ‘wild’ modules from other programmes so you can customise your programme and explore other subjects that interest you.

Within each stage you are required to take 120 credits.

Stage 1

Compulsory modules currently include

This module introduces students to the range of basic academic and research skills required across the range of the School's BA and BSc programmes. Students will learn to independently use library resources to conduct scholarly research in their field of study and related fields, how to appropriately analyse that literature, and incorporate it into their own academic writing. Beyond writing, student will learn how to effectively communicate scholarly topics in the format of oral and poster presentations. Students will then be introduced to the basic aspects of collecting and analysing qualitative data as relevant in their own field of study and related disciplines. Finally, the module will focus on the skills needed to organise, analyse, and present quantitative data for the purpose of hypothesis testing in these disciplines.

Find out more about ANTS3080

This module provides a comprehensive introduction to people, place and the environment. In the first half of the module we explore this relationship through the lens of contemporary environmentalism. We consider how environmental issues are framed and managed by different societal stakeholders (such as policy makers, scientists, the media, activists) and introduce a series of core concepts of relevance to contemporary environmental management, including sustainability, resilience and environmental economics. In the second half, we explore the broader social and spatial dynamics that govern how the relationship between people, place and the environment takes shape, including urbanisation and the rise of mega-cities, the changing role of regional blocs and nation states, and changing geographies of gender, class, and ethnicity.

Find out more about GEOG3001

We are living in the era of the Anthropocene (the era of humankind), when humans have become the key driver of planetary changes. This module provides a comprehensive introduction to environmental sustainability in the context of the Anthropocene, understanding human impacts on nature. Using a strongly interdisciplinary approach based on human and environmental geography, we discuss key environmental challenges including climate change, pollution, and biodiversity loss, among others. We explore contemporary debates around sustainable development and critically analyse these in relation to real world sustainability problems along with an understanding of the relevant policy context. You are introduced to a series of case studies that illustrate human-environment relations as connected to social, economic and political processes at different scales. The module introduces systems thinking, initiating the understanding of interconnectedness.

Find out more about GEOG3004

This module explores and evaluates geographical patterns and processes occurring within urban and rural systems. The module includes introductory lectures and seminars on conceptualising the dynamics of urban and rural change and the underlying economic, social, cultural and environmental processes that drive their geographical expression. Understanding is set within a broader consideration of how social-spatial processes in urban and rural environments can be interpreted and assessed with respect to different values and priorities, and in relation to wider questions of environmental sustainability, social justice and economic prosperity. The introductory lectures and seminars for each section of the module (urban and rural) provide the context in which these systems are investigated empirically through field-based observation, interpretation and analysis.

Find out more about GEOG3005

Optional modules may include

This module is an introduction to biological anthropology and human prehistory. It provides an exciting introduction to humans as the product of evolutionary processes. We will explore primates and primate behaviour, human growth and development, elementary genetics, the evolution of our species, origins of agriculture and cities, perceptions of race and diversity, and current research into human reproduction and sexuality. Students will develop skills in synthesising information from a range of sources and learn to critically evaluate various hypotheses about primate and human evolution, culture, and behaviour. This module is required for all BSc Anthropology students. The module is also suitable for students in other disciplines who want to understand human evolution, and the history, biology, and behaviour of our species. A background in science is not assumed or required, neither are there any preferred A-levels or other qualifications. The module is team-taught by the biological and social anthropology staff.

Find out more about ANTB3020

This module is an introduction to human and primate evolution, and human prehistory. It provides an exciting introduction to humans as the product of evolutionary processes. We will explore primates and primate behaviour, elementary genetics, prehistoric archaeology, and the evolution of our species (and that of our ancestors such as Australopithecines and Neanderthals). Students will develop skills in synthesising information from a range of sources and learn to critically evaluate various hypotheses about primate and human evolution. The module is also suitable for students in other disciplines who want to understand human evolution, and the history of our planet and our species. A background in science is not assumed or required, neither are there any preferred A-levels or other qualifications.

Find out more about ANTB3160

A discipline which arose with other social sciences in the mid- to late-nineteenth century, social and cultural anthropology has made a speciality of studying 'other' people's worlds and ways of life. With increasing frequency, however, anthropologists have turned towards 'home', using insights gained from studying other cultures to illuminate aspects of their own society. By studying people's lives both at 'home' and 'abroad', social and cultural anthropology attempt to both explain what may at first appear bizarre and alien about other peoples' ways of living whilst also questioning what goes without saying about our own society and beliefs. Or, to put it another way, social and cultural anthropology attempt, among other things, to challenge our ideas about what we take to be natural about 'human nature' and more generally force us to take a fresh look at what we take for granted.

Find out more about ANTS3010

This module explores the emergence of Anthropology as a discipline. It introduces students to the major figures, theories and approaches that have shaped Anthropology, both Sociocultural and Biological. It presents an historical outline of the major schools of thought and discusses the connections between social, cultural, and biological anthropology. It focuses on major figures who have contributed to, and shaped the discipline, and on their theoretical legacies. Students will be asked to think clearly and critically about the development of the discipline (with particular regard to colonialism and racism), and how Anthropological ideas have been applied and misapplied.

Find out more about ANTS3070

The module is designed to introduce students to the principle approaches to conflict and conflict resolution. Starting with a discussion of the pervasiveness of conflict in human existence, the module will engage with the key question of "what is conflict?" Students will be introduced to conflict management and conflict resolution approaches before engaging with conflict resolution processes such as negotiation and mediation. The module will rely on case studies and simulations to help students engage directly and better grasp the different theoretical approaches. Case studies will include an in-depth analysis of the Oslo process and a discussion of the specific difficulties linked to negotiations with “terrorists.” The students will emerge from the module with knowledge of the central paradigms and concepts of conflict analysis and resolution, and with an initial set of skills (negotiation and mediation) which can be used to further understand international politics but also in their personal engagement with others.

Find out more about POLI3250

The Politics Today module enables us to engage our first year students in debates on current political issues, typically on issues that dominate our newspapers and therefore are close to the students' own awareness and experience. However, in the introduction to the module we will also consider how such issues enter our awareness and why, and whether indeed 'relevance’ itself is a political construct. The module will be responsive to current world affairs, and therefore the precise selection of issues to be discussed may change from year to year. After a general introduction, 2-3 issues will be presented and analysed, typically by considering historical backgrounds, key political actors, configurations of interests, possible developments and outcomes. The module endeavours to help students appreciate and conceptualise the complexities of the modern world by discussing current national and/or world issues from diverse perspectives and angles. At the beginning of the course, students will also be given the opportunity to vote on issues of interest which are not already included in the curriculum. The issue with the most votes will then be added to the curriculum, and students will be involved in preparing the issue for discussion and analysis.

Find out more about POLI3360

The aim of the module is to link theory and practice in wildlife conservation. A number of practical conservation problems will be used to introduce key theoretical concepts that underlie modern biodiversity management. Particular emphasis will be placed on the challenges of collecting useable data for understanding threats, establishing conservation priorities (at the species and habitat levels) and informing decision-making. Students will develop an understanding of the practical skills and scientific principles that underlie conservation management goals and plans at different geographical and temporal scales.

Find out more about WCON3101

The module explores the geographic patterns of biological diversity around the world (biogeography), and the relationships between plants, animals and their environment (ecology). It begins with how the physiology and reproductive biology of plants has shaped the variety of habitats, ecosystems and biomes seen in the natural world today. Key concepts and theories concerning how these geographical patterns have been affected by complex historical and current factors will also be explored. The module continues with an introduction to ecological concepts that define how species are distributed within communities and across landscapes. It concludes with a discussion of how biogeographical and ecological principles inform global conservation strategies, and help us better understand how to manage threats to biodiversity from environmental change.

Find out more about WCON3111

You have the opportunity to select elective modules in this stage.

Stage 2

Compulsory modules currently include

This module introduces you to the many and diverse methods and design issues that inform social science research inquiry within geography and environmental studies. Its purpose is to equip you with some of the skills and mindsets to approach independent research and thus become an active participant in knowledge creation. The module explores what counts as research and how research validity can be assessed from a social science perspective. You will be trained in the design and use of a range of research techniques, including: qualitative interviews; extensive questionnaires; group work and ethnography. We also consider the processing and analysis of qualitative data, as well as basic descriptive statistics to analyse quantitative data. Towards the end of the module, we will look in more depth at the principles of research design in order to help you begin to plan your final year research project.

Find out more about GEOG5001

Human Geography has seen significant theoretical shifts with major intellectual traditions or schools of thought emerging and contesting knowledge about space and place and how it shapes modern life. This module builds on the foundations of the earlier parts of the degree and gives an overview of the changing theoretical landscape by discussing - among others- positivist, humanistic approaches, historical/geographical materialism, post-modernism, post-structuralism, feminist, queer and post-colonial geographies. The module is not designed to be encyclopaedic in its coverage; rather, it aims to introduce students to and critically discuss the major thinkers and theories on the recent theoretical journey of Human Geography.

Find out more about GEOG5002

The aim of this module is to explore, assess and apply critical concepts and approaches to the sustainable planning of landscapes. Drawing on recent developments in the geography, conservation and environmental planning literatures, it introduces you to key ideas intersecting with policy and practice agendas and initiatives for landscape, including natural capital, ecosystem services, environmental economics and participatory environmental management. Alongside critical reflection on the underlying assumptions that guide these developments, the module places you in real-world scenarios in which you must design and shape plans for rural and urban landscapes.

Find out more about GEOG5003

The overall aim of this module is to provide you with an outline of the principles of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and to introduce a range of methods for collection and analysis of spatial data. Particular attention is paid to developing your analysis skills through the use of remote sensing techniques and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). GIS are increasingly being used in many disciplines, including geography, wildlife conservation, animal behaviour and environmental sciences to help solve a wide range of "real world" problems. As the current trend in these disciplines moves towards the acquisition, manipulation and analysis of large datasets with explicit geographic reference, employers often report shortages of relevant GIS skills to handle spatial data. Thus, this module will introduce the use of GIS as a means of solving spatial problems and the potential of GIS and remote sensing techniques for geography, environmental sciences and wildlife conservation, providing you with marketable skills relevant to research and commercial needs.

Topics will include:

• understanding the major concepts in GIS

• introduction to remote sensing

• data structures in GIS

• data sources and methods of data acquisition

• georeferencing, co-ordinate systems and projections

• working with raster and vector data

• mapping (how to create and transform maps)

• overview of ArcGIS Pro

• GIS operations

• manipulation, spatial data query and analysis of a wide range of geographic, environmental and socio-economic information.

These topics will be taught using a combination of lectures and practicals. The practical classes will provide hands-on experience using a GIS software. You will be able to use knowledge and skills acquired in this module in practical project work.

Find out more about GEOG5004

This interdisciplinary module introduces to a range of key concepts and discourses in the field of development geography with a specific focus on the global South. The module begins by conceptualising 'development' as well as introducing contemporary development theories to build the foundation. The module then applies this understanding in examining a selection of contemporary development issues and debates in the global South context including poverty, inequality, impacts of climate change, nature of disasters, gendered vulnerabilities, and the challenges of sustainable development. Here context and place matters, as well as the differences and links between places and peoples. Students are introduced to a series of global South case studies that illustrate development processes as connected to social, economic and political processes at different scales. Although development approaches are equally applicable to urban and rural environments, the focus in this module is predominantly on the urban context and the contestations within them. The module is divided into several sections, each of which introduces students to a set of issues, concepts, key vocabularies and approaches in relevance to Development Geography. The sections of the modules are complementary to each other and as a whole they will provide a strong understanding of the development context and processes in the global South. Students are strongly encouraged to think of the module as a whole and to explore the connections between the different issues and theoretical approaches addressed in this module.

Find out more about GEOG5007

Optional modules may include

Ethnicity' and 'nationalism’ are matters of contemporary urgency (as we are daily reminded by the media), but while the meanings of these terms are taken for granted, what actually constitutes ethnicity and nationalism, and how they have been historically constituted, is neither clear nor self-evident. This module begins with a consideration of the major theories of nationalism and ethnicity, and then moves on to a series of case studies taken from various societies around the world., and then moves on to examine a number of other important concepts—indigeneity, ‘race’, hybridity, authenticity, ‘invention of tradition’, multiculturalism, globalization—that can help us appreciate the complexity and dynamics of ethnic identities. The general aim of the module is to enable and encourage students to think critically beyond established, homogenous and static ethnic categories.

Find out more about ANTS5730

This module introduces ethnography and the ethnographic/documentary film as ways of understanding individual and social lives and the differences between cultures. The focus is critical and practical investigation of the research methods, production and communicative methods underlying them. Students will acquire both critical and practical training in these key ethnographic methodologies. The parallel histories of the development of ethnographic writing and visual anthropology will also be explored to facilitate integration between written and visual media. Indicative themes in the reading, analysis and practice of ethnography may include: (1) Critical and historical contextualisation and evaluation, (2) How to evaluate its contribution to key issues and topics in Social Anthropology; (3) Theoretical contributions; (4) Methodology and research methods; (5) The evaluation of the relationship between description and analysis (6) Examination of its structure, presentation and ability to communicate an understanding of a social and cultural group through the written word; (7) Ethnographies, photography and multi-media. Indicative themes in visual anthropology may include: (1) Collaborative and participatory media production (2) Photography, soundscapes and the senses (3) Cinema Verite and ethnographic film (4) Indigenous media, reception and publics (5) The transformative efficacy of video.

Find out more about ANTS6270

The module is a cross-cultural analysis of economic and political institutions, and the ways in which they transform over time. Throughout the term, we draw upon a range of ethnographic research and social theory, to investigate the political and conceptual questions raised by the study of power and economy. The module engages with the development and key debates of political and economic anthropology, and explores how people experience, and acquire power over social and economic resources. Students are asked to develop perspectives on the course material that are theoretically informed and empirically grounded, and to apply them to the political and economic questions of everyday life.

Find out more about ANTS6310

This module draws on a variety of debates from human geography and social sciences, introducing students to a wider, comprehensive understanding of the 'cities and climate change' discourse. It also seeks to establish a working interface between the social sciences and the environment supporting students who aim to work across disciplinary barriers, and to develop a more nuanced discussion related to the ‘cities and climate change’ debate. In addition to an overview of key policy documents driving the discourse, lectures will explore theorisations across human and physical geography that help rethink the arguments in a renewed way. This includes an understanding of how key concepts such as Anthropocene and adaptation and mitigation have shaped the discourse. The complementary role of lectures and seminars provide the context in which these questions are investigated through engaging more in-depth in the seminars with practical examples, interpretation and analysis of what is covered in the lectures.

Find out more about GEOG5005

Nature-based tourism (including recreation) is a subject of growing importance in biodiversity conservation, wildlife management, and community development in both developing and developed countries. This module will introduce students to the conceptual, ethical and practical issues concerning environmental, social, and economic impacts of tourism, and will provide them with some basic tools for visitor and site management. It thus contributes to the core aim of the Wildlife Conservation BSc and Environmental Social Sciences BA degree programmes in providing essential theoretical and practical training for conservation and wildlife managers. It is also one of the modules within the conservation degrees that focus on social and economic aspects of conservation, thus strengthening the interdisciplinary nature of the degrees. It will also provide a useful optional module for Human Geography BSc students.

The module will cover the following subject areas:

1. An introduction to the tourism industry: nature-based ecotourism (including. recreation) and its significance for conservation.

2. Environmental impacts of tourism and visitor management.

3. Tourism and environmental education.

4. Social impacts of tourism.

5. Tourism, protected areas and local communities

6. Economic impacts of tourism.

7. Multidisciplinary aspects of tourism management.

Find out more about GEOG5006

A thread running through this module is a belief that to understand today's China we have to know how it has come to the present, as present-day China is a product of its deep imperial past and of its revolutions in the 20th century, the Republican, the Nationalist and the Communist. Before studying the 'rise' of contemporary China, we must therefore understand the decline collapse of imperial China from the mid-19th to the early 20th century. We can perceive the said rise of China as the process of regaining its rightful place in the Western-dominated international system and of mutual accommodation between China and the rest of the world.

The narrative of modern China starts from the late 16th century when China, ruled by the Ming dynasty (1368-1644), was the regional hegemon. The demise of the Sino-centric regional order began in the early 19th century. Since then, Chinese rulers, officials and intellectuals have repeatedly groped for ways to modernise their country to counter mounting pressures from the West. Seen in this perspective, this module will be primarily focused on how China adapted itself to the modernising West in order to be accepted as a full and respected member of the international society while preserving its own non-Western identity. With this, you should be able to understand towards the end of this module why China now values the respect for national sovereignty, territorial integrity and the right of all nations to freely choose their own paths to development. Also, for many students of International Relations, China’s entry and integration into the international society since the 1970s has been strikingly non-violent. A secondary focus of this module will be on how China and other key members of the world have been mutually accommodating to each other and whether China’s 'peaceful rise’ can continue.

Find out more about POLI6580

The course provides an overview of the broad field of international conflict analysis and resolution. Students have the opportunity to explore the motivations driving different forms of conflict, including interpersonal, group and civil violence. Students will also be exposed to a range of theories and approaches used to understand violent conflict, and a number of different methods of conflict resolution (e.g. negotiation, mediation, peacekeeping operations, and transitional justice.) The approach is interdisciplinary and juxtaposes traditional approaches used to study conflict management with new scientific studies of conflict and cooperation.

Find out more about POLI6600

Environmental issues have become central matters of public concern and political contention. In this module we shall consider explanations for the rise and social distribution of environmental concern as well as the forms of organisation that have been adopted to address environmental questions, including the emergence of global environmental issues and the responses to them. The development of environmental protest, environmental movements and Green parties are central concerns, but we shall also consider the 'greening' of established political parties and political agenda. Is it realistic to expect the development of a global environmental movement adequate to the task of tackling global environmental problems. The approach is broadly comparative and examples will be taken from Europe (east and west), North America, Australasia and south-east Asia.

Find out more about SOCI5250

This module will inform students how climate has influenced the diversity of life on Earth, from past to present, and its likely future impacts. We will begin with a summary of the physical science basis of contemporary climate change and the role that anthropogenic factors have played since the commencement of the industrial era. We will then explore the biological and ecological impacts of climate change on individual organisms, populations and communities, with particular emphasis given to understanding how species are responding. The module will then explore how conservation biologists are using particular interventions to ameliorate the most harmful and destabilising effects of climate change. From a more general perspective, the social, economic and political ways in which climate change can be mitigated will be assessed.

Find out more about WCON5010

This module explores the ways in which ecological science can be applied to solving some of the crucial problems facing the world today, including those affecting wildlife conservation. It covers key ecological principles at the population, community and ecosystem levels, and investigates how these principles can help guide management decisions, policy and environmental practice. A major theme is how natural resources can be managed and exploited sustainably, drawing on examples from agriculture, urbanisation, forestry and fisheries in temperate and tropical regions. Central to the module is the question of how wildlife conservation can be better incorporated into the wider needs of environmental management.

Find out more about WCON5390

The module will examine the way in which biodiversity conservation activities are widely implemented in practice and on the ground, particularly by organisations for which conservation is not the primary focus. As such, relevant regulatory and voluntary principles that govern the conservation actions of businesses and governments will be explored, alongside some of the more influential multilateral conservation policies.

The pathways by which scientific evidence is integrated into policy and practice will be illustrated using some case studies. Consultation processes, as well as the role of government and non-government organisations in formulating and implementing policy and practice will be explored.

Ultimately, the goal of the module is to better equip students to practice conservation in a non-conservation organisational setting once they have completed their programmes.

Find out more about WCON5450

The driving causes of biodiversity loss are not just ecological, but also political, economic and cultural, and conservationists need to acquire the knowledge and skills to address broader social contexts. This module aims to introduce students to cutting-edge debates about the place of local people in biodiversity conservation, and provide them with an overview of the essential role that the social sciences play in the analysis of environmental issues. Objectives of the module are to provide students with a broad conceptual understanding of the social context of conservation; knowledge of the history of conservation approaches towards local communities; familiarity with key issues in the implementation of community conservation; and a critical approach to analysis of the current conservation-preservation debate.

Find out more about WCON5460

You have the opportunity to select elective modules in this stage.

Year abroad

Going abroad as part of your degree is a transformative experience and a chance to develop personally, academically and professionally. You experience a different culture, gain a new academic perspective, establish international contacts and enhance your employability.

You spend a year between Stages 2 and 3 at one of our partner universities, where teaching is in English. Places are subject to availability, language and degree programme.

You are expected to adhere to any academic progression requirements in Stages 1 and 2 to proceed to the Year Abroad.  If the requirement is not met, you will be transferred to the equivalent three-year programme. The Year Abroad is assessed on a pass/fail basis and will not count towards your final degree classification.

For full details of the Year Abroad opportunities available to University of Kent students please visit our Go Abroad website.

Compulsory modules currently include

Students will spend one academic year studying in a University with whom Kent has agreements for such exchanges. The purpose of the Year Abroad is to give students an opportunity to further their anthropological experience by living in another culture, as well as studying in a new HE context. Students develop a learning agreement (i.e. list of modules to be taken) with the module convenor (Year Abroad Coordinator) before commencing the year abroad. Students are registered for this module during their Year Abroad. During the year abroad itself students will follow the modules in their learning agreements at their host universities, therefore the curriculum will vary for each student, depending on the host institution and modules chosen. All students are encouraged to take primarily anthropology modules, or closely related subjects but are allowed the equivalent of one 'wild module' per term, as well as one language module, if appropriate.

Find out more about ANTS6089

Stage 3

Compulsory modules currently include

Since the 1990s a more critical strand of thinking about the interactions between political spaces (nations, regions), power, and international relations has emerged in political geography, that of critical geopolitics. It is often associated with the writings of Gerard Ó Tuathail. John Agnew, Simon Dalby and Klaus Dodds among others. This module examines the emergence of critical geopolitics and the core concepts of contested ideas, the social construction of both knowledges and

political/spatial entities such as modern nation states and their specific political geographies. It also considers the wider applications of geopolitical concepts in a range of settings and circumstances.

Find out more about GEOG6001

Tourism is one of the world's largest and most dynamic industries contributing to GDP in many counties and is a key source of employment, income generation and government revenue. This module examines how tourism places have been created and are maintained. It discusses the rise and spatial diffusion of the modern tourism industry (or group of industries) and the geographies of this development. The recent history of international tourism is introduced with a particular focus on the role of scale from the largest tourism transnational corporations operating at a global level through

to small-scale tourism such as family-run guest houses or backpacker hostels. The module links to key geographical issues such as globalisation, mobility, production and consumption and changing physical landscapes. It also discusses the major role played by tourism in the less developed world where it is often seen an engine for economic development.

Find out more about GEOG6002

The module is considered as an important element of undergraduate training in human geography and/or environmental social sciences. The opportunity to engage in personal research is seen as an essential element of academic training in all disciplines. The particular skills necessary to undertake research, whether practical fieldwork a desk-based study, can only be taught through the medium of practically orientated investigative tasks. The principal objective in the research project is to assist you in gaining insight into the organisation, analysis and communication of research. The approved investigation may be novel, i.e. one that has not previously been carried out, or it may repeat previously executed work for comparative or control purposes.

Find out more about GEOG6004

Human geographers and environmental social scientists must continually analyse relevant and topical issues in a broad, real-world context. This includes understanding research at the forefront of their discipline, critically evaluating its spatial, environmental and interdisciplinary basis, and using this information to inform effective solutions to contemporary problems that are embedded in social, political and economic reality. In this module, you will use knowledge and skills gained throughout your course, and apply them in in-depth discussions of how current research topics fit into the wider theoretical or applied disciplinary context. The research topics will be presented at seminar and reading group events organised by the Geography and Environmental Social Science research theme in collaboration with the Research Centres at the School of Anthropology and Conservation. You will also write up essays as a series of critical reflections on three topics covered at the seminar and reading group events.

Find out more about GEOG6200

Optional modules may include

This module is a one-term placement opportunity that allows you to teach aspects of your degree subject in a local school. Launched to coincide with Kent's 50th anniversary in 2015, it highlights the longstanding excellence of human and social science research and teaching at the University, and the important role the institution has in contributing to the local community.

If selected for this module you will spend approximately 6 hours in a Kent secondary school in the Spring term (this session excludes time to travel to and from the School, and preparation and debrief time with the teacher). Generally, you will begin by observing lessons taught by your designated teacher and possibly other teachers. Later you will act somewhat in the role of a teaching assistant by working with individual pupils or with a small group. You may take 'hotspots': brief sessions with the whole class where you explain a topic or talk about aspects of university life. Finally, you will progress to the role of "teacher" and will be expected to lead an entire lesson. Throughout the module you will be given guidance and support by a local convenor based in your academic school as well as the overall module convenor.

You will be required to keep a log of your activities and experiences at each session. You will also create resources to aid in the delivery of your subject area within the curriculum. Finally, you will devise a special final taught lesson in consultation with the teacher and with your local module convener. You must then implement and reflect on the lesson.

Find out more about ANTB5560

Ethnicity' and 'nationalism’ are matters of contemporary urgency (as we are daily reminded by the media), but while the meanings of these terms are taken for granted, what actually constitutes ethnicity and nationalism, and how they have been historically constituted, is neither clear nor self-evident. This module begins with a consideration of the major theories of nationalism and ethnicity, and then moves on to a series of case studies taken from various societies around the world., and then moves on to examine a number of other important concepts—indigeneity, ‘race’, hybridity, authenticity, ‘invention of tradition’, multiculturalism, globalization—that can help us appreciate the complexity and dynamics of ethnic identities. The general aim of the module is to enable and encourage students to think critically beyond established, homogenous and static ethnic categories.

Find out more about ANTS5730

This module emerges out of the fact that the human-environment nexus has, in recent years, become an area of intense debate and polarisation, both social and intellectual; a space in which many of the core categories within the natural and social sciences- be these the 'nature', ‘society’, ‘humanity’ or indeed ‘life’- are being reconsidered and reconfigured. By engaging with recent debates and case studies from different regions it seeks to critically assess, compare and contrast some of the key contemporary, at times controversial, debates that engage collaborators, colleagues and critics from diverse academic specialties and perspectives. Through the use of lectures, and student-led seminar discussions focused on specific papers and case studies it seeks to review and compare some of concepts and approaches used to research, analyze and theorise the intersecting and mutually constituting material, symbolic, historical, political dimensions of human-plant and human-environment relations. It also seeks to assess how such an understanding can better guide our attempts to address the complex socio-environmental problems facing our world and our future by explicitly addressing the issue of complexity and scale, both in space and over time.

Find out more about ANTS6210

Nature-based tourism (including recreation) is a subject of growing importance in biodiversity conservation, wildlife management, and community development in both developing and developed countries. This module will introduce students to the conceptual, ethical and practical issues concerning environmental, social, and economic impacts of tourism, and will provide them with some basic tools for visitor and site management. It thus contributes to the core aim of the Wildlife Conservation BSc and Environmental Social Sciences BA degree programmes in providing essential theoretical and practical training for conservation and wildlife managers. It is also one of the modules within the conservation degrees that focus on social and economic aspects of conservation, thus strengthening the interdisciplinary nature of the degrees. It will also provide a useful optional module for Human Geography BSc students.

The module will cover the following subject areas:

1. An introduction to the tourism industry: nature-based ecotourism (including. recreation) and its significance for conservation.

2. Environmental impacts of tourism and visitor management.

3. Tourism and environmental education.

4. Social impacts of tourism.

5. Tourism, protected areas and local communities

6. Economic impacts of tourism.

7. Multidisciplinary aspects of tourism management.

Find out more about GEOG5006

This interdisciplinary module introduces to a range of key concepts and discourses in the field of development geography with a specific focus on the global South. The module begins by conceptualising 'development' as well as introducing contemporary development theories to build the foundation. The module then applies this understanding in examining a selection of contemporary development issues and debates in the global South context including poverty, inequality, impacts of climate change, nature of disasters, gendered vulnerabilities, and the challenges of sustainable development. Here context and place matters, as well as the differences and links between places and peoples. Students are introduced to a series of global South case studies that illustrate development processes as connected to social, economic and political processes at different scales. Although development approaches are equally applicable to urban and rural environments, the focus in this module is predominantly on the urban context and the contestations within them. The module is divided into several sections, each of which introduces students to a set of issues, concepts, key vocabularies and approaches in relevance to Development Geography. The sections of the modules are complementary to each other and as a whole they will provide a strong understanding of the development context and processes in the global South. Students are strongly encouraged to think of the module as a whole and to explore the connections between the different issues and theoretical approaches addressed in this module.

Find out more about GEOG5007

The module will be a 5-7-day fieldtrip to a particular location that has a long history of human activities and thus provides a plethora of ideal manifestations of human adaptation to the environment. These may include: landscape features in the semi-natural environment, farming practices, built environment, social and family structures and cuisine. How these reflect environmental conditions (climate, topography, location) and geo-political circumstances is an important dimension of this field-based module. It is designed to complement other Human Geography modules by offering you an opportunity to learn first-hand from local people about the processes that have shaped both landscape and livelihoods. Using social research methodologies (e.g. questionnaires, structured or semi-structured interviews), you will be equipped with the analytical skills and techniques required to conduct research in human-environment interaction.

The module will provide practical learning to complement theoretical issues taught in other modules. You will become familiar with practical tools for understanding, interpreting and critically investigating complex socio-ecological processes and the linkages with space and place. The emphasis throughout will be on learning through research and from the experience of people who live in, shape and adapt to the surrounding environment,

Find out more about GEOG6003

Environmental issues have become central matters of public concern and political contention. In this module we shall consider explanations for the rise and social distribution of environmental concern as well as the forms of organisation that have been adopted to address environmental questions, including the emergence of global environmental issues and the responses to them. The development of environmental protest, environmental movements and Green parties are central concerns, but we shall also consider the 'greening' of established political parties and political agenda. Is it realistic to expect the development of a global environmental movement adequate to the task of tackling global environmental problems. The approach is broadly comparative and examples will be taken from Europe (east and west), North America, Australasia and south-east Asia.

Find out more about SOCI5250

The course discusses the main approaches which have developed in urban sociology through an exploration of some of the major themes. These themes include urbanisation under capitalism, planning, post-industrialism, globalisation, social differentiation, multiculturalism, protest and social movements, and comparative urbanism (Asian and African contexts). Approaches considered within these will include Marx, Weber, the Chicago School, the Manchester school, and post-modernism.

Find out more about SOCI7120

This module aims to develop a critical understanding of one of the most timely and pressing issues of recent times, namely, migration, and its relationship to politics of identities, belonging and citizenship in global societies. It aims to introduce students to key themes and issues related to the social experience of migration in a diversity of contexts. Over the course of the term, we will debate and critically explore the ways in which migrants, refugees and diaspora communities shape their societies of settlement and origin and how they have become key actors of a process of 'globalisation from below' at different social and spatial scales. We will critically discuss key concepts and theories deployed to analyse contemporary processes of migration, transnationalism and diaspora and assess their relevance across a wide range of migration case studies. Examples of the central questions this module will address are: what are the main drivers of contemporary migration? To what extent can migrants become transnational citizens? What is the link between migration and homeland development in third world countries? How are gender, class and race relations affected by migration?

Find out more about SOCI7550

This module will inform students how climate has influenced the diversity of life on Earth, from past to present, and its likely future impacts. We will begin with a summary of the physical science basis of contemporary climate change and the role that anthropogenic factors have played since the commencement of the industrial era. We will then explore the biological and ecological impacts of climate change on individual organisms, populations and communities, with particular emphasis given to understanding how species are responding. The module will then explore how conservation biologists are using particular interventions to ameliorate the most harmful and destabilising effects of climate change. From a more general perspective, the social, economic and political ways in which climate change can be mitigated will be assessed.

Find out more about WCON5010

The driving causes of biodiversity loss are not just ecological, but also political, economic and cultural, and conservationists need to acquire the knowledge and skills to address broader social contexts. This module aims to introduce students to cutting-edge debates about the place of local people in biodiversity conservation, and provide them with an overview of the essential role that the social sciences play in the analysis of environmental issues. Objectives of the module are to provide students with a broad conceptual understanding of the social context of conservation; knowledge of the history of conservation approaches towards local communities; familiarity with key issues in the implementation of community conservation; and a critical approach to analysis of the current conservation-preservation debate.

Find out more about WCON5460

You have the opportunity to select elective modules in this stage.

Fees

The 2022/23 annual tuition fees for this course are:

  • Home full-time £9250
  • EU full-time £13000
  • International full-time £17400
  • Home part-time £4625
  • EU part-time £6500
  • International part-time £8700

For details of when and how to pay fees and charges, please see our Student Finance Guide.

For students continuing on this programme, fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.* 

Your fee status

The University will assess your fee status as part of the application process. If you are uncertain about your fee status you may wish to seek advice from UKCISA before applying.

Fees for Year in Industry

Fees for Home undergraduates are £1,385.

Fees for Year Abroad

Fees for Home undergraduates are £1,385.

Students studying abroad for less than one academic year will pay full fees according to their fee status.

Additional costs

Field trips

One day trips that are compulsory to a module are financially funded by the School. Optional or longer trips may require support funding from attendees.

General additional costs

Find out more about accommodation and living costs, plus general additional costs that you may pay when studying at Kent.

Funding

University funding

Kent offers generous financial support schemes to assist eligible undergraduate students during their studies. See our funding page for more details. 

Government funding

You may be eligible for government finance to help pay for the costs of studying. See the Government's student finance website.

Scholarships

General scholarships

Scholarships are available for excellence in academic performance, sport and music and are awarded on merit. For further information on the range of awards available and to make an application see our scholarships website.

The Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence

At Kent we recognise, encourage and reward excellence. We have created the Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence. 

The scholarship will be awarded to any applicant who achieves a minimum of A*AA over three A levels, or the equivalent qualifications (including BTEC and IB) as specified on our scholarships pages.

We have a range of subject-specific awards and scholarships for academic, sporting and musical achievement.

Search scholarships

Teaching and assessment

Modules use a variety of approaches enabling students to gain theoretical and practical understanding, through formal lectures, seminars, workshops, computer practicals and tutorials, role playing, laboratory exercises and fieldwork (in the UK and abroad).

Most modules are assessed through a mixture of coursework – including not only essays and written reports but also more practical tasks such as presentations and mini-projects – as well as exams. Some modules are assessed only by coursework.

You also have an opportunity to conduct a field-based research thesis in your final year. This gives you practical experience of developing a research proposal and research questions, finding appropriate methods, conducting research, analysing and interpreting results, writing up a full research project and giving an oral presentation. 

It also allows you to use a range of research methods in a variety of contexts to explore key environmental, geographical and anthropological issues, and participate in the advancement of knowledge. You can conduct your research project either in the UK or abroad.

The Year Abroad is assessed on a pass/fail basis and does not contribute towards your final degree classification.

Contact hours

For a student studying full time, each academic year of the programme will comprise 1200 learning hours which include both direct contact hours and private study hours.  The precise breakdown of hours will be subject dependent and will vary according to modules.  Please refer to the individual module details under Course Structure.

Methods of assessment will vary according to subject specialism and individual modules.  Please refer to the individual module details under Course Structure.

Programme aims

Our aims are to:

  • produce a broad, sophisticated and interdisciplinary approach to the study of human-environment relationships in the context of how human society is reproduced spatially
  • equip students with effective and state-of-the-art technical skills for quantitative, qualitative and spatial data collection and analysis of society and space through fieldwork experience and practical exercises
  • provide students with a sound foundation in the scientific and humanistic approaches to the study of human-environment relationships, allowing them to consider the interaction between biophysical, historical and socio-cultural processes and dynamics
  • sensitise students to the importance of pattern, process, scale, time and space in the study of complex systems and how these affect our understanding of biological, social and cultural diversity, as well as of human adaptation to the environment and to environmental change
  • facilitate the educational experience of students through innovative opportunities for learning during fieldwork and hands-on approaches to analytical tools
  • provide students with the opportunity to gain practical experience relating to research and to the applied dimensions and social impact of their Human Geography degree, with options for work, study and field trips abroad
  • ensure that the learning experience provides transferable skills necessary for professional development, analytical problem solving, interpersonal development, autonomous practice and team-working, in a manner which is efficient, reliable and enjoyable to students
  • equip graduates to thrive in research-led teaching environments with the ability to think critically and creatively and with the necessary practical and research skills to prepare them for high-level postgraduate studies or for the increasingly competitive job market
  • prepare graduates for leading employment roles in the interdisciplinary fields of nature conservation, town and country planning, environmental protection and sustainable development, in the commercial, private or public sectors
  • experience of work in a professional environment relevant to your degree programme, whether at home or abroad
  • employment-related skills, including an understanding of how to relate to the structures and functions in an organisation
  • the qualities needed for employment in situations requiring the exercise of professionalism, independent thought, personal responsibility and decision-making.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

You gain knowledge and understanding of:

  • how environments and landscapes are the result of human activity and their spatial variations over time
  • the ways in which spatial relations are an inherent and important feature of economic, social, cultural and political activity, and how they reflect, reproduce and remake social relations including government policy
  • the significance of temporal and spatial scale in human processes at local, regional and global levels and how that produces and reproduces specific human geographies
  • the main dimensions and scales of economic, social, political and environmental inequality and difference, the range of interpretation of these processes, and how scale itself can be contested and politicised
  • the concepts underlying development and sustainability and how they can be critically evaluated
  • the historical development of the subject area of geography, and how changes in the subject itself have influenced its development as a dynamic, plural and contested intellectual subject resulting in diverse approaches
  • the way that an employee can contribute to the organisation in which they work
  • specific areas of theory, policy or practice relevant to the host organisation(s) and the agreed placement task(s).

Intellectual skills

You develop intellectual abilities in the following areas:

  • spatial awareness and observation
  • abstraction and synthesis of information
  • developing a reasoned argument founded upon assessing the merits of contrasting theories and explanations
  • primary or secondary data generation, collection and recording, or the use of secondary data sets (both qualitative and quantitative)
  • apply some of the above skills from the perspective of your chosen employment sector
  • gain a broader perspective on your individual discipline.

Subject-specific skills

You gain subject-specific skills in:

  • preparing maps, diagrams and other visualisations
  • critically evaluating, interpreting and combining different types of geographical evidence (for example texts, imagery, archival data, maps, or digitalised date)
  • conducting fieldwork and field data collection
  • employing a variety of interpretative methods (for example participant observation, ethnographic interviews, and auto-ethnography)
  • employing a variety of social survey methods (for example questionnaire surveys and structured interviews)
  • utilising methods for the collection and analysis of spatial and environmental information (for example GIS, remote sensing, statistical and mathematical modelling)
  • the ability to apply theoretical and technical knowledge to professional practice.

Transferable skills

You gain transferable skills in the following:

  • developing learning and studying skills and autonomous learning
  • synthesising, contextualising and critically evaluating information of different styles and different sources
  • oral, written and graphic communication
  • information and data handling and retrieval
  • professional teamwork.

Independent rankings

Anthropology at Kent was ranked 10th for student satisfaction and 14th for research quality in The Complete University Guide 2023.

Careers

A Human Geography degree provides a strong basis for students looking to pursue a career in a range of professions and sectors relating to the sustainability agenda, including: environmental and international development NGOs, government departments and local authorities, and businesses with an environmental remit, including the land-based sectors.

Graduate destinations

Using our network of NGOs and consultancy companies, we identified the key skills that successful employees should have. This programme has been designed to equip students with the theoretical and practical skills that are highly demanded by employers in a wide range of fields relating to:

  • nature conservation
  • town and country planning
  • environmental protection
  • sustainable development
  • environmental consultancy
  • tourism
  • international aid/development.

This programme also equips graduates with the ability to think critically and creatively, enabling them to thrive in research-led teaching environments, and with the necessary practical and research skills to prepare them for high-level postgraduate studies or the increasingly competitive job market.

Help finding a job

The School offers an employability programme aimed at helping you develop the skills you’ll need to look for a job.  This includes workshops, mentoring and an online blog featuring tips, advice from employers, job adverts, internship information and volunteering opportunities.

The University’s friendly Careers and Employability Service offers advice on how to:

  • apply for jobs
  • write a good CV
  • perform well in interviews.

Career-enhancing skills

As a Human Geography student, you develop expertise in understanding, interpreting and responding to human behaviour. Alongside such specialist skills, you also develop the transferable skills graduate employers look for, including the ability to:

  • think critically 
  • communicate your ideas and opinions 
  • work independently and as part of a team.

You can also gain extra skills by signing up for one of our Kent Extra activities, such as learning a language or volunteering.

Apply for Human Geography with a Year Abroad - BSc (Hons)

Full-time study

Complete this form to tell us more about you and your experience. This will enable us to make a decision. Remember that you will need to add us as your choice in UCAS to accept any offers that we make to you. There's a short checklist of details you need to help complete your UCAS application simply:


  • Your UCAS Track login details
  • UCAS code L702
  • Institution ID K24

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