Human Geography - BSc (Hons)

with a Year in Professional Practice

Visit us in person or virtually

Our Open Days offer face-to-face and virtual options and they are a fantastic way to meet our staff and students. Join our Virtual Open Day on Thursday 13 January from 16.00 - 19.00 GMT to find out why Kent is right for you.

Human Geography at Kent draws on the traditional foundations of Geography and energises it to address contemporary issues. Our aim is to train the next generation of geographers to creatively address the challenges facing the modern world. We provide opportunities for you to expand your theoretical knowledge across a broad range, while developing practical field skills, research skills and work-related skills.

Overview

Our programme is a fusion of major geographic themes such as social and cultural geography, economics and development studies, and environmental and landscape planning, with expertise from across the University of Kent including Law, Sociology, Anthropology and Biodiversity Conservation. This exciting approach ensures your learning is grounded firmly in traditional studies of human geography but with opportunities to expand your knowledge beyond a conventional geography course.

At its heart, this programme seeks to give students a deep understanding of why the world is changing so quickly, and how these changes affect the environment, culture and economies at local, national and global scales. We also seek to produce graduates with a rich set of skills required for a dynamic and successful career in the business world, government agencies, NGOs, education and development.

You study at our Canterbury campus, which is not only beautiful, scenic and rich in history, but perfectly positioned for those with an interest in human geography. Kent is culturally and economically diverse, and our excellent location and proximity to Europe enable us to maximise our strong research and business links.

Our degree programme

Each year, you engage with core modules that establish your foundational understanding, brought to life through innovative and practical opportunities for learning; these include regular field work and hands-on approaches to analytical tools such as geographic information systems and remote sensing imagery.

The programme has been designed to give you a strong core of Geography modules such as Environmental Sustainability, People and Place, Geographies of Environmental Change, History and Philosophy of Geography, and Geographical Patterns and Processes.

A large suite of optional modules allows you to tailor your degree to the areas that most interest you, or you can expand into new territory, for example anthropology, biodiversity conservation or project management. Additionally, you could choose to take some ‘wild modules’, which allows you to study topics offered by a range of schools across the University, including economics, politics, sociology, law and languages. This structure provides you with flexibility, choice, creativity and the opportunity to indulge a wide range of passions.

More detailed information about the modules offered across the programme can be found within the ‘Course structure’ information.

Developing knowledge and skills for your future employment forms a core principle of this programme. Each module contains opportunities for you to develop and strengthen your competence as a geographer as well as the skills sought by employers, for example analytical writing, oral presentations, team working, leadership, initiative and time management. More details on careers and employability are available in the ‘Careers’ section.

Year in professional practice

The year in professional practice is a wonderful opportunity to spend up to a year, between the second and final years, undertaking work placements with organisations relevant to your degree programme. You spend a minimum of 24 weeks on placement at one or more organisations. Placements can be at home or abroad and give you the opportunity to apply your academic skills in a practical context, offering you rare and unique experiences which will set you apart.

Previous placements have included: consultancy for Afzelia Limited, Zambia; surveying with the Danau Girang Field Centre, Borneo; project co-ordination for the Uganda Conservation Foundation; project work for the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in Germany; wildlife crime mapping for the Freeland India Consultants Private Limited; and small animal and bear monitoring for the Administration of Rodna Mountains National Park, Romania.

Alternatively, you can take our three-year Human Geography degree, without a work placement. For details, see Human Geography (Hons) BSc.

Field trips

Practical learning is an essential foundation of this programme. Our field courses allow you to apply what has been taught to real-world situations, develop field skills and practise your research skills, as well as being excellent ways to build friendships with staff and students.

The first year provides numerous opportunities for trips within Kent, including a three-day residential. Other optional field trips are available in the second and third years, including one to Brussels where you'll examine contested urban spaces through reflection and experience. Our optional third-year residential to a beautiful Greek island is a wonderful opportunity to immerse yourself in a field research situation during which you can draw on your three years of study. The trip focuses on learning through research and from the experience of the people who shape and adapt to the environment they live in.

Most opportunities relate to specific modules; these may change from year to year and may incur additional costs. See the funding tab for more information.

Study resources

Our School has excellent teaching resources including dedicated computing facilities. Other resources include:

  • an ecology laboratory
  • a field trials area and field laboratory
  • conservation genetics laboratories
  • a state-of-the-art visual anthropology room
  • an ethnobiology lab for studying human-related plant material
  • a refurbished computer suite with 32 PCs with HD screens
  • an integrated audio-visual system to help provide stimulating lectures
  • recently built student social spaces.

Research community

We believe that inspired students are motivated by teaching which is shaped by active and relevant research. At Kent you’ll join a community who are engaged in projects in the UK and around the world that are significant to creatively addressing current and future ecological challenges. This community includes members of the Kent Interdisciplinary Centre for Spatial Studies (KISS), which draws together expertise from across the University.

Entry requirements

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. Some typical requirements are listed below. Students offering alternative qualifications should contact us for further advice. Please also see our general entry requirements.

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.

  • 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 will not necessarily make conditional offers to all Access candidates but will continue to assess them on an individual basis. 

    If we make you an offer, you will need to obtain/pass the overall Access to Higher Education Diploma and may also be required to obtain a proportion of the total level 3 credits and/or credits in particular subjects at merit grade or above.

  • medal-empty BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (formerly BTEC National Diploma)

    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 which are closely aligned to the programme applied for. This will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

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.    

On most programmes, you study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also be able to 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 an introduction to contemporary discourses and issues surrounding the relationship between nature, environment and society. The module begins by introducing people to the idea of 'environment', and specifically, to the range of assumptions we might hold about the relationship between environmental processes and human identity and behaviour. These concerns are then situated in their historical context and examined empirically at a range of different spatial scales (global, national, regional, urban and rural), and within the context of different stakeholder and social groups (such as policy makers, pressure groups, the media, and publics), More generally we provide a framework for critically evaluating the values and ethical assumptions that lay behind human constructions and uses of the non-human world and how we might manage, respond to and construct a range of environmental issues from a government, business and civic society starting point.

Find out more about GEOG3001

This module builds on student learning within the autumn term and continues to introduce the discipline of Human Geography. The module examines the complex and changing relationships between society and space, specifically, how human social relations are constructed and reproduced spatially. The coverage of this module will focus on the salient expressions of social-spatialisation, for example urbanisation and the rise of mega-cities, agriculture and food systems , the changing role of regional blocs and nation states, transnational corporations and corporate power, and changing geographies of gender, class, and ethnicity and how these aspects are reproduced spatially at different scales.

Find out more about GEOG3002

We are living in the era of the Anthropocene (the era of human kind), 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. Students 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 and the interrelation of the environmental and social systems, and the complexities involved.

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 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

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 provides students with an introduction 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 students with some of the skills and mindsets to approach independent research and thus become active participants in knowledge creation. The module explore what counts as research and how research validity can be assessed from a social science starting. Specific training in the design and use of a range of research techniques is provided including:qualitative interviews ; extensivequestionnaires; 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 students begin to plan their final year research projects.

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 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 introduce students to recent developments in the environmental geography focused on the ideas of natural capital, ecosystem services and sustainable landscape management and thus a module set firmly with the socio-ecological tradition of human geography . The module will trace the traditions of this gradual harmonisation of resource management discourse and how it plays out conceptually, empirically and at the interface of environmental science, policy and practice. The module will also set this tradition in a critical frame, drawing back to underlying assumptions about the idea of nature, and the relationship between nature, economy, human development and well-being. It will also have a practical edge by covering issues of environmental citizenship and the ethical, procedural and practical rationales that underpin different forms and levels of engagement in environmental decision making.

Find out more about GEOG5003

The overall aim of this module is to provide students with an outline of the principals of Spatial Analysis and to introduce a range of methods for collection and analysis of spatial data. Particular attention is paid to the development of students' 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 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 the student with marketable skills relevant to research and commercial needs. Topics will include:

• understanding the major concepts in Spatial Analysis;

• introduction to the principles of 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 ArcGIS Pro which is the most widely used GIS system. Students 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 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

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

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 in industry

The year in professional practice is a wonderful opportunity to spend up to a year, between the second and final years, undertaking work placements with organisations relevant to your degree programme. You spend a minimum of 24 weeks on placement at one or more organisations. Placements can be at home or abroad and give you the opportunity to apply your academic skills in a practical context, offering you rare and unique experiences which will set you apart.  Previous placements have included: consultancy for Afzelia Limited, Zambia; surveying with the Danau Girang Field Centre, Borneo; project co-ordination for the Uganda Conservation Foundation; project work for the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in Germany; wildlife crime mapping for the Freeland India Consultants Private Limited; and small animal and bear monitoring for the Administration of Rodna Mountains National Park, Romania.

Participation in the placement year is normally dependent on maintaining a clean disciplinary record during your registration on the degree programme up to the time of your placement. It is your responsibility to find a placement, but the department offers help and support. You must achieve a minimum of 60% across your compulsory and optional modules in Stage 1 to qualify for the Year in Professional Practice. Students who do not meet these conditions or are unable to find a placement will normally be advised to transfer to the standard three-year degree programme without the Year in Professional Practice.

You are required to pay 15% of the normal annual tuition fee to Kent.  Placements are primarily internships and vary significantly. Some employers will offer a salary, some offer subsistence whilst others offer no financial support. 

During your placement, you work under the direction of a line manager within the host organisation, with additional support via a member of academic staff from the University. You work on one or more tasks agreed in advance; for example, a management plan, a policy report, consultation process, a piece of applied research, or development of a set of educational materials.

Assessment is via an appraisal by your designated line manager (10%) and a written report (80%) and presentation (10%) which are assessed by a member of academic staff.

Compulsory modules currently include

The aim of the module is to provide students with the opportunity to spend a year (minimum 24 weeks) working in a professional environment, applying and enhancing the knowledge, skills and techniques that they have acquired in Stages 1 and 2 of their degree programme. This may be made up of a single placement of at least 24 weeks or of two or more shorter placements that together add up to at least 24 weeks. Individual placements will involve one or more defined roles or tasks; for example placements may involve contributing to, producing or carrying out (i) a piece of research; (ii) a management plan or other management tool; (iii) a policy report, a piece of law or policy or its implementation; (iv) an exercise related to the storage and systematisation of data sets; (v) facilitation, planning and coordination of a consultation process or an event (vi) development of educational, awareness-raising or advocacy materials or activities. The work they do is entirely under the direction of their line manager at each placement, but support is provided via a named member of academic staff within the School (the 'Placement coordinator' for each student). This support includes ensuring that the work they are being expected to do is such that they can meet the learning outcomes of the module.

Find out more about WCON5321

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 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 or laboratory work or 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 students 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

Optional modules may include

The module will begin with (locally timetabled, formative) training sessions for the students in the Autumn term. These sessions will be run by the Partnership Development Office.

After training the student will spend approximately 6 hours in a school in the Spring term (this session excludes time to travel to and from the School, preparation and debrief time with the teacher). Generally, they will begin by observing lessons taught by their designated teacher and possibly other teachers. Later they will act somewhat in the role of a teaching assistant by working with individual pupils or with a small group. They may take 'hotspots': brief sessions with the whole class where they explain a topic or talk about aspects of university life. Finally, the student will progress to the role of "teacher" and will be expected to lead an entire lesson.

The student will be required to keep a log of their activities and experiences at each session. Each student will also create resources to aid in the delivery of their subject area within the curriculum. Finally, the student will devise a special final taught lesson in consultation with the teacher and with the local module convener. They 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

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 10-day field trip to a Greek island. The landscape of the island has been shaped for millennia by human activities that provide a plethora of ideal manifestations of human spatial adaptation to the environment of one specific place. These 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. This module is designed to complement other Human Geography modules by offering the students 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) students 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. Students 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 that live, shape and adopt to the surrounding environment.

Students who register onto this module and complete the field trip are expected to remain on the module. Consequently, students who drop the module after completing the field trip will be required to repay the school subsidy incurred for the trip. This information is made available to students on the following platforms:

* Module specification

* Online module catalogue

* Module outline on Moodle

* Online prospectus

Find out more about GEOG6003

This is an introduction to anthropological approaches to the environment, and a critical exploration of theories concerning the relationship between culture, social organisation and ecology. The topics covered will include problems in defining nature and environment, cultural ecology, biological models and the concept of system, indigenous and local knowledge systems, the concept of adaptation, the ecology of hunting and gathering peoples, small scale agriculture and pastoralism, development and the SDGs, the anthropology of the environmental movement, multispecies ethnography, the more-than-human and the anthropology of climate and climate change.

Find out more about HECO5420

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

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 UK undergraduate courses have not yet been set by the UK Government. As a guide only the 2021/2022 fees for this course were £9,250.

  • Home full-time TBC
  • EU full-time £13000
  • International full-time £17400
  • Home part-time TBC
  • 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

The 2022/23 annual tuition fees for UK undergraduate courses have not yet been set by the UK Government. As a guide only full-time tuition fees for Home and EU undergraduates for 2021/22 entry are £1,385.

Fees for Year Abroad

The 2022/23 annual tuition fees for UK undergraduate courses have not yet been set by the UK Government. As a guide only full-time tuition fees for Home and EU undergraduates for 2021/22 entry 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.

Year in professional practice

Assessment is by means of a manager appraisal (10%), a written report by the student (80%) and a presentation by the student (10%); the manager appraisal is carried out by the manager within the placement host organisation whereas the report and presentation are assessed by SAC academic staff.

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 4th for student satisfaction in The Complete University Guide 2022.

Anthropology at Kent was ranked 5th for graduate prospects and 10th overall in The Guardian University Guide 2021.

Anthropology at Kent was ranked 13th in The Times Good University Guide 2021.

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 this course

If you are from the UK or Ireland, you must apply for this course through UCAS. If you are not from the UK or Ireland, you can choose to apply through UCAS or directly on our website.

Find out more about how to apply

All applicants

Apply through UCAS

International applicants

Apply now to Kent

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Enquire online for part-time study

T: +44 (0)1227 768896

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International student enquiries

Enquire online

T: +44 (0)1227 823254
E: internationalstudent@kent.ac.uk

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