This degree has three stages, each comprising 120 credits.
- In Stage 1 you’ll study with two interdisciplinary modules – one that focuses on environmental issues and one that spans the social sciences.
- Next, in Stage 2, you'll explore the relationship between environmental and social issues in more depth and the changing geographies of the United Kingdom.
- Finally, in Stage 3, you’ll investigate practical and policy responses to environmental change and develop your independent research skills.
In Stage 1 you'll be introduced to the interdisciplinary study of the environmental issues that are affecting the oceans, the Arctic, the Nile, the Amazon, China and key cities across the world. You’ll also cover the core ideas and themes of the social sciences such as inequality, rights and justice.
At Stage 2 you’ll draw on recent geographical thinking to both deepen your understanding of how matters of environment and society are so thoroughly entangled and explore how places are made and remade through studying the changing geographies of the United Kingdom.
At Stage 3 you’ll explore the many debates and dilemmas involved in the making of environmental policy as well as developing the knowledge, concepts and skills that will prepare you for independent research to investigate, analyse and communicate the vital geographical issues that matter within our everyday lives.
We regularly review our curriculum; therefore, the qualification described on this page – including its availability, its structure, and available modules – may change over time. If we make changes to this qualification, we’ll update this page as soon as possible. Once you’ve registered or are studying this qualification, where practicable, we’ll inform you in good time of any upcoming changes. If you’d like to know more about the circumstances in which the University might make changes to the curriculum, see our Academic Regulations or contact us. This description was last updated on 15 March 2022.
We make all our qualifications as accessible as possible and have a comprehensive range of services to support all our students. The BA (Honours) Geography will use a variety of study materials, which can include the following elements:
- studying a mixture of printed and online material.
Online learning resources may include websites, audio/video media clips, and interactive activities such as online quizzes and maps.
- mathematical and scientific expressions, notations and associated techniques
- working in a group with other students
- using and/or producing diagrams and/or screenshots
- undertaking practical work
- finding external/third party material online
- using technology for research purposes involving access to archives and databases online.
For more detailed information, see the Accessibility Statements on individual module descriptions. If you feel you may need additional support, visit Disability support
to find more about what we offer.
Learning outcomes, teaching and assessment
This qualification develops your learning in four main areas:
- Knowledge and understanding.
- Cognitive skills.
- Practical and professional skills.
- Key skills.
The level and depth of your learning gradually increases as you work through the qualification. You’ll be supported throughout by the OU’s unique style of teaching and assessment – which includes a personal tutor to guide and comment on your work; top quality course texts; elearning resources like podcasts, interactive media and online materials; tutorial groups and community forums.
Read the detailed learning outcomes here
If you’ve already completed some study at another university, you may be able to count it towards your Open University qualification – reducing the number of modules you need to study.
You should apply for credit transfer before you register, at least 4 weeks before the registration closing date. Just tell us what you studied, where and when, and we’ll compare this against the learning outcomes for your chosen course.
For more details and an application form, visit our Credit Transfer website.
Classification of your degree
On successfully completing this course, we’ll award you our BA (Honours) Geography.
The class of honours (first, upper-second, lower-second or third) will depend on your grades at Stages 2 and 3.
You’ll have the opportunity to attend a degree ceremony.
If you intend to use your Open University qualifications to seek work or undertake further study outside the UK, we recommend checking whether your intended qualification will meet local requirements for your chosen career. Find out more about international recognition of Open University qualifications.
As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the qualification-specific regulations below and the academic regulations that are available on our Student Policies and Regulations website.
There are no formal entry requirements for this qualification.
At The Open University we believe education should be open to all, so we provide a high-quality university education to anyone who wishes to realise their ambitions and fulfil their potential.
Even though there are no entry requirements, there are some skills that you'll need to succeed. If you're not quite ready for OU study we can guide you to resources that prepare you, many of which are free.
Answer a few quick questions to check whether you're ready for study success
Preparing for study with an Access module
Students who start their study with an Access module are more likely to be successful when they advance to Stage 1 of their qualification. They’re specially designed to give you a gentle introduction to OU study, boost confidence in your study skills, and help you gain a broad overview of your chosen subject area.
You’ll also benefit from:
- feedback from your tutor through regular one-to-one phone tutorials
- support from a dedicated team throughout your study
- detailed written feedback on your work.
The Access module we’d recommend studying in preparation for this qualification is our:
People, work and society Access module
What you will study
This multidisciplinary module provides an excellent introduction to studying with The Open University; you'll get to cover a wide range of subject areas, including childhood and youth studies, social science, psychology, health, business and law.
View full details of People, work and society Access module
Psychology, social science and wellbeing Access module
Skills for career development
Employers value the diverse skills of social science graduates very highly. This interdisciplinary degree will provide you with a strong set of transferable skills as you’ll develop the ability to:
- interpret, analyse, and critically evaluate quantitative and qualitative evidence
- apply learning to real world situations
- communicate effectively to a variety of audiences using different media
- employ a wide range of digital practices to find, use, and create data
- learn autonomously and plan, conduct, and present independent work
- work effectively with others to achieve joint outcomes.
Geographers are highly employable social scientists. They go on to a wide range of destinations after graduation, including:
- Environmental consultants
- Data analysis and visualisation using geographical techniques
- Transport planners
- Commercial analysts
- Financial services
- International Development
- Field centre instructors
In addition, nearly one in five geography graduates choose to pursue postgraduate study, including specialist pathways in education, GIS or other fields. Dr Catherine Souch, Head of Research and Higher Education at the Royal Geographical Society, noted: “These statistics illustrate that the skills, knowledge and understanding gained during a geography degree are held in high regard across all sectors."
The broad range of skills developed through an interdisciplinary Geography degree opens up many quality graduate-level jobs across sectors including banking, finance, IT, media, and the public sector.
Other careers identified by ‘Prospects' includes commercial surveyor, town planner, logistics manager and market researcher.
Exploring your options
Once you register with us (and for up to three years after you finish your studies), you’ll have full access to our careers service for a wide range of information and advice. This includes online forums, website, interview simulation, vacancy service as well as the option to email or speak to a careers adviser. Some areas of the careers service website are available for you to see now, including help with looking for and applying for jobs. You can also read more general information about how OU study enhances your career.
In the meantime if you want to do some research around this qualification and where it might take you, we’ve put together a list of relevant job titles as a starting point. Some careers may require further study, training and/or work experience beyond your degree.
- environmental consultant
- transport planner
- civil servant
- investment advisor
- geographical information system officer
- data analyst
- sustainability consultant
- market researcher
- business analyst