Geography (BSc): 4-year, part-time

Year of entry

2018

Start date

October 2018

Location

Central London

Status

Fully Approved

Duration

Four years part-time

Attendance

Two to three evenings a week plus some weekends and field trips, October to June

This fascinating interdisciplinary degree will help you to understand the processes that shape our physical and social environment. It explores how processes relate to space and to place, and will help you appreciate the multiple connections between human culture and the physical landscape in which it is located. You can examine phenomena as diverse as globalisation, food security, flooding and water resources, urban change, climate change, international development, geographic information systems and population change, among others.

We offer a wide choice of modules that respond to the demands of today's workplace and are linked to the cutting-edge research interests of our staff, who are defining the field. You also complete a piece of research or a literature review in an area of special interest to you.

You will also benefit from our mix of classroom and field-based teaching, including a number of fieldwork opportunities that bring together students to build social and professional networks and develop important skills in data collection and analysis. You will develop the social and technical skills you need for both academic research and the modern workplace.

This course is also available for full-time evening study over three years.

Highlights

  • The unique strength of the Department of Geography is the breadth of research interests of our staff. This means that we offer a very wide range of courses in both development and globalisation as well as allowing students to engage with other disciplines such as anthropology and sociology.
  • Birkbeck teaching takes place mostly in the evening or at weekends (field visits), so you can also gain relevant work experience during the day. You will be surrounded by committed fellow students from all cultures, backgrounds and career stages who share their experience and expertise with their peers.
  • We also have a vibrant research culture, powered by a shared passion for learning and intellectual engagement among our academics and students. We have a strong commitment to social justice, which is demonstrated in much of our research.
  • In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), Sociology at Birkbeck was ranked 13th in the UK.

Course structure

You need a total of 360 credits to complete your undergraduate degree. When studying part-time, you take 90 credits per year, at Levels 4, 5 and 6. Level 4 is composed of four compulsory modules (120 credits total) that introduce fundamental aspects of both physical and human geography and associated methods (listed below).

In your second and third years, you have the opportunity to study more specialised modules that explore processes and interactions that shape our physical, social and economic environment. You will complete 120 credits of Level 5 compulsory and option modules, listed below.

In your final year you undertake a substantial piece of written work: either a 30-credit literature review or a 60-credit research project. You can also specialise further by choosing from a range of Level 6 option modules listed below to make up your full 120 credits at Level 6.

Module groups

Year 1 compulsory modules

Year 2 compulsory modules

Year 3 compulsory module

Year 4 compulsory modules (choose one)

Indicative option modules

  • Entry Requirements

    Entry requirements

    We welcome applications from applicants without traditional entry qualifications. We assess by interview and application your suitability for degree level study, taking into account the knowledge and skills that you have gained since leaving formal education.

    UCAS tariff points

    112

    The UCAS tariff system has changed for courses starting in September 2017 and is now calculated using a new number system. This means applicants applying for courses from October 2016 will see entry requirements and offers expressed using the new tariff.

    The UCAS tariff score is applicable to you if you have recently studied a qualification that has a UCAS tariff equivalence.

    Alternative entry routes

    If you are returning to study, the Certificate of Higher Education in Higher Education Introductory Studies is accepted as an entry requirement onto the part-time BSc. The certificate can lead to exemption from Year 1 if you successfully complete designated modules to an appropriate standard.

    Access to Higher Education Diploma with a minimum of 15 credits achieved at Merit or Distinction in humanities or social science units.

    International entry requirements

    If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, our usual requirement is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests.

    If you don’t meet the minimum IELTS requirement, we offer pre-sessional English courses, foundation programmes and language support services to help you improve your English language skills and get your place at Birkbeck.

    Visit the International section of our website to find out more about our English language entry requirements and relevant requirements by country.

    Visa requirements

    If you are not from the European Economic Area (EEA) and/or Switzerland and you are coming to study in the UK, you may need to apply for a visa.

    The visa you apply for varies according to the length of your course:

    • Courses of more than six months’ duration.
    • Courses of less than six months’ duration.
    • Pre-sessional English language courses.

    International students who require a Tier 4 visa should apply for our three-year evening study BA/BSc/LLB degrees, as these are classified as full-time study and qualify for student visa status. If you are living in the UK on a Tier 4 visa, you will not be eligible to enrol as a student on Birkbeck’s part-time evening study degrees.

    For full information, read our visa information for international students page.

    Credits and Accredited Prior Learning (APL)

    If you have studied at university previously, you may have accumulated credits through the modules you studied. It may be possible to transfer these credits from your previous study to Birkbeck or another institution. You should discuss this with the Programme Director when you are making your application.

    Find out more about credits and Accredited Prior Learning (APL).

  • Fees

    Fees

    Part-time home/EU students: £ 6935 pa
    Part-time international students: £10025 pa

    Students are charged a tuition fee in each year of their programme. Tuition fees for students continuing on their programme in following years may be subject to annual inflationary increases. For more information, please see the College Fees Policy.

    Additional costs

    As well as fees, you should expect to pay other study-related expenses, for travel to and from College, books, stationery, etc. Birkbeck provides advice and financial support for students who experience hardship in meeting the travel costs of essential fieldwork or study visits.

    On this programme, you will also have to pay for the following additional costs:

    Compulsory field trips are paid for by the Department, apart from travel costs to/from the venue.

  • Teaching and assessment

    Teaching

    At Birkbeck, almost all of our courses are taught in the evening and our teaching is designed to support students who are juggling evening study with work and other daytime commitments. We actively encourage innovative and engaging ways of teaching, to ensure our students have the best learning experience. In the 2017 Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), the government’s system for rating university teaching, Birkbeck was allocated a Silver award.

    Teaching may include formal lectures, seminars, and practical classes and tutorials. Formal lectures are used in most degree programmes to give an overview of a particular field of study. They aim to provide the stimulus and the starting point for deeper exploration of the subject during your own personal reading. Seminars give you the chance to explore a specific aspect of your subject in depth and to discuss and exchange ideas with fellow students. They typically require preparatory study.

    Our distance-learning and blended-learning courses and modules are self-directed and we will provide you with interactive learning opportunities and encourage you to collaborate and engage via various learning technologies. These courses involve limited or no face-to-face contact between students and module tutors.

    In addition, you will have access to pastoral support via a named Personal Tutor.

    Methods of teaching on this course

    Teaching methods are wide-ranging: you will participate in fieldwork, computer-based analysis, seminars, group work and lectures.

    Contact hours

    On our taught courses, you will have scheduled teaching and study sessions each year. Alongside this, you will also undertake assessment activities and independent learning outside of class. Depending on the modules you take, you may also have additional scheduled academic activities, such as tutorials, dissertation supervision, practical classes, visits and fieldtrips.

    On our taught courses, the actual amount of time you spend in the classroom and in contact with your lecturers will depend on your course, the option modules you select and when you undertake your final-year project.

    On our distance-learning and blended-learning courses, discussion, collaboration and interaction with your lecturers and fellow students are encouraged and enabled through various learning technologies, but you may have limited or no face-to-face contact with your module tutors.

    The following information gives an indication of how many contact hours you can expect for each year of this course:

    Year Contact hours
    1 90
    2 144
    3 90
    4 45

    Timetables

    Timetables are usually available from September onwards and you can access your personalised timetable via your My Birkbeck Profile online (if you have been invited to enrol).

    Indicative class size

    Class sizes vary, depending on your course, the module you are undertaking, and the method of teaching. For example, lectures are presented to larger groups, whereas seminars usually consist of small, interactive groups led by a tutor.

    Independent learning

    On our taught courses, much of your time outside of class will be spent on self-directed, independent learning, including preparing for classes and following up afterwards. This will usually include, but is not limited to, reading books and journal articles, undertaking research, working on coursework and assignments, and preparing for presentations and assessments.

    Independent learning is absolutely vital to your success as a student. Everyone is different, and the study time required varies topic by topic, but, as a guide, expect to schedule up to five hours of self-study for each hour of teaching.

    On our distance-learning and blended-learning courses, the emphasis is very much on independent, self-directed learning and you will be expected to manage your own learning, with the support of your module tutors and various learning technologies.

    Study skills and additional support

    Birkbeck offers study and learning support to undergraduate and postgraduate students to help them succeed. Our Learning Development Service can help you in the following areas:

    • academic skills (including planning your workload, research, writing, exam preparation and writing a dissertation)
    • written English (including structure, punctuation and grammar)
    • numerical skills (basic mathematics and statistics).

    Our Disability and Dyslexia Service can support you if you have additional learning needs resulting from a disability or from dyslexia.

    Our Counselling Service can support you if you are struggling with emotional or psychological difficulties during your studies.

    Our Mental Health Advisory Service can support you if you are experiencing short- or long-term mental health difficulties during your studies.

    Assessment

    Assessment is an integral part of your university studies and usually consists of a combination of coursework and examinations, although this will vary from course to course - on some of our courses, assessment is entirely by coursework. The methods of assessment on this course are specified below under 'Methods of assessment on this course'. You will need to allow time to complete coursework and prepare for exams.

    Where a course has unseen written examinations, these may be held termly, but, on the majority of our courses, exams are usually taken in the Summer term, during May to June. Exams may be held at other times of the year as well. In most cases, exams are held during the day on a weekday - if you have daytime commitments, you will need to make arrangements for daytime attendance - but some exams are held in the evening. Exam timetables are published online.

    Find out more about assessment at Birkbeck, including guidance on assessment, feedback and our assessment offences policy.

    Methods of assessment on this course

    Most modules are assessed by a combination of unseen examinations and coursework.

    The final-year independent literature review or research project is assessed purely by project work.

    Breakdown of assessment on this course

    The balance of assessment by examination and assessment by coursework will often depend on the option modules you choose. The approximate percentages for this course are as follows:

    Year % Exams % Practical % Coursework
    1 65 0 35
    2 43 0 57
    3 0 7 93
    4 17 0 83
  • Careers and employability

    Careers and employability

    Graduates pursue careers in the corporate sector, local and national government, planning, policy-making or environmental or development roles.

    Find out about some past student experiences.

    We offer a comprehensive Careers and Employability Service to help you advance your career, while our in-house, professional recruitment consultancy, Birkbeck Talent, works with London’s top employers to help you gain work experience that fits in with your evening studies.

    Graduate Destinations

    Go on to work and/or study:

    Go on to work and/or study
    Now working: 75%
    Doing further study: 5%
    Studying and working: 10%
    Unemployed: 10%
    Other: 5%

    Read more of the statistics for this course on the Unistats website.

  • How to apply

    How to apply

    You apply directly to Birkbeck for this course, using the online application link. Please note that online application will open in October 2017.

    Birkbeck offers a range of free face-to-face advice and support to help you make a successful application.

    Birkbeck can give you all of the information and help you need to complete your application form, including our online personal statement tool, which will guide you through every step of writing your personal statement.

    Application deadlines and interviews

    We suggest you apply as early as possible.

    Interviews are held throughout the year.