Discover more about how the earth works, and how we humans interact with the world.

Whether you want to help prevent climate change and natural disasters, or improve quality of life and overpopulation, a geography degree will equip you to make a difference.

There are two elements to geography, which you can combine:

  • physical geography focuses on the earth and its natural elements
  • human geography studies how people interact with the world

You could work in a variety of different fields, from digital technologies, mapping and statistics, to ecology, sustainability, and tourism. But you’ll also have transferable skills that could see you work in teaching, finance, or planning. Geography has one of the highest employability rates of all undergraduate degrees.

The impact you could make
  • Work in international development to tackle societal and environmental issues..
  • Play your part in the UK’s Net Zero goals as an environmental manager or consultant.
  • Oversee the geographical information systems that help us manage road traffic, access to healthcare, and flood defences.
What you could study
  • Environmental change
  • Health, space, and justice
  • Contemporary human geography
  • Geographic information systems (GIS)
  • Wilderness and habitats
  • Natural resource management
  • Water science and management
  • Sustainable development: Nature and city
  • Globalisation and regional development
  • Statistics
84% of students
are highly likely to recommend geography to others, based on their experience of studying it so far
(UCAS subject guide survey 2023)

Study options

Options to study in this field include:

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Example module
“Sustainability, sustainable development and human/environment interactions.”
Second year geography student, University of Chester
Example assignment
“Working with GIS to represent global changes due to climate change and anthropogenic contributions.”
Second year geography with economics student, Loughborough University

Subjects it's useful to have studied first

Some geography courses or apprenticeships will have requirements for previous qualifications in certain subjects. Entry requirements vary, so always check with the provider.

Hard skills you'll develop
  • Environmental science
  • Project management
  • Geology
  • Risk analysis
Soft skills you'll develop
  • Management
  • Communication
  • Planning
  • Report writing

Careers: Where it can take you

Find out more about your career prospects from studying geography. The following information is based on a typical environment professional role.

Available jobs
54,236 vacancies in the past year
5.03% growth over next eight years
Average salary
Up to £56,660

Career options


Transport planning

Town planner

Tourism and aid

International aid and development

Officers of NGOs


Travel agents

Teaching and other

Second year geography with international study student, University of Manchester

What are some things you didn’t expect about your chosen subject?
Some of the topics we study are really interesting and nothing like geography at A level.

What is a... climatologist?

You may never have heard of a climatologist, but they study weather patterns over a long period of time – analysing and presenting data on past patterns and future weather predictions. The information they produce can be used to better understand issues like climate change and natural disasters. You might get to work in some far-flung places too, like the North Pole, or Chilean desert! 

Getting in: Entry requirements

Find out more about what you'll need to study geography at university or as an apprenticeship.

Average requirements for undergraduate degrees

Entry requirements differ between university and course, but this should give you a guide to what is usually expected from geography applicants.

A levels
Scottish Highers
Other Level 3/Level 6 qualifications (e.g. Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma or SQCF Level 6) may be accepted as an alternative

The expert view

Professor Joe Smith, Director, Royal Geographical Society (with IBG)
Geographers are driving positive change by tackling global challenges and applying their knowledge, techniques and skills to a range of contexts, across many sectors. As a geographer you might be assessing and advising on geopolitical risk and international relations, biodiversity loss, extreme weather, local environment and planning, or helping to make buildings, transport or food more sustainable. If you care about people and our planet and want to understand your place in the world better, then geography is the home for you.

Considering an apprenticeship?

Applying for an apprenticeship is just like applying for a normal job. Here’s what you need to know:
  1. Deadline

    Apprenticeships don't follow the same deadlines as applying to uni, the deadline is down to the employer.
  2. Where to apply

    You apply directly through the employer.
  3. No limits

    You're not restricted to one apprenticeship application; you can do as many as you like.
  4. Apply to university and apprenticeships

    There's nothing stopping you applying to university through UCAS, while also applying for apprenticeship vacancies.

Explore further

Go deeper into topics around geography with the following:

  1. Royal Geographical Society

    Take a look at the Royal Geographical Society’s website to find out more about what geography is, why you should study it, what careers you could do, and other resources you can use. 
  2. Where on Earth will people live in the future?

    This TED talk focuses on human geography and future habitation. There are other TED talks around climate change, sustainability, and cartography – an easy way to swot up on geography issues!
  3. Kiss the Ground

    Watch this Netflix film for an insight into one aspect of climate change – how agriculture and other practices impact our soil, and potential solutions. 
  4. Geological Society

    Find out about potential work placements via the Geological Society’s website

Application advice

Whether it's personal statement tips or what to write in a cover letter for an apprenticeship application, our advice will help you get ahead in your geography journey.
Skills, experiences, and interests to mention
  • Talk about what attracted you to geography, and if there’s a particular area of the subject you’re interested in, such as human geography. Make sure your preferences link in to the course you’re applying to.
  • Can you give examples of any of the technical or transferable skills that are associated with studying geography? Maybe during your A levels you’ve found you’re good at problem solving, data analysis, or computing.
  • Teamwork will also be important, so mention when you’ve worked well with others, whether in a part-time job, sport, or hobby.
  • Have you got any relevant experience, maybe volunteering for the National Trust or the Environment Agency? Or could you get a summer placement with an energy company or government department?
  • Show you can also manage your own time well. Have you balanced a part-time job or caring responsibilities with school work? Or maybe you compete in a sport at a high level, that requires a balance between home and school life.

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