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BSc Geography and Mathematics

UCAS code: FG81
Duration: 3 Years Full Time
Standard A level requirement: AAB
BSc Geography and Mathematics joint honours

Geography and mathematics are complementary disciplines. This programme develops a blend of intellectual skills, analytic, computational and discursive, which will distinguish you as having the flexibility and capability of synthesis that employers increasingly value.

As well as the numerous career opportunities open to well-qualified science graduates, there are many fast growing niche fields, such as environmental consultancy and civic planning, with strong demand for highly numerate graduates with technical geography expertise.

Roughly half this degree is  taught by the School of Geography, which is one of the most innovative and successful geography departments in the UK. It seeks to be at the forefront of international research, helping to tackle major social, political and environmental challenges associated with global change and the School is committed to improving environmental sustainability.

This course is available with either the Industrial Placement or the Study Abroad scheme as a 4 year degree.

A summary of the BSc Geography and Mathematics degree can be found in the course leaflet.


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Your time will be divided roughly equally between modules from Geography and Mathematics.

Year 1: In geography you will learn key skills, learn about nature, society and the environment and choose an option from of a range of areas. In mathematics you will study key topics, including calculus, differential equations and linear algebra, and you will also study probability and statistics.

Years 2 and 3: You have increasing flexibility to choose from a wide range of advanced modules in geography, mathematics and statistics, including topics such as environmental statistics.

In Year 1 your studies in Geography include the following topics:

  • Nature, Society and Environment: introducing key ideas used to research human-environment interaction, and exploring policies and practices that work to solve pressing current environmental issues.
  • Physical Geography Skills: scientific approaches used by physical geographers, and essential skills in presenting and analysing geographical data.


You also study one of the following topics:

  • Dynamic Landscapes: an introduction to geomorphology, including the interaction of people with landscapes, and weathering and erosion in a range of global environments.
  • Living Planet: understanding of the processes that shape the terrestrial biosphere.
  • Environmental Change: the history of environmental change, and the mechanisms underpinning current changes to the climate system


You also study key mathematical topics, including:

  • Differential Equations: the first step in modelling real-world dynamics.
  • Probability and Statistics: chance and the analysis of data are increasingly important in the modern world.
  • Calculus: a thorough understanding of differential and integral calculus is an essential foundation for all of mathematics.
  • Linear Algebra: using matrices and vectors, and leading to the abstract notion of a vector space.


In year 2 you will study statistics (modelling and environmental), vectors, calculus, ecosystems and the climate, and undertake a field trip in geography. Optional modules include differential equations, analysis, management of natural resources, and career skills for geographers.

In year 3 you can undertake a project in Mathematics or Geography, and take options from a wide range of pure and applied mathematics, statistics, and in Geography, take options from, for example, ecosystems, wilderness environments, integrated systems science, and a fieldtrip.

For more information about the course structure, please see the Programme Catalogue entry. Please note that this lists modules being studied by current students on the programme, and is therefore subject to change.

For applicants taking A-levels, our typical offer is AAB from three A-levels including A in Geography and A in Mathematics, or equivalent alternative qualifications. We do not accept General Studies or Critical Thinking, but may take account of these at confirmation.

We accept a variety of alternative qualifications, some of the more common ones are listed below.

You must meet the University’s matriculation requirements of a pass in five subjects at the equivalent of GCSE level or above, including English at Grade C or above.

If your first language is not English, you will also need to provide us with evidence of an English language qualification, such as:

  • IELTS: 6.0 overall with no less than 5.5 in any one component
  • TOEFL IBT: 87 overall with no less than 20 in listening, 20 in reading, 22 in speaking and 21 in writing
  • GCSE English (Grade C or above)


We accept applications from students offering a wide range of overseas qualifications. We also welcome applications from students on the NCUK International Foundation Year programme, the University of Leeds International Foundation Year, and other foundation years with a high mathematical content. For more information, please see our  Foundation year programmes page.

Alternative qualifications
Some typical offers for UK non-A-level qualifications are:

Access to Higher Education Diploma: normally only acceptable in combination with Grade A in A-level Mathematics, or equivalent. Typically, Access to HE students must have studied 60 credits with 45 level 3 credits, the majority of which should be science or geography related modules gained at Distinction level. Subject specific modules and or grades may be required.

Advanced Diploma: Grade B in the principal and generic learning element and, in addition, Grades AA in A-level Geography and Mathematics.

BTEC: BTEC qualifications in relevant disciplines are considered in combination with other qualifications, including Grades AA in A-level Geography and Mathematics, or equivalent.

Cambridge Pre-U: Grade D3 in Geography and Mathematics, and M2 in the other principal subject.

International Baccalaureate: 35 points (17 at higher level including 6 in Geography and 6 in Mathematics).

Scottish Highers: suitable combinations of Scottish Higher and Advanced Highers are acceptable, though Mathematics must be presented at Advanced Higher level. Typical offers are AAB in Scottish Advanced Highers, including A in Geography and Mathematics, or AABB in Scottish Highers including A in Geography PLUS A in Advanced Higher Mathematics.

Welsh Baccalaureate: where students are offering three A-levels plus the Welsh Baccalaureate, they will receive an alternative offer of Grades AAC (with Grade A in both Geography and Mathematics) PLUS a PASS in the Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma Core Certificate.


Jonathan Pennells

BSc Mathematics

"The places within the School are quite mixed. There are formal areas and quiet areas and discussion areas and then social areas where we can sit and do work if we choose; different environments for everything really."
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