BSc Geography and Social Policy LL47

Course Overview


A degree in Geography and Social Policy allows students to explore many of the fundamental issues facing contemporary western societies. Geography provides students with an appreciation of the spatiality of societal processes, urban, social and economic challenges, and the influence of the physical environment in shaping this geography. Social Policy involves studying people’s wellbeing and welfare, and investigates the leading social issues and problems of the day, especially in areas such as health, housing, community, gender, family, child and youth wellbeing, and the issues raised by the ageing of our populations. Studying Geography and Social Policy offers students a range of highly complementary theoretical, conceptual and methodological approaches to understanding and addressing the changes, challenges and needs facing society today.

* This course will not be available from 2018/2019

Key Features

  • We are in the UK TOP 10 for graduate prospects [Complete University Guide 2016] 
  • 94.6% in graduate employment or further study six months after leaving University [HESA data 2014/15]
  • 73% for overall satisfaction [National Student Survey 2017]
  • 12th in the UK overall for Geology [Complete University Guide 2017]
  • Geography at Swansea is in the UK TOP TEN for research impact [Research Excellent Framework 2014]
  • £4.2m investment in state-of-the art Science laboratories
  • Year in Industry programmes available
  • Top University in Wales [Times & Sunday Times University Guide 2017]
  • International fieldwork and study opportunities      
  • Swansea have been successfully training Geography graduates since the 1930s. We are one of the most well established Geography departments in the UK and, with over 30 academic staff, we are amongst the largest
  • World-class researchers who are committed to teaching and learning
  • Campus setting in Wales' vibrant Waterfront City with great beaches and mountain scenery on the doorstep
  • Flexible degree programmes tailored to your interest


  • Fieldwork is an important part of our teaching on the BSc Geography and Social Policy course, including an overseas field course in level two as well as fieldwork closer to home at all levels.
  • Swansea have been successfully training Geography graduates since the 1930s. We are one of the most well established Geography departments in the UK and, with over 30 academic staff, we are amongst the largest.
  • Our well established reputation is noted by our excellent ratings for teaching, student experience and research.
  • Our department is now the largest within the University's College of Science. We take in more than 150 students each year and over 60 postgraduate students are studying for PhD research degrees and taking our MSc course in Environmental Dynamics and MA course in Human Geography.
  • We offer a lively, friendly and thriving environment in which to pursue a Geography degree.
  • we offer numerous activities for work experience and internships and a dedicated programme of activities designed to enhance your employability.
  • We offer a wide range of 3-year single an joint honours schemes and four year schemes with a year abroad.
  • We also offer a unique Integrated four year BSc Degree Scheme in Geography. This scheme combines a Foundation year followed by the standard 3-year BSc Geography programme. The integrated scheme targets the achievement of better degree results and enhanced employability, for students who do not have the necessary qualifications to enter the 3-year programmes directly, through rigorous training in the numerical and transferable skills required to complete a geography degree.

Entry Requirements

For 2017 entry onwards:

A levels: grades AAB-BBB or equivalent  to include Geography or a related subject (for example, Sociology or World Development; Geology or Environmental Science; or an additional Science subject)

BTEC: DDD-DDM plus A level  grade B in Geography or a related subject

Scottish Highers: ABBBC to include Grade B in Geography (or a related subject) 

Access to HE (Science or Humanities): Pass with Distinction (27-24 Dist to include 3 in Geography or an appropriate subject, plus 15 Merits)

Welsh Baccalaureate: Requirements are as for A levels where you can substitute the same non-subject specific grade for the Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Level Core Grade

IB: 34-32 to include 5 in Higher Level Geography

IELTS 6.0 (with a minimum of 5.5 in each component) or equivalent English test

All applications will be considered on an individual basis, and we will look at the whole application when deciding whether to make an offer of a place, including: the balance, nature and quality of A-level, AS and GCSE subjects (or equivalent); personal statement and referee’s comments.

General Studies and Key Skills qualifications are normally excluded from our offers.

International students:  please visit our International pages for information on entry requirements for your country:  Africa, South Asia, East Asia, Europe and Russia, Middle East, North America, South America, South East Asia.  If your country is not listed within these regions, please contact

How To Apply

All applications for full-time undergraduate degrees must be made through UCAS. Further information is available on the UCAS website.

For UK applicants, please apply online at

For International students, please click here

Tuition Fees

Annual tuition fees for entry in the academic year 2017/18 are as follows:

UK/EU International
BSc (Hons) Full-time £9,000 £14,500

Fees for full time Undergraduate UK/EU students may be increased in subsequent years of study by an inflationary amount determined by Welsh Government.

Fees for full time Undergraduate International students will increase by 3% for each subsequent year of study.

You can find further information on fees and how to pay on our tuition fees page.

You may be eligible for funding to help support your study. To find out about scholarships, bursaries and other funding opportunities that are available please visit the University's scholarships and bursaries page.

Current students: You can find further information of your fee costs on our tuition fees page.

Additional Costs

Level 2 Single Honours:

  • Students choose from a range of overseas fieldcourses, all of which are subsidised but require an additional payment, which varies according to destination, e.g. Austria or Berlin, approximately £250; Vancouver or New York, approximately £900.

Level 2 Joint Honours:

  • Students may attend an international fieldcourse as space allows but pay the full cost of the fieldcourse (e.g. currently £450 for Mallorca).
  • Non-Physical Earth Science students can select GEL204 which includes a Pembrokeshire field weekend at a cost of £65 (for non-PES students).

International Entry Requirements

International students:  please visit our International pages for information on entry requirements for your country:  Africa, South Asia, East Asia, Europe and Russia, Middle East, North America, South America, South East Asia.  If your country is not listed within these regions, please contact

Teaching and assessment

On the BSc Geography and Social Policy course you will be taught through a combination of lectures, tutorials, seminars, practical classes and field classes.

You will be assessed through a variety of methods, including examinations, coursework, practical work, fieldwork and continuous assessment from tutorials. You will also complete a dissertation in Level Three.

Student profiles

"When I came to visit on an open day I made my mind up straight away. I was won over by the fact that the campus is so close to the sea, the choice of modules available on my course and the atmosphere of happiness amongst the other students when I came to visit.

The fact that it was so interesting and varied and there was a lot of choice about what we wanted to study in the second and third years. The field trips were great and we got to decide where to go which offered us a lot of freedom in choosing our own direction and areas of expertise".

Clara Palmer, BSc Geography

Read our student profiles


The Geography Department is well-resourced to support research: there are two dedicated computer laboratories: One of 24 computers in conjunction with Library and Information Services (LIS) providing general IT software and programmes dedicated to Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Remote Sensing; One of 10 high-performance Linux workstations delivering software tools for advanced GIS and remote sensing applications. 

We have specialist laboratory suites for: stable-isotope ratio analysis; tree ring analysis; extraction and identification of organic compounds; pollen extraction and analysis; rainfall simulation; tephra analysis; soil and sediment characterisation.

In addition, we have recently spent £1.8million on state-of-the-art teaching spaces, including IT facilities, laboratories and flexible teaching spaces.

Find out more about the facilities used by Geography students at Swansea University.


Many students choose Geography because of the scope it provides for studying a wide range of current themes and issues, the important insights it offers for understanding our contemporary world, and the opportunity to put this knowledge into practice through fieldwork. However, what many students do not realise before coming to university is that a Geography degree also offers a broad range of employment opportunities, allowing graduates to pursue a flexible and varied career path.

Every year we survey our recent graduates to ascertain their employment status.  The data is more commonly known as the Graduate Destinations Survey and is reported to HESA (the Higher Education Statistics Authority).  Here are some examples of job titles from the recent survey:

  • Multi Site Supervisor (Phase Eight)
  • Data Analyst (PHS Group)
  • Account Manager Support (Handelsbanken)
  • Geographical Data Processor (Western Power Distribution)
  • Catchment Scientist (Welsh Water)
  • Ecologist (Natural England)
  • Associate Financial Consultant (HSO)
  • Marketing Traffic Executive (Bluefrog Ltd)
  • Negotiator (Goadsby)
  • Housing Officer (Cardiff County Council)
  • Lead Specialist (Reuters)
  • Surveyor (St Modwen)
  • Business Development Executive (Jutexpo)

Find out more about employability


We aim to be one of the foremost international centres for research in human and physical geography, and to provide our students with excellent teaching and superb facilities in a friendly atmosphere.

In the latest UK Research Assessment Exercise, 95% of Swansea's research in Geography was judged to be of international quality, and 60% was regarded as world-leading (4*) or internationally excellent (3*).

We host a large community of postgraduate researchers studying for PhD degrees, and run one-year MRes, MSc and MA courses. Find out more.


In the second year of the BSc Geography and Social Policy course, Joint Honours students take part in an international field course (where space allows). Students are currently able to choose from 7 destinations:

Dr Kevin Rees talks about Geography at Swansea

Welsh-medium provision for students

The ability to communicate scientific topics through the medium of Welsh is a key skill required by increasing numbers of employers, and Swansea University is perfectly situated to take advantage of this.