The University offers different entry requirements, depending on your background. Find out more about Standard, Minimum and Gateway entry requirements using academic entry explained and see which entry requirements you need to look at using the entry requirements indicator.
For degrees combining more than one subject, the subject with the higher entry requirements determines the grades you need. You will also need to meet any further subject-specific entry requirements as outlined on their pages.
- Standard entry grades:
- Minimum entry grades:
- Gateway entry grades:
- Applicants who have narrowly missed the minimum entry grades, but meet the University's contextual criteria, may be interested in one of the University’s Gateway programmes.
- Standard entry grades:
- Minimum entry grades:
- Standard entry grades:
- 38 (HL 6,6,6)
- Minimum entry grades:
- 36 (HL 6,5,5)
General entry requirements
All applicants must have attained the following qualifications, or equivalent, in addition to the specific entry requirements for individual programmes.
SQA National 5 (B) in English and one SQA National 5 (B) from the following:
- Computing science
- Lifeskills Mathematics (A grade)
GCSE (5) in English language or English literature, and one GCSE (5) from the following:
- Computing Science
We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry on to our programmes. Please see our entry requirements for more information.
More information on how to apply via other entry routes or accreditation of prior learning and experience can be found on the University’s entry requirements web page.
Do I need to have studied this subject before?
No previous knowledge of geography is required.
Alternative study options
Students interested in this course may also be interested in the following:
Geography is available as both a Bachelor of Science (BSc) and a Master of Arts (MA) degree. The content of the subjects is the same irrespective of Faculty. Students who have a background in the sciences or who wish to study Geography alongside Science subjects at St Andrews should apply for the BSc. For those interested in studying Geography alongside Arts subjects, the MA in Geography may be of interest instead. The entry requirements are the same for all single Honours Geography degrees.
Geography students can apply to participate in the University-wide St Andrews Abroad programme. You may also have the opportunity to participate in the School Abroad exchange programme. For information about study abroad options, please see the study abroad site.
If English is not your first language, you will need to provide an English language test score to evidence your English language ability. Find out more about approved English language tests and scores for this course.
The BSc in Geography is a four-year course run by the School of Geography and Sustainable Development.
In the first two years, you will develop an integrated, coherent vision of the world exploring the complex interrelationships between people and the planet, and the implications of humans becoming a force of nature. You will also gain a conceptual and applied (methods-orientated) grounding in physical, environmental and human geography.
Alongside geography in the first year of your studies, you will be required to study an additional two subjects. In the second year, you will usually carry on at least one of these subjects, sometimes two. Find out more about how academic years are organised.
At Honours level, students may choose to specialise in specific aspects of geography or to engage with the full breadth of the discipline. Specialist subject areas may include:
- climate and weather systems
- development, politics and inequality
- glaciers and glaciation
- migration and transnationalism
- natural resource management.
Final-year students must also complete a dissertation on a topic chosen in consultation with teaching staff in the School.
Throughout the course, there are opportunities to undertake fieldwork. Recent locations have included Norway, Iceland and Ireland. All compulsory fieldwork is fully funded by the School.
The University of St Andrews operates on a flexible modular degree system by which degrees are obtained through the accumulation of credits. More information on the structure of the modules system can be found on the flexible degree structure web page.
In the first two years of your degree (known as sub-honours), you will take the required modules in geography alongside modules in at least one other subject.
Typically, you will take one geography module per semester in your sub-honours years and 60 - 80 credits in Geography per semester during your third and fourth years (known as Honours).
Students will take two compulsory geography modules in their first year.
- Welcome to the Anthropocene: Society, Population, Environment: showcases how Geography as a discipline is uniquely placed to understand our changing world.
- A World in Crisis?: explores how Geography works as a ‘world discipline’ to examine global problems from a range of human, environmental and physical geography perspectives.
Students will take the following compulsory modules in their second year.
- Geography: Exploring the discipline 1: Students will learn to think geographically and to use key conceptual lenses such as time, space, context, scale, and variation, to analyse processes of change in physical and human phenomena.
- Geography: Exploring the discipline 2: explores more deeply Geography’s long interest in the environment, and the long and complex coproduction of humanity, ecosystems and landscapes. It includes discussion of the nature of power, difference and unequal subjectivities in society as well as those related to migration and human mobility.
- Sustainable Scotland: draws on Scotland’s unique landscapes, patterns of urbanisation, and the geography of population to examine interrelated issues of land use and social inequalities to the broader questions of sustainability here in Scotland.
If you decide to take geography in your third and fourth years, you can choose to specialise in certain aspects of the discipline that interest you.
Here is a sample of Honours optional modules which have been offered in previous years:
- Coastal Processes
- Colonial and Postcolonial Geographies
- Development: Voice, Power and Identity in Global Times
- Environmental Management in Scotland
- HIV/AIDs in Sub-Saharan Africa
- Ice and Climate
- Migration and Transnationalism
- Political and Cultural Geographies of the Border
- Scrutinising Segregation: Geographies of Diversity and Inequality.
In third year, students will be required to develop a research proposal for a dissertation and choose from a selection of methods-training modules in Semester 2.
In fourth year, students will undertake a 10,000-word dissertation on a topic of their choice. This independent project enables you to develop key research skills, which are desired by both prospective employers and graduate schools offering postgraduate degrees.
The compulsory modules listed here must be taken in order to graduate in this subject. However, most students at St Andrews take additional modules, either in their primary subject or from other subjects they are interested in. For Honours level, students choose from a range of Honours modules, some of which are listed above. A full list of all modules appropriate to the programme for the current academic year can be found in the programme requirements.
In first year, teaching centres on lectures (150 to 200 students), small group tutorials (8 to 10 students), and fieldwork.
In second year, modules are delivered through lectures (80 to 120 students), practical classes (15 to 20 students), tutorials (8 to 12 students), and a residential field trip.
At Honours level, greater emphasis is put on individual study and on students taking a major role in preparing for, and conducting, laboratories and seminars (10 to 50 students), and a research-focused field course.
When not attending lectures, tutorials and practical classes, you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. Typically, this will involve:
- working on individual and group projects
- undertaking research in the library
- preparing coursework assignments and presentations
- preparing for examinations.
Sub-honours modules are assessed by a combination of coursework and written exams. At Honours level, some modules are assessed by 100% coursework, while others include at least 40% coursework and a wide range of innovative assessment formats.
Examinations are held at the end of each semester during a dedicated exam diet with revision time provided beforehand.
The School aims to provide feedback on every assessment within three weeks to help you improve on future assessments.
Undergraduates at the University of St Andrews must achieve at least 7.0 on the St Andrews 20-point grade scale to pass a module. To gain access to Honours-level modules, students must achieve the relevant requisites as specified in the policy on entry to Honours and in the relevant programme requirements. To find out the classification equivalent of points, please see the common reporting scale.
You will be taught by an experienced teaching team with expertise and knowledge of geography. Postgraduate research students who have undertaken teacher training may also contribute to the teaching of laboratory classes and seminars under the supervision of the module leader.
You can find contact information for all geography staff on the School of Geography and Sustainable Development website.
The University’s Student Services team can help students with additional needs resulting from disabilities, long-term medical conditions or learning disabilities. More information can be found on the students with disabilities web page.
England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland
Channel Islands, Isle of Man
EU and overseas
More information on tuition fees can be found on the undergraduate fees and funding page.
Find out about accommodation fees for University accommodation.
Funding and scholarships
Fieldwork expenses for geography students are subsidised by the Irvine Bequest and contributions from alumni.
Joint Honours degrees
You can also take Geography as part of a joint Honours degree in which you will take core modules of your chosen subjects.
|Bachelor of Science (Honours) Biology and Geography
|Bachelor of Science (Honours) Earth Sciences and Geography
|Bachelor of Science (Honours) Economics and Geography
|Bachelor of Science (Honours) Geography and Management
|Bachelor of Science (Honours) Geography and Mathematics
|Bachelor of Science (Honours) Geography and Psychology
|Bachelor of Science (Honours) Geography and Statistics
|Bachelor of Science (Honours) Geography and Sustainable Development
|Master of Arts (Honours) Arabic and Geography
|Master of Arts (Honours) Arabic and Geography (With Integrated Year Abroad)
|Master of Arts (Honours) Art History and Geography
|Master of Arts (Honours) Comparative Literature and Geography
|Master of Arts (Honours) Economics and Geography
|Master of Arts (Honours) Film Studies and Geography
|Master of Arts (Honours) French and Geography
|Master of Arts (Honours) French and Geography (With Integrated Year Abroad)
|Master of Arts (Honours) Geography and Hebrew
|Master of Arts (Honours) Geography and International Relations
|Master of Arts (Honours) Geography and Italian
|Master of Arts (Honours) Geography and Italian (With Integrated Year Abroad)
|Master of Arts (Honours) Geography and Management
|Master of Arts (Honours) Geography and Medieval History
|Master of Arts (Honours) Geography and Middle East Studies
|Master of Arts (Honours) Geography and Modern History
|Master of Arts (Honours) Geography and Persian
|Master of Arts (Honours) Geography and Philosophy
|Master of Arts (Honours) Geography and Psychology
|Master of Arts (Honours) Geography and Scottish History
|Master of Arts (Honours) Geography and Social Anthropology
|Master of Arts (Honours) Geography and Spanish
|Master of Arts (Honours) Geography and Spanish (With Integrated Year Abroad)
|Master of Arts (Honours) Geography and Sustainable Development
|Master of Arts (Honours) Geography and Theological Studies
Additional joint degree options are available for students who take the MA in Geography.
You can take Geography as part of a "with" Honours degree in which the majority of the course deals with the first name subject. St Andrews offers the following "with" degrees in Geography:
- Bachelor of Science (Honours) Mathematics with Geography - UCAS code G1F8
- Master of Arts (Honours) Geography with Persian - UCAS code 8810
- Master of Arts (Honours) Geography with Social Anthropology - UCAS code L7L6
- Master of Arts (Honours) Geography with Spanish (With Integrated Year Abroad) - UCAS code L7RK
- Master of Arts (Honours) Geography with Spanish - UCAS code L7R4
- Master of Arts (Honours) Psychology with Geography - UCAS code C8L7
- Master of Arts (Honours) Russian with Geography (With Integrated Year Abroad) - UCAS code R7L7
- Master of Arts (Honours) Russian with Geography - UCAS code R7LR
- Master of Arts (Honours) Social Anthropology with Geography - UCAS code L6L7
- Master of Arts (Honours) Spanish with Geography (With Integrated Year Abroad) - UCAS code R4LR
- Master of Arts (Honours) Spanish with Geography - UCAS code R4L7
"With" degrees taken with Russian or Spanish are also available 'With Integrated Year Abroad'.
Additional "with" degree options are available for students who take the MA in Geography.
Reflecting the broad nature of geography, graduates leave St Andrews with a diverse and unique skill set, putting them in a very strong position in the jobs market.
Employers seek out geography graduates because of their rare combination of quantitative and qualitative skills, their ability to integrate and analyse diverse data, their understanding of human and environment interactions, their competence in GIS and spatial analysis, and their ability to think critically and creatively about the big social and environmental challenges facing us.
Career paths include:
- tourism and leisure
- planning and development
- business and finance
- security analysis
- scientific research.
The Careers Centre offers one-to-one advice to all students as well as a programme of events to assist students to build their employability skills.
What to do next
Join us for one of our information events where you can find out about different levels of study and specific courses we run. There are also sessions available for parents and college counsellors.
We encourage all students who are thinking of applying to the University to attend one of our online or in-person visiting days.
- 01334 462894
- School of Geography and Sustainable Development
The Irvine Building
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