This qualification has two stages, each comprising 120 credits.
- In Stage 1 you'll explore the key environmental issues and an interdisciplinary social sciences module that covers geography, economics, sociology, politics and international studies.
- Next, in Stage 2, you’ll explore the nature of the relationship between environmental and social issues in more depth.
In Stage 1 you'll be introduced to the interdisciplinary study of environmental issues, before covering the core ideas and key skills of the social sciences. As you do so, you’ll explore some of the environmental issues affecting the Arctic, the Nile, the Amazon, China, the oceans, and key world cities as well as themes such as inequality, rights and justice.
At Stage 2 you’ll use the insights of the natural and the social sciences to explore why environmental issues such as biodiversity loss, climate change, food production, and water security pose such significant challenges. This will develop your understanding how environmental matters and society are so thoroughly connected.
We regularly review our curriculum; therefore, the qualification described on this page – including its availability, its structure, and available modules – may change over time. If we make changes to this qualification, we’ll update this page as soon as possible. Once you’ve registered or are studying this qualification, where practicable, we’ll inform you in good time of any upcoming changes. If you’d like to know more about the circumstances in which the University might make changes to the curriculum, see our Academic Regulations or contact us. This description was last updated on 17 March 2021.
We make all our qualifications as accessible as possible and have a comprehensive range of services to support all our students. The Diploma of Higher Education in Geography will use a variety of study materials, which can include the following elements:
- studying a mixture of printed and online material. Online learning resources may include websites, audio/video media clips, and interactive activities such as online quizzes.
- mathematical and scientific expressions, notations and associated techniques
- using and/or producing diagrams and/or screenshots
- finding external/third party material online
For more detailed information, see the Accessibility Statements on individual module descriptions. If you feel you may need additional support, visit Disability support to find more about what we offer.
Learning outcomes, teaching and assessment
This qualification develops your learning in four main areas:
- Knowledge and understanding.
- Cognitive skills.
- Practical and professional skills.
- Key skills.
The level and depth of your learning gradually increases as you work through the qualification. You’ll be supported throughout by the OU’s unique style of teaching and assessment – which includes a personal tutor to guide and comment on your work; top quality course texts; elearning resources like podcasts, interactive media and online materials; tutorial groups and community forums.
Read the detailed learning outcomes here
If you’ve already completed some study at another university, you may be able to count it towards your Open University qualification – reducing the number of modules you need to study.
You should apply for credit transfer before you register, at least 4 weeks before the registration closing date. Just tell us what you studied, where and when, and we’ll compare this against the learning outcomes for your chosen course.
For more details and an application form, visit our Credit Transfer website.
On completion of this undergraduate course, we'll award you the Diploma of Higher Education in Geography.
Recognition in your country
If you intend to use your Open University qualifications to seek work or undertake further study outside the UK, we recommend checking whether your intended qualification will meet local requirements for your chosen career. Read recognition in my country.
As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the qualification-specific regulations below and the academic regulations that are available on our Student Policies and Regulations website.
There are no formal entry requirements for this qualification.
At The Open University we believe education should be open to all, so we provide a high-quality university education to anyone who wishes to realise their ambitions and fulfil their potential.
How much time do I need?
- Most of our students study part time, completing 60 credits a year.
- This will usually mean studying for 16–18 hours a week.
Skills for career development
Employers value the diverse skills of social science students very highly. In addition, this interdisciplinary diploma will provide you with the ability to work across the natural and social sciences and develop a particularly strong set of transferable skills.
You’ll develop the ability to:
- interpret, analyse, and critically evaluate quantitative and qualitative evidence
- apply learning to real world situations
- communicate effectively to a variety of audiences using different media
- employ a wide range of digital practices to find, use, and create data
- learn autonomously and plan, conduct, and present independent work
- work effectively with others to achieve joint outcomes.
Geographers are highly employable social scientists. They go on to a wide range of destinations after graduation, including:
- Environmental consultants
- Data analysis and visualisation using geographical techniques
- Transport planners
- Commercial analysts
- Financial services
- International Development
- Field centre instructors
The broad range of skills developed through an interdisciplinary Geography diploma opens up many jobs across sectors including banking, finance, IT, media, and the public sector.
Other careers identified by ‘Prospects' includes commercial surveyor, town planner, logistics manager and market researcher.
Exploring your options
Once you register with us (and for up to three years after you finish your studies), you’ll have full access to our careers service for a wide range of information and advice. This includes online forums, website, interview simulation, vacancy service as well as the option to email or speak to a careers adviser. Some areas of the careers service website are available for you to see now, including help with looking for and applying for jobs. You can also read more general information about how OU study enhances your career.
In the meantime if you want to do some research around this qualification and where it might take you, we’ve put together a list of relevant job titles as a starting point. Some careers may require further study, training and/or work experience.
- environmental consultant
- transport planner
- civil servant
- investment advisor
- geographical information system officer
- data analyst
- sustainability consultant
- market researcher
- business analyst