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Comfort Town in Kiev

BA (Honours) Geography

You’ll explore how geography makes a difference to how we understand and might respond to global challenges such as poverty, climate change, migration and urbanisation. By studying places, landscapes, and issues located in space and time, you’ll deepen your understanding of the relationships between human and natural environments, and how those relationships are in turn shaped by distinctive patterns of social, cultural, economic and political dynamics. As you combine this knowledge and understanding with the skills that you’ll develop through virtual fieldwork in generating, interpreting, and communicating geographical imagination, you’ll work towards a project to complete your degree.

Key features of the course

  • Develop your understanding of the relationships between human and natural environments. 
  • Learn to gather, interpret and evaluate quantitative and qualitative geographical information to explore local and global challenges.
  • Gain the skills to effectively communicate geographical information and ideas in ways suitable for a range of audiences.
We also offer a Diploma of Higher Education in Geography (W81) that is the same in structure as the first two-thirds of this degree.

Course Summary



  • Also known as an undergraduate or bachelors degree.
  • Internationally respected, universally understood.
  • An essential requirement for many high-level jobs.
  • Gain a thorough understanding of your subject – and the tools to investigate, think critically, form reasoned arguments, solve problems and communicate effectively in new contexts.
  • Progress to higher level study, such as a postgraduate diploma or masters degree.
Course code


  • Credits measure the student workload required for the successful completion of a module or qualification.
  • One credit represents about 10 hours of study over the duration of the course.
  • You are awarded credits after you have successfully completed a module.
  • For example, if you study a 60-credit module and successfully pass it, you will be awarded 60 credits.
How long it takes
Part time – 6 years
Full time – 3 years
Time limit – 16 years
Study method
Distance learning

Course details

This degree has three stages, each comprising 120 credits.

  • In Stage 1 you’ll study with two interdisciplinary modules – one that focuses on environmental issues and one that spans the social sciences.
  • Next, in Stage 2, you'll explore the relationship between environmental and social issues in more depth and the geographies of a changing UK.
  • Finally, in Stage 3, you’ll investigate practical and policy responses to environmental change and develop your independent research skills.

Prepare for OU study with an Access module

We offer two starting points depending on how confident you are or how long it’s been since you last studied. Choose to dive straight in at Stage 1, or if you’d prefer some extra preparation, you can get started with an optional Access module. See Entry requirements for more details.

Stage 1 (120 credits)

In Stage 1 you'll be introduced to the interdisciplinary study of the environmental issues that are affecting the oceans, the Arctic, the Nile, the Amazon, China and key cities across the world. You’ll also cover the core ideas and themes of the social sciences such as inequality, rights and justice.

Stage 2 (120 credits)

At Stage 2 you’ll draw on recent geographical thinking to both deepen your understanding of how matters of environment and society are so thoroughly entangled, and explore the changing social geographies of contemporary United Kingdom.
You'll study both of the following:
Environment and society (DD213)60
Changing geographies of the United Kingdom (D225)60

Stage 3 (120 credits)

At Stage 3 you’ll explore the many debates and dilemmas involved in developing environmental policy as well as developing the knowledge and skills that will prepare you to research, understand, and communicate geographical issues.
You'll study both of the following:
Environmental policy in an international context (DD319)60
Researching everyday geographies (D325) – planned for October 202260

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 27 April 2021.


We make all our qualifications as accessible as possible and have a comprehensive range of services to support all our students. The BA (Honours) 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
  • working in a group with other students
  • using and/or producing diagrams and/or screenshots
  • undertaking practical work
  • 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

Credit transfer

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.

Classification of your degree

On successfully completing this course, we’ll award you our BA (Honours) Geography.

The class of honours (first, upper-second, lower-second or third) will depend on your grades at Stages 2 and 3.

You’ll have the opportunity to attend a degree ceremony.

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. 

Compare this course

Entry requirements

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.

How much will it cost in England?

We believe cost shouldn’t be a barrier to achieving your potential. That’s why we work hard to keep the cost of study as low as possible and have a wide range of flexible ways to pay to help spread, or even reduce, the cost.

  • Fees are paid on a module-by-module basis – you won't have to pay for the whole of your qualification up front.
  • A qualification comprises a series of modules, each with an individual fee. Added together, they give you the total cost.
  • Most OU students study part time at a rate of 60 credits a year.
  • Our current fee for 60 credits is £3,168*.
  • Our current fee for 120 credits, which is equivalent to a year's full-time study, is £6,336*.
  • At current prices, the total cost of your qualification would be £19,008*.
  • .

*The fee information provided here is valid for modules starting before 31 July 2022. Fees normally increase annually in line with inflation and the University's strategic approach to fees.

Skills for career development

Employers value the diverse skills of social science graduates very highly. This interdisciplinary degree will provide you with a strong set of transferable skills as 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.

Career relevance

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
  • Teachers 

In addition, nearly one in five geography graduates choose to pursue postgraduate study, including specialist pathways in education, GIS or other fields. Dr Catherine Souch, Head of Research and Higher Education at the Royal Geographical Society, noted: “These statistics illustrate that the skills, knowledge and understanding gained during a geography degree are held in high regard across all sectors."

Other careers

The broad range of skills developed through an interdisciplinary Geography degree opens up many quality graduate-level 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 beyond your degree.

  • environmental consultant
  • transport planner
  • civil servant
  • investment advisor
  • geographical information system officer
  • journalist
  • data analyst
  • sustainability consultant
  • market researcher
  • teacher
  • business analyst
  • surveyor

Register for this course

Start dates
Credit transfer: apply by 09/12/2021

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Our prospectuses are your essential guide to studying with us, covering courses, fees and funding, career prospects and more.

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