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BSc (Hons) Geography course preparation

To help you feel prepared for your BSc (Hons) Geography studies, we’ve gathered together a range of course related activities including suggested reading, useful websites, what to have for your course and some great things to do right now. Read on to find out more.

Suggested reading

You’ll be given lots of information about which textbooks to read and introduced to the University Library, as well as the many ebooks we have for you to access, when you begin your studies in September.

In the meantime, there are a couple of books you might like to read before starting your degree if you can. We don’t recommend rushing out to buy texts before you arrive. But if you can pick some up second hand, borrow from a library or access online, we suggest:

  • Holden, J (ed.) (2017) An Introduction to Physical Geography and the Environment. (4th Ed.) Pearson Education Limited.
  • Cloke, P. Crang, P & Goodwin, M (eds) (2014) Introducing Human Geographies. (3rd Ed.) Routledge.
  • Daniels, P, (2012) An Introduction to Human Geography: Issues for the 21st Century (4th Ed.) Prentice Hall.
  • Kneale, P (2019) Study Skills for Geography, Earth & Environmental Science Students. (4th Ed.) Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group.
  • Cambridge Compass Magazine (2018) [Preparing to Study Geography at Uni? 5 Suggestions]

Suggested materials

One of the more exciting and stimulating parts of your degree course is fieldwork, where classroom learning is put into practice. So, if you don’t already have them, we’d recommend investing in:

  • a waterproof rucksack
  • waterproof jacket and trousers
  • walking boots or stout footwear with ankle support

You will be out on residential fieldwork in the first few weeks of your course.

Royal Geographical Society

If you’re thinking about a future career in Geography take a look at the Royal Geographical Society website.

Things to do now

The first thing to do is add an important date to your diary. Your first residential field class will be from 21-13 October 2024. Three full days spent in the field learning about the environment around you, as well as getting to know some of the Geo staff and your new coursemates.

You should also try to:

  1. Read a chapter of ‘An Introduction to Physical Geography and the Environment’ by Joseph Holden.
  2. Read a chapter of ‘Human Geography: The Basics’ by Andrew Jones.
  3. Listen to the Royal Geographical Society’s podcast with Tim Marshall, author of the seminal book ‘Prisoners of Geography’.
  4. Take a look at our UniSkills webpage to prepare for your first year. 
  5. Watch our very own Dr Joanne Egan, talk about her research into past volcanic eruptions.
  6. Take a look at our UniSkills website to prepare for your first year.

Your short task:

Geography concerns itself with the understanding of physical and social processes within the broader environment: Where and why do we find things in certain locations? How do these things change over time and what do we know about their future development?  We are natural investigators. And, as Geography is a topical subject we believe that if you look closely at the world around you, you will find a geographical connection.  The following activity will help to demonstrate just how important Geography is:

  • Look at the daily news headlines, select a few and draw a mind map thinking about how they relate to Geography.  You should try to consider key geographical themes such as: location; place; processes; human-environment interaction.

Meet your programme leader