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Geography and Natural Hazards BSc (Hons) 2017/18 entry

Clearing 2017

Clearing places available on this course

We have limited places available on this course through Clearing. Contact us to discuss your options:

Know your results? See if we could offer you a place

Waiting for results day? Sign up for updates

EU Students. Find out how to apply

Reasons to make us your clearing choice

  • No. 12 UK University - The Guardian University Guide 2018
  • Awarded Gold in the Teaching and Excellence Framework (TEF)
  • 1st for overseas student experiences in 2015/16 - HESA 2017
  • UK’s top new university - The Guardian and the Complete University Guides 2018
Course code:

FH82

Study options:

3 years full-time
4 years sandwich or study abroad

Location:

Coventry University

Starting:

September 2017

 

Fees:
Faculty:

Get in touch

For questions regarding study and admissions please contact us:

+44 (0) 24 7765 2222


Overview

You can travel the world studying natural hazards on this rewarding course, and learn how to support communities when they need it most.

Having taught Geography for over 40 years, Coventry is ranked as one of the 15 best universities in the UK for ‘Geography and Environmental Studies’ in the Guardian University Guide 2018.

This course applies geographical knowledge to the study of natural hazards, such as volcanoes, earthquakes, tsunamis, tornadoes, wildfires, tropical cyclones and associated flood events. You will gain an in-depth understanding of the processes responsible for these hazards, which affect millions of people each year. You will learn the key principles of geology, geomorphology, hydrology and climatology and how to map, analyse and potentially predict natural hazards, so that you can help communities prepare for and respond to their impact.

In the first year, students will touch upon topics covered in our other two Geography degrees (BA and BSc), while also taking a bespoke module from the Disaster Management programme. All of our Geography degrees encompass significant fieldwork, both here in the UK and overseas, with recent trips visiting locations such as Gambia, Mallorca, Morocco and Tenerife.

Why Coventry University?

An award-winning university, we are committed to providing our students with the best possible experience. We continue to invest in both our facilities and our innovative approach to education. Our students benefit from industry-relevant teaching, and resources and support designed to help them succeed. These range from our modern library and computing facilities to dedicated careers advice and our impressive Students’ Union activities.

Global ready

An international outlook, with global opportunities

Employability

Career-ready graduates, with the skills to succeed

Teaching Excellence

Taught by lecturers who are experts in their field

Course essentials

A degree which offers you more, at no extra cost

Accreditation and Professional Recognition

This course is accredited and recognised by the following bodies:

Royal Geographical Society (RGS)

All students are automatically enrolled as members of the Royal Geographical Society (RGS), which includes a subscription to Geographical Magazine and access to information and advice on career planning.

What our alumni say

The course has a good range of coursework presentations, essays, reports and even book reviews and poster making! The highlight of studying a geography based degree has to be the field trips.”

Eleanor Brafield, BSc (Hons) Geography and Natural Hazards, graduated in 2011, now a Meteorologist at the UK Meteorological Office

Course information

All of our Geography degrees are designed to develop your knowledge of the spatial organisation and evolution of the human and physical environment, within the broad field of geographical and geoscientific inquiry.

In all three years, you will be supported to develop your practical analytical and problem-solving skills, with appropriate training in how to conduct robust independent research in the laboratory or in the field, as well as detailed critical analysis and methods of reporting.

86%

of our students are satisfied with the quality of the course

NSS, 2016

Course specification
Download PDF (162Kb)

Modules

Overview

In the first year, we will touch upon topics covered in our other two Geography degrees (BA and BSc), while also taking a bespoke module from the Disaster Management programme.

In summary, you will have the opportunity to receive an introduction to the nature of landscapes, environmental systems and their relationship to human society, all framed in terms of natural hazards and the disaster management cycle. For example, we will study the Aberfan disaster of 1966, learning what caused the disaster and why no such disasters have happened since due to new geotechnical regulations having been developed.

Modules

  • Geosystems

  • Understanding the Landscape

  • Numerical and Spatial Skills for Geography

  • A Sustainable Britain?

  • Introduction to Disasters

  • Field and Higher Education Skills

Add+vantage

The focus on preparing students for successful futures sets Coventry apart as a university.

The Add+vantage modules teach a range of work experience and extra-curricular activities that are taken each year, and broaden students knowledge and skills within a work focused environment. There is a very wide range of Add+vantage free-choice subject areas, and they are arranged in themes.

Overview

In your second year, you will have the chance to deepen your knowledge of all geophysical, hydrological and meteorological hazards, ranging from earthquakes and volcanoes, to floods and sea-level rise.

We will cover the techniques used to geographically analyse and map hazards, such as field surveying, remote sensing and Geographical Information Systems (GIS). We will also examine the issues of warning and informing communities of environmental hazards and risk; it will be shown that whilst warnings are important, they must be given in such a way as to avoid panic.

Modules

  • Natural Hazards

  • Geographical Information Applications

  • Scientific Techniques for Environmental Research

  • Career Management Skills for GED Students

  • Geotechnics and Construction for Natural Hazards

  • Optional modules

    1 from the following:

    • Climate Change: The Science and the Symptoms
    • Warning and Informing for Environmental Hazards
    • Assessing & Managing Risk

Add+vantage

The focus on preparing students for successful futures sets Coventry apart as a university.

The Add+vantage modules teach a range of work experience and extra-curricular activities that are taken each year, and broaden students knowledge and skills within a work focused environment. There is a very wide range of Add+vantage free-choice subject areas, and they are arranged in themes.

Overview

Following your second year, you will have an option to apply for a one-year professional work placement or study abroad in a partner institution.

Modules

  • Professional Training

  • Study Abroad

Overview

In the final year, you will be encouraged to reflect critically on the nature of best practice in the analysis of natural hazards and risk, using various tools which were introduced in previous years. You will be able to select more specialised options, such as community resilience, post-disaster reconstruction and geographical information systems (GIS) and natural hazards.

You will be expected to conduct an independent research project on a topic of your choice. Some students decide to base this on the experience they obtained whilst on professional training. For example, a placement with GNS in New Zealand examining the tsunami hazard in Wellington led to an exceptional dissertation project. Other students choose a subject they feel passionate about, such as the flood risk in their home town.

Modules

  • Natural Hazard Management

  • GED Project

  • Employment Skills for GED Students (10)

  • Optional modules

    3 from the following:

    • Deserts and Dryland Management
    • Hazards, Disasters and GIS
    • International Fieldwork
    • Environmental Pollution and Management
    • Post Disaster Reconstruction
    • Community Resilience

Add+vantage

The focus on preparing students for successful futures sets Coventry apart as a university.

The Add+vantage modules teach a range of work experience and extra-curricular activities that are taken each year, and broaden students knowledge and skills within a work focused environment. There is a very wide range of Add+vantage free-choice subject areas, and they are arranged in themes.

12th

Our geography and environmental studies courses are ranked 12th in the UK by the Guardian University Guide 2018

In more detail...

  • Research expertise in climate change, volcanic remote sensing and floods.
  • High levels of student satisfaction – 92% with the quality of teaching in the National Student Survey (NSS) 2016.
  • Coventry is ranked 12th in the UK for ‘Geography and Environmental Studies’ in the Guardian University Guide 2018.
  • Outstanding track record in employability – with 100% of graduates in work or further study after six months (DLHE 2014/15).
  • Large range of optional modules allows you to tailor your degree to suit your interests with topics such as climate change, natural hazard management and early warning and informing.
  • Opportunities for industry work placement experience, previously taken at the British Geological Survey, utility companies and environmental analysts, such as Vaisala and GNS Science, New Zealand. These placements have involved students working closely with professionals in topics such as thermal mapping of transport networks and assessing natural hazard risks.

Research expertise in climate change, volcanic remote sensing and floods

Your main study themes are: 

  • Geosystems: Understanding the functioning of the systems which drive the physical environment

  • Natural hazards and their management: Understanding the physical cause of the events and what humans can do to mitigate their effects.

  • Scientific techniques for environmental research: Gaining experience in studying the environment and learning that by understanding it better, we can mitigate the hazards it poses.

  • Career management and employment skills: An insight into the skills required for geography-related careers and how these skills are truly transferrable.

The programme can be studied full-time over three years of study with the option of extending this to four years, by taking a sandwich year in the form of an industrial training placement or study abroad between Year Two and Year Three.

We have a wide range of teaching methods which are an established feature of all of our Geography courses. For example, you will have the opportunity to participate in computer workshops to undertake data analysis using bespoke specialist software, such as ArcGIS and ENVI. You will also have the opportunity to use our specialist geotechnics lab facilities where students will learn the influences of geology on structural integrity. 

The field courses, which occur in each year, provide an unrivalled opportunity to contextualise classroom-based learning and develop practical skills through real-life application. 

You will be taught by experienced teaching faculty, who bring professional and research expertise into their teaching. Our staff members are active researchers in topics ranging from climate change, volcanoes and flooding to global development and environmental pollution. In addition, your personal tutor will review and discuss your progress with you and will be available for advice.

Teaching methods include:
lectures, seminars and tutorials, frequent field trips, practical classes and laboratory exercises.

Meet our staff

Matthew Blackett

Matthew Blackett is a senior lecturer and researcher, focussing on environmental change management, natural hazards and natural disasters.

Read full profile

The learning outcomes of modules, assignments and projects will be clearly stated. Your work will be marked according to how well you achieve these learning outcomes and your final feedback will refer to each outcome, as well as providing an overall percentage grade. You need to achieve an average of 40% or above to pass each module; marks of 70% or above are classified as ‘First Class’.

Assessment methods vary and include written practical reports, course work, problem-solving, project reports, presentations, essays, workshops, laboratory reports, seminars, examinations and portfolios.

An estimated percentage breakdown of your final grade assessment is as follows:

  • Coursework reports, essays, practicals, presentations, posters: 60%
  • Formal examinations: 25%
  • Project work: 15%

In order to qualify for the award of Bachelor of Sciences, a student must satisfy the University requirements of 300 credits. A student who does not wish to progress to a subsequent year of study may apply for an intermediate award of Diploma of Higher Education if they pass a minimum of 240 credits. A Certificate of Higher Education may be awarded to a student with minimum of 120 credits.

25% assessed by formal examinations

On successful completion, you should be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of: the nature, practical value and application of geography and the earth sciences and its concepts, methods and techniques; the nature, mitigation and management of natural hazards and contemporary environmental problems; concepts of spatial and temporal scale, variation and change in the human and physical worlds; reciprocal relationships between physical and human aspects of environments and landscapes.
  • Plan, design and execute a piece of rigorous research or enquiry using appropriate methods and strategies of acquiring, interpreting and analysing information.
  • Conduct field and laboratory work together with data collection and associated investigative and analytical skills.
  • Recognise the moral and ethical issues involved in debates and inquiries.
  • Show awareness of how skills and training can be applied to work of a geographical nature.
  • Observe, contextualise and analyse information through field and laboratory studies (including computational). Demonstrate a range of transferrable professional skills including: intellectual and problem-solving skills; effective team work; initiative and responsibility your own learning and development; self-reflection; time management and personal organisation, including working to deadlines; excellent communication skills, both orally and in writing.

100%

of our graduates are in work or further study six months after the course

DHLE 2014/15

In a typical teaching week, you will have up to 16 ‘contact’ hours of teaching. This generally breaks down as:

  • Personal tutorial/small group teaching: 4 hours of small group teaching each week.
  • Medium group teaching: 6 hours of practical classes, workshops or seminar each week
  • Large group teaching: 6 hours of lectures each week.

In addition, you will be expected to undertake a further 20 hours of self-directed study each week and during residential field trips, ‘contact’ hours are significantly greater.

Geography is a global subject and international themes are core to our teaching. Whilst the UK experiences natural hazards such as flooding, it rarely experiences some of the more destructive events, such as earthquakes, tsunamis and severe storms. As such, much of our teaching relies of using case studies from overseas, such as the tsunamis that regularly impact the Pacific region and hurricanes which often hit the Caribbean. 

All students are given the opportunity to complete an overseas field course as part of their studies. For example, past students have visited Taiwan and Tenerife, where they examined the natural hazards posed by the island’s active volcano, and to understand the measures that can be taken to address these. Others undertook a community outreach programme in Indonesia, assisting local communities in development projects such as building and maintaining rural schools. In all cases, the fieldtrips are designed to enable you to see first-hand how particular natural hazards pose a significant threat in different environments, enabling you to apply your specialist research skills in an international context.

You can also take the opportunity to work or study abroad. Past students have spent time working at the volcano observatories in Alaska, Hawaii and Mexico; others have undertaken placements with GNS in New Zealand and with the United States Geological Survey in California. Others have gone to study at one of our associate universities teaching in English throughout Europe, America and the Far East. The Geology and Natural Hazards programme at the University of Reykjavik in Iceland has proved popular. 

Global ready

Did you know we help more students travel internationally than any other UK university according to data from the experts in higher education data and analysis, HESA?

In 2015/16, we were able to provide a total of 2101 experiences abroad that lasted at least five days, 76% of which were our own organised trips for undergraduates and 23% from postgraduate travel.

Much of this travel is made possible through our Global Leaders Programme, which enables students to prepare for the challenges of the global employment market, as well as strengthening and developing their broader personal and professional skills.

Explore our international experiences

1st for

international experiences

Sending more students overseas than any other UK uni (HESA)


2,101

Student experiences

The number of student trips abroad for at least 5 days in 2015/16



16,000

and counting

The number of students we’ve helped travel internationally so far


21

global programmes

As well as trips, we offer other opportunities like language courses

What our alumni say

The course has a good range of coursework presentations, essays, reports and even book reviews and poster making! The highlight of studying a geography based degree has to be the field trips.”

Eleanor Brafield, BSc (Hons) Geography and Natural Hazards, graduated in 2011, now a Meteorologist at the UK Meteorological Office

Clearing places available on this course

During Clearing, the tariff points for this course may change. Clearing tariff points will be published 14th August.

Know your results? See if we could offer you a place

Waiting for results day? Visit our Clearing pages for advice

What our alumni say

The course has a good range of coursework presentations, essays, reports and even book reviews and poster making! The highlight of studying a geography based degree has to be the field trips.”

Eleanor Brafield, BSc (Hons) Geography and Natural Hazards, graduated in 2011, now a Meteorologist at the UK Meteorological Office

Tuition Fees

We pride ourselves on offering competitive tuition fees which we review on an annual basis and offer a wide range of scholarships to support students with their studies. Course fees are calculated on the basis of what it costs to teach each course and we aim for total financial transparency.

For more information, please visit our Finance pages.

Starts

Fee


September 2017

£9,250 (per year)


Scholarships

If you're a truly outstanding undergraduate candidate we may be able to offer you a Coventry University Scholarship.

Coventry University Scholarships are awarded to recognise truly exceptional sports achievement and academic excellence.

Starts

Fee


September 2017

£9,250 (per year)


Scholarships

For the September 2017 and January 2018 intakes, we're investing £1 million into scholarships for high achieving and enterprising students.

Our scholarships are worth up to £10,000 and every student that applies will be considered. Fulfil your potential this academic year with Coventry University!

Starts

Fee


September 2017

£12,471 (per year)


Course essentials at no extra cost

We're committed to communicating study costs clearly to make sure you're not faced with having to make any unexpected payments.

This is why our ‘Flying Start’ package provides you with a few course essentials. Your full-time fee for an undergraduate degree will cover the following:

UK field trips

Any mandatory site visits and trips within the United Kingdom.

Key material

This can include core textbooks, software and equipment.

Laser prints

1,000 A4 sides of black and white laser printing credits per year.

Optional year

Pay no tuition fees for optional work placements or study abroad trips.

As well as covering UK field trips, key materials and laser print, the fees for this course also include:

  • Student Membership of the Royal Geographical Society


The following are additional costs not included in the fees:

  • Any optional overseas field trips or visits: £400+ per trip

What our alumni say

The course has a good range of coursework presentations, essays, reports and even book reviews and poster making! The highlight of studying a geography based degree has to be the field trips.”

Eleanor Brafield, BSc (Hons) Geography and Natural Hazards, graduated in 2011, now a Meteorologist at the UK Meteorological Office

Career prospects

Employment prospects are excellent for graduates with specialist skills and knowledge in natural hazard assessment and prevention. As the incidences of geological hazards increase, so too does the need to monitor, prevent, warn and manage their impact.

The transferrable analytical and problem-solving skills you’ll have opportunity to gain as a Geography graduate, also open a wider variety of roles, such as a GIS officer, data analyst, flood risk analyst, sustainability officer, asset systems manager, environmental energy consultant, public health officer, teacher, insurance assessor or government administrator. We have an outstanding track record in employability with 100% of Geography graduates in work or further study after six months (DLHE 2014/15). 

Our award-winning Faculty careers service, EC Futures, which won the ‘Best Placement Service in the UK’ award at the National Undergraduate Employability Awards in 2015 and 2016, will help you in finding work experience while you study and employment on graduation. Choosing to undertake a professional training year should significantly enhance your prospects of finding graduate employment, while your GIS skills can provide entry to one of the most important emerging industries. Placements have previously been taken at Vaisala and GNS Science, New Zealand. These placements have involved students working closely with professionals in topics such as thermal mapping of transport networks and assessing natural hazard risks.

Coventry University is committed to preparing you for your future career and giving you a competitive edge in the graduate job market. The University’s Careers and Employability team provide a wide range of support services to help you plan and prepare for your career.

100%

of our graduates are in work or further study six months after the course

DLHE 2014/15

Where our graduates work

Recent graduates have gone to work for the Environment Agency, the Meteorological Office, environmental departments of local authorities, utility companies including Severn Trent and EON, research institutes, charitable organisations and environmental consultancies. Others have continued their studies at postgraduate level, including teacher training and further study at Masters and PhD level.

£22K

Our graduates earn an average salary of £22,000 six months after the course (DHLE 2014/15)

What our alumni say

The course has a good range of coursework presentations, essays, reports and even book reviews and poster making! The highlight of studying a geography based degree has to be the field trips.”

Eleanor Brafield, BSc (Hons) Geography and Natural Hazards, graduated in 2011, now a Meteorologist at the UK Meteorological Office
Disclaimer

By accepting your offer of a place with us, a Student Contract (“the Contract”) will be formed between you and the University. The Contract will detail all of your rights and also the obligations you will be bound by during your time as a student and will also contain all of the obligations that the University owes to you.  We would encourage you to read the Student Contract before you accept any offer of a place at the University. A copy of the Contract can be found here.