Geographical Sciences study guide 2023/24

Geographical Sciences at Bristol

The School of Geographical Sciences consistently aims to be one of the major international centres for integrated research and teaching in environmental processes, environmental systems and human sciences.

Our mission is to combine the highest possible quality of research with teaching excellence which is as student-friendly as it is stimulating. We are the only UK geography department to have been ranked in the top category (5*) in every UK national research assessment exercise that has been held.

Our research can be characterised in terms of the global significance of the physical and social scientific questions we address. Our teaching programmes reflect our research expertise, providing leading edge, innovative courses taught by leaders in their respective fields.

Unit structure

Some of the school's units are taught across the academic year (known as 'TB4' units), which means they start in September and end in May/June. There are single-semester classes, but we encourage students interested in this subject to consider studying with us for the full academic year (September–June) so they have more unit choices available to them.

Unit levels

The school offers units across all undergraduate levels of study – Year 1 (Level C/4), Year 2 (Level I/5), and Year 3 (Level H/6). Postgraduate units are not available.

For students who are only here for one semester, we recommend taking a mix of Year 1 and Year 3 units, rather than taking all Year 3 units, to balance the workload.

Unit codes

Unit codes in the School of Geographical Sciences begin with 'GEOG'. This is followed by a number indicating the year (1, 2, 3). For example:

  • GEOG10000 = year 1 unit
  • GEOG20000 = year 2 unit
  • GEOG30000 = year 3 unit

For more information about each unit, check the University's unit catalogue for 2023/24. Applicants on all study abroad programmes must review the unit details on the catalogue before listing unit choices on their application form. This includes checking the format of assessment for each unit. The unit catalogue for 2023/24 is updated by April 2023.

Your unit choices cannot be guaranteed. Some units may not have capacity to accommodate all of the unit requests we receive. Registration on a unit also depends on whether you meet the pre-requisite conditions through prior study at your home university.

Study Abroad (Subject pathway)

If you have been nominated to Bristol on the Study Abroad (Subject pathway), you must take the majority of your credits in this school.

Units available on the study abroad programme in 2023/24

The following units from the School of Geographical Sciences are open to inbound Study Abroad students.

Year 1 (level C/4)


  • Convincing stories? Numbers as evidence in the social sciences (TB1) - GEOG10005
  • World in Crisis? (TB1) - GEOG16001


  • Sustainable Development (TB2) - UNIV10001

Year 2 (level I/5)

Please note that Geographical Sciences Year 2 units are taught in TB4 (they are full academic year units):


  • Floods and Flows in River Basins (TB4) - GEOG20027
  • Fundamentals of Modern Glaciology (TB4) - GEOG20004
  • Geographies of Colonialism and Coloniality (TB4) - GEOG20024
  • Geographies of Nature and Environment (TB4) - GEOG20015
  • Health Geography (TB4) - GEOG20023
  • Oceans in a Changing World (TB4) - GEOG20021
  • Qualitative Research Methods in Human Geography (TB4) - GEOG20012
  • Research Methods in Physical Geography (TB4) - GEOG20011
  • State, Economy and Society in Geographical Perspective (TB4) - GEOG20005
  • The Earth System (TB4) - GEOG20003

Year 3 (level H/6)


  • Catchment Science: Hydrology, Ecology and Management (TB1) - GEOG30013 
  • Energy Geographies (TB1) - GEOG30038
  • Ethnicity, Class and Housing in the City (TB1) - GEOG30020 - this unit requires knowledge in quantitative skills (such as R)
  • Evolutionary Biogeography (TB1) - GEOG3NEW
  • Food: Social, Animal, Ecological (TB1) - GEOG30040
  • Geographies of the Bioeconomy (TB1) - GEOG30030
  • Ice and Ocean in the Global Carbon Cycle (TB1) - GEOG30014
  • Rural Asia (TB1) - GEOG30031
  • Sea Level past, present and future (TB1) - GEOG30008
  • Spatial Modelling 3: Data Science for Geographers (TB1) - GEOG30042 - this unit requires knowledge in quantitative skills (such as R)


  • Critical Political Ecologies of Extraction and Conservation (TB2) - GEOG30029
  • Drylands in a Changing World (TB2) - GEOG30039
  • Environmental Risks and Disaster Risk Reduction (TB2) - GEOG30041
  • Future Climates (TB2) - GEOG30016
  • Geographies of Fashion and Style (TB2) - GEOG30027
  • Geographies of the Anthropocene (TB2) - GEOG30036
  • Life, Sex and Death in an Age of Capitalism (TB2) - GEOG30035
  • Migration and Development (TB2) - GEOG30018 - this unit requires knowledge in quantitative skills (such as R)
  • Urban Geography – a focus on Africa (TB2) - GEOG30022

Year 4 (level M/7)

None available

Application queries

Contact the Centre for Study Abroad inbound team if you have any queries about the application process for the study abroad programmes:

Phone: +44 117 39 40207


Students cannot audit units. Study abroad students are fully registered on units for credit purposes and must attend teaching only for classes that they are registered on.

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