School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences

BA (Hons) Geography with International Relations

Combine geography with international relations and discover the core principles of human geography, learnt with political, economic and social issues globally. You’ll study the relations between people, place and environment, democracy in the developing world and explore international political economies and security and rural development. Learn new skills and put them to the test with the chance to study abroad, international field trips and a placement opportunity.

You will gain excellent communication skills by working independently and as part of a team and learn from our accessible, supportive staff – expert researchers in their field. You will seize the opportunity to gain 'problem-solving' experience. You’ll be equipped with advanced computer and information technology competence and expertise in other job-related skills. You will also have the opportunity to choose to study abroad in Europe or the USA.

Entry requirements may differ during Clearing, so please contact us on 0333 241 6929 to discuss an application.


More courses available for 2017 entry

Our 2017 Clearing course vacancies page shows which courses are still available for entry this year.

Clearing hotline 0 0333 241 6929

Clearing with Plymouth University

Call our friendly Clearing team on 0333 241 6929.

We will help you find the right course for you.

  • Clearing officially opens on results day, Thursday 17 August.
  • Clearing closes on Wednesday 20 September.

For opening times and further information, visit our Clearing page.

Key features

  • Maximise your choice of option modules by studying geography as a major subject within a BA combined honours degree. Teaching methods include lectures, seminars, international residential fieldwork and tutorials.
  • Develop your understanding of the ways in which humans interpret, organise and respond to aspects in their social, cultural, economic, political and physical environments.
  • Seize the opportunity to gain 'problem-solving' experience. You’ll also be equipped with advanced computer and information technology competence and expertise in other job-related skills.
  • Examine the way political, economic and social issues affect all our lives – international relations will introduce you to key events and debates, with the opportunity to study a number of relevant themes.
  • Gain excellent communication skills by working independently and as part of a team and learn from our accessible, supportive staff – expert researchers in their field. 
  • Benefit from our unique location in the heart of the historical city of Plymouth, bordered by Dartmoor National Park as well as the Tamar Valley and South Hams Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Devon and Cornwall have glorious beaches, coasts, rivers and estuaries.
  • Choose to study abroad in Europe or the USA. You can also experience a valuable work placement programme, opening up a range of career opportunities.

Course details

  • Year 1
  • In your first year, lectures, tutorials, practicals and local fieldwork in human geography will strengthen your knowledge and introduce new ideas and techniques. Geography modules introduce themes such as globalisation, population and development as well as how to practise geography. You’ll also be introduced to the concepts and processes of international relations analysis.
    Core modules
    • GGH1200 Geography, Society and Environment

      The module provides a foundation in human geography for students studying Geography and International Relations. Lectures introduce key themes in geographical thinking about society and environment. The module also explores the roles of fieldwork, laboratory work, quantitative data, graphic and spatial analysis in geography. A series of small group tutorials aids students in developing key geographical skills.

    • GGH1201 Changing Places and Practices

      The module builds on the overview of geography provided in GGH1200 by examining changes across space and time through the lenses of human geography. The module also explores the roles of fieldwork, quantitative and qualitative data, and spatial analysis in discerning and understanding geographic processes. A series of small group tutorials aids students in gaining study skills for a degree in geography.

    • GGX1200 Geography Matters

      Introduces the key concepts and debates in Geography, and provides understanding of what Geography is. Provides baseline knowledge and skills for University-level learning. Gives `first-hand¿ experience of geographical patterns and processes and issues of sustainable development and management in the field, around a UK-based residential field course.

    • IRL100 Imagining World Order

      This module introduces the essential terms, concepts and processes of international relations analysis. It describes the main features of the international system since its evolution from the Treaty of Westphalia, continuities and discontinuities with earlier international systems, plus the move from state sovereignty to global governance in the contemporary context. It also introduces the primary theories of international relations analysis, whilst putting their emergence and development into historical context.

    • IRL102 International Relations Since 1945

      This module provides an introduction to the historical development of the international political system since 1945. It provides a crucial background to the major processes and actors that have shaped the contemporary international system.

    Optional modules
    • FREX100PP French 1

      This module is designed for beginners in French, or those whose previous qualification/experience is not equivalent to GCSE grade B. It develops communicative competence at a basic level, enabling students to establish and maintain adequate social relations with speakers of French, negotiate everyday needs in France / a French speaking country, and communicate using spoken and simple written language in a limited social or work setting.

    • GEES1001PP Natural Hazards

      This module examines the major short-term natural hazards that affect the contemporary Earth. The various different hazards will be covered ranging from geohazards including landslides, volcanoes, earthquakes as well as weather related hazards such as tropical cyclones, extra tropical storms. Emphasis is placed upon natural hazard processes, identification, risk potential and hazard mitigation.

    • GEES1002PP Climate Change and Energy

      This module provides a scientific evaluation of climate change and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. It introduces climate change policy, renewable energy options and societal challenges over GHG reduction measures. Students engage in literature searches and review climate change policy options.

    • GEES1003PP Sustainable Futures

      This module explores the concepts and principles of sustainable development and critically examines their application to a range of real-world contemporary issues. The module provides opportunities to enhance knowledge and understanding and develop key skills by exploring an aspect of 'sustainability in practice' through student-led research.

    • GERX100PP German 1

      This module is designed for beginners in German, or those whose previous qualification/experience is not equivalent to GCSE grade B. It develops communicative competence at a basic level, enabling students to establish and maintain adequate social relations with German speakers, negotiate everyday needs in a German-speaking country, and communicate using spoken and simple written language in a limited social or work setting.

    • MATH1608PP Understanding Big Data from Social Networks

      The amount of data from questionnaires and social networks has grown enormously. Computer tools are needed to understand what these data are telling us. Students will gain valuable experience in questionnaire analysis, and in the use of software for understanding and reporting the underlying messages from data sources such as social networks. They will also meet appropriate high performance computing techniques.

    • OS106PP Our Ocean Planet

      In this module students will explore important topical issues associated with our ocean planet. Students will have a creative opportunity to work in teams on a topic of their choice using a project based learning approach. They will develop a variety of communication skills in order to present their ideas in a medium of their team's choice.

    • OS107PP Space Exploration

      This module introduces the wonders of space and humankind's attempts to explore and understand them. Topics range from telescope making, using weather balloons and observing the night sky, to contemporary issues such as black holes, the space station and the possibility of life on other planets. The Immersive Vision Theatre will be used as a planetarium, and to take the students visually through space to other planets.

    • SPNX100PP Spanish 1

      This module is designed for beginners in Spanish, or those whose previous qualification/experience is not equivalent to GCSE grade B. It develops communicative competence at a basic level, enabling students to establish and maintain adequate social relations with speakers of Spanish, negotiate everyday needs in Spain / a Spanish speaking country, and communicate using spoken and simple written language in a limited social or work setting.

  • Year 2
  • In your second year, you’ll specialise in human geography options (fieldwork options may also be chosen). Geography modules include the principles and practice of geographical research, sustainability policies and practices, and geography and employability. You’ll also have the chance to study abroad (Europe, North America or Australia). Develop your knowledge further by exploring many important themes of contemporary international relations.
    Core modules
    • APIE205 Preparation for a Year Long Work Placement in Geography

      This module is designed to assist students in their search and preparation for a year long work placement. It is aimed at students who would like to undertake the placement to enhance both programme specific and employment-related skills during Stage 3.

    • GGX2201 Principles and Applications of Geography 1

      In this module students learn about and critically reflect upon various approaches to the production of geographical knowledge, and the different ways and contexts in which this knowledge is applied. The module develops students' awareness of the place and importance of geographical research in preparation for dissertation study and fieldwork modules, and identifies links between geographical research and employability.

    • GGX2202 Principles and Applications of Geography 2

      Students learn about, practise and critically reflect upon different research methods and techniques in the production of geographical knowledge. The module refines students' awareness of the place and importance of geographical research in preparation for dissertation study and fieldwork modules, and its links to employability. Tutorials are provided for additional, small group discussion of issues arising.

    • IRL200 Understanding Global Politics

      This module provides an introduction to the main authors and debates in contemporary IR theory, from mainstream theories to critical approaches. The module pays particular attention to the historical context of each approach, and the relationship between theory and practice in contemporary global politics.

    Optional modules
    • GGH2200 Spatial Planning

      Planning plays a significant part in the relationship between people and the environment and in managing space and shaping the geography of urban and rural places. This module provides an understanding of the evolution and operation of planning in the British context and explores contemporary planning issues.

    • GGH2202 The Global Countryside: Sustainability, Resilience and Society

      The module uses perspectives from human geography to examine the changing countryside and its governance. Drawing on perspectives from the first world, it critically considers the economic, environmental, social and cultural sustainability of the countryside. Attention is given to the way that these issues are governed as well as the contribution of the `cultural turn¿ to understanding the issues facing rural areas.

    • GGH2203 Nature and Society

      This module critically evaluates relationships between nature and society, through the consideration of a range of historical and contemporary examples in Britain and beyond. The core premise of the module is that `nature¿ is inseparable from the realms of culture, politics, economy and science.

    • GGH2204 Transport, Travel and Mobilities

      The module covers key themes, concepts and issues in contemporary transport and mobilities geographies. The geographical nature of transport and travel is discussed, and spatial aspects of the relationships between transport and the economy, society and the environment are explored. The focus is on passenger movement.

    • GGH2205 Social and Cultural Geography

      The module examines the development of the subdisciplines of social and cultural geography, drawing on contemporary case studies. Key geographical concepts and elements are explored within a variety of social and cultural contexts. The module explores the ways in which spaces and places are imagined, practised, and contested, and analyses the role of space in the production or contestation of inequalities and injustices.

    • GGX2200 Fieldwork in Geography

      This module enhances students' knowledge and understanding of geographical patterns and processes in the field environment, using appropriate research techniques. Parallel fieldtrips are run to British Isles and mainland European destinations, to an identical academic format.

    • GGX2203 Geographical Information Systems

      Module provides grounding in theory and practical techniques of GIS. Lectures are on theory, methods and spatial literacy. Practical work covers stages of handling geospatial data, construction of GIS models and automation, provides exposure to a range of techniques in spatial analysis and visualisation, and gives context and experience to spatial literacy concepts. Knowledge and skills are developed in project work.

    • IRL201 International Security Studies

      This module considers the issue of security in contemporary international relations. It examines a variety of different security concepts from deterrence and the security dilemma to arms control, peacekeeping, terrorism, regional security complexes and governance. It then seeks to relate these to practical examples from world politics.

    • IRL202 The Third World

      This module embraces both theoretical and empirical approaches to understanding development issues and policies, at national, international and multilateral scale. The approach taken is deliberately inter-disciplinary, incorporating historical, economic, political and social perspectives. The module also uses case studies based in Africa, Latin America and Asia to illustrate and provide context for the discussion of various developmental concerns. Particular emphasis is placed on understanding the development policy arena; how it is framed and constituted; the power relations between actors; and the impact on human communities and their environments.

  • Optional placement year
  • This is your opportunity to spend a year working in industry to improve your knowledge of applied geography and gain invaluable work experience, leading to a Certificate of Work Experience. Our employability service will help you find a placement from our extensive network across all sectors.
    Optional modules
    • APIE305 Geography:Placement

      This module provides an opportunity for professional training of at least six months duration with an approved company or host organisation between stage 2 and 5. While on placement, students will gain experience of how geography is used in the workplace, be able to apply their geographical knowledge and expertise, and learn further skills and relevant techniques.

  • Final year
  • In your final year, you’ll write a dissertation on your choice of geography research topic and take further geography option modules including a work experience module to prepare you for future employment. Fieldwork options outside the UK are offered. You’ll also have a variety of international relations study options including peace-keeping and humanitarian intervention, refugee studies, arms control, European security, maritime studies, Asia-Pacific, Middle Eastern and post-colonial studies.
    Core modules
    • GGX3200 Dissertation in Geography

      Students undertake a major piece of independent, investigative research into a geographical issue of their choice and report on this in a dissertation of ca.12,000 words. The report should establish the wider academic context for the investigation and demonstrate originality and the effective application of intellectual, subject-specific and key skills.

    Optional modules
    • GGH3200 The Competitive City

      This module examines the global competitiveness of cities in the twenty-first century and the strategies adopted to enhance and maintain their performance in economic, social and environmental agendas (representing the three pillars of sustainability). The module is global in focus, focusing on a wide range of in-depth urban case studies to illustrate approaches, concepts, ideas and debates in urban studies.

    • GGH3201 Geographies of Citizenship

      This module uses geographical ideas of citizenship to analyse social, political and cultural issues affecting first world societies. It examines how the use of citizenship by policy makers and other agencies has shaped relations between the public and the state. Particular attention is given to the geographies of participation, power, inclusion and exclusion.

    • GGH3202 Geographies of Landscape

      This module introduces students to the geographic study of landscape. The module looks at the portrayal of landscape through a variety of media, including film, literature, and music, as well as considering `real¿ built and natural landscapes. In doing so, the module expands students¿ understanding of a range of key social, cultural and political geographic themes such as power, memory, identity, place, and dwelling.

    • GGH3203 Global Environmental Politics

      This module investigates the processes, actors and policies associated with the evolution of global environmental politics. Using key examples of issues such as tropical deforestation, climate change or desertification, the module analyses the factors shaping, and difficulties facing, global environmental policy formulation and implementation in various geographical and actor scales.

    • GGH3204 Economic Development in Developing Economies

      This module examines various development challenges faced by developing economies. It provides a critical analysis of the changes in conceptualization of development over time and subsequent changes in strategies, policies and programmes undertaken to address those challenges, as well as the role of institutions involved in promoting economic development.

    • GGH3206 Changing States and Global Political Geography

      This module explores how the state became the dominant unit in world politics and the challenges states face from globalisation, nationalist movements, non-state actors, and extremist networks. Using contemporary case studies, students will examine key theories in political geography regarding identity, power, and how political authority has been (and might be) arranged over different territorial divisions worldwide.

    • GGX3201 Advanced Fieldwork in Geography

      Students will undertake an advanced field study, relating to key human and / or physical geographical issues in the visited area. After an introduction to key themes in the context of both urban and rural areas, students will conduct a group research project of their own design.

    • GGX3203 Work Based Learning in Geography

      This module provides an opportunity for work based learning. Students work with an appropriate host organisation for a minimum of 100 hours, engaged on activities relevant to geographical skills, knowledge and expertise.

    • IRL300 Africa in the International System

      This module provides an introduction to African politics, examining the historical, economic and socio-political developments of over fifty states with a strong regional emphasis, and a focus on political economy, state-society relations, foreign policy and conflict analysis. The module's regional focus allows comparison between different approaches to IR. It also seeks to provide the tools to analyse and understand what is going on in Africa today.

    • IRL301 International Relations in the Middle East

      The module introduces students to international relations in the Middle East. It equips them with the analytical skills to examine the Arab-Israeli conflict, Gulf conflicts, the impact of the Arab Spring on regional relations, and the roles of regional powers.

    • IRL302 NATO after the Cold War and Beyond

      "This module proposes to study the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) from a theoretical as well policy point of view. The aim is to investigate the relevance of NATO in the 21st century by looking at how NATO survived and developed in the aftermath of the Cold War as it appeared to have lost its original purpose of containing the Soviet Union. By looking at key developments within NATO in the post-Cold War period, this module also looks at the challenges which NATO has faced and overcome but it also critically reflects on the contemporary relevance of NATO. "

    • PIR301 Contemporary Issues in International Relations

      This module will explore the transformation of political community in the 21st century through the prism of international organisations such as the United Nations. The aim is to consider the key question whether `governance¿ is possible in world politics, and whether and to what extent international organisations can play a constructive role in such governance. The module begins with an introduction to international organisations and global governance, including the various theoretical approaches with their different assumptions about the nature of international politics, and competing predictions about international organisations in global governance.

    • PIR304 US Foreign Policy Since 1945

      This module introduces students to different approaches to studying US foreign policy. As well as providing an empirical survey of America's foreign relations since 1945, it draws on IR theory to examine its changing place in the world. Students will examine historical and contemporary themes in US foreign policy and explore the complex mix of factors that combine to influence it. The module will examine US interests in different parts of the world and evaluate how US foreign policy has affected regional and international orders. The ultimate objective of the course is to explore how US foreign policy shapes the world we live in.

    • PIR305 The Politics of the United States

      This module introduces students to the fundamental principles of politics in the United States. Domestic politics and the foreign influence of the United States is considered, with specific emphasis placed on the role of the Constitution and institutions of governance in promoting (or inhibiting) democracy both domestically and abroad.

    • PIR306 Environmental Political Economy

      This module examines the problem of environmental degradation and its implications for our global political economy. It discusses the major debates in political thought around the causes of environmental degradation. The module outlines the major attempts to build international regimes for global environmental governance, and the difficulties and obstacles that such attempts have encountered. A wide range of ideas, policy proposals, innovations in governance, and templates for political activism within the environmental movement are critically evaluated.

Every undergraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the course aims, the course structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest course structure and may be subject to change:

BAGeographyWithInternationalRelations ProgrammeSpecification September2017 1873

The modules shown for this course are those currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new modules. Please note that programme structures and individual modules are subject to amendment from time to time as part of the University’s curriculum enrichment programme and in line with changes in the University’s policies and requirements.

Entry requirements

UCAS tariff

108 - 112

IB
28 overall to include 5 in geography at Higher Level. English and mathematics must be included.

A level/AS level
A typical offer is 112 points from a minimum of 2 A levels including C @ geography, excluding general studies

BTEC
Please contact admissions@plymouth.ac.uk, stating explicitly the full list of modules within your qualification.

BTEC National Diploma modules
If you hold a BTEC qualification it is vital that you provide our Admissions team with details of the exact modules you have studied as part of the BTEC. Without this information we may be unable to process your application quickly and you could experience significant delays in the progress of your application to study with us. Please explicitly state the full list of modules within your qualification at the time of application.

Access courses 
Pass a named Access to HE Diploma (e.g. science, humanities, combined), (including GCSE English and Mathematics grade C /4 or above or equivalent) with at least 33 credits at merit and to include at least 12 credits in geography related units with merits

GCSE
Mathematics and English language grade C.

Other
Equivalent qualifications may be considered.
 

For a full list of all acceptable qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary.

Fees, costs and funding

New Student 2017 2018
Home/EU £9,250 To be confirmed
International £12,250 To be confirmed
Part time (Home/EU) Check with School To be confirmed
Part time (International) Check with School To be confirmed
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per a number of credits. Fees are correct at the time of publication and may be subject to change.

How to apply

All applications for undergraduate courses are made through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). 

UCAS will ask for the information contained in the box at the top of this course page including the UCAS course code and the institution code. 

To apply for this course and for more information about submitting an application including application deadline dates, please visit the UCAS website.

Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office via our how to apply webpage or email international-admissions@plymouth.ac.uk.



Geography at Plymouth

Study a varied and exciting range of topics whilst gaining skills to equip you for a lifetime of learning.

Geography at Plymouth is renowned as a vibrant, welcoming community committed to teaching and research.

Find out more about what we do in geography

Student insight

Skills picked up on fieldwork courses are valuable in future careers and the parts of the course that were most useful to me in my current job were transferable skills, the use of various computer packages and all the statistics modules.

Jane Childs, BA (Hons) Geography graduate

Read more feedback from our students

Matt Bishop – graduate profile

Since graduating in 2014, Matt has been planning the first ever circumnavigation of the planet on a scooter with a sidecar. His expedition aims to connect people through the medium of storytelling & raise awareness for the fight against Modern Day Slavery

International relations at Plymouth

Immerse yourself in the ideologies, political interests, and debates that influence past and present relationships between people, places, and environments, and explore the decisions made by governments and global institutions.

Understand how the geopolitical world works, examining the consequences of actions at both the local and global scales.

Potential High Achievers Scheme

In the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences we recognise that our students are the future leaders in our subject disciplines and core to the development of a sustainable planet. We know that our applicants will thrive in the environment we can provide, and we want to ensure our best applicants become our future.

The scheme is now open for students who have applied to study, from September 2017, any full-time undergraduate course within the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, including chemistry. We will be contacting applicants who are not only on course to achieve top marks but who have an outstanding personal statement, in order to offer them a chance to receive an unconditional offer immediately.

Find out more about the scheme.

Academic staff