UCC Undergraduate courses

Arts - Geography

Course Fact File
CodeSubject available through multiple programmes
Subject TitleGeography
QualificationsBA (Hons)
NFQ LevelLevel 8

Course Outline

Geography is the study of earth as the home of people. -Yi-Fu Tuan

Geographers examine the cultures, economies, societies, physical landscapes, and environments of the Earth using a unique combination of the humanities, social and natural sciences. We view the Earth, its inhabitants, and the processes that form and transform the world we live in using a spatial perspective. This particularly geographical way of looking at the world allows for an inter-disciplinary exploration of processes operating in specific places. As a student of geography, you will learn to view the world using this geographical lens. Geographers examine geographical processes in a variety of thematic areas within geography including landscape, heritage, migration, culture, food, tourism, environment, economy, cities, climate, geomorphology, and development.


Year 1 Modules:

  • GG1013 Environmental Geography (5 credits)
  • GG1014 The Geographies of Global Social and Environmental Challenges (5 credits)
  • GG1015 Applied Geography (5 credits)

Modules provide a critical overview of geography. Lectures, tutorials, practicals and other related activities are designed to encourage the development of skills over and above those specifically related to specialist training in geography.

Students take 15 credits from Geography and an additional 45 credits from three other First Arts subjects (with the exception of Italian).

Years 2 and 3 Modules

Courses become more specialised and you will have an opportunity to delve deeper into specific sub-branches of geography. 

In Years 2 and 3, you can opt to take geography as a major (40 credits), joint (30 credits) or minor (20 credits) subject.

You will have opportunities to further develop your specific interests by taking optional courses in Years 2 and 3. A key aim of the final year programme is to expand your understanding of geography as a discipline with analysis and explanation of how different kinds of physical materials, peoples, institutions and ideas interact, impinge and co-exist with one another in regional combinations of varying complexity over the earth's surface.

In Years 2 and 3, all students must take at least one module of both physical and human geography.

Academic Programme Catalogue

See the Academic Programme Catalogue for the complete and up-to-date content for this course. Note that the modules for all courses are subject to change from year-to-year. For complete descriptions of individual modules, see the Book of Modules.

Course Practicalities

Year 1

Geography lectures take place Monday to Friday. In Year 1, lectures take place three days per week, with additional tutorials, practicals, fieldwork and essays.

Year 2

One required module focuses on research skills and data analysis (with associated individual and joint project work). A second obligatory module takes the form of a residential field week.

Year 3

A core module on the philosophy of geography is required and you may select a research dissertation (10 credits) module where you develop your own research interests (under staff supervision). Opportunities are also available to develop advanced software training via our Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and remote sensing classes.

Field trips

In addition to classroom lectures, geography students are required to spend time on field trips. In Year 2, students must attend a week-long field trip in Ireland or Western Europe. Costs for each destination vary but on average range from €200 to €400. In Year 3, some modules include a field component.


Written exams will take place before Christmas and in May. Not all modules will have formal examinations. Many modules use other types of assessment including practicals, essays, multiple-choice exams, fieldwork, photographic assignments and other work as prescribed by the department.

Who teaches this course

Our Geography Department faculty and can be viewed here.

Why Choose This Course

The discipline of geography taught me to join diverse strands of information to create a cohesive picture of events, a skill I still use in everyday work...

Ciaran Dooley, MA, CSO

There's a lot of independent learning & a lot of independent research...

Sophie Power, Student (BA Geography)

Click & View

Key facts

  • Geographers develop a unique spatial perspective on social, cultural, environmental and physical processes
  • Geography offers a practical set of skills that can be applied in a wide variety of contexts
  • Geography students experience field-based learning both nationally and internationally
  • Digital skills such as computer cartography, remote sensing, and Geographic Information Systems are an important components of Geography.

The breadth of this programme means our graduates are more able to exploit a wide range of employment opportunities. The integrative nature of geography has become a major asset in a world of constant change, in which many employers seek adaptability and flexibility.

Our graduates develop competencies in a number of transferable skills including:

  • spatial analysis
  • problem-solving
  • critical thinking
  • independent learning
  • self-directed research
  • report writing
  • public presentations

Placement or Study Abroad Information

Study Abroad

If you are studying through BA International, you will spend Year 3 studying at one of our partner universities abroad. We currently have links with universities in: Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Lithuania, The Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden Mexico, and the USA.

Work Placement

If you study through the BA or the BA International, you will have the opportunity to avail of a work placement in Year 2. You can find out more here.

Skills and Careers Information

Our students acquire technical geographical skills including:

  • training in computer cartography and geographical information systems
  • remote sensing
  • quantitative and qualitative research methods
  • social surveys and analysis
  • landscape evaluation/planning.

Geography is a discipline rich in diversity, with many interesting career paths. These include:

  • planning
  • local/community development
  • environmental assessment and management
  • housing policy
  • regional development
  • TV news production/research/media
  • geo-informatics
  • journalism
  • diplomatic service
  • financial services and global business
  • public relations
  • European space agency
  • market research
  • teaching
  • public service
  • tourism
  • academic teaching and research
  • museum/heritage management.

Possible career paths are as varied as your individual interests.


Refer to CK101 and CK108.

Non-EU Applicants

Non-EU applicants are expected to have educational qualifications of a standard equivalent to the Irish Leaving Certificate. In addition, where such applicants are non-native speakers of the English language they must satisfy the university of their competency in the English language.

To verify if you meet the minimum academic and language requirements visit our qualification comparison page and refer to our International Office page for more information.

Fees and Costs

  • Whether you are an EU or Non-EU student will affect the course fees applicable to you. See more information on EU Fees, Non-EU Fees, or Free Fees Status.
  • The State will pay the tuition fees for EU students who are eligible under the Free Fees Scheme. The annual student contribution and capitation fees are payable by the student.
  • See the Fee Schedule to find out the course fee.
  • Check out scholarships that may be available to you.
  • Explore our Nurturing Bright Futures free online course (Module 5) to learn about managing your money as a student and budgeting for university life.

How To Apply

Refer to CK101 and CK108

Irish and European (EU/EFTA/UK) Applicants

Apply via the CAO. See the CAO Handbook for useful information on applying through the CAO. 

Mature Applicants 

Apply via the CAO by 1 February. To apply for a place as a mature student, you must be 23 years of age on or before 1 January of the year of entry.

QQI/FET Applicants 

Apply via the CAOSee our QQI/FET Applicants page for information on the Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) Further Education and Training (FET) application process. 

Non-EU Applicants 

If you are from outside the EU/EFTA/UK, apply online via the UCC Apply portal. See our International Office page for more information. 

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact