UCC Undergraduate courses

Arts - Geography

About This Course

Fact File

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.


All modules 5 credits unless otherwise stated.

Year 1 Modules:

GG1103 Environmental Geography

GG1104 Society and Space: Geographies of Globalisation, Difference and Inequality

GG1105 Applied Geography   

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 a 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.

See the College Calendar for additional information on the Programme and the Book of Modules for further information on the 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, field work 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, field work, photographic assignments and other work as prescribed by the department.

Who teaches this course

  • Dr Barry Brunt
  • Dr Liam Coakley
  • Dr John Crowley
  • Dr. Kieran Hickey
  • Dr Therese Kenna
  • Dr Denis Linehan
  • Professor Donald Lyons
  • Dr Piaras Mac Éinrí
  • Dr Úna Ní Chaoimh
  • Ray O’Connor
  • Dr Eileen O’Rourke
  • Brendan O’Sullivan
  • Dr Colin Sage.

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

Ciaran Dooley, MA

MA (2001), Head of Corporate Support & International Relations, Central Statistics Office

View Student
There's a lot of independent learning, a lot of independent research and I think that's part of the most enjoyable [aspects].

Sophie Power

Student (BA Geography)

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Key facts

  • Geographers develop a unique spatial perspective on social, cultural, environmental and physical processes
  • Geography offers a practical set of skills which 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 component 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 the 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 Candidates

Non-EU candidates are expected to have educational qualifications of a standard equivalent to the Irish Leaving Certificate. In addition, where such candidates 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 for this programme please visit our qualification comparison pages.

For more detailed entry requirement information please refer to the International website.

Mature Students Requirements

Please refer to the mature student entry requirements for details. 

Fees and Costs

Refer to CK101 and CK108.

Non-EU Fees

The Undergraduate Fees Schedule is available here.

How Do I Apply

Refer to CK101 and CK108. Students choose subjects when registering for first year.

Non-EU Applications

Applicants who are interested in applying for the programme can apply online.

For full details of the non-EU application procedure visit our how to apply pages for international students.


**All Applicants please note: modules listed in the course outline above are indicative of the current set of modules for this course, but these are subject to change from year to year. Please check the college calendar for the full academic content of any given course for the current year. 

In UCC, we use the term programme and course interchangeably to describe what a person has registered to study in UCC and its constituent colleges, schools and departments. 

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact