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Social Sciences: Social Statistics & DemographyPart of Social Sciences

L701 BSc Population and Geography (3 yrs)

This programme offers you the opportunity to study population sciences and human geography, two subjects which are concerned with the ways in which human populations change and the causes and consequences of that change.

Introducing your degree

This exciting programme provides you with the opportunity to examine critical issues including migration, population growth, globalisation and climate change which are central to many of today’s national and global challenges. Taught by a team of experts with international research experience, the BSc in Population and Geography explores key concerns in population and geography across the developed and developing world. The BSc in Population and Geography will equip you with key transferable and analytical skills, which are increasingly in demand by employers including central and local government departments, the National Health Service, the Office of National Statistics, market research, insurance and data analysis companies, NGOs/Charities and international agencies such as the United Nations and the World Health Organisation. There are also excellent opportunities for postgraduate studies upon completion of your BSc programme.

Programme Overview

What is this?(More Information)This information is based on historical data and may have been aggregated. Find out more.

BSc Population and Geography provides students with excellent skills and knowledge, which are attractive to employers.

For students interested in geography, the programme provides a specialisation that distinguishes them from other geographers.

For students interested in population issues, it provides a broader theoretical and substantive background that should widen their opportunities. The programme is also interdisciplinary, which is important for understanding a broader range of social and geographic issues.

The programme:

  • provides a grounding in the key concepts of population and human geography
  • enables students to understand why the world is as it is today, and the forces which are reshaping populations and societies in the 21st century
  • develops students' knowledge of population policies – what they aim to do, and how successful they are
  • offers students the opportunity to study specific global issues and regions in depth, from reproductive health, AIDS and poverty to globalisation and climate change
  • responds to the need for quantitative analysts for social policy making locally, nationally and internationally

Demographers and human geographers are needed for the health and social care professions, market research, local and national government departments, international organisations and the many other agencies that require a sound social analytical basis for decision-making.

View the programme specification document for this course

To Apply

Key Facts

  • Globalisation and increased consumption are rapidly changing the ways that societies are developing.
  • Births, deaths and migration affect population change and human geography in societies in the world.
  • Key themes in human geography include globalisation, cultural transformation and environmental management.
Our international fieldtrip gives students insight firsthand
Our international fieldtrip gives students insight firsthand
Impact of population change
Impact of population change
Thumbnail photo of Emma Nelson

“The opportunity of visiting a lower income country and see how things actually happen is fantastic.”

Emma Nelson - Population and Geography

Entry Requirements

Typical entry requirements

GCSEAll applicants require a minimum of grade C in GCSE mathematics and English.
A Levels:
GCE A-levelABB (including Geography), or BBB (including Geography) with grade A in the Extended Project Qualification.
International Baccalaureate32 points overall, 16 at higher level
Alternative qualifications

We welcome applications from candidates offering qualifications other than A and AS levels (including BTEC, European Baccalaureate, International Baccalaureate, Irish Leaving Certificate and Scottish Highers). You will be expected to attain an equivalent standard to an A level applicant. Contact us for further information on equivalencies for these qualifications and others not listed here.

International applications

We welcome applications from international students. Helpful information on applying, meeting a University representative in your country and improving your English language levels if necessary can be found on the International Office website. If English is not your first language, you will be required to pass an approved English test. We normally ask for a score of IELTS 6.5.

Please note that we cannot accept applicants from Greece on the basis of the Apolyterion alone; it must be supplemented by A levels or an equivalent qualification.

Mature applicants

We welcome applications from mature students. If you will be over 21 at the start of your proposed degree programme, you are eligible for exemption from our normal entry requirements. However, you will be required to provide evidence of having completed recent serious and successful relevant study (eg Access, Return to Study, Open University foundation courses) and of your capacity to pursue the course. All students are required to have GCSE mathematics and English grade C (or equivalent).

English Language Requirement

All applicants must have GCSE Grade C or above in English language. If English is not your first language you will be required to pass an approved English test. We normally ask for an overall IELTS score of 6.5.

Contextual Admissions

The University of Southampton is committed to widening participation and ensuring that all students with the potential to succeed, regardless of their background, are encouraged to apply to study with us. The additional information gained through contextual data supports our admissions teams to recognise a student’s potential to succeed in the context of their background and experience. Students who flagged in this way will be made an offer which is lower than the typical offer for that programme

A typical contextual offer is BBB including A level Geography from three A levels or the equivalent from alternative qualifications.

Please see our contextual admissions pages for more information.

Selection process:

We usually make our decision based on your UCAS form alone. Only candidates who require special consideration, for example on grounds of age or non-standard entry qualifications, are interviewed.

This page contains specific entry requirements for this course. Find out about equivalent entry requirements and qualifications for your country.


Typical course content

Population and Geography is studied full-time over three years. Each year is divided into two semesters, with four modules normally studied in each.

Year 1

Innovation modules outside of your subject area

Our Curriculum Innovation Programme offers you the chance to take optional modules outside of your chosen subject area. This allows you to personalise your education, to develop new skills and knowledge for your future. Modules range from "Living and working on the web" to "Business skills for employability".

View the Curriculum Innovation modules for this course

Learn a language

Some of our courses also give you the option of taking a language module, which can count towards your degree. These modules cover ten languages and range from absolute beginner to near-native speaker level.

View the language modules on offer for this course

Year 1

Your first year will consist of foundation modules in both population and human geography, along with modules which introduce analytical methods for studying social and geographic data.

In addition to the modules below, students must take another two option modules from a list of recommended modules.

Year 2

Your second-year modules will further expand your population and human geography knowledge, and you will take modules which will develop your analytical and methodological skills for studying social and geographic data.

In addition to the modules below, students must take another optional module.

Year 3

In your third year, you will have the flexibility to develop a specialisation of your own through optional modules in both population and geography, and through your research project. The research project, or dissertation, gives you the opportunity to carry out a substantial piece of individual research on an area of population or geography of your choice.

Students choose two population modules, two geography modules and one option from Geography, Social Sciences or elsewhere at the University.

Dissertation - compulsory when chosen:

DEMO3011 Demography Dissertation

GEOG3018 Geography Research Project

Multivariate Data Analysis
Advanced Geographical Information Systems
Population and Reproductive Health
Population and the Environment
Geographies of Health and Health Care
Geographies of Social Justice, Welfare and Rights
Geographies of Housing and Home

Please note: This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the programme and the learning outcomes that a typical student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if s/he takes full advantage of the learning opportunities that are provided. More detailed information can be found in the programme handbook (or other appropriate guide or website).

Career Opportunities

Employability is embedded into modules from the first year onwards and right from the first lecture. We explain the degree skills which are taught throughout the modules and offer a number of optional employability modules.

Demographers and human geographers are needed for the health and social care professions, market research, local and national government departments, international organisations and many other agencies requiring a sound social analytical basis for decision-making.

Read more about the careers and employability support we offer.

Learning & Assessment

Programme structure

  • This is a three-year, full-time programme.
  • Teaching is based on a system of two 12-week semesters over three terms. You will usually study four modules in each semester, a total of eight modules per year.
  • Your study choices will increase progressively through the three years of study. Each module is designed to increase your knowledge and skills of one aspect of population science and human geography.
  • In the first year, you will take six compulsory modules from the Division and Geography and two optional modules. The choice of options includes introductory modules in economics, sociology or other social sciences, history, philosophy or modern languages. A similar pattern is followed in the second year.
  • By the third year, you will have a considerable choice of options available in the Division and in Geography, where you can follow up the specialist interests developed in your first two years of study. In addition, a key element of the programme is the requirement to undertake a piece of independent study. This takes the form of a research project on a demographic or geographic topic of your choice under the supervision of a member of staff. Recent examples include research on the fertility intentions of young people in the UK, maternal mortality and abortion in sub-saharan Africa, the demographic impact of eastern European migration on the UK, and population projections of the future 'young adult' workforce in the UK.
  • A particular feature of our learning environment is research-led teaching. Our staff undertake research in areas of important demographic and geographic significance and bring to their teaching modules experience of working in the wider world.

Teaching methods

Modules are taught using a variety of methods, including lectures, seminars, group work or project work, computer workshops and a geography field trip.

  • Lectures offer an overview of a topic, an explanation of difficult concepts or a discussion of key issues. They presume a certain amount of additional reading, so it is often a good idea to read references before attending the corresponding lecture.
  • Seminars provide an interactive forum for closer examination of particular aspects of a module and are an important part of the learning process. You will prepare papers and lead discussions or debates, and so develop your written and presentational skills.
  • Tutorials and problem classes involve small groups of students working on exercises, with close instruction from teaching staff.
  • Reflecting the strong applied nature of the degree programme, many modules include regular computer workshops, where you will gain valuable experience in the analysis of demographic and geographic datasets.

The increasing use of web-based, video-based and PowerPoint-based teaching methods demonstrates our commitment to the effective use of available equipment and resources.

Assessment methods

Modules are assessed through a mixture of coursework and end-of-semester examinations. Coursework can take the form of a written essay, small project, computer exercise, or a poster or oral presentation. Your final degree classification is based upon marks from the second- and third-year modules.


  • We are located on the University's main campus (Highfield), which includes the Hartley Library, a wide range of teaching and social accommodation, banks, shops and restaurants.
  • The Hartley Library houses a comprehensive collection of books, journals and reports. It includes a state-of-the-art Learning Centre, which provides high-speed internet access, network points for laptops, a café, a language study area and a lounge. Databases, such as Web of Science, and the Library catalogue are available to students electronically. There are dedicated Library training rooms with specialist teaching hardware where students can participate in practical information skills training. A specialist IT centre in the Library is devoted solely to library users with disabilities or dyslexia.
  • Clusters of Windows and UNIX workstations are provided on the teaching and residential campuses. Students are given printing facilities, email, internet access and a range software packages, including computer-based training products. They are also provided with their own email account, and all rooms in halls of residence have a telephone/internet connection. Support for students is provided by helpdesks and a telephone/email helpline.
  • Social Sciences has its own intranet, to make learning and teaching resources more easily accessible to students and to facilitate the development of IT skills.
  • In terms of support, you will have access to an academic tutor, a programme coordinator, and specialist University staff where required. Your academic tutor will help you devise a personal strategy to organise your studies, ensure you keep up with module reading, and complete assessments on time. They will also help you to understand University rules and regulations.


Costs associated with this course

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

There will also be further costs for the following, not purchasable from the University:

EquipmentApproved calculators: Candidates may use calculators in the examination room only as specified by the University and as permitted by the rubric of individual examination papers. The University approved model is Casio FX-570 This may be purchased from any source and no longer needs to carry the University logo.
StationeryYou will be expected to provide your own day-to-day stationery items, e.g. pens, pencils, notebooks, etc. Any specialist stationery items will be specified under the Additional Costs tab of the relevant module profile.
BooksWhere a module specifies core texts these should generally be available on the reserve list in the library. However due to demand, students may prefer to buy their own copies. These can be purchased from any source. Some modules suggest reading texts as optional background reading. The library may hold copies of such texts, or alternatively you may wish to purchase your own copies. Although not essential reading, you may benefit from the additional reading materials for the module.
EquipmentIT: Software licenses - Software licenses are available on the University’s public workstations. You may choose to purchase additional personal copies for use on your own computers. The University has site licences for some statistical software which will allow you to download a copy for free via the website
EquipmentIT: Hardware - Computer workstations are available on the University campus. You may wish to purchase your own personal laptop to undertake work at home.
Printing and copyingIn the majority of cases, coursework such as essays and reports and your dissertation are submitted on line. In addition you will be asked to provide a printed copy, including the MSc dissertation. Information about generic University printing, including printing costs, can be found here: Information about dissertation printing can be found here:
FieldworkThere is a compulsory overseas field course that is held in the second year of your programme (DEMO2015), for which the department covers the majority of the cost including travel and accommodation. Students are asked to contribute the costs of entry visas (where relevant), malaria tablets (where relevant), as well as any associated immunisation and vaccination costs. For the trip to Ghana in 2014-15, the cost of the visa was around £65 and the cost of vaccinations was around £70. These costs will vary depending on the precise location of the trip. In addition, students are expected to bear the cost of some meals, although in-country expenses are very cheap.

In some cases you'll be able to choose modules (which may have different costs associated with that module) which will change the overall cost of a programme to you. Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

Study Locations

Highfield campus

Social Sciences is based on the main campus of the University in the M...Find out more

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