Social Sciences: Social Statistics & Demography

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.

Programme Overview

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

Meet our students

Emma Nelson

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

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Entry requirement

Typical entry requirements


All applicants require a minimum of grade C in GCSE mathematics and English.

A Levels:

ABB (including Geography), or BBB (including Geography) with grade A in the Extended Project Qualification.


32 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.

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.

Visit our International Office website or the NARIC website for further information on qualifications.


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.

Learning and teaching

Modules are taught using a variety of methods - these may include lectures, seminars, group work or project work.

  • Lectures offer an overview of a topic, an explanation of difficult concepts, or a discussion of key issues. Lectures presume a certain amount of additional reading, so it is often a good idea to read references before the corresponding lecture. 
  • Seminars provide a forum for a closer examination of particular aspects of each unit and are an important part of the learning process. Usually it is only by discussing and questioning aspects of a subject that their full implications can be understood. Students prepare papers and lead discussions or debates, and so develop their written and presentational skills.

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

Assessment methods
Each module will involve one or two sessions each week spread over the semester. For each module, students will be expected to write one or more essays (or equivalent), make presentations or contribute to seminar discussions.

Some modules are assessed by essays, others by exams, and some by a mix of these methods. Exams are held at the end of each semester.
Learning environment and facilities.

Research-led teaching
A particular feature of the learning environment here is the research led teaching. Academic staff research in areas of important contemporary significance and bring to their teaching the experiences of working with the wider world.
Convenient location

We are situated on the University's main campus (Highfield), which includes the Hartley Library, public access computer laboratories, a wide range of teaching and social accommodation, banks, shops and restaurants.

The Hartley Library houses a total of 2.6 million books, journals and reports and includes a state-of-the-art Learning Centre. This centre provides high-speed Internet access, network points for laptops, a café, a language study area and a lounge.

The Library is open seven days a week in term-time, with late evening opening on five days out of seven. Databases, such as Web of Science, and the Library catalogue are available to students electronically. There are two dedicated Library training rooms with specialist teaching hardware where students can participate in practical information skills training. A specialist IT centre within the Library is devoted solely to library users with disabilities or dyslexia.

IT facilities
Computing facilites are excellent and individual networked workstations are provided for full-time MPhil/PhD students.

Clusters of Windows and UNIX workstations are provided on the teaching and residential campuses. On the Highfield campus there is approximately one workstation to fifteen taught students.

Students are provided with printing facilities, e-mail, Internet access and a range of over 140 software packages, including computer based training products. Support for both staff and students is provided by help-desks and a telephone/e-mail help-line, available for nine hours each working day.

Advanced computing facilities are provided by the Southampton Statistical Sciences Research Institute (S3RI) in the Social Statistics Research Centre (SSRC). The SSRC building houses a 28 workstation computing laboratory suitable for teaching short courses and for research; a secure laboratory housing a Beowulf cluster for high performance computing, a suite of powerful workstations and a data storage system; a seminar room; a common room and offices for academic and research staff, computing support staff, research students and visitors.

The SSRC building is intended to meet three specific needs:

  • high quality facilities for staff, research students and visitors
  • powerful computing facilities enabling the use of very large datasets and computer-intensive statistical methods
  • secure data facilities enabling the use of datasets subject to confidentiality restrictions

Social Sciences intranet (SocSciNet) aims to make learning and teaching resources more easily accessible to students and to facilitate the development of IT skills.

Pastoral support
Your personal tutor acts as your primary contact for support and advice on all academic, organisational and personal matters. The personal tutor system also provides an important avenue for feedback on student experience of the Division's teaching, programmes, policies and procedures. The convenor of your programme also acts as your personal tutor.

You are required to meet with your personal tutor on at least two occasions: once early during the first semester and again during the second semester. Further meetings should be arranged whenever you feel in need of advice or support. Personal tutors will be available for tutorial interviews during their 'office hours', which are posted on their doors. However, you can also arrange other times by contacting them directly.
Learning spaces

The larger lecture theatres are equipped with data and video projectors, and the University has recently substantially increased the annual budget for teaching space refurbishment. Space for independent study is provided in the library and in the halls of residence.

Career Opportunities