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The University of Southampton
Geography and Environmental Science

Geography and Environmental Science rises eight places into the top ten in the Guardian best UK universities league table 2021

Published: 8 September 2020
Student in purple chair reading

Southampton’s undergraduate programmes in Geography and Environmental Science have ranked 8th in the 2021 Guardian University Guide – a rise of eight places over last year.

This sees Geography and Environmental Science place 7th amongst the UK’s Russell Group universities*.

Professor Peter Langdon, Head of School, commented: “Southampton is a great place to study, as evidenced by our latest top 10 Guardian league table position, the metrics of which relate to the student experience and employment potential. We are really proud to be ranked eighth in ‘Guardian Best UK Universities’ and seventh best within the Russell Group. It reflects the hard work and dedication of our staff and students.

Everyone in Geography and Environmental Science at Southampton is totally committed to ensuring our students get the best education and have the best opportunities for the job market. We produce graduates who have the knowledge to understand the changing social and natural environments that comprise our world, who can problem solve, and who will challenge perceived wisdom where appropriate. We are a dynamic community, working together to create a better world and our student’s graduate with the skills, expertise and ambition to tackle the challenges of the 21st century. “

As a school, Geography and Environmental Science has outlined a commitment through education and research to align with the United Nation’s 17 sustainable development goals which include poverty, climate change, environmental degradation, clean water and sanitation, sustainable cities and communities, and affordable and clean energy.  Southampton is well placed through our research and the expertise of our interdisciplinary community to address many of these challenges and we are working together with our students to create a sustainable future for our planet.

Geography students on field trip

Professor Simon Kemp, Deputy Head (Education), highlights the School’s commitment to teaching quality:  "Students who study with us at Southampton are part of a transformative, dynamic and supportive community where our staff and students work in partnership to explore and address the greatest social and environmental challenges facing our world today and into the future. Our ranking of third in the Russell Group for satisfaction with course and joint first for Value added** is testament to the dedication of our team in providing an outstanding learning experience. Our students are academically challenged through the application of the latest world leading research, and supported by a community who are focused on ensuring they reach their true potential"

The School of Geography and Environmental Science is actively involved in researching major world issues from, social and health inequalities, population movement, climate change and sustainable development. Our MEnvSci, BSc and BA programmes and postgraduate degree’s reflect the diverse nature of this research.  As a Southampton student, you will not only discover how to interpret our changing world, you will also develop the practical, technical and personal transferable skills that are the key to your professional success.

Geography students on a field trip

School of Geography and Environmental Sciences Guardian League Table 2021

  • 7th in Russell Group in Guardian Best UK Universities
  • 1st in Russell Group for added value**
  • Ranked 3rd in the Russell Group for Satisfied with course
  • Ranked joint 3rd in the Russell Group for Satisfied with teaching
  • Ranked 3rd in the Russell Group for Satisfied with feedback
  • Ranked joint 4th in the Russell Group for Career after 15th months (after graduation)

The University of Southampton has also risen 1 place overall to 23


The Guardian University Guide, which ranks 121 UK institutions, is entirely focused on undergraduate study and experience. Rankings are based around the familiar criteria of entry tariffs, student satisfaction, graduate prospects, student-staff ratio and university spend per student. It also provides an overall ‘value added’ score.

*23 out of 24 Russell Group Institution featured in the Guardian ‘Geography and Environmental Studies’ subject area

**Value added score is out of 10. Geography and Environmental Sciences at Southampton ranked joint first with five other Russell Group Universities

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