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The University of Southampton
Geography and Environmental ScienceUndergraduate study

BSc Geography Fieldwork

BSc Geography students in Arolla
BSc Geography students in Arolla

Year 1

Approximately a month into your first semester of BSc Geography at Southampton, you will take part in a week of fieldwork so that you can start learning about geographical research. This first week of fieldwork is focused on the local region so you will also learn more about the area in which you are studying. The fieldwork area includes the New Forest and the South Coast more generally. Taking part in this week also gives you the chance to get to know academic staff and fellow students during your first few months of your degree.

Year 2

In the second year, you will attend a week-long field trip to an overseas destination. This is a compulsory field trip that is included in your course fees. Recent locations for BSc Geography have included Tenerife and the Picos de Europa mountains of northern Spain.

As a BSc Geography student, you have opportunities to attend residential field classes overseas, starting in the second year of your degree programme.

Typical trip content and costs

Our second year fieldwork modules are a core element of the degree programme and, as such, all students (with the exception of students participating in a study abroad semester) are required to attend one of our field classes overseas. These are held in the second semester of the second year and The BSc Geography field course is embedded within the module GEOG2030.

If you're studying BSc Geography, you will usually travel to Tenerife (Canary Islands, Spain). Your tuition fees fully cover the cost of this second year trip because the field course is a core element of your degree programme.

During the field classes you will engage in group research projects related to your core discipline, learn key skills that will enhance your degree and develop the methodological tools needed to complete your final year dissertation project; GEOG3018.

Year 3 Arolla field class

The flagship Year 3 field course for BSc students is the trip to Arolla, high in the Swiss Alps. This field class affords you a great opportunity to develop and extend your research, experimental and team skills, and it is often noted as the ‘highlight’ of the degree by attendees.

Typical trip content

You will spend up to ten days living and studying in an alpine environment and have the opportunity to choose projects that investigate glacial, fluvial, Late-Quaternary/ palaeoecological, vegetation, and climatic processes, topics that span the breadth of your BSc degree.

Signing up to the field class

It usually runs at the start of September each year, prior to the start of your fifth semester, and is followed by tutorial sessions to assist in the completion of the coursework started in Switzerland. As with the Berlin field class, you will be briefed on the module option during the semester 2 of Year 2.

Costs of attending

The group stay together in a chalet to minimise costs, which in recent years have typically ranged from £400 - £600 per student (excluding travel to Arolla).

Amazing trip, one which I won’t forget for a very long time. Definitely the best
10 days of geography at Southampton.

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