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Study a graduate program in geography and geology

What will I study in a graduate geography and geology program?

With climate change or natural disasters among the world’s hottest topics, graduate geography and geology programs are hugely relevant subjects that combine elements of the social sciences, humanities and sciences together.
 
A postgraduate course in geography will focus on building your skills in a particular area of geography. Most universities will offer both taught and research geography and geology postgraduate courses, depending on what level of personal research you want to take.
 
There are two main strands to postgraduate courses in geography and geology – human and physical.
 
Human geography looks at the relationship between geography and related social fields such as economics, health, tourism and politics.
 
Physical geography examines the world around us, such as landscape ecology, the climate and anything to do with the natural world.

Length of program

The length of a graduate geography and geology program depends on where you study and how far you want to go into academia, depending on whether it is a research or taught program. Postgraduate courses generally last the following duration in these countries: 

  • UK – 1-2 years
  • US – 1-2 years
  • China – 1-3 years
  • Canada – 1-2 years

Entry requirements

In order to get onto a graduate geography or geology program, you will normally have to have an undergraduate degree in a related social science subject to an acceptable level. However, some postgraduate courses do accept students from other courses who want to move into the international relations field. 

If you are studying in a country where the first language is different from your own, you may be required to take a language test to prove your skills.

Career development

A postgraduate course in geography and geology will develop your research, analysis and problem-solving skills. Depending on your area of specialisation, you will also develop technical field skills and be proficient in project management and report planning.

Many geography and geology graduates work in field based positions for environmental companies, charities and local governments. However, the skills gained by geography and geology postgraduates are transferrable across a number of different sectors and industries. It is not unusual to find geography graduates in government, managerial positions and business.

Going into academia and taking a PhD or further study is also a popular route.

Some of the jobs included in this field are:

  • Town planner
  • Cartographer
  • Environmental consultant
  • Planning surveyor

Fees and funding

The cost of graduate geography and geology programs varies widely from country to country and university to university. Remember that fees depend on whether you are a home, EU or international student. As a guide, expect to pay the following in these countries per year:

  • UK - £4,500 - £17,000
  • USA - $5,000 - $30,000
  • Germany  €2,000 - €5,000
  • Canada - $4,000-8,000
  • China – RMB 21,000-24,000

What to do next

If you would like more information about studying a graduate program in geography and geology, fill out our Free Application Service and we'll get in touch with information tailored to your needs, including some great courses in this area.