About This Course
The land borders the ocean via the coastal zone. Understanding how these environments are related to each other is important for many societal and economic reasons, and requires an integrated approach to the subject, as most of the world’s population lives near, or exploits, the coastal zone. The Physical Geography and Oceanography course ensures research-led teaching of both terrestrial (e.g. rivers, glaciers) and marine (e.g. waves, tides, density currents, sea level) processes. These processes control the movement of water, sediment and biogeochemical components (such as carbon) from the land into the sea. This course also integrates these process to examine the impacts of environmental change, climate, sea level and pollution on the health and sustainability of terrestrial and marine environments.
This course is available as a 4-year ‘with Placement Year’ option. Please apply for Physical Geography and Oceanography with Placement Year BSc F84P. Find out more about 'with Placement Year' courses here.
The placement year provides you with a fantastic opportunity to broaden your horizons and develop valuable skills and contacts through working with a self-sourced organisation relevant to your degree subject. The Placement Year is undertaken at the end of the second year and students are away for the whole of the academic year. The minimum period in placement (at one or more locations) is seven calendar months; more usually you would spend 10-12 months with a placement provider. You would normally start sometime in the period June to September of your second year and finish between June and September the following year. Placements can be UK-based or overseas and you will work with staff to plan and finalise the placement arrangements.
You will be expected to find and arrange a suitable placement to complement your degree, and will be fully supported throughout by a dedicated member of staff at your academic School and the University’s Skills and Employability Services.
Why choose Bangor University for this course?
- Our multidisciplinary team of highly land-based and marine sciences that span glacial and riverine to coastal and deep ocean environments.
- You will be taught by award-winning staff in a vibrant, innovative and supportive learning environment, providing you with essential, transferrable graduate-level skills.
- Studying physical geography in combination with oceanography allows you to learn about the diverse and complex interactions at the land-ocean transition.
- We have a £3.5m ocean-going research ship (RV Prince Madog) as well as several smaller inshore survey boats, which are all used for teaching.
- Bangor’s ‘Year of International Experience’ allows you to study or work abroad as part of your degree.
- Bangor offers a unique location for studying physical geography and oceanography set against the backdrop of the dramatic north Wales coastline, Menai Strait, and the mountains of Snowdonia National Park.
For more on studying degree courses see our Study at Bangor section.
The course involves up to 25-35 hours per week of lectures, practicals (laboratory and fieldwork), private study, tutorials and project work. Practical work and fieldwork are major elements of Physical Geography & Oceanography. Many modules include day field trips. You will also complete literature reviews, exercises, essays, practical and fieldwork write-ups, and read scientific literature.
Assessment methods vary. Most modules combine elements of continuous assessment and formal examination.
What will you study on this course?
Please see below.
Modules for the current academic year
Module listings are for guide purposes only and are subject to change. Find out what our students are currently studying on the Physical Geography and Oceanography Modules page.
Course content is for guidance purposes only and may be subject to change.
Year 3 residential fieldtrip. Students will be required to cover cost of personal subsistence £10/day for 7 days food.
Suitable clothing and equipment for fieldwork will be required e.g. suitable footwear, waterproofs, rucksack. The cost of these will vary. Approximate cost: £50-£100.
Appropriate stationary for any note-taking during classes e.g. notepad, pens and pencils. The cost of these will vary. Approximate cost: £20-£30.
Necessarily Incurred Costs:
Materials for the preparation of academic poster for assessment. The cost and number of these will vary. Approximate cost £10-£15.
The School of Ocean Sciences is based in Menai Bridge, c. 1.5 miles from Bangor and the halls of residence. Most classes are held on the Bangor site, but some laboratory practicals are held in Menai Bridge (typically 6-10 per semester). Travel to these are covered in Year 1, but not in subsequent years. Many walk or cycle between the venues, but some opt for public or private transport. Approximate cost if latter two options taken: £40/year.
General University Costs
Home (UK) students
- The cost of a full-time undergraduate course is £9,000 per year (2021/22 entry).
- More information on fees and finance for Home (UK) students.
International (including EU) students
There are also some common additional costs that are likely to arise for students on all courses, for example:
- If you choose to study abroad or take the International Experience Year as part of your course.
- If you attend your Graduation Ceremony, there will be a cost for gown hire (£25-£75) and cost for additional guest tickets (c.£12 each).
Course-specific additional costs
Depending on the course you are studying, there may be additional course-specific costs that you will be required to meet. These fall into three categories:
- Mandatory Costs: these are related to a particular core or compulsory module that you’ll be required to complete to achieve your qualification e.g. compulsory field trips, uniforms for students on placement, DBS Check.
- Necessarily Incurred Costs: these may not be experienced by all students, and will vary depending on the course e.g. professional body membership, travel to placements, specialist software, personal safety equipment.
- Optional Costs: these depend on your choice of modules or activity and they are shown to give you an indication of the optional costs that may arise to make sure your choice is as informed as possible. These can include graduation events for your course, optional field trips, Welcome Week trips.
For 2021 entry:
Offers are tariff based, 80 - 104 tariff points from a Level 3 qualification* e.g.:
- A Levels (including grades CC in 2 science subjects -Biology, Geography, Environmental Studies, Chemistry, Economics, Maths, Statistics, Geology, Physics, Psychology, Computing; excluding General Studies).
- International Baccalaureate Diploma (including H5 in 2 science subjects)
- BTEC National/Extended Diploma in Applied Science**: MMP - DMM.
- City & Guilds Advanced Technical / Extended Diploma in Environmental Conservation or Countryside & Environmental**: MMP - DMM
- Access to HE Science**
- Welsh Baccalaureate is accepted.
- Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma is not accepted.
International Candidates: school leaving qualifications and college diplomas are accepted from countries worldwide (subject to minimum English Language requirements). More information here.
We also welcome applications from mature applicants.
*For a full list of accepted Level 3 qualifications, go to www.ucas.com.
**Similar subject areas may be considered on a case by case basis.
General University Requirements
We accept students with a wide range of qualifications and backgrounds and consider each application individually.
All students need to have good basic skills and the University also values IT and communication skills.
As part of the University’s policy we consider applications from prospective disabled students on the same grounds as all other students.
To study a degree, diploma or certificate course you’ll be asked for a minimum of UCAS Tariff points. For a fuller explanation of the UCAS Tariff Points, please see www.ucas.com
We also consider applications from mature students who can demonstrate the motivation and commitment to study a university programme. Each year we enrol a significant number of mature students. For more help and advice about being a mature student at Bangor, please visit the Study at Bangor site.
Specific entry requirements can be seen on the individual course pages.
EU and International students' entry requirements
For information and further detailed guidance on entry requirements for EU and International Students, including the minimum English Language entry requirement, please visit the Entry Requirements by Country pages. International applicants can also visit the International Education Centre section of our website for further details.
Bangor University offers International Incorporated Bachelor Degrees for International students whose High School qualification is not equivalent to the UK school leaving qualification. The first year (or Year 0) is studied at Bangor University International College, an embedded College on our University campus and delivered by Oxford International Education Group.
Home/EU students and International UCAS applicants
E-mail for General Admissions: firstname.lastname@example.org or write to:
Telephone: +44 (0)1248 383717
International students (non-UCAS applicants)
Email to International Admissions: email@example.com or write to
Telephone: +44 (0) 1248 382028
The Schools of Ocean Science (SOS) and Environment, Natural Resources and Geography (SENRGy) have a 'hands on' approach to teaching that is well known in the marine and environmental science communities. Graduates in disciplines related to Geography and Geology are very employable. Our intellectually challenging course is designed to give you strong transferrable skills and an understanding of the land-based and marine environment.
The purpose of this degree is to enhance the employability of graduates and a high proportion of graduates monitored gain employment within both the public and private sector, and rapidly progress within their organisations. This is degree award dependent. We give students a mix of transferrable skills, current subject-specific knowledge and understanding to equip them for this purpose. They are competent in interpersonal skills, can achieve deadlines for a variety of different outputs and are equipped to work individually or in a team. They are well conversant with relevant ICT skills, including database and internet searching, literature searching and evaluation, statistical analysis, mathematical modelling and the use of geographical information systems.
Field visits and field courses provide an opportunity to engage with professionals working in the field and to relate classroom teaching to real-world practice.
In addition, students have opportunities to gain work experience by opting for a year out or international academic experience through a semester/year studying abroad (ERASMUS+).
Our graduates are numerate, literate, team-players, and critical and analytical thinkers, with excellent communication skills. You will be ideally placed to gain employment within the geosciences sector: water/environmental consultancies, geological/earth sciences industry, coastal/marine sciences, and oceanography. The course also provides a route into postgraduate study/research.
Opportunities at Bangor
The University’s Skills and Employability Service provides a wide range of resources to help you achieve your graduate ambitions. Developing your personal skills and enhancing your employability while at university is becoming increasingly important in today’s job market.
The Bangor Employability Award (BEA) and Higher Education Achievement Report (HEAR)
The Bangor Employability Award enables students to build on their transferable skills through the recognition of activities they become involved in during their university life. Students can gain points towards the award through extra-curricular activities such as volunteering, attending workshops or actively participating in the Students’ Union’s clubs and societies.
The HEAR is a final graduation report that all undergraduates receive. The report itemises all academic achievements and additional extra and co-curricular achievements. Academic achievements appear on the report automatically and students are able to note their eligible activities by using the online platform ‘My Employability Hub’. This ensures that future employers are made aware of the additional skills the student has gained outside of the curriculum.
The Award is open to everyone and taking part in the scheme can make a major difference to your performance in the graduate job market.
Bangor University runs undergraduate and postgraduate internship schemes twice a year, which allow students to work in a professional environment while learning relevant skills and earning money.
Internships offer valuable experience in a professional workplace and there are a range of internships you can get involved in.
Not only is volunteering worthwhile – it also improves your employability and widens your experience.
The Students’ Union has a dedicated Student Volunteering Office (SVB) which currently contributes a total of 600 hours each week, promoting a close relationship between the university and the local community. Find out more on the Student Volunteering pages of the Bangor Student’s Union website.
TARGETconnect - Working while you Study
The Skills and Employability Service offers support to students searching for employment during and after their studies.
TARGETconnect advertises the following opportunities:
- Graduate jobs – Local, National and International
- Full-time, part time, permanent and temporary jobs
- Work experience / internships
- Voluntary opportunities