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About NUI Galway
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BA (Joint-Honours)We offer Geography at undergraduate level as part of a BA (Joint-Honours) degree. Visit here for information on how to apply, entry requirements and assessment.
A degree in Geography can lead to a career in many different fields after appropriate postgraduate study or training. Recent graduates have excelled and carved out niches for themselves in planning, environmental consultancy, lecturing, teaching, journalism, heritage, marketing, tourism, government and policy institute research, and NGO and CSO development work.
What will I be studying?
First year introduces students to key geographical ideas, processes and concepts that impact on and shape the physical and human landscape. Semester 1 introduces human geography while the focus in Semester 2 is on physical geography. A significant element of the first year is our emphasis on field, mapping and lab skills. To help develop students’ abilities in this crucial area of geography we aim to provide two fieldtrip opportunities for all students in their first year in combination with other practical and theoretical exercises.
To find out more about our first year programme, please download our 1BA handbook here:1BA Handbook
Testimonial from Elaine Williams: A degree in Geography can lead to a career in many different fields after appropriate postgraduate study or training. Recent graduates have excelled and carved out niches for themselves in planning, environmental consultancy, lecturing, teaching, journalism, heritage, marketing, tourism, government and policy institute research, and NGO and CSO development work.
Second Year (2BA)
The composite nature of the discipline is reflected in the rich diversity of courses on offer in Second Year and Final Year. The conceptual and critical engagement in these years positions 'Geography' as a fundamental academic concern to understand the complex interactions (human and physical) within the world in which we live. Courses on offer range from Rural to Urban Geography, Coastal Environments, Climatology, Geopolitical Geography, Environmental Planning to GIS. One of the key elements of Third Year is the opportunity students have to develop critical analytical skills in designing and executing a supervised research project.
For further information on second year modules please download our 2BA handbook here: 2BA Handbook
"If you are interested in gaining a greater understanding of how we interact with each other and the world around us, one which is theoretically stimulating but also grounded in practice, then Geography is the discipline for you. Whether your passion lies within the human or physical traditions, Geography has something to offer for everyone, with a broad range of areas to choose from. A particular emphasis is placed upon not only encouraging you to critically engage with the subject matter, but also putting acquired knowledge into practice in a field-based setting. Working within a vibrant and supportive academic environment is what I believe makes Geography such an attractive option, one which I would not hesitate to recommend." (Darren Keegan, 2013)
Third Year (3BA)
One of the key elements of Third Year is the opportunity you have to develop critical analytical skills in designing and executing a supervised research project. This independent research component is one of the hallmarks of a Geography degree at NUIG. A well-prepared final year dissertation equips you to transition more smoothly to either postgraduate study or into a range of careers that require problem-solving and critical thinking capabilities.
“I originally chose to do Geography as an Arts subject because it allowed me to keep my career options open until I knew what I wanted to do. I was able to choose from a wide range of modules in Geography; this meant I was able to pick subjects that interested me. Modules in coastal environments, tourism and rural development were just some of the choices available. During my undergraduate degree I had the opportunity to develop core skills in academic writing, presenting and research; these skills have enabled me to pursue an MA in Rural Sustainability and secure a valuable internship which is opening up further career opportunities for me“(Brian Leonard, 2013).
Junior Year Abroad
Geography involves a range of wonderfully engaging learning environments that are unique to the discipline, with many of our Physical Geography modules involving lab-based instruction (and this crucially counts for natural science requirements in your home university). Along with this, most of our modules in both Human and Physical Geography comprising field-based learning (FBL) as a core pedagogy. FBL ranges from examining beach dynamics and coastal erosion in County Galway to studying territoriality and governmentality in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Over the years, many of our Geography modules have proven particularly popular with JYA visiting students - from modules on climate change, geomorphology and rural studies, to ones on environmental sustainability and geopolitics. Finally, in studying Geography, you will find an especially warm and supportive teaching faculty and we look forward every year to your presence, energy and ideas in class.
In recent years, Geography has encouraged students to consider spending some time during their summer break working as interns with academic staff members in order to gain direct experience of research. Where it is possible, and where resources are available, staff may be able to pay a small allowance (however, this is not always manageable). If the idea of working with a staff member for a short period of time appeals to you, we recommend you make contact with them during the semester and arrange to discuss the option with them.
Here are some reports from past students who have undertaken internships with us.