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Dealing with diverse topics ranging from the top of the earth’s atmosphere to the ocean floor, BSc Physical Geography is a specialised degree that focuses solely on the physical sciences and how they apply to our surroundings.

Throughout this course you will learn how to map, monitor and understand the physical world by undertaking regular day and residential field trips within the UK and Europe. You will also have the option to complete a semester-based or year-long work placement, allowing you to put all of your recently acquired skills into practise.

100% of students agreed that staff are good at explaining things plus 95% of students said that they were satisfied overall with their course (Unistats, 2016)

 

Course Information

UCAS Code
F840

Level of Study
Undergraduate

Mode of Study
3 years full-time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department
Geography and Environmental Sciences

Location
City Campus, Northumbria University

City
Newcastle

Start
September 2020 or September 2021

Fee Information

Module Information

Department / Geography and Environmental Sciences

This department encompasses all of our work in cold and palaeo environments, social and cultural geographies, communities and resilience, environmental geochemistry and health, and ecology.

Student Life / #IAmNorthumbria

Discover more about life in Newcastle and studying at Northumbria.

The BSc Physical Geography course allows you to concentrate solely on the physical sciences, including aspects of earth science, landscape surveying and resource management.

BSc Physical Geography utilises a range of teaching and assessment methods and a large part of this course is delivered via lectures, seminars, and practical activities in both the lab and field, to help you master core professional skills.

From the beginning you will be involved in big scientific debates, synthesising a wide range of topics in physical geography and earth science.

You will also have the opportunity to tailor your course to your own areas of interest, undertaking laboratory work, fieldwork and IT workshops to develop new and further master your professional skills.

Once you have built up your core skillset, assessments will be undertaken via a range of methods including reports, presentations, seen exams, essays and posters. Around 70% of your course will be assessed via coursework, with the remaining 30% assessed by exam.

Our research-active teaching team possess a range of interlinked specialisms in areas such as climate change, snow, glaciers, ice sheets, palaeoenvironments, permafrost, sea-level change, coasts, soils, pollution and contamination, hydrochemistry and geographic information systems (GIS).

Our academics boast extensive experience in their respective fields and are actively involved in international research projects that shape the discipline.

All of our staff are approachable, enthusiastic and committed to your learning experience, supporting you through every step of your degree.

Our research-leading facilities will allow you to further enhance your learning experience through independent research, work on projects and experiments.

Our campus encompasses three specialist laboratories – Geography Measurement and Analysis Laboratory, Palaeo and Environmental Research Laboratory and Soil and Sediment Processing Laboratory - that allow you to get up close and experiment using state-of-the-art equipment and computational software. Our extensive field equipment includes a range of portable monitoring and analytical instrumentation (e.g. for meteorological,  soil, water and air pollution monitoring).

Whether you are preparing sediments, soils or biological samples for analysis, modelling your findings using specialist 3D software or utilising specialist statistical packages, these facilities will ensure that you have access to all of the resources required to develop your knowledge. 

Throughout your course you may also undertake environmental case studies by visiting a variety of regional, national and international locations to practise and implement your investigative field techniques.

Facilities / Geography and Environmental Sciences

Find out more about the facilities and equipment you can access within the Department of Geography and Environmental Sciences.

During your degree you will have unprecedented access to our research-active experts who will bring this subject alive with findings from their trips to the Polar Regions, Canada, Laos, Romania and Chile, amongst many others.

Research findings are incorporated into all areas of your teaching to ensure your knowledge is at the forefront of scientific inquiry. Combining research-led practical, lectures and seminars, you will undertake project weeks and field trips to further enhance your knowledge and understanding. A combination of group work and individual research skills will be utilised throughout.

Mainstream teaching will often include elements of active research-based work, for example ‘An introduction to IT’ uses secondary data from high-Arctic glaciers to estimate changes in air temperature and glacier melt.

In the latest UK-wide research assessment exercise (REF2014), 55% of the Geography department’s research was ranked as world-leading or internationally excellent, making us a top-30 Geography Research Department based on research power.

Research / Geography and Environmental Sciences

From Antarctica to the Arctic, global warming to disaster risk reduction, Geography takes place at a truly global scale at Northumbria.

This course will prepare you for a broad range of careers as employers appreciate the transferable analytics, communication and presentation skills acquired by our students. Our graduates are renowned for having awareness of ethical considerations and display the attitudes and skills to engage and work constructively and sensitively in multi-cultural environments and teams.

Graduates will have the necessary skills to pursue a career in a range of specialist roles in organisations such as national parks, local Government, and water and energy companies. Many Physical Geography graduates also choose to work in environmental consultancy or policy, teaching or graduate training schemes.

The Physical Geography degree has been specifically designed to prepare you for graduate jobs or postgraduate study, providing excellent graduates for employers (UNN KPI4).

Career Edge / Added Experiences

You can boost your CV and develop your experience whilst studying at Northumbria.

Careers and Employment / Develop

From first year through to final year and beyond graduation, we are here to help.

Book an Open Day / Experience Physical Geography BSc (Hons)

Visit an Open Day to get an insight into what it's like to study Physical Geography. Speak to staff and students from the course and get a tour of the facilities.

Entry Requirements 2020/21

Standard Entry

120 UCAS Tariff points
From a combination of acceptable Level 3 qualifications which may include: A level, BTEC Diplomas/Extended Diplomas, Scottish and Irish Highers, Access to HE Diplomas or the International Baccalaureate

Find out how many points your qualifications are worth using the UCAS Tariff calculator: www.ucas.com/ucas/tariff-calculator

Subject Requirements:
There are no specific subject requirements for this course

GCSE Requirements:
Students will need Maths and English Language at minimum grade 4 or C, or the equivalent.

Additional Requirements:
There are no additional requirements for this course

International Qualifications:
We welcome applicants with a range of qualifications from the UK and worldwide which may not exactly match those shown above. If you have taken qualifications outside the UK you can find out how your qualifications compare by visiting our country page www.northumbria.ac.uk/yourcountry

English Language Requirements:
International applicants are required to have a minimum overall IELTS (Academic) score of 6.0 with 5.5 in each component (or approved equivalent*).

*The university accepts a large number of UK and International Qualifications in place of IELTS. You can find details of acceptable tests and the required grades you will need in our English Language section. Visit www.northumbria.ac.uk/englishqualifications

Fees and Funding 2020/21 Entry

UK/EU Fee in Year 1: £9,250

International Fee in Year 1: £15,500

ADDITIONAL COSTS

• Specialist equipment/materials – (walking boots and waterproofs), approximate cost up to £200 • Print costs – can exceed the £10 allocation made to all students • Optional field trip – flights to Tenerife - approximate cost up to £250 • Final Projects – (dissertation), approximate cost can be up to £250

Scholarships and Discounts

Click here for UK and EU undergraduate funding and scholarships information.

Click here for International undergraduate funding and scholarships information.


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Modules

Module information is indicative and is reviewed annually therefore may be subject to change. Applicants will be informed if there are any changes.

KE4003 -

Geography Fieldwork (Core,20 Credits)

You will learn that fieldwork is an essential and characteristic aspect of geography and you will learn how to conduct physical geography fieldwork or a combination of physical and human and geography fieldwork, depending on your programme of study. Fieldwork is a form of experiential learning which contributes to your curiosity and enquiry about human and/or physical environments. You will carry this out by developing discerning observation and measurement of physical aspects of your environment recognising the importance of scale. You will understand the evolution and significance of the distinctiveness of places and environments including glaciated landscapes and you will be made aware of different approaches to their interpretation. In the BA and BSc programmes you will gain a parallel understanding of the role of spatial linkages in social and physical processes. You will be given opportunities to practise methods and strategies of field research in human and/or physical geography such as observing the impacts of geomorphological processes and conducting human geography enquiries. You will be encouraged to take a critical view of the challenges and opportunities of field-based research and will learn how to use and apply appropriate field-based equipment and technologies. For example, understanding how the ‘natural’ environment is anything but natural and is in fact a consequence of human interaction with the environment, is an example of such critical thinking. You will take responsibility for your learning and reflection upon that learning and you will recognise the moral, ethical and safety issues involved in all aspects of geographical enquiry. In this module you will learn how to work in groups and you will gain problem solving and presentation skills.

More information

KE4005 -

Exploring Geographical and Environmental Data (Core,20 Credits)

In this module, you will learn collect and analyse a wide range of geographical and environmental data. You will engage in teaching, learning and assessment activities, which are generic to all students of geography and environmental science, as well as specific tasks tailored towards your own degree programme. The module aims to give you a broad introduction to data collection and analysis in the geographical and environmental sciences, which will form the basis of programme-specific training at levels 5 and 6. Topics and issues covered include:
• sources of geographical and environmental data;
• descriptive and inferential statistics;
• geographical information systems;
• qualitative data collection and analysis.

More information

KE4006 -

Dynamic Earth (Core,20 Credits)

In this module you will learn about the application of Earth Sciences and research techniques to understanding our Dynamic Earth. This will provide you with the necessary understanding to a variety of issues and debates that have shaped current thinking and research in the Earth Sciences. Through lectures, lab classesEarth Sciences and fieldwork you will learn about the Earth Sciences, including topics such as:
• Earth structure, plate tectonics and origin.
• Igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks – how they form, how to identify them and their associated resources.
• Seismics and radar.
• Structural Earth Sciences, types of faults and folds, and what do they show?
• How rocks become soils, basic soil characteristics and resources of soils
• Earth history and a deep time perspective.
• Origins of life on Earth and uses of fossils.• Sediments and soils.
• Building stones and resources.
• Geo-hazards: causes, impacts, underlying processes and approaches to mitigation.
• Geochemistry.

A key component of the module will be the laboratory practicals that will introduce you to working in labs, using laboratory equipment and using the knowledge gained in lectures to solve problems. You will also develop a deeper appreciation of the interaction between physical and human aspects of the environment, thereby demonstrating informed concern about the Earth and its people.

On completion of the module, you will have the Earth Science knowledge and laboratory experience to give you confidence for future study and an improved ability to link theory, practice and application will serve to enhance your future employment prospects.

More information

KE4010 -

Academic Skills and Personal Development (BSc) (Core,20 Credits)

In this module, you will learn and develop the key intellectual skills and personal attributes required for effective study and future graduate employment. Teaching, learning and assessment activities are tailored towards your own degree programme, linking to substantive core modules, thus providing an appropriate subject context for your studies. The module aims to consolidate the process of induction onto your degree programme, thus supporting your transition from further to higher education. As part of this shift in academic culture, you will be encouraged to take increasing responsibility for your own learning and through the development of reflective practice, develop ways of monitoring your own academic performance and progress. Topics and issues covered include:
? Independent study and time management.
? Effective literature searching.
? Reading and summarising academic literature.
? Referencing, citations and plagiarism.
? Marking schemes and expectations.
? Essay writing skills.
? Report writing skills.
? Exam preparation.
? Oral presentation and debating skills.
? Dissecting a peer-reviewed journal article.
? Effective group work.
? Skills evaluation and reflection.
? CV preparation and employability skills.

More information

KE4014 -

Introduction to Physical Environments (Core,20 Credits)

You will learn a broad range of basic concepts and principles of the physical environment, how these interact as part of the Earth System and are modified by human processes. As you explore the Earth System today and in the past, you will discover a diverse range of atmospheric, land based and oceanic components that together form the physical environment. Armed with this knowledge you will be able to begin to critically evaluate the evidence concerning processes, landforms and systems. This will develop your problem solving skills and give you an international holistic view on the Earth as a system. Topics include:
• Atmospheric processes and energy flows.
• Climate and climate change.
• The world’s oceans, their physical properties and interactions with the climate and coastal populations.
• Weathering and Erosion.
• Soils and soil forming processes.
• Glacial and periglacial environments and the processes that shape these.
• Landscape and landform evolution from hillslope processes, to rivers and the coastal environment.
• The biogeographical distribution of vegetation and biomes
• The role of the biosphere in the Earth system and ecosystem engineers.
• How the Earth system has changed over Quaternary and Cenozoic time scales.
• The physical environment and links to human health.

More information

KE4015 -

Environmental Challenges - Global to Local (Core,20 Credits)

In this module you will learn about the fundamental principles of chemistry and physics governing natural environment, and interactions between geosphere and biosphere including anthropogenic impact. You will learn key environmental analysis skills, including field and laboratory methods to obtain and examine both ecological and chemical materials. You will develop skills to collect suitable environmental samples, and how to process and report on your findings.

Some of the key topics you will cover in lectures and seminars include:
• Chemical composition of the natural environment.
• Interactions and feedbacks between the Earth's sub-systems' cycles, processes and "spheres" – in particular hydrosphere, lithosphere and biosphere
• The chemistry of the global climate and processes affecting the release and sequestration of greenhouse gases.
• Pollution of surface water sediments, soils and groundwaters.
• Climate- and environment literacy.
• History of humans impacts on natural environment and processes.

The field- and laboratory-based skills will include:
• Water, sediment and suspended matter sampling techniques
• Field water measurements (pH, temperature, dissolved oxygen)
• Laboratory measurements of water and sediment composition

The developed soft skills will include:
• Efficient planning and performing water- and sediment-sampling campaign (teamwork effort)
• Integrating observational and analytical data
• Assessing the river water quality
• Contextualising local data in the reginal and global scope

More information

KE5023 -

Academic Language Skills for Geography (Core – for International and EU students only,0 Credits)

Academic skills when studying away from your home country can differ due to cultural and language differences in teaching and assessment practices. This module is designed to support your transition in the use and practice of technical language and subject specific skills around assessments and teaching provision in your chosen subject. The overall aim of this module is to develop your abilities to read and study effectively for academic purposes; to develop your skills in analysing and using source material in seminars and academic writing and to develop your use and application of language and communications skills to a higher level.

The topics you will cover on the module include:

• Understanding assignment briefs and exam questions.
• Developing academic writing skills, including citation, paraphrasing, and summarising.
• Practising ‘critical reading’ and ‘critical writing’
• Planning and structuring academic assignments (e.g. essays, reports and presentations).
• Avoiding academic misconduct and gaining credit by using academic sources and referencing effectively.
• Listening skills for lectures.
• Speaking in seminar presentations.
• Presenting your ideas
• Giving discipline-related academic presentations, experiencing peer observation, and receiving formative feedback.
• Speed reading techniques.
• Developing self-reflection skills.

More information

KE5002 -

Cold and Palaeoenvironments (Optional,20 Credits)

In this module you will examine the nature of past environmental change and develop an intimate understanding of the processes and landforms of glacial environments. You will be able to identify and utilise multiple techniques for palaeoenvironmental reconstructions. By the end of the module you will be able to critically appreciate the role of evidence in reconstructing Quaternary environments, as well as developed your skills in data analysis and interpretation. Topics include:
• Glacial processes and landforms.
• Glacier meltwater processes.
• Glacier surface energy balance.
• Environments and climates of the Quaternary.
• Glacial – interglacial cycles.
• Proxies for palaeoclimate reconstruction, focussing on pollen and diatoms.
• Stratigraphical methods and dating techniques.

More information

KE5003 -

Meteorology and Oceanography (Optional,20 Credits)

IIn this module you will develop a broad grounding in the sciences of meteorology and oceanography from a physical geography perspective. In particular you will develop knowledge and understanding of:
• The operation of local and global scale meteorological and oceanographic processes, their simulation using numerical models and their measurement through in situ and satellite observations.
• How atmospheric processes and surface conditions give rise to weather, including meteorological extremes and hazards
• Ecosystems of the oceans and palaeoceanograpic proxies
• The role of the oceanic circulation in climatic variability over a range of temporal and spatial scales.

You will develop field skills in meteorological measurement using sensors and data loggers, analysis and data presentation skills using specialist software and gain first-hand practical experience of real world environmental measurement and data visualisation techniques used widely in research and industry.

You will be assessed through: (i) a report on the practical exercises in meteorology in Semester 2 (up to 2000 words, 50% weighting); and (ii) an online test on the subject knowledge and practical exercises in oceanography, towards the end of semester 1 (2 hours, 50% weighting). You will receive formative feedback in practical classes and summative feedback on submitted coursework. This will provide positive criticism, identifying areas for improvement and highlighting good practice.

On completion of the module your enhanced ability to link theory and practice, confidence to approach research questions and use sophisticated tools in data analysis, and ability to communicate research results in a clear, concise and professional manner will serve to improve your future employability.

More information

KE5017 -

Earth Observation and GIS (Core,20 Credits)

This module is designed to teach you the concepts and techniques of spatial data handling and analysis using the techniques of remote sensing and image processing and Geographical Information Systems (GIS). Adding to the cartographic skills and basic spatial analysis that you have learnt from level 4 (first year) you will be taught to carry out spatial analysis from a wider range of sources and types of social and scientific geographical data. You will learn basic theoretical principles underpinning the use and application of digital datasets followed by more advanced techniques of image classification and spatial analysis. You will be taught how to use industry standard computer software applied in research and the workplace that will allow you to manipulate and analyse those data. In particular you will learn:
• the key components of remote sensing acquisition and analysis/display, including different platforms, sensors, image wavebands, and temporal and spatial resolution of imagery, and the fundamental processing techniques required in order to interpret remotely sensed imagery;
• theoretical background of datasets that can be generated and used to interpret change over space and time (e.g. loss of crops to disease, impact of changes in climate on food productivity and earths biomass); and
• the techniques used to classify and analyse datasets; explore spectral signatures, apply different classification models to produce land cover maps as a basis for resource management.
• key critical theoretical concepts associated with the types and associated use of digital data, implications of scale on analysis, error (what is it, why it matters and what can be done about it) geographical co-ordinate systems and georeferencing;
• about the GIS tool box and different methods of spatial analysis available to you including the third dimension – 3D analysis using digital elevation models; and
• the practical skills you need to interrogate and analyse data in order to answer spatial queries – geographical decision making for policy and practice.

More information

KE5021 -

Applied Geosciences (Core,20 Credits)

In this module you will learn about the acquisition and application of geoscientific data to practical and research issues. The module will explore a range of topics such as:
• Sediments and sedimentary rocks, palaeoenvironmental interpretations and palaeoclimate reconstructions
• Geological resources; exploration, extraction and reserves
• Biostratigraphy and the uses of fossil data
• Interpretation of geological data: biostratigraphical, sedimentological, structural, maps, chemical and seismic
• Local, regional and global Earth history - environments, climates and catastrophes
• Geoheritage, geoconservation and the educational importance of geological sites

In addition to learning about how geosciences data can be utilised, you will develop your practical skills and abilities in the identification and interpretation of rock and fossil assemblages, your ability to use a geological map to understand subsurface structure and your problem solving skills. On fieldwork you will develop practical geological skills and experience concepts presented in the lectures. This module will also develop your ethical concern for the planet and a professional attitude towards presenting data.

On completion of the module, your improved ability to link theory, practice and application will serve to enhance your future studies and employment prospects.

More information

KE5023 -

Academic Language Skills for Geography (Core – for International and EU students only,0 Credits)

Academic skills when studying away from your home country can differ due to cultural and language differences in teaching and assessment practices. This module is designed to support your transition in the use and practice of technical language and subject specific skills around assessments and teaching provision in your chosen subject. The overall aim of this module is to develop your abilities to read and study effectively for academic purposes; to develop your skills in analysing and using source material in seminars and academic writing and to develop your use and application of language and communications skills to a higher level.

The topics you will cover on the module include:

• Understanding assignment briefs and exam questions.
• Developing academic writing skills, including citation, paraphrasing, and summarising.
• Practising ‘critical reading’ and ‘critical writing’
• Planning and structuring academic assignments (e.g. essays, reports and presentations).
• Avoiding academic misconduct and gaining credit by using academic sources and referencing effectively.
• Listening skills for lectures.
• Speaking in seminar presentations.
• Presenting your ideas
• Giving discipline-related academic presentations, experiencing peer observation, and receiving formative feedback.
• Speed reading techniques.
• Developing self-reflection skills.

More information

KE5027 -

Research and Fieldwork in Physical Geography (Core,20 Credits)

You will learn how to design and conduct physical geography research using the scientific method. This module will prepare you for your dissertation. Specifically, you will learn:

? Key employability skills such as: communication, teamwork, individual working, time-management, critical reading, adaptability, flexibility, synthesis of information and using feedback to improve your work
? How geography has developed as a science historically and theoretically
? Application of the scientific method in Physical Geography
? Evaluating a body of literature to understand a debate and to identify gaps in research
? Developing a research idea from concept to execution
? Advanced fieldwork techniques, risk assessment and ethics

More information

KE5028 -

Coastal Monitoring and Management (Core,20 Credits)

This module will give you the opportunity to work on real-world coastal monitoring and management problems and will provide you with numerous transferable skills for future employment, including, but not limited to, familiarisation and application of advanced landscape surveying techniques, complex data visualization and presentation, developing solutions to applied problems, project management and delivery, and professional report writing.

You will learn about the past, present, and future behaviour of coastal systems, and the various ways in which coastal environments are monitored and managed. You will learn about the fundamental principles of coastal landscape evolution over long (millennial) to short (months-years) timescales, and gain understanding of the role that sea-level rise plays in the evolution of coastal landscapes, and subsequent management implications. You will additionally learn the principles and practices of landscape surveying, with a specific emphasis on surveying coastal domains. You will develop your theoretical knowledge and then apply this in multiple practical settings by collecting or working with data acquired from equipment such as automatic levels, electronic total stations, terrestrial laser scanners, and unpiloted aerial vehicles (drones).

You will learn how to record and check field survey data, and how to produce and present your results in the style of a consultancy report. You will also learn how to produce material for the public communication of science. You will work both individually and as part of small teams to carry out tasks throughout the module.

On completion of the module you will have gained many key skills that will be useful for your Dissertation, further study, or to improve your future employment prospects. As well as having an improved knowledge of coastal processes and management issues/solutions, you will have technical proficiency in a range of landscape surveying techniques. By taking on the role of an environmental consultant in this module, you will also have had experience of synthesising a range of data to propose and communicate coastal management strategies.

More information

KE5033 -

Environmental Cycles: Air, Water, Soil (Optional,20 Credits)

In this module, you will learn about the nature and properties of soil, air and water, the key processes and cycles operating within them and the environmental controls influencing their behaviour. The module will enable you to appreciate the dynamic nature of pollution, its impacts on environmental systems and human health, and provide an introduction to approaches for pollution management and mitigation. In addition, you will develop skills in a range of field and laboratory techniques and approaches to data collection and analysis used in environmental monitoring. You will also develop a deeper appreciation of the interaction between physical and human aspects of the environment.

On completion of the module, your improved ability to link theory, practice and application will serve to enhance your future employment prospects.

More information

AT5004 -

Year in International Business (This is made up of 5 modules studied in Newcastle (Semester 1) & Amsterdam (Semester 2) (Optional,120 Credits)

This overarching module descriptor covers the Year in International Business which is made up of 5 modules which students study in Newcastle (semester 1) and Amsterdam (semester 2).

This additional year of studies has been designed to develop students’ business awareness and their soft skills through a semester of study in the UK followed by engagement in studying in Amsterdam and working on real business projects to further enhance and develop this knowledge, skills and attributes.

Semester 1 in the UK comprises three 20-credit modules aimed at students new to business and management, which also equips the students for a semester in Amsterdam, working in teams on a “real-world”, client facing project. Of the modules studies in Semester 1 provide students with the “soft”, “analytical” and “project management” skills necessary to embark on a “real-world” client-centred consultancy project in Semester 2. In Semester 2, students will work move to Amsterdam and study two modules on Northumbria licensed premises. The first module, Group Business Consultancy Project, is a Level 5 40 credit Consultancy Project providing a supported and challenging experience with real business supervised by Northumbria and possibly Dutch academics. The final module complements the development of business knowledge and application through a contextualised consideration of International Business. This will also add to the Business Consultancy experience, thereby guaranteeing a coherent business experience.

The modules are outlined below:

Semester 1
HR9505 Managing People at Work (20 credits)
SM9511 Global Business Environment (20 credits)
AF5022 Financial Decision Making (20 credits)

Semester 2
AT5000 Digital Business (20)
AT5001 Group Business Consultancy Project (40 credits)

In semester 1, students will learn in an environment aligned to that of business students on full time programmes. A mixture of large group and small group sessions will take place. In semester 2, in accordance with the experiential learning pedagogical approach in the Business Clinic operated at Newcastle Business School, the group consultancy work will involve students working in groups, facilitated by academics but also independently and amongst their peers in collaborative project work to provide real business consultancy. Assessment has been developed in accordance with Northumbria’s Assessment for Learning principles including a broad mix of assessment appropriate to the learning outcomes being assessed and with opportunities for formative feedback.

A student who passes all modules will, on successful completion of their undergraduate programme of study, have the title “(Year in International Business UK and Amsterdam)” added to their degree award title. Students who do not pass 120 credits will have those modules that have been completed recorded on their transcript.

More information

KA5029 -

International Academic Exchange 1 (Optional,60 Credits)

This module is designed for all standard full-time undergraduate programmes within the Faculty of Engineering and Environment and provides you with the option to study abroad for one semester as part of your programme.

This is a 60 credit module which is available between Levels 5 and 6. You will undertake a semester of study abroad at an approved partner University where you will have access to modules from your discipline, but taught in a different learning culture. This gives you the opportunity to broaden your overall experience of learning. The structure of study will be dependent on the partner and will be recorded for an individual student on the learning agreement signed by the host University, the student, and the home University (Northumbria).

Your study abroad semester will be assessed on a pass/fail basis. It will not count towards your final degree classification but, if you pass, it is recognised in your transcript as an additional 60 credits for Engineering and Environment Study Abroad Semester.

More information

KA5030 -

International Academic Exchange 2 (Optional,120 Credits)

This module is designed for all standard full-time undergraduate programmes within the Faculty of Engineering and Environment and provides you with the option to study abroad for one full year as part of your programme.

This is a 120 credit module which is available between Levels 5 and 6. You will undertake a year of study abroad at an approved partner University where you will have access to modules from your discipline, but taught in a different learning culture. This gives you the opportunity to broaden your overall experience of learning. The structure of study will be dependent on the partner and will be recorded for an individual student on the learning agreement signed by the host University, the student, and the home University (Northumbria).

Your study abroad year will be assessed on a pass/fail basis. It will not count towards your final degree classification but, it is recognised in your transcript as a 120 credit Study Abroad module and on your degree certificate in the format – “Degree title (with Study Abroad Year)”.

More information

KE5023 -

Academic Language Skills for Geography (Core – for International and EU students only,0 Credits)

Academic skills when studying away from your home country can differ due to cultural and language differences in teaching and assessment practices. This module is designed to support your transition in the use and practice of technical language and subject specific skills around assessments and teaching provision in your chosen subject. The overall aim of this module is to develop your abilities to read and study effectively for academic purposes; to develop your skills in analysing and using source material in seminars and academic writing and to develop your use and application of language and communications skills to a higher level.

The topics you will cover on the module include:

• Understanding assignment briefs and exam questions.
• Developing academic writing skills, including citation, paraphrasing, and summarising.
• Practising ‘critical reading’ and ‘critical writing’
• Planning and structuring academic assignments (e.g. essays, reports and presentations).
• Avoiding academic misconduct and gaining credit by using academic sources and referencing effectively.
• Listening skills for lectures.
• Speaking in seminar presentations.
• Presenting your ideas
• Giving discipline-related academic presentations, experiencing peer observation, and receiving formative feedback.
• Speed reading techniques.
• Developing self-reflection skills.

More information

KF5000 -

Engineering and Environment Work Placement Year (Optional,120 Credits)

This module is designed for all standard full-time undergraduate programmes within the Faculty of Engineering and Environment to provide you with the option to take a one year work placement as part of your programme.

You will be able to use the placement experience to develop and enhance appropriate areas of your knowledge and understanding, your intellectual and professional skills, and your personal value attributes, relevant to your programme of study, as well as accreditation bodies such as BCS, IET, IMechE, RICS, CIOB and CIBSE within the appropriate working environments. Due to its overall positive impact on employability, degree classification and graduate starting salaries, the University strongly encourages you to pursue a work placement as part of your degree programme.

This module is a Pass/Fail module so does not contribute to the classification of your degree. When taken and passed, however, the Placement Year is recognised both in your transcript as a 120 credit Work Placement Module and on your degree certificate.

Your placement period will normally be full-time and must total a minimum of 40 weeks.

More information

KF5001 -

Engineering and Environment Work Placement Semester (Optional,60 Credits)

This module is designed for all standard full-time undergraduate programmes within the Faculty of Engineering and Environment to provide you with the option to take a one semester work placement as part of your programme.

You will be able to use the placement experience to develop and enhance appropriate areas of your knowledge and understanding, your intellectual and professional skills, and your personal value attributes, relevant to your programme of study, within the appropriate working environments. Due to its overall positive impact on employability, degree classification and graduate starting salaries, the University strongly encourages you to pursue a work placement as part of your degree programme.

This module is a Pass/Fail module so does not contribute to the classification of your degree. When taken and passed, however, the placement is recognised both in your transcript as a 60 credit Work Placement Module and on your degree certificate.

Your placement period will normally be full-time and must total a minimum of 20 weeks.

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KE5023 -

Academic Language Skills for Geography (Core – for International and EU students only,0 Credits)

Academic skills when studying away from your home country can differ due to cultural and language differences in teaching and assessment practices. This module is designed to support your transition in the use and practice of technical language and subject specific skills around assessments and teaching provision in your chosen subject. The overall aim of this module is to develop your abilities to read and study effectively for academic purposes; to develop your skills in analysing and using source material in seminars and academic writing and to develop your use and application of language and communications skills to a higher level.

The topics you will cover on the module include:

• Understanding assignment briefs and exam questions.
• Developing academic writing skills, including citation, paraphrasing, and summarising.
• Practising ‘critical reading’ and ‘critical writing’
• Planning and structuring academic assignments (e.g. essays, reports and presentations).
• Avoiding academic misconduct and gaining credit by using academic sources and referencing effectively.
• Listening skills for lectures.
• Speaking in seminar presentations.
• Presenting your ideas
• Giving discipline-related academic presentations, experiencing peer observation, and receiving formative feedback.
• Speed reading techniques.
• Developing self-reflection skills.

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KE6000 -

Geography and Environment Dissertation (Core,40 Credits)

This module is designed to support you in independently pursuing an original piece of research on a geographical or environmental topic of your own choice grounded in final year specialist option modules. Dependent upon your programme of study, you will draw upon and develop your research skills in answering research questions/hypothesis on a dissertation topic within the social, humanities, natural and environmental disciplines. You will develop expertise in:

• identifying a suitable topic and in reviewing critically the relevant academic literature;
• formulating research questions/hypotheses and appropriate methods of inquiry;
• collecting your own data and/or using existing data sets and/or engaging in an analysis of the research literature;
• the ability to analyse and interpret your results using appropriate quantitative, statistical and/or qualitative techniques,
• relating the findings to existing and up-to-date literature;
• oral, visual and written presentation of your research project;
• objectively appraising the ethical considerations of conducting research; and
• managing and implementing a large independent project.

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KE6001 -

Cold Landscapes (Optional,20 Credits)

In this module you will learn about polar and non-polar cold landscapes. The module will provide you with an understanding of the distinctiveness of mountain and polar cold environments, and will provide the physical framework to investigate a wide range of processes which operate in these landscapes. You will learn how to interpret how physical processes impact on human usage of mountainous and polar terrain, and you will learn to appreciate the significance of linking diverse process domains such as meteorology, hillslopes, rivers, and snow/glacier ice.

Your learning will additionally facilitate an understanding of human interaction with the physical environment.

Specific topics covered may include:

• Mountain Environments: the distinctive nature of mountainous landscapes

• Paraglacial Geomorphology: landscape adjustment after the ice has gone
• Catastrophic Rock Avalanches: can hillslope processes control rivers and glaciers?
• Glacial Hazards: hazards posed by glacier recession and climatic change, and implications for development
• Mountain Meteorology: geographical controls and climatic characteristics of mountain meteorological elements
• Mountain Hydrology: rates, magnitude and routing of runoff from snow, ice and paraglacial areas
• History and politics of polar exploration
• Permafrost and periglacial processes
• Sea ice and the role of the polar oceans in the earth system
• Resources and ecosystems: exploitation, tourism, pollution and environmental sustainability

On completion of the module you will have developed an improved understanding and appreciation of the interaction between a range of landforms, landscapes and their formative processes in these environments and their connection to anthropogenic activities.

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KE6002 -

Modelling, Computation and Data Manipulation (Optional,20 Credits)

In this module you will learn about a variety of approaches to model environmental systems. Following an overview of fundamental approaches to environmental modelling and a practical introduction to a number of specific models, you will apply one of the models to answer an environmental question as part of an individual study. In parallel with this, you will be introduced to a range of advanced techniques in computer programming which will allow data manipulation, analysis and presentation. As a result, this module will allow you to demonstrate:
- The use of numerical modelling as an important methodological tool in the physical environment.
- The role of modelling in gaining a better understanding of the interaction of processes driving change and in predicting the form and nature of the resulting response in a variety of environmental settings.
- The latest methodological design and application of modelling and the historical context of their development.
- The practice of model design: from conceptualisation of the model by understanding the main physical processes shaping the environment in question, through development of a computational algorithm to approximate environmental response to applied external forcings.
- Critical interpretation of model output.
- The importance of reproducibility in research.
- An appreciation of modelling as an emerging tool in understanding and predicting the impact of human activity upon physical and/or wider environmental processes.
- Computation and data manipulation skills using a wide range of computer packages (e.g. ArcGIS), including high-level technical computing languages (e.g. Matlab).

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KE6003 -

Palaeoecology and Biogeography (Optional,20 Credits)

In this module you will gain the necessary skills and knowledge needed to understand how our environment evolved in the past and how it might change in the future. Particular attention will be paid to the reconstruction and assessment of past human impact on the environment. The module strongly supports the interdisciplinary character of Geography by involving a number of different scientific disciplines such as Geology, Ecology, Palaeobotany, Limnology and Climatology.

The topics of this module include:
• Application of palaeoenvironmental reconstruction techniques (e.g. diatom and pollen analysis, and geochemical analyses)
• Principles of Biogeography and Ecology: Understanding temporal and spatial patterns of plant communities and ecosystems
• Case studies of Late Quaternary climate and vegetation
• Detecting anthropogenic impact in sediment records
• Regional vegetation and climate history of North England

The practicals will include a combination of techniques from the indicative list below::
• Core logging (e.g. description of colour using Munsell Color System, classification of sediment layers, identifying hiatus)
• Total inorganic and organic carbon (TIC/TOC)
• Charcoal particle analysis
• Pollen and spore analysis
• Diatom analysis
• Pollen diagram construction using Tilia/TiliaGraph software
• Multivariate data analyses ( e.g. PCA, cluster and correspondence analysis)

On completion of the module, you will know the theory and application of various palaeoecological and sedimentological proxy methods. You will understand the driving forces and feedbacks in the biotic and abiotic Earth System and learn to critically analyse and synthesise scientific data. In this module you will learn to assess the importance of climate change and human impact for the evolution of our modern landscapes and ecosystems.

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KE6018 -

Advanced Geospatial Applications (Core,20 Credits)

You will learn about the design and implementation of geospatial Applications using evidence based practice extending practical knowledge of the techniques and analysis tools gained from level 5 (Second year). This will involve you critically reviewing existing published and adopted practice in topic areas such as:
• environmental planning,
• landcover change,
• resource management and
• risk assessment.
in order to design, cost and implement your own geospatial application. You will be taught advanced concepts of method design and how
to cost and respond to a tender request. You will also learn advanced IT skills on data compilation, download, generation, analysis, interpretation and presentation within the context of ‘fitness of use’ using image processing and GIS software. As you explore evidence based practice you will be asked to design your application with key consideration to the following questions. Can geospatial Applications be:
• value free and what role does positionality and ethics play?,
• simply sticks which powerful groups in decision making processes use to beat smaller groups with?, and
• a key determinant of planning and policy success in an organisational context?

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KE6019 -

Public Health and Occupational Safety (Optional,20 Credits)

You will learn about public health protection and occupational safety and develop a critical understanding of the nature of communicable diseases and non-communicable occupational and environmental hazards to develop appropriate evidence and risk based approaches. You will build a critical understanding of organisations and approaches responsible for ensuring effective arrangements are in place nationally and locally for preparing, planning and responding to concerns and emergencies, including the future impact of climate change. You will focus on the key aspects including

• Harm from communicable diseases and health impact from environmental and occupational hazards
• Collection, analysis and interpretation of surveillance data
• Planning, investigation and response to incidents, accidents and outbreaks
• Legal and regulatory systems
• Resilience and emergency response
• Workplace health and safety,
• Health and safety risk management
• Principles and theories of health and safety management
• Occupational health and hygiene and occupational psychology

On completion of the module, your improved ability to link theory, practice and application will enhance your employability prospects within a broad environmental health / health, safety and environment job sector.

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KE6031 -

Environmental Pollution and Health (Optional,20 Credits)

In this module, you will develop a holistic viewpoint on issues surrounding environmental pollution, pollution impacts on human health, and approaches to pollution management and mitigation. You will engage with a range of contemporary issues across air quality management, contaminated land and water pollution; appreciate the wider context of historical pollution; analyse and interpret environmental data using a range of modelling techniques (for example, contaminated land software, atmospheric dispersion modelling software) and evaluate different types of interventions that can be used to alleviate/control the effects/impacts of pollutants;; and develop a good working knowledge of the regulatory systems that exist for air, water and soil pollution control at global, European, national and/or local levels. On completion of the module, your ability to link theory and application will serve to enhance your future employment prospects.

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KE6032 -

Tropical and Coastal Research (Optional,20 Credits)

With a strong research focus, the tropical and coastal research module will cover the cutting-edge developments in coastal science. From how to identify seagrass using satellites, to predicting the contents of a rockpool without even looking at it, you will understand the processes that make coastal ecosystems tick.

You will design and undertake two research projects – one using field data that you will collect locally in North Tyneside, and another using secondary data from the Tropics that you will analyse during IT practical sessions. In both cases, you will learn that the same overarching concepts, in coastal science and research design, apply equally in these contrasting coastal settings.
Within a group, you will be given a valuable opportunity to plan and execute scientific experiments of your own in the field. This will be a method of your choosing, on a topic of your choice, for example, microplastics, rockpools, longshore drift, or even footfall at tourist hotspots along the coast. To design your project and discuss your findings, you will engage with cutting-edge literature from the field of coastal science. You will present this research project in a group oral presentation.
You will apply these same concepts in coastal science and research design to undertake your individual research project in a tropical coastal environment. To undertake this project, you will engage with secondary data in order to design and undertake your enquiry. You will undertake this work in a series of IT sessions, and present the project in the form of a professional conference poster.

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Modules

Module information is indicative and is reviewed annually therefore may be subject to change. Applicants will be informed if there are any changes.

KE4003 -

Geography Fieldwork (Core,20 Credits)

You will learn that fieldwork is an essential and characteristic aspect of geography and you will learn how to conduct physical geography fieldwork or a combination of physical and human and geography fieldwork, depending on your programme of study. Fieldwork is a form of experiential learning which contributes to your curiosity and enquiry about human and/or physical environments. You will carry this out by developing discerning observation and measurement of physical aspects of your environment recognising the importance of scale. You will understand the evolution and significance of the distinctiveness of places and environments including glaciated landscapes and you will be made aware of different approaches to their interpretation. In the BA and BSc programmes you will gain a parallel understanding of the role of spatial linkages in social and physical processes. You will be given opportunities to practise methods and strategies of field research in human and/or physical geography such as observing the impacts of geomorphological processes and conducting human geography enquiries. You will be encouraged to take a critical view of the challenges and opportunities of field-based research and will learn how to use and apply appropriate field-based equipment and technologies. For example, understanding how the ‘natural’ environment is anything but natural and is in fact a consequence of human interaction with the environment, is an example of such critical thinking. You will take responsibility for your learning and reflection upon that learning and you will recognise the moral, ethical and safety issues involved in all aspects of geographical enquiry. In this module you will learn how to work in groups and you will gain problem solving and presentation skills.

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KE4005 -

Exploring Geographical and Environmental Data (Core,20 Credits)

In this module, you will learn collect and analyse a wide range of geographical and environmental data. You will engage in teaching, learning and assessment activities, which are generic to all students of geography and environmental science, as well as specific tasks tailored towards your own degree programme. The module aims to give you a broad introduction to data collection and analysis in the geographical and environmental sciences, which will form the basis of programme-specific training at levels 5 and 6. Topics and issues covered include:
• sources of geographical and environmental data;
• descriptive and inferential statistics;
• geographical information systems;
• qualitative data collection and analysis.

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KE4006 -

Dynamic Earth (Core,20 Credits)

In this module you will learn about the application of Earth Sciences and research techniques to understanding our Dynamic Earth. This will provide you with the necessary understanding to a variety of issues and debates that have shaped current thinking and research in the Earth Sciences. Through lectures, lab classesEarth Sciences and fieldwork you will learn about the Earth Sciences, including topics such as:
• Earth structure, plate tectonics and origin.
• Igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks – how they form, how to identify them and their associated resources.
• Seismics and radar.
• Structural Earth Sciences, types of faults and folds, and what do they show?
• How rocks become soils, basic soil characteristics and resources of soils
• Earth history and a deep time perspective.
• Origins of life on Earth and uses of fossils.• Sediments and soils.
• Building stones and resources.
• Geo-hazards: causes, impacts, underlying processes and approaches to mitigation.
• Geochemistry.

A key component of the module will be the laboratory practicals that will introduce you to working in labs, using laboratory equipment and using the knowledge gained in lectures to solve problems. You will also develop a deeper appreciation of the interaction between physical and human aspects of the environment, thereby demonstrating informed concern about the Earth and its people.

On completion of the module, you will have the Earth Science knowledge and laboratory experience to give you confidence for future study and an improved ability to link theory, practice and application will serve to enhance your future employment prospects.

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KE4010 -

Academic Skills and Personal Development (BSc) (Core,20 Credits)

In this module, you will learn and develop the key intellectual skills and personal attributes required for effective study and future graduate employment. Teaching, learning and assessment activities are tailored towards your own degree programme, linking to substantive core modules, thus providing an appropriate subject context for your studies. The module aims to consolidate the process of induction onto your degree programme, thus supporting your transition from further to higher education. As part of this shift in academic culture, you will be encouraged to take increasing responsibility for your own learning and through the development of reflective practice, develop ways of monitoring your own academic performance and progress. Topics and issues covered include:
? Independent study and time management.
? Effective literature searching.
? Reading and summarising academic literature.
? Referencing, citations and plagiarism.
? Marking schemes and expectations.
? Essay writing skills.
? Report writing skills.
? Exam preparation.
? Oral presentation and debating skills.
? Dissecting a peer-reviewed journal article.
? Effective group work.
? Skills evaluation and reflection.
? CV preparation and employability skills.

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KE4014 -

Introduction to Physical Environments (Core,20 Credits)

You will learn a broad range of basic concepts and principles of the physical environment, how these interact as part of the Earth System and are modified by human processes. As you explore the Earth System today and in the past, you will discover a diverse range of atmospheric, land based and oceanic components that together form the physical environment. Armed with this knowledge you will be able to begin to critically evaluate the evidence concerning processes, landforms and systems. This will develop your problem solving skills and give you an international holistic view on the Earth as a system. Topics include:
• Atmospheric processes and energy flows.
• Climate and climate change.
• The world’s oceans, their physical properties and interactions with the climate and coastal populations.
• Weathering and Erosion.
• Soils and soil forming processes.
• Glacial and periglacial environments and the processes that shape these.
• Landscape and landform evolution from hillslope processes, to rivers and the coastal environment.
• The biogeographical distribution of vegetation and biomes
• The role of the biosphere in the Earth system and ecosystem engineers.
• How the Earth system has changed over Quaternary and Cenozoic time scales.
• The physical environment and links to human health.

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KE4015 -

Environmental Challenges - Global to Local (Core,20 Credits)

In this module you will learn about the fundamental principles of chemistry and physics governing natural environment, and interactions between geosphere and biosphere including anthropogenic impact. You will learn key environmental analysis skills, including field and laboratory methods to obtain and examine both ecological and chemical materials. You will develop skills to collect suitable environmental samples, and how to process and report on your findings.

Some of the key topics you will cover in lectures and seminars include:
• Chemical composition of the natural environment.
• Interactions and feedbacks between the Earth's sub-systems' cycles, processes and "spheres" – in particular hydrosphere, lithosphere and biosphere
• The chemistry of the global climate and processes affecting the release and sequestration of greenhouse gases.
• Pollution of surface water sediments, soils and groundwaters.
• Climate- and environment literacy.
• History of humans impacts on natural environment and processes.

The field- and laboratory-based skills will include:
• Water, sediment and suspended matter sampling techniques
• Field water measurements (pH, temperature, dissolved oxygen)
• Laboratory measurements of water and sediment composition

The developed soft skills will include:
• Efficient planning and performing water- and sediment-sampling campaign (teamwork effort)
• Integrating observational and analytical data
• Assessing the river water quality
• Contextualising local data in the reginal and global scope

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KE5023 -

Academic Language Skills for Geography (Core – for International and EU students only,0 Credits)

Academic skills when studying away from your home country can differ due to cultural and language differences in teaching and assessment practices. This module is designed to support your transition in the use and practice of technical language and subject specific skills around assessments and teaching provision in your chosen subject. The overall aim of this module is to develop your abilities to read and study effectively for academic purposes; to develop your skills in analysing and using source material in seminars and academic writing and to develop your use and application of language and communications skills to a higher level.

The topics you will cover on the module include:

• Understanding assignment briefs and exam questions.
• Developing academic writing skills, including citation, paraphrasing, and summarising.
• Practising ‘critical reading’ and ‘critical writing’
• Planning and structuring academic assignments (e.g. essays, reports and presentations).
• Avoiding academic misconduct and gaining credit by using academic sources and referencing effectively.
• Listening skills for lectures.
• Speaking in seminar presentations.
• Presenting your ideas
• Giving discipline-related academic presentations, experiencing peer observation, and receiving formative feedback.
• Speed reading techniques.
• Developing self-reflection skills.

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KE5002 -

Cold and Palaeoenvironments (Optional,20 Credits)

In this module you will examine the nature of past environmental change and develop an intimate understanding of the processes and landforms of glacial environments. You will be able to identify and utilise multiple techniques for palaeoenvironmental reconstructions. By the end of the module you will be able to critically appreciate the role of evidence in reconstructing Quaternary environments, as well as developed your skills in data analysis and interpretation. Topics include:
• Glacial processes and landforms.
• Glacier meltwater processes.
• Glacier surface energy balance.
• Environments and climates of the Quaternary.
• Glacial – interglacial cycles.
• Proxies for palaeoclimate reconstruction, focussing on pollen and diatoms.
• Stratigraphical methods and dating techniques.

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KE5003 -

Meteorology and Oceanography (Optional,20 Credits)

IIn this module you will develop a broad grounding in the sciences of meteorology and oceanography from a physical geography perspective. In particular you will develop knowledge and understanding of:
• The operation of local and global scale meteorological and oceanographic processes, their simulation using numerical models and their measurement through in situ and satellite observations.
• How atmospheric processes and surface conditions give rise to weather, including meteorological extremes and hazards
• Ecosystems of the oceans and palaeoceanograpic proxies
• The role of the oceanic circulation in climatic variability over a range of temporal and spatial scales.

You will develop field skills in meteorological measurement using sensors and data loggers, analysis and data presentation skills using specialist software and gain first-hand practical experience of real world environmental measurement and data visualisation techniques used widely in research and industry.

You will be assessed through: (i) a report on the practical exercises in meteorology in Semester 2 (up to 2000 words, 50% weighting); and (ii) an online test on the subject knowledge and practical exercises in oceanography, towards the end of semester 1 (2 hours, 50% weighting). You will receive formative feedback in practical classes and summative feedback on submitted coursework. This will provide positive criticism, identifying areas for improvement and highlighting good practice.

On completion of the module your enhanced ability to link theory and practice, confidence to approach research questions and use sophisticated tools in data analysis, and ability to communicate research results in a clear, concise and professional manner will serve to improve your future employability.

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KE5017 -

Earth Observation and GIS (Core,20 Credits)

This module is designed to teach you the concepts and techniques of spatial data handling and analysis using the techniques of remote sensing and image processing and Geographical Information Systems (GIS). Adding to the cartographic skills and basic spatial analysis that you have learnt from level 4 (first year) you will be taught to carry out spatial analysis from a wider range of sources and types of social and scientific geographical data. You will learn basic theoretical principles underpinning the use and application of digital datasets followed by more advanced techniques of image classification and spatial analysis. You will be taught how to use industry standard computer software applied in research and the workplace that will allow you to manipulate and analyse those data. In particular you will learn:
• the key components of remote sensing acquisition and analysis/display, including different platforms, sensors, image wavebands, and temporal and spatial resolution of imagery, and the fundamental processing techniques required in order to interpret remotely sensed imagery;
• theoretical background of datasets that can be generated and used to interpret change over space and time (e.g. loss of crops to disease, impact of changes in climate on food productivity and earths biomass); and
• the techniques used to classify and analyse datasets; explore spectral signatures, apply different classification models to produce land cover maps as a basis for resource management.
• key critical theoretical concepts associated with the types and associated use of digital data, implications of scale on analysis, error (what is it, why it matters and what can be done about it) geographical co-ordinate systems and georeferencing;
• about the GIS tool box and different methods of spatial analysis available to you including the third dimension – 3D analysis using digital elevation models; and
• the practical skills you need to interrogate and analyse data in order to answer spatial queries – geographical decision making for policy and practice.

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KE5021 -

Applied Geosciences (Core,20 Credits)

In this module you will learn about the acquisition and application of geoscientific data to practical and research issues. The module will explore a range of topics such as:
• Sediments and sedimentary rocks, palaeoenvironmental interpretations and palaeoclimate reconstructions
• Geological resources; exploration, extraction and reserves
• Biostratigraphy and the uses of fossil data
• Interpretation of geological data: biostratigraphical, sedimentological, structural, maps, chemical and seismic
• Local, regional and global Earth history - environments, climates and catastrophes
• Geoheritage, geoconservation and the educational importance of geological sites

In addition to learning about how geosciences data can be utilised, you will develop your practical skills and abilities in the identification and interpretation of rock and fossil assemblages, your ability to use a geological map to understand subsurface structure and your problem solving skills. On fieldwork you will develop practical geological skills and experience concepts presented in the lectures. This module will also develop your ethical concern for the planet and a professional attitude towards presenting data.

On completion of the module, your improved ability to link theory, practice and application will serve to enhance your future studies and employment prospects.

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KE5023 -

Academic Language Skills for Geography (Core – for International and EU students only,0 Credits)

Academic skills when studying away from your home country can differ due to cultural and language differences in teaching and assessment practices. This module is designed to support your transition in the use and practice of technical language and subject specific skills around assessments and teaching provision in your chosen subject. The overall aim of this module is to develop your abilities to read and study effectively for academic purposes; to develop your skills in analysing and using source material in seminars and academic writing and to develop your use and application of language and communications skills to a higher level.

The topics you will cover on the module include:

• Understanding assignment briefs and exam questions.
• Developing academic writing skills, including citation, paraphrasing, and summarising.
• Practising ‘critical reading’ and ‘critical writing’
• Planning and structuring academic assignments (e.g. essays, reports and presentations).
• Avoiding academic misconduct and gaining credit by using academic sources and referencing effectively.
• Listening skills for lectures.
• Speaking in seminar presentations.
• Presenting your ideas
• Giving discipline-related academic presentations, experiencing peer observation, and receiving formative feedback.
• Speed reading techniques.
• Developing self-reflection skills.

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KE5027 -

Research and Fieldwork in Physical Geography (Core,20 Credits)

You will learn how to design and conduct physical geography research using the scientific method. This module will prepare you for your dissertation. Specifically, you will learn:

? Key employability skills such as: communication, teamwork, individual working, time-management, critical reading, adaptability, flexibility, synthesis of information and using feedback to improve your work
? How geography has developed as a science historically and theoretically
? Application of the scientific method in Physical Geography
? Evaluating a body of literature to understand a debate and to identify gaps in research
? Developing a research idea from concept to execution
? Advanced fieldwork techniques, risk assessment and ethics

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KE5028 -

Coastal Monitoring and Management (Core,20 Credits)

This module will give you the opportunity to work on real-world coastal monitoring and management problems and will provide you with numerous transferable skills for future employment, including, but not limited to, familiarisation and application of advanced landscape surveying techniques, complex data visualization and presentation, developing solutions to applied problems, project management and delivery, and professional report writing.

You will learn about the past, present, and future behaviour of coastal systems, and the various ways in which coastal environments are monitored and managed. You will learn about the fundamental principles of coastal landscape evolution over long (millennial) to short (months-years) timescales, and gain understanding of the role that sea-level rise plays in the evolution of coastal landscapes, and subsequent management implications. You will additionally learn the principles and practices of landscape surveying, with a specific emphasis on surveying coastal domains. You will develop your theoretical knowledge and then apply this in multiple practical settings by collecting or working with data acquired from equipment such as automatic levels, electronic total stations, terrestrial laser scanners, and unpiloted aerial vehicles (drones).

You will learn how to record and check field survey data, and how to produce and present your results in the style of a consultancy report. You will also learn how to produce material for the public communication of science. You will work both individually and as part of small teams to carry out tasks throughout the module.

On completion of the module you will have gained many key skills that will be useful for your Dissertation, further study, or to improve your future employment prospects. As well as having an improved knowledge of coastal processes and management issues/solutions, you will have technical proficiency in a range of landscape surveying techniques. By taking on the role of an environmental consultant in this module, you will also have had experience of synthesising a range of data to propose and communicate coastal management strategies.

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KE5033 -

Environmental Cycles: Air, Water, Soil (Optional,20 Credits)

In this module, you will learn about the nature and properties of soil, air and water, the key processes and cycles operating within them and the environmental controls influencing their behaviour. The module will enable you to appreciate the dynamic nature of pollution, its impacts on environmental systems and human health, and provide an introduction to approaches for pollution management and mitigation. In addition, you will develop skills in a range of field and laboratory techniques and approaches to data collection and analysis used in environmental monitoring. You will also develop a deeper appreciation of the interaction between physical and human aspects of the environment.

On completion of the module, your improved ability to link theory, practice and application will serve to enhance your future employment prospects.

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AT5004 -

Year in International Business (This is made up of 5 modules studied in Newcastle (Semester 1) & Amsterdam (Semester 2) (Optional,120 Credits)

This overarching module descriptor covers the Year in International Business which is made up of 5 modules which students study in Newcastle (semester 1) and Amsterdam (semester 2).

This additional year of studies has been designed to develop students’ business awareness and their soft skills through a semester of study in the UK followed by engagement in studying in Amsterdam and working on real business projects to further enhance and develop this knowledge, skills and attributes.

Semester 1 in the UK comprises three 20-credit modules aimed at students new to business and management, which also equips the students for a semester in Amsterdam, working in teams on a “real-world”, client facing project. Of the modules studies in Semester 1 provide students with the “soft”, “analytical” and “project management” skills necessary to embark on a “real-world” client-centred consultancy project in Semester 2. In Semester 2, students will work move to Amsterdam and study two modules on Northumbria licensed premises. The first module, Group Business Consultancy Project, is a Level 5 40 credit Consultancy Project providing a supported and challenging experience with real business supervised by Northumbria and possibly Dutch academics. The final module complements the development of business knowledge and application through a contextualised consideration of International Business. This will also add to the Business Consultancy experience, thereby guaranteeing a coherent business experience.

The modules are outlined below:

Semester 1
HR9505 Managing People at Work (20 credits)
SM9511 Global Business Environment (20 credits)
AF5022 Financial Decision Making (20 credits)

Semester 2
AT5000 Digital Business (20)
AT5001 Group Business Consultancy Project (40 credits)

In semester 1, students will learn in an environment aligned to that of business students on full time programmes. A mixture of large group and small group sessions will take place. In semester 2, in accordance with the experiential learning pedagogical approach in the Business Clinic operated at Newcastle Business School, the group consultancy work will involve students working in groups, facilitated by academics but also independently and amongst their peers in collaborative project work to provide real business consultancy. Assessment has been developed in accordance with Northumbria’s Assessment for Learning principles including a broad mix of assessment appropriate to the learning outcomes being assessed and with opportunities for formative feedback.

A student who passes all modules will, on successful completion of their undergraduate programme of study, have the title “(Year in International Business UK and Amsterdam)” added to their degree award title. Students who do not pass 120 credits will have those modules that have been completed recorded on their transcript.

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KA5029 -

International Academic Exchange 1 (Optional,60 Credits)

This module is designed for all standard full-time undergraduate programmes within the Faculty of Engineering and Environment and provides you with the option to study abroad for one semester as part of your programme.

This is a 60 credit module which is available between Levels 5 and 6. You will undertake a semester of study abroad at an approved partner University where you will have access to modules from your discipline, but taught in a different learning culture. This gives you the opportunity to broaden your overall experience of learning. The structure of study will be dependent on the partner and will be recorded for an individual student on the learning agreement signed by the host University, the student, and the home University (Northumbria).

Your study abroad semester will be assessed on a pass/fail basis. It will not count towards your final degree classification but, if you pass, it is recognised in your transcript as an additional 60 credits for Engineering and Environment Study Abroad Semester.

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KA5030 -

International Academic Exchange 2 (Optional,120 Credits)

This module is designed for all standard full-time undergraduate programmes within the Faculty of Engineering and Environment and provides you with the option to study abroad for one full year as part of your programme.

This is a 120 credit module which is available between Levels 5 and 6. You will undertake a year of study abroad at an approved partner University where you will have access to modules from your discipline, but taught in a different learning culture. This gives you the opportunity to broaden your overall experience of learning. The structure of study will be dependent on the partner and will be recorded for an individual student on the learning agreement signed by the host University, the student, and the home University (Northumbria).

Your study abroad year will be assessed on a pass/fail basis. It will not count towards your final degree classification but, it is recognised in your transcript as a 120 credit Study Abroad module and on your degree certificate in the format – “Degree title (with Study Abroad Year)”.

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KE5023 -

Academic Language Skills for Geography (Core – for International and EU students only,0 Credits)

Academic skills when studying away from your home country can differ due to cultural and language differences in teaching and assessment practices. This module is designed to support your transition in the use and practice of technical language and subject specific skills around assessments and teaching provision in your chosen subject. The overall aim of this module is to develop your abilities to read and study effectively for academic purposes; to develop your skills in analysing and using source material in seminars and academic writing and to develop your use and application of language and communications skills to a higher level.

The topics you will cover on the module include:

• Understanding assignment briefs and exam questions.
• Developing academic writing skills, including citation, paraphrasing, and summarising.
• Practising ‘critical reading’ and ‘critical writing’
• Planning and structuring academic assignments (e.g. essays, reports and presentations).
• Avoiding academic misconduct and gaining credit by using academic sources and referencing effectively.
• Listening skills for lectures.
• Speaking in seminar presentations.
• Presenting your ideas
• Giving discipline-related academic presentations, experiencing peer observation, and receiving formative feedback.
• Speed reading techniques.
• Developing self-reflection skills.

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KF5000 -

Engineering and Environment Work Placement Year (Optional,120 Credits)

This module is designed for all standard full-time undergraduate programmes within the Faculty of Engineering and Environment to provide you with the option to take a one year work placement as part of your programme.

You will be able to use the placement experience to develop and enhance appropriate areas of your knowledge and understanding, your intellectual and professional skills, and your personal value attributes, relevant to your programme of study, as well as accreditation bodies such as BCS, IET, IMechE, RICS, CIOB and CIBSE within the appropriate working environments. Due to its overall positive impact on employability, degree classification and graduate starting salaries, the University strongly encourages you to pursue a work placement as part of your degree programme.

This module is a Pass/Fail module so does not contribute to the classification of your degree. When taken and passed, however, the Placement Year is recognised both in your transcript as a 120 credit Work Placement Module and on your degree certificate.

Your placement period will normally be full-time and must total a minimum of 40 weeks.

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KF5001 -

Engineering and Environment Work Placement Semester (Optional,60 Credits)

This module is designed for all standard full-time undergraduate programmes within the Faculty of Engineering and Environment to provide you with the option to take a one semester work placement as part of your programme.

You will be able to use the placement experience to develop and enhance appropriate areas of your knowledge and understanding, your intellectual and professional skills, and your personal value attributes, relevant to your programme of study, within the appropriate working environments. Due to its overall positive impact on employability, degree classification and graduate starting salaries, the University strongly encourages you to pursue a work placement as part of your degree programme.

This module is a Pass/Fail module so does not contribute to the classification of your degree. When taken and passed, however, the placement is recognised both in your transcript as a 60 credit Work Placement Module and on your degree certificate.

Your placement period will normally be full-time and must total a minimum of 20 weeks.

More information

KE5023 -

Academic Language Skills for Geography (Core – for International and EU students only,0 Credits)

Academic skills when studying away from your home country can differ due to cultural and language differences in teaching and assessment practices. This module is designed to support your transition in the use and practice of technical language and subject specific skills around assessments and teaching provision in your chosen subject. The overall aim of this module is to develop your abilities to read and study effectively for academic purposes; to develop your skills in analysing and using source material in seminars and academic writing and to develop your use and application of language and communications skills to a higher level.

The topics you will cover on the module include:

• Understanding assignment briefs and exam questions.
• Developing academic writing skills, including citation, paraphrasing, and summarising.
• Practising ‘critical reading’ and ‘critical writing’
• Planning and structuring academic assignments (e.g. essays, reports and presentations).
• Avoiding academic misconduct and gaining credit by using academic sources and referencing effectively.
• Listening skills for lectures.
• Speaking in seminar presentations.
• Presenting your ideas
• Giving discipline-related academic presentations, experiencing peer observation, and receiving formative feedback.
• Speed reading techniques.
• Developing self-reflection skills.

More information

KE6000 -

Geography and Environment Dissertation (Core,40 Credits)

This module is designed to support you in independently pursuing an original piece of research on a geographical or environmental topic of your own choice grounded in final year specialist option modules. Dependent upon your programme of study, you will draw upon and develop your research skills in answering research questions/hypothesis on a dissertation topic within the social, humanities, natural and environmental disciplines. You will develop expertise in:

• identifying a suitable topic and in reviewing critically the relevant academic literature;
• formulating research questions/hypotheses and appropriate methods of inquiry;
• collecting your own data and/or using existing data sets and/or engaging in an analysis of the research literature;
• the ability to analyse and interpret your results using appropriate quantitative, statistical and/or qualitative techniques,
• relating the findings to existing and up-to-date literature;
• oral, visual and written presentation of your research project;
• objectively appraising the ethical considerations of conducting research; and
• managing and implementing a large independent project.

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KE6001 -

Cold Landscapes (Optional,20 Credits)

In this module you will learn about polar and non-polar cold landscapes. The module will provide you with an understanding of the distinctiveness of mountain and polar cold environments, and will provide the physical framework to investigate a wide range of processes which operate in these landscapes. You will learn how to interpret how physical processes impact on human usage of mountainous and polar terrain, and you will learn to appreciate the significance of linking diverse process domains such as meteorology, hillslopes, rivers, and snow/glacier ice.

Your learning will additionally facilitate an understanding of human interaction with the physical environment.

Specific topics covered may include:

• Mountain Environments: the distinctive nature of mountainous landscapes

• Paraglacial Geomorphology: landscape adjustment after the ice has gone
• Catastrophic Rock Avalanches: can hillslope processes control rivers and glaciers?
• Glacial Hazards: hazards posed by glacier recession and climatic change, and implications for development
• Mountain Meteorology: geographical controls and climatic characteristics of mountain meteorological elements
• Mountain Hydrology: rates, magnitude and routing of runoff from snow, ice and paraglacial areas
• History and politics of polar exploration
• Permafrost and periglacial processes
• Sea ice and the role of the polar oceans in the earth system
• Resources and ecosystems: exploitation, tourism, pollution and environmental sustainability

On completion of the module you will have developed an improved understanding and appreciation of the interaction between a range of landforms, landscapes and their formative processes in these environments and their connection to anthropogenic activities.

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KE6002 -

Modelling, Computation and Data Manipulation (Optional,20 Credits)

In this module you will learn about a variety of approaches to model environmental systems. Following an overview of fundamental approaches to environmental modelling and a practical introduction to a number of specific models, you will apply one of the models to answer an environmental question as part of an individual study. In parallel with this, you will be introduced to a range of advanced techniques in computer programming which will allow data manipulation, analysis and presentation. As a result, this module will allow you to demonstrate:
- The use of numerical modelling as an important methodological tool in the physical environment.
- The role of modelling in gaining a better understanding of the interaction of processes driving change and in predicting the form and nature of the resulting response in a variety of environmental settings.
- The latest methodological design and application of modelling and the historical context of their development.
- The practice of model design: from conceptualisation of the model by understanding the main physical processes shaping the environment in question, through development of a computational algorithm to approximate environmental response to applied external forcings.
- Critical interpretation of model output.
- The importance of reproducibility in research.
- An appreciation of modelling as an emerging tool in understanding and predicting the impact of human activity upon physical and/or wider environmental processes.
- Computation and data manipulation skills using a wide range of computer packages (e.g. ArcGIS), including high-level technical computing languages (e.g. Matlab).

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KE6003 -

Palaeoecology and Biogeography (Optional,20 Credits)

In this module you will gain the necessary skills and knowledge needed to understand how our environment evolved in the past and how it might change in the future. Particular attention will be paid to the reconstruction and assessment of past human impact on the environment. The module strongly supports the interdisciplinary character of Geography by involving a number of different scientific disciplines such as Geology, Ecology, Palaeobotany, Limnology and Climatology.

The topics of this module include:
• Application of palaeoenvironmental reconstruction techniques (e.g. diatom and pollen analysis, and geochemical analyses)
• Principles of Biogeography and Ecology: Understanding temporal and spatial patterns of plant communities and ecosystems
• Case studies of Late Quaternary climate and vegetation
• Detecting anthropogenic impact in sediment records
• Regional vegetation and climate history of North England

The practicals will include a combination of techniques from the indicative list below::
• Core logging (e.g. description of colour using Munsell Color System, classification of sediment layers, identifying hiatus)
• Total inorganic and organic carbon (TIC/TOC)
• Charcoal particle analysis
• Pollen and spore analysis
• Diatom analysis
• Pollen diagram construction using Tilia/TiliaGraph software
• Multivariate data analyses ( e.g. PCA, cluster and correspondence analysis)

On completion of the module, you will know the theory and application of various palaeoecological and sedimentological proxy methods. You will understand the driving forces and feedbacks in the biotic and abiotic Earth System and learn to critically analyse and synthesise scientific data. In this module you will learn to assess the importance of climate change and human impact for the evolution of our modern landscapes and ecosystems.

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KE6018 -

Advanced Geospatial Applications (Core,20 Credits)

You will learn about the design and implementation of geospatial Applications using evidence based practice extending practical knowledge of the techniques and analysis tools gained from level 5 (Second year). This will involve you critically reviewing existing published and adopted practice in topic areas such as:
• environmental planning,
• landcover change,
• resource management and
• risk assessment.
in order to design, cost and implement your own geospatial application. You will be taught advanced concepts of method design and how
to cost and respond to a tender request. You will also learn advanced IT skills on data compilation, download, generation, analysis, interpretation and presentation within the context of ‘fitness of use’ using image processing and GIS software. As you explore evidence based practice you will be asked to design your application with key consideration to the following questions. Can geospatial Applications be:
• value free and what role does positionality and ethics play?,
• simply sticks which powerful groups in decision making processes use to beat smaller groups with?, and
• a key determinant of planning and policy success in an organisational context?

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KE6019 -

Public Health and Occupational Safety (Optional,20 Credits)

You will learn about public health protection and occupational safety and develop a critical understanding of the nature of communicable diseases and non-communicable occupational and environmental hazards to develop appropriate evidence and risk based approaches. You will build a critical understanding of organisations and approaches responsible for ensuring effective arrangements are in place nationally and locally for preparing, planning and responding to concerns and emergencies, including the future impact of climate change. You will focus on the key aspects including

• Harm from communicable diseases and health impact from environmental and occupational hazards
• Collection, analysis and interpretation of surveillance data
• Planning, investigation and response to incidents, accidents and outbreaks
• Legal and regulatory systems
• Resilience and emergency response
• Workplace health and safety,
• Health and safety risk management
• Principles and theories of health and safety management
• Occupational health and hygiene and occupational psychology

On completion of the module, your improved ability to link theory, practice and application will enhance your employability prospects within a broad environmental health / health, safety and environment job sector.

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KE6031 -

Environmental Pollution and Health (Optional,20 Credits)

In this module, you will develop a holistic viewpoint on issues surrounding environmental pollution, pollution impacts on human health, and approaches to pollution management and mitigation. You will engage with a range of contemporary issues across air quality management, contaminated land and water pollution; appreciate the wider context of historical pollution; analyse and interpret environmental data using a range of modelling techniques (for example, contaminated land software, atmospheric dispersion modelling software) and evaluate different types of interventions that can be used to alleviate/control the effects/impacts of pollutants;; and develop a good working knowledge of the regulatory systems that exist for air, water and soil pollution control at global, European, national and/or local levels. On completion of the module, your ability to link theory and application will serve to enhance your future employment prospects.

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KE6032 -

Tropical and Coastal Research (Optional,20 Credits)

With a strong research focus, the tropical and coastal research module will cover the cutting-edge developments in coastal science. From how to identify seagrass using satellites, to predicting the contents of a rockpool without even looking at it, you will understand the processes that make coastal ecosystems tick.

You will design and undertake two research projects – one using field data that you will collect locally in North Tyneside, and another using secondary data from the Tropics that you will analyse during IT practical sessions. In both cases, you will learn that the same overarching concepts, in coastal science and research design, apply equally in these contrasting coastal settings.
Within a group, you will be given a valuable opportunity to plan and execute scientific experiments of your own in the field. This will be a method of your choosing, on a topic of your choice, for example, microplastics, rockpools, longshore drift, or even footfall at tourist hotspots along the coast. To design your project and discuss your findings, you will engage with cutting-edge literature from the field of coastal science. You will present this research project in a group oral presentation.
You will apply these same concepts in coastal science and research design to undertake your individual research project in a tropical coastal environment. To undertake this project, you will engage with secondary data in order to design and undertake your enquiry. You will undertake this work in a series of IT sessions, and present the project in the form of a professional conference poster.

More information

To start your application, simply select the month you would like to start your course.

Physical Geography BSc (Hons)

Home or EU applicants please apply through UCAS

International applicants please apply using the links below

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