Economics and Geography at Aberdeen adds to your thorough grounding in the global economy and how it operates by setting it in the context of geography, the Earth, human relationship with the Earth, the environment and much more.
This programme is studied on campus.
The Department of Economics has a well-established tradition of research in applied economics, particularly in the areas of labour economics and energy economics. There are also research interests in macroeconomics, the economics of health and wellbeing, and experimental economics.
Geography is the study of the Earth's surface, with particular emphasis on the relationships between people and their environment. Few other subjects cover such a diversity of phenomena, combining elements of the natural sciences, the social sciences and the humanities.
You would normally apply for a Master of Arts (MA) degree if you wish to study other humanities or social-science courses as well as your Geography courses during your degree, if you intend to specialise in Human Geography, and/or if you wish to emphasise your humanities and social-science training beyond university.
Key Programme Information
At a Glance
- Learning Mode
- On Campus Learning
- Degree Qualification
- 48 months
- Study Mode
- Full Time
- Start Month
- UCAS Code
What You'll Study
- Year 1
- The Economics of Business and Society (EC1006) - 15 Credit Points
This course is an introductory course in microeconomics where we study the decision making of individual actors (consumers, employees, firms, governments, etc.) in an economy. Actors must make decisions about behaviours because they face scarce resources, but often they find that trading with other actors in markets can increase the wellbeing of all parties. This course models and examines the nature of these interactions, highlighting when they work well and when they fail to increase wellbeing and what might be the solution to these failures.
- Global Worlds, Global Challenges (GG1008) - 15 Credit Points
The course explores major, global-scale issues associated with environmental change, world resources and prospects for development (sustainable or otherwise). Example topics include climate change, natural hazards, population growth, deforestation, water resources and global food supply. The course is designed to appeal to all students interested in the relationships between people and the natural environment, irrespective of their academic background or degree intention. The course combines aspects of the earth, environmental and social sciences. No prior knowledge is assumed.
- The Global Economy (EC1506) - 15 Credit Points
This course is an introductory course in macroeconomics where we study the behaviour of the economy as a whole. Whereas microeconomics focuses on individual markets, macroeconomics addresses the “big issues” such as unemployment, inflation, economic growth, and financial crises. Macroeconomics is a lively subject, full of discussion and debate, as economists and policymakers take different views on macroeconomic issues, their causes and appropriate policy responses. Issues such as: Is the economy growing? What causes unemployment and how can we reduce it? How can we avoid recessions? When is inflation a problem? Are banks lending too much?
- Global Worlds, Local Challenges (GG1510) - 15 Credit Points
This course considers the geographical patterns that characterise the Earth’s physical and human environments and landscapes, and the processes that operate within and lead to changes in these. It is also concerned with the ways in which people occupy the Earth’s surface, their movements and settlements, and their perceptions and use of landscapes, resources and space. Lecture material is presented in study blocks covering: glaciology and palaeoclimates; biogeography and soils; and economic, social and transport geographies. Key concepts and skills are reinforced through small group teaching (PC-classes and tutorials).
- Academic Writing for Business (AW1003)
This compulsory evaluation is designed to find out if your academic writing is of a sufficient standard to enable you to succeed at university and, if you need it, to provide support to improve. It is completed on-line via MyAberdeen with clear instructions to guide you through it. If you pass the evaluation at the first assessment it will not take much of your time. If you do not, you will be provided with resources to help you improve. This evaluation does not carry credits but if you do not complete it this will be recorded on your degree transcript.
- Professional Skills Part 1 (PD1001)
This course, which is prescribed for level 1 students and optional for level 2 students, is studied entirely online and covers topics relating to careers and employability, equality and diversity and health, safety and wellbeing. During the course you will learn about the Aberdeen Graduate Attributes, how they are relevant to you and the opportunities available to develop your skills and attributes alongside your University studies. You will also gain an understanding of equality and diversity and health, safety and wellbeing issues. Successful completion of this course will be recorded on your Enhanced Transcript as ‘Achieved’ (non-completion will be recorded as ‘Not Achieved’). The course takes approximately 3 hours to complete and can be taken in one sitting, or spread across a number of weeks and it will be available to you throughout the academic year.
This course, which is prescribed for level 1 students and optional for level 2 students and above, is studied entirely online and covers topics relating to careers and employability, equality and diversity and health, safety and wellbeing. During the course you will learn about the Aberdeen Graduate Attributes, how they are relevant to you and the opportunities available to develop your skills and attributes alongside your University studies. You will also gain an understanding of equality and diversity and health, safety and wellbeing issues. Successful completion of this course will be recorded on your Enhanced Transcript as ‘Achieved’ (non-completion will be recorded as ‘Not Achieved’). The course takes approximately 3 hours to complete and can be taken in one sitting, or spread across a number of weeks and it will be available to you throughout the academic year.
Select a further 60 credit points from courses of choice.
- Year 2
- Intermediate Microeconomics (EC2003) - 30 Credit Points
This course builds on and is a natural extension of EC 1006. By examining in a more rigorous way concepts introduced in EC 1006 students will develop further their analytical skills and they will obtain a better understanding of consumers and producers behaviour, market structure as well as the effectiveness of economic policy. The course is designed to appeal to all students interested in economics. This includes students who may wish not to enter into any further studies of economics, as well as students who may wish to continue studying economics at the honours level.
- Space, Economy and Society (GG2014) - 15 Credit Points
GG2014 examines political, economic, social and cultural change from geographical perspectives. It makes use of a range of concepts and, being team-taught, uses case studies drawn from our own fields of research. Topics covered typically include: globalisation; economic geography; mobility and transport; political geography; rural change in Western Europe; and relationships between place and identity. The course is designed to be accessible to students from disciplines such as anthropology, economics, geography, history, international relations and sociology. It is intended to provide a foundation for higher level social science study, particularly in human geography.
- Intermediate Macroeconomics (EC2503) - 30 Credit Points
This course focuses on macroeconomic policy in a global economy. The first part builds an open-economy Keynesian model to investigate what determines the effectiveness of fiscal and monetary policies, and how exchange rate regimes and capital mobility impact on policy effectiveness. The second part investigates what determines the level of macroeconomic activity and its growth over time. The final part looks at what determines inflation and unemployment. This intermediate level course uses live lectures to develop your analytical skills evaluating economic policy in a rigorous and technical way to equip you with the skills needed for honours level study.
- Skills and Techniques in Geosciences (GG2508) - 15 Credit Points
This course introduces students to a range of scientific and social scientific skills and techniques used in Geography. The course involves a residential field trip in the Easter vacation, past venues have included: the Isle of Skye; the Isle of Arran, Inverness and the Cairngorms National Park. The trips enable students to employ skills and techniques learned in lectures and workgroup sessions to conduct original research into issues covered elsewhere.
Only available to students registered for programme year 2 of a Geography study aim or to students also taking at least 3 of GG2013, GG2014, GG2509 & GG2510
Select two of the following:
- Physical Environments (GG2013)
- Environment and Society (GG2509)
- Mapping and Monitoring the Environment (GG2510)
- Physical Environments (GG2013) - 15 Credit Points
This course provides an understanding of environmental processes and landscape change through time and space. The course places Physical Geography as an integral component of Earth System Science. The first half of the course explores physical environmental processes, whilst the second focuses on evidence of environmental change across a range of temporal and spatial scales. Three themes of glaciology, hydrology and palaeoecology will be explored to illustrate the linkages and interactions between process and form over a range of temporal and spatial scales. The course is team-taught by staff with an emphasis on using examples from recent research projects.
- Environment and Society (GG2509) - 15 Credit Points
Interactions between human society and our environment have never been more complex or more critical in order to place us on a pathway to more sustainable future. This course explores the diverse approaches and perspectives that help us think about, explain and address all of the environmental challenges that we face in the 21st century. Students will be introduced to these approaches and perspectives and will have the opportunity to apply them across a range of regional and global environmental issues such as climate change, sustainable tourism, the energy crisis and the ozone hole.
- Mapping and Monitoring the Environment (GG2510) - 15 Credit Points
In a digital era of GPS navigators and many online map tools (e.g. Google Maps), there is an increase demand for professionals able to understand and manipulate geographical data and use these to monitor processes at various scales. The course provides a solid background in the acquisition of geographical data, both onshore and offshore with classic field-based and remote sensing techniques. It covers the creation and interpretation of maps and looks at the history of remote sensing and its science as well as providing the essential basis to understanding what a Geographical Information System is.
- Year 3
- Approaches to Geography (GG3071) - 15 Credit Points
This core course is designed to introduce Honours students to key debates on the nature and scope of academic geography. Geographers past and present have studied a huge variety of phenomena using a variety of tools to investigate their subject. This course will help you understand this diversity. Topics include: the changing meaning of the ‘environment’; the use and abuse of statistical analysis; the influence of left-wing and post-modern perspectives, and the role of technology. Students may specialise in particular aspects, or mix-and-match across the breadth of the discipline, as you wish.
- Research Design (GG3574) - 15 Credit Points
This core course builds on GG2508 to provide an introduction to the conduct of research in the Geosciences at an advanced level. It is intended to familiarise students with the skills necessary to design, implement and write up effective research. These skills will support work on undergraduate dissertations and other project work. The course also introduces careers research skills, and explores how you can best make use of your degree in the 'real world' after graduation: workshops run in partnership with the University's Career Service provide practical advice and training on how best to develop your career.
Select 60 credit points from level 3 courses in Economics, plus a further 30 credit points from level 3 or 4 courses in Geography.
Students are required to have exactly 240 credits at levels 3 and 4, at least 210 of which must be EC or GG coded, and normally no more than 120 credits from either discipline. At least 90 credits must be at level 4.
NOTE: Students are advised to take at least one of GG3570 or GG3575 in Programme Year 3.
- Concepts in Human Geography (GG3570) - 15 Credit Points
This course provides an opportunity to explore, in depth, the development and application of four important concepts in human geography. Each concept is introduced in a lecture and then discussed in a related tutorial and individual coursework assignment. The course analyses the development and research application of key ideas, and introduces you to contemporary conceptual debate in the discipline. In these ways GG3570 provides an excellent springboard for Senior Honours study. Which concepts are covered will depend on the composition of the teaching team. In recent years they have included: networks; resilience; landscape; and transnational migration.
- Techniques in Physical Geography (GG3575) - 15 Credit Points
This course provides an introduction to and training in multiple techniques which are used in Physical Geography. These are directly related to our research strengths in glaciology, hydrology and palaeoecology. This develops skills across a range of techniques which can be subsequently applied to dissertation projects, for advanced 4th year courses, for higher level education. These techniques all represent transferable skills with may be used applied in the workplace. There are three field days where data are collected with subsequent lab classes providing instruction on how to analyse and interpret the data.
- Year 4
Select one of the following dissertation options:
- Economics Dissertation (EC4526) AND Geographical Issues (GG4537)
- Geography Dissertation (GG4023)
Plus select further credit points from level 4 course(s) in Economics to gain a total of 60 credits in the discipline. Plus further credit points from level 3 or 4 course(s) in Geography to gain a total of 60 credits in the discipline.
Students are required to have exactly 240 credits at levels 3 and 4, at least 210 of which must be EC or GG coded, and normally no more than 120 credits from either discipline. At least 90 credits must be at level 4.
NOTE: If you choose to take GG 4023 Geography Dissertation, you are not required to take GG 4537 Geographical Issues but may take both courses if you wish.
- Economics Dissertation (EC4526) - 30 Credit Points
The dissertation presents students with the opportunity to apply their knowledge and research skills of Economics to an individual piece of research, focusing on a topic which has been chosen by the student and approved by the Dissertation coordinator and Dissertation supervisor. Over the course of the Dissertation, with guidance from the supervisor, the student will study a particular topic, conduct a literature review of relevant material, select appropriate theoretical and/or empirical methods to address the topic and write a final analysis in the form of the Dissertation of up to 10,000 words.
- Geographical Issues (GG4537) - 30 Credit Points
This core, ‘capstone’ course is designed to develop further students’ critical understanding of the contemporary intellectual and real-world contexts in which the academic discipline of geography – and its graduates! – operates. The course involves the preparation of seminar presentations and short papers on a series of issues pertinent to contemporary geography. This work should showcase new philosophies and methodologies; and/or the relationships between geography and other academic disciplines; and/or applications of academic geography to real-world problems. Students also consider how they can best make use of their degree after graduation, with preparation of a reflective, career-planning report.
- Geography Dissertation (GG4023) - 30 Credit Points
The Honours dissertation provides students with the opportunity to produce a piece of independent and original research on an approved topic. Advanced level knowledge of a sub-area of the discipline is developed through independent study supervised by a member of academic staff. This course is compulsory for any students completing a single Honours degree in Geography and for any joint Honours student who has not registered to complete a dissertation in their other Honours subject.
We will endeavour to make all course options available; however, these may be subject to timetabling and other constraints. Please see our InfoHub pages for further information.
How You'll Study
- Individual Projects
Students are assessed by any combination of three assessment methods:
- coursework such as essays and reports completed throughout the course;
- practical assessments of the skills and competencies they learn on the course; and
- written examinations at the end of each course.
The exact mix of these methods differs between subject areas, years of study and individual courses.
Honours projects are typically assessed on the basis of a written dissertation.
- View detailed learning and assessment information for this programme
How the programme is taught
The typical time spent in scheduled learning activities (lectures, tutorials, seminars, practicals), independent self-study or placement is shown for each year of the programme based on the most popular course choices selected by students.
How the programme is assessed
The typical percentage of assessment methods broken down by written examination, coursework or practical exams is shown for each year of the programme based on the most popular course choices selected by students.
Learning Methodscheduled: 23%
Learning Methodscheduled: 18%
Learning Methodscheduled: 14%
Learning Methodscheduled: 12%
Why Study Economics and Geography?
- An excellent teaching environment, committed to the needs of industry, which integrates research in to teaching, grows transferable skills and develops intellectual skills on a range of contemporary economic problems.
- A thriving Economics Society, organising annual trips to international economic institutions including the European Union in Brussels, the European Central Bank in Frankfurt, and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in Paris.
- Enterprise Campus, a new initiative to nurture entrepreneurial skills and support students wanting to progress their own business ideas.
- ACREEF (the Aberdeen Centre for Research in Energy Economics and Finance) headed by leading international petroleum economist and author Professor Alex Kemp, adviser to the Scottish Government.
- Home to CELMR (the Centre for European Labour Market Research) which leads research in education, skills and labour markets so topical today.
- The spectacular, award-winning Sir Duncan Rice Library, with brilliant study facilities, state-of-the-art learning technology, and an extensive collection of reference books, journals and other media for economics and business studies.
- A packed campus programme of student, public and business events, and the annual May Festival attracting internationally acclaimed public figures, business leaders, authors and broadcasters to debate critical challenges in the world today.
- Experience the Bloomberg Terminal, a software platform that provides real-time and historical data, market-moving news and analytics to help leading business and financial professional make better informed investment decisions.
- Geography has a strong tradition at Aberdeen having been successfully taught here since the foundation of Marischal College in 1593 and established as a formal unit within the University in 1919.
- The degree programme reflects modern day Geography, with course options reflecting the Department's research strengths in both human and physical Geography.
- Our curriculum is also focussed on employability, with core courses on the degrees aimed at producing graduates who can think critically and in an interdisciplinary way, communicate well and are well educated in geographic skills and techniques.
- The department, and its students, are at a distinct advantage being based in the north east of Scotland. The University is in close proximity to some of the most environmentally important and geographically varied landscapes in the whole of the UK.
- We offer a range of Geography based degree programmes across Arts and Science, designed to suit the individual interests of our learners.
- Students have the opportunity to engage with industry in a number of ways, and we have developed close working relationships through research and teaching with key organisations, including Aberdeen Harbour Board, SEPA, Scottish Natural Heritage etc.
- Local, national and international field trips are an integral part of all our degree programmes in the Department.
- We have an engaging and very active Geography Society, where you can build your networks and enhance your employability.
- We draw from social, environmental and geosciences to address local and global sustainability challenges and the impact of rapid environmental change on contemporary surface processes.
- In the 2014 REF results, we were
1st in Scotland - Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences (Geology and Geosciences)
1st in Scotland for Impact - Geosciences
5th in the UK for Architecture, Built Environment and Planning (Property and Transport)
The information below is provided as a guide only and does not guarantee entry to the University of Aberdeen.
General Entry Requirements
- 2020 Entry
Applicants who have achieved AABB (or better), are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers/ Advanced Highers may be required.
Applicants who have achieved BBB (or are on course to achieve this by the end of S5) are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers/Advanced Highers will normally be required.
Applicants who have achieved BB, and who meet one of the widening participation criteria are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers/Advanced Highers will be required.
32 points, including 5, 5, 5 at HL.
Irish Leaving Certificate
5H with 3 at H2 AND 2 at H3 OR AAABB, obtained in a single sitting. (B must be at B2 or above)
National 5/ S Grade/ GCSE (or equivalent) Maths is required in addition to the requirements above.
The information displayed in this section shows a shortened summary of our entry requirements. For more information, or for full entry requirements for Arts and Social Sciences degrees, see our detailed entry requirements section.
English Language Requirements
To study for an Undergraduate degree at the University of Aberdeen it is essential that you can speak, understand, read, and write English fluently. The minimum requirements for this degree are as follows:
OVERALL - 6.0 with: Listening - 5.5; Reading - 5.5; Speaking - 5.5; Writing - 6.0
OVERALL - 78 with: Listening - 17; Reading - 18; Speaking - 20; Writing - 21
OVERALL - 54 with: Listening - 51; Reading - 51; Speaking - 51; Writing - 54
Cambridge English Advanced & Proficiency:
OVERALL - 169 with: Listening - 162; Reading - 162; Speaking - 162; Writing - 169
Fees and Funding
You will be classified as one of the fee categories below.
Most RUK students (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) on a four year honours degree will be eligible for a full-fees waiver in their final year. Scholarships and other sources of funding are also available.
|Home / EU||£1,820|
|Students Admitted in 2020/21|
|Students Admitted in 2020/21|
International non-EU Applicants
- In exceptional circumstances there may be additional fees associated with specialist courses, for example field trips. Any additional fees for a course can be found in our Catalogue of Courses.
- For more information about tuition fees for this programme, including payment plans and our refund policy, please visit our InfoHub Tuition Fees page.
Our Funding Database
View all funding options in our Funding Database.
There are many opportunities at the University of Aberdeen to develop your knowledge, gain experience and build a competitive set of skills to enhance your employability. This is essential for your future career success. The Careers and Employability Service can help you to plan your career and support your choices throughout your time with us, from first to final year – and beyond.
Information About Staff Changes
You will be taught by a range of experts including professors, lecturers, teaching fellows and postgraduate tutors. Staff changes will occur from time to time; please see our InfoHub pages for further information.
Get in Touch
Student Recruitment & Admissions Service
University of Aberdeen