The focus of geography at LSE is on spatial and location dimensions of economic, social and environmental processes and problems. As we attempt to improve human welfare and environmental quality, it is vital that we have a good understanding of the social, political and economic forces which shape development and social change in our interdependent global economy. 

Features of LSE courses

The Geography and Environment Department brings together specialists from a number of different countries and disciplines. We are concerned primarily to improve understanding of the social, economic and environmental aspects of geography and inform policy processes worldwide. Many staff have specific regional interests - for example, in Europe, Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, South Asia and South East Asia. 

Geography degree courses are structured to help you understand the uneven nature of economic and social development and the varying characteristics of people's lives in different locations, as well as to develop skills in the manipulation and evaluation of geographical information. As part of your learning you will develop the analytical and communication skills necessary for many occupations and careers. 

The BA Geography degree is a specialist degree designed for students who wish to focus on human geography either on its own or with some exposure to other social sciences taught at the School. The degree seeks to produce highly-trained geographers, skilled in economic, social and environmental geography with reference to developed and developing countries. 

The BSc Geography with Economics degree offers a particular focus on economic geography and spatial economics. This programme combines courses in geography with courses offered by the Department of Economics, to provide a deeper understanding of formal economic analysis. 

If you are particularly interested in the environment please also see the BSc Environment and Development and BSc Environmental Policy with Economics degrees listed under Environment. 

There is a wide range of course units taught within our degree, focusing especially on the environmental, social and economic aspects of geographical enquiry. 

Degree structure

You can specialise in geography in a BA single honours degree or in a BSc with economics as a minor subject. The main characteristics of these degrees are shown on the following pages. Both degrees involve studying 12 courses over the three years, plus LSE100. The BA Geography has an Independent Research Project in the final year. This allows you to apply your knowledge to a small research exercise in your own chosen field of interest. This is optional in the case of BSc Geography with Economics. However, the internal structures of each degree are quite different, as are the levels of choice.

Fieldwork is an important component of the BA Geography and can be part of the BSc Geography with Economics. Students on these programmes should expect to pay a fee to contribute to the costs of fieldwork. Further detail on the nature of any fieldwork and any associated costs will be made available upon induction.

Teaching and assessment

For each course you will have a combination of lectures and classes (12 to 15 hours per week in the first year). Courses which focus on spatial analysis and research techniques have practical work. You will also be involved in fieldwork some of which may be abroad. You will have an academic adviser who will meet you at regular intervals to help you to gain the most from your studies.

You will usually have assessments for most courses at the end of the academic year. Courses usually have a three hour examination plus an extended essay (or practical work for methods courses), although assessment methods vary.

Preliminary reading

If you wish to gain further insight into the subject we suggest that you look at one or more of the following books:

  • P Cloke, P Crang and M Goodwin (Eds) Introducing Human Geographies (2nd edition, Hodder Arnold, 2005)
  • P Daniels, M Bradshaw, P Shaw and J Sidaway (Eds) Human Geography Issues for the 21st Century (Prentice Hall, 2008)
  • P Dicken Global Shift: Mapping the Changing Contours of the World Economy (Sage Publications, 2010)
  • R Flowerdew and D Martin Methods in Human Geography (Pearson/Prentice Hall, 2005)
  • E. Glaeser Triumph of the City (Penguin Press, 2011)
  • R J Johnston, P J Taylor and M Watts Geographies of Global Change: remapping the world  (Blackwell, 2002)
  • A Jones Human Geography: the basics  (Routledge, 2012)
  • P L Knox and S A Marston Places and Regions in Global Context (Pearson, 2009)
  • P Krugman Geography and Trade (MIT Press 1991)
  • P Krugman Pop Internationalism (MIT Press 1991)
  • W Murray Geographies of Globalization  (Routledge, 2006)
  • W Oates (Ed) The RFF Reader in Environmental and Resources Management (Resources for the Future, 2006)
  • D Perrons Globalisation and Social Change: people and places in a divided World (Routledge, 2004)
  • A Pike, A Rodríguez-Pose & J Tomaney Local and Regional Development, (Routledge 2006)
  • A Rodríguez-Pose The European Union: Economy, Society and Policy (Oxford University Press, 2002)
  • UNEP Global Environmental Outlook 4: environment for development (UNEP, 2007) 

Graduate destinations

Recent graduates have gone on to work in the areas of financial services, planning, consultancy, administration, marketing, development, teaching and further study.