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What is Geography?

Geography is the scientific study of the features of the earth, its atmosphere, and how these features affect and are affected by human activity. Students interested in careers in geography will study things like plate tectonics and population distribution. 

What 3rd Level Courses are Available?

  • Universities and colleges in Ireland are offering courses in the following subject areas:
    • Ecology – the study of the relationship between living things, including humans, and their environment.
    • Environmental Science – the study of how to solve environmental problems using biology, Geography, and ecology.
    • Biology – the study of life and living things.

Studying Geography in College

Most first year study involves an overview of the subject. This will offer students an introduction to the foundational principles of Geography including population distribution, the water cycle, and GIS (Geographical Information Systems).

In subsequent years of study, students will combine practical work, written exams, and laboratory work as benchmark assessments of their course progression. 

Most undergraduate Geography courses run for three or four years and in certain cases universities will facilitate work experience. 

It is common with all science-based subjects that students are expected to engage in a high number of contact hours with lecturers and tutors, ensuring their successful completion of a rigorous curriculum and preparing them for careers in Geography after university.

A bachelor’s degree is adequate for some non-research jobs. For example, graduates with a bachelor’s degree may start working as researchers, climatologists, and educators.

Career Options

Graduating from college with a degree in Geography will serve you well as it equips you with a unique and marketable skill set. A science degree teaches students to think critically and creatively as well as equipping them with invaluable problem solving and communication skills. 

Many recent graduates have gone into ‘entry-level’ careers in Geography working as technicians, researchers, and project managers. 

Other careers in Geography that require a higher degree of responsibility will typically require further education, training and/or experience to qualify for, eg teaching, research and consulting positions.

 Related jobs include:

  • Cartographer
  • Residential Surveyor
  • Environmental Consultant
  • GIS Officer
  • Planning & Development Surveyor
  • Educator
  • Social Researcher
  • Town Planner
  • Climatologist
  • Demographer
  • Hydrographer

Further study

An undergraduate Geography degree is often the first step to go onto further postgraduate study often involving specialization in particular fields and areas of Geography and/or undertaking work in new, sometimes interdisciplinary fields. 

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  • What points do I need to study Geography?
    • Different courses and different colleges will have different entry requirements. It’s always best that you check with the individual higher education institution which is available on their websites. As a general rule Leaving Cert students should have a minimum of six subjects which should include: Two H5 (Higher Level) grades and Four O6 (Ordinary Level) grades or four H7 (Higher Level) grades. Subjects must include Mathematics, Irish or another language, and English.
    • Many universities also require a Leaving Cert grade O2/H6 in Mathematics, O2/H6 in Laboratory Science.
  • Are there any particular qualities you need to study Geography?
    • Students interested in careers in Geography will need to enjoy math and science as well as their application in the real world. They will need to be innovative, creative, and collaborative as well as being able to communicate their own ideas and opinions. 
  • Where can I study Geography?
    • Explore your options here

Did You Know?

  • 90% of the Earth’s population lives in the Northern hemisphere!
  • At their closest points, the USA and Russia are only 2.4 miles apart and, depending on the time of year, you can traverse this distance on land by crossing the islands Big and Little Diomede!
  • Mount Everest, the world’s highest peak, can fit inside of the Marianas Trench, the deepest part of the ocean. 


Ethan Moser

Podiatric Medicine
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