Geography (Arts)

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Are you interested in the world’s physical features? Have you ever wondered about the human effects on the world environment and features? Do you have strong research, analytical and writing skills? If so, studying Geography as part of an Arts degree could be a great option for you. 

What is geography?

Geography is the study of earth’s physical features and the atmosphere. It looks at the effects of human activity on these features and the environment such as the distribution of population and resources and political and economic activities. The three types of geography studies are physical, human and environmental. 

What third level courses are available?

Universities and colleges in Ireland are offering courses in the following subject areas: 

  • Geography (Arts) – Maynooth University, UCC, UL, NUI Galway, Mary I College, UCD


  • History and Geography 
  • Geography/Sociology 
  • Geography and Geosystems
  • Geography and Geoscience
  • Economics/Geography

Studying Geography in college

There are many courses available in geography in both PLC and undergraduate courses. Geography is offered in a number of Arts courses in universities around the country which gives you the opportunity to study geography as a main subject alongside 2-3 other subjects of your choice, depending on where you attend. Courses will be between three to four years in length. All courses will allow you to develop your skills and knowledge in relevant areas.

Your first year of any course will act as a foundation year and give you a strong background in the area while covering the basic principles of the geography field. Geography modules you will cover in your first year and throughout your course Environmental Geography, Society and Space: Geographies of Globalisation, Difference and Inequality and Applied Geography.

In your second, third and possibly fourth year, depending on the course, you will delve into deeper and more specific areas of geography while looking in depth at the subject.

As part of the Arts degree, you can suss out geography in your first year, decide if you like it and if so, you can decide to continue on with geography and drop one of your other subjects in order to focus on and specialise in geography and a second subject of your choice. There may also be the opportunity to study abroad on the Erasmus programme.

The above information is based on the Arts course provided by Maynooth University. Course layouts and criteria may differ from university to university.

Career options

The area of geography offers a variety of job opportunities in the subject field and also in other areas. Careers can be found in areas from urban planning, community development, teaching, overseas aid and development, environmental monitoring and mapping, ICT, retail and environmental consultancy to name a few.

There is also the option to continue on your studies at postgraduate level to specialise in a particular area and in time, move into areas such as education and research.

Important skills and qualities for both studying and working in this area include excellent communication skills, interpersonal skills, excellent research skills, a critical mind, the ability to work well with others, time management skills, organisation skills, an interest in geography, ability to work with statistics, analytical skills and strong writing and reading skills.

Related Jobs

  • Environmental Consultant
  • Researcher
  • Surveyor
  • Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
  • Lecturer
  • Secondary school teacher

Further Study

Visit for more information.


Different courses and different colleges will have different entry requirements. It’s always safest to 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. 

Specific courses may have their own requirements.Certain QQI courses may be accepted. 

The highest points required to study Geography as part of an Arts degree were 318 points to study in Maynooth University while the lowest points to study in Mary Immaculate College were 281 last year.

Where can I study?

For other courses in the area you would like to explore, you can do so here.

Did you know?

  • Mount Everest is the tallest mountain above sea level.
  • Mauna Kea is the tallest mountain on earth.
  • Continents move and shift at the same rate fingernails grow


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