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Living in Birmingham and Fancy Studying Geography? Here are the Best Courses on Offer.

By Charlie, published on 15/11/2018 Blog > Academia > Geography > The Best Places to Learn Geography in Birmingham

Birmingham is often used as a case study in geography classes across the UK. It’s a post-industrial city with rich ethnic diversity but also areas of deprivation – and the strategies in urban planning that the authorities have used to regenerate the city is of interest to geographers around the world.

However, if you are from Birmingham, you probably don’t need a geographer to tell you this! You probably already know about the urban developments and their environmental impact. You may already know the physical geography of your city. Maybe you have even taken an interest in the ecological aspects of your city and its natural environment.

But you might, though, want to see where you can find good geography courses in your home town – and that’s where we can help! So, if you are looking for undergraduate or postgraduate degrees in Birmingham, or if you are looking for help with your GCSE or A Level coursework or examination, or if you are someone hoping to boost their employability and learn new skills, you’ll find out how to do all of these below.

Birmingham's Bullring Birmingham is a geographical case study of urban regeneration.

Learning Geography at a Distance with The Open University

These days, many people might find it a bit of a chore to conduct full-time, scheduled learning at university: if you have other commitments, you might struggle to get to a particular lecture or seminar, or to prioritise an academic deadline over another.

With the Open University, you can generally avoid all this. The Open University is the UK’s pioneering expert in distance learning, and it offers higher education, degree-level, and postgraduate qualifications for which you can study in your home wherever it might be across the country. The coursework, the dissertation, the exams are all still there – you just get to do it from wherever you want.

The Open University offers honours degrees in Geography and Environmental Science, Social Sciences, and Environmental Studies, and a diploma in Environmental Management and Technology – and these are all considered with the degree of excellence that you would expect from any higher education institution.

If you are just interested in the analytical and theoretical issues in our world then, or if you are seeking to enhance your employability or push your personal boundaries, the Open University’s courses are well worth investigating.

Read more about The Open University in our articles on geography opportunities in London and learning options in Glasgow!

Birmingham’s Best Private Geography Tutors through Superprof

Superprof has over two thousand geography tutors in the UK and fourteen of those are in Birmingham, charging an average of £15 an hour.

Whilst a lot of the options listed here are based in the classroom, Superprof’s tutors provide quality, flexible teaching in your home. Rather than falling behind your classmates, or indeed being held back by them, use Superprof to find a qualified geography teacher – a graduate or undergraduate student or a researcher – who can suit their teaching to your educational needs.

With so many styles of learning and teaching, the diversity of Superprof’s professionals ensures that you will find the tutor that is right for you. It is easy, convenient, and can be entirely based around your personal schedule. With Superprof, you can learn the fundamentals of geography from the experts.

A map of European geography. A good geography class gives you access to knowledge of the world.

Geography Revision at MPW

As we saw in the piece on the best places to study geography in London, the independent secondary school, Mander Portman Woodward (MPW), provides public revision classes for A Level and GCSE subjects including geography.

Based a short walk from Five Ways Station, MPW’s revision courses take place over Easter. They offer revision sessions in geography for all examination boards – often taught by examiners – and will ensure that you get the best results possible for progression to university and beyond. When applying, make sure you submit the details of your exam board and modules.

As an independent school, MPW provides mainstream GCSE and A Level education too, and is popular for pupils seeking retakes or those who have transferred from different schools.

Geography Degrees at Birmingham and Aston Universities

Like any big city in the UK, Birmingham has a number of universities offering academic courses in any subject you could possibly desire. Alongside the University of Birmingham there is Aston University, Birmingham City University, and Newman University. The University of Birmingham and Aston both offer courses in geography, with the former excelling in the field.

The University of Birmingham offers undergrad courses in Geography, Earth Sciences, Environmental Science, and Urban and Regional Planning. All of these will have specific requirements for admission, so check before you apply. For postgrads, courses get a little more niche, as ever: there are Master’s courses in Human Geography, in River Environments, and in Hydrogeology – just to name a few. There is a PhD programme too.

With the city, as we know, offering a case study in urban geography, Birmingham is a great place to pursue academic ambitions and postgraduate research.

Geography Teasers with the University of Birmingham

The really great thing about the University of Birmingham is that you don’t have to be a student, nor even an adult, to engage with the geographical expertise that the institution offers.

For GCSE students and those approaching A Levels, the university runs a series of outreach programmes throughout the academic year. They hold dedicated ‘Geography Days’, in which pupils can attend lectures, workshops, and classes on a variety of different subjects – from earth sciences to geology.

So, if you are not sure whether geography is for you, or if you just want to see what the University is like, sign up to one of the events and learn from people who know best – the geographers themselves! You can also enter a geography photography competition. All of this is intended to inspire excitement in young geographers, so get involved!

Landscape with sunset Try your own hand at geography photography with the University of Birmingham!

All Ages and Abilities can Study Geography at Birmingham Colleges

Further education institutions across the country offer opportunities for people of all ages and levels to learn about and take qualifications in geography – for those bored of school and looking to take A Levels elsewhere and for those adult learners returning to studying. Here are some of the best in Birmingham.

BMET

BMET, or the Birmingham Metropolitan College, has campuses all over the city, and it offers a range of different courses for the whole range of learner demographics. The College offers a Geography A Level which focuses on various geographical concepts, approaches, landforms, and fieldwork methods. The Social Science Access to Higher Education qualification also involves material on geography, sociology, and other broad interdisciplinary projects – and it will prepare those with few qualifications or those who have been outside of education to advance to university-level geography courses.

South and City College

Birmingham’s South and City College has recently merged with the city’s Bournville College, and now provides a greater spread of A Levels, BTECs, and apprenticeships than it once did. Added to the list is the A Level in Geography, which is taught in the Bournville campus.

Studying Geography Online in Birmingham

If none of these sound like your kind of thing, there are various courses available online for people looking to study A Levels, international GCSEs, and e-Learning Certificates through organisations like LearnNow, the National Extension College, and the UK Open College. The online A Levels work like any other A Level qualification, whilst the iGCSEs are intended for international students.

The content you will cover is broadly similar to that which you would expect elsewhere, but you will have the flexibility and freedom to study at the pace you require. If you don’t have these qualifications but are hoping to access university, this might be a wonderful way to do it.

All of these are options even if you want to take a course in geography from Manchester or anywhere else in the country!

Conclusion

This just about covers it! We hope that you can find what you are looking for in your geographical learning journey, and Birmingham is a great place to start. Studying geography at school and beyond can open up a brilliant future for you – so make the most of it!

For a taster of what other options are available across the country, check out our piece on the geography classes available in Leeds.

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