So, you are interested in taking a geography course, in becoming a geographer, in studying landscape, migration, geology? Leeds is a fantastic place for it, as the city offers broad learning opportunities for everyone: school pupils, students, adult learners, and those with just a casual interest.
In this article – part of a larger series of pieces on the opportunities for studying geography across the UK – we’ll look at the best options for learning geography in Leeds, for studying and revising for A Levels and GCSEs, for applying to undergraduate and postgraduate degrees at university, and for diving into the diversity of the discipline online. Whatever your level and interest – cartography, meteorology, or urbanization – Leeds can provide what you need.
Schools aside – of which there are obviously plenty in the city – Leeds offers an array of options for those looking to study GCSEs and A Levels in geography, whether those progressing straight from a previous course or those returning to the classroom after time in business or elsewhere.
The Leeds City College boasts around twenty thousand students, who learn across three campuses in the city. The College offers hundreds of different courses across many diverse subjects, and each is suitable for a different type of learner.
An A Level in Geography, which takes two years as a full-time course, is offered by the College, and it focuses on the fundamental elements of physical geography and human geography. This would be perfect for those looking to gain admission to study Geography at university, and it is designed primarily for those in sixth form.
However, mature learners, with the correct entry requirements, can attend. For those without the correct grades, the Step-Up Pathway in the humanities will prepare you with the qualifications that you need.
The same course in A Level Geography, with the same curriculum, is offered by the Leeds University Technical College too. Here, you will study the same geographical concepts, theories, and landforms, but the emphasis will be slightly different.
The Technical College is known for its academic excellence and its focus on the practical. This means that fieldwork will be an important part of your course. And, whilst the College is endorsed by the University of Leeds, its emphasis is on those straight out of school, rather than those students returning to study after a break.
Improve your study skills, with a geography revision class in Leeds.
If you are a little worried about your exams, and you want to join supplementary classes to enhance your skills before you sit them, here are some options for you. There are a number of structured revision sessions across Leeds and beyond that can help you improve your geographic knowledge and ensure that you ace those examinations.
Tutor2U is an educational publisher based in Boston Spa, just outside Leeds. The company itself, operating nationwide, provides online materials and resources for revision and to supplement the knowledge you will gain from mainstream school. It doesn’t just help students, but teachers too, as it also provides teaching resources.
A fun thing that Tutor2U does, however, is to conduct revision sessions and workshops across the country. The Geography workshop in Leeds takes place in a cinema and runs for a school day during the Easter break. It is run by a classroom geography teacher and a member of the Royal Geographical Society and PhD, Dr Simon Oakes. (You can read more on the Royal Geographical Society in our piece on taking geographical classes in London.)
These sessions are sure to develop your geography knowledge and the theoretical and analytical skills necessary to excel in your exams.
Just outside Leeds, in Harrogate, is based Ashville College, the local home of the exam specialists, Justin Craig Education. All over the country, Justin Craig run examination technique and revision classes, in an array of different subjects.
The classes in Geography will cover the basic approaches you will have studied at school. Yet, the benefit of these sessions is that the class size is small – no more than nine students – and the tutors are all qualified teachers and sometimes examiners, so they really know their stuff.
Geography revision courses run for both GCSE and A Level exams and, whilst the focus will be on the main topics of the syllabus, there are opportunities to go over your elective topics.
It’s a great place to study geography anywhere in the country, and you can see more on them in our piece on the geography opportunities in Manchester.
Understand the wonders of the world by studying geography.
If you are less interested in attending group sessions, why not try Superprof?
Superprof is a website that connects students to tutors who offer personalised, flexible, and high-quality tuition either online or face-to-face. There are nine tutors available for geography tuition in Leeds, charging an average of £15 per hour, and there a whole lot more available in the UK for video tuition (over a whopping two thousand, in fact!).
If you are interested in learning at your own pace, rather than at that of your classmates or teacher, Superprof is the place for you. There are so many styles of teaching and learning, and group sessions don’t work for everyone. So, whatever your level, take a look through the options that Superprof offers, and find the right geography tutor for you!
IntoUniversity is a non-profit organisation with centres across the country. Its aim is to improve access to university for those demographics which may not traditionally or easily be able to apply. To improve university outreach and achieve success for deprived or low-income kids throughout the UK, the organisation runs workshops, revision classes, and help sessions.
There are two IntoUniversity centres in Leeds – in Harehills and in Hillside – run by volunteers, graduates, and teachers, including those qualified in geography. The award-winning organisation holds homework clubs in Leeds, and its record is quite impressive: 74% of students who worked with IntoUniversity went to university, compared to an average of 38% nationally.
FutureLearn is a brilliant resource based on the collaboration of different higher education institutions across the world. The University of Leeds, luckily enough, is one of them.
The website offers online courses in the breadth of academic subjects, and, whilst some of them will cost you a little, the majority are absolutely free. The Environmental Challenges programme is a recommended thirteen-week course that looks, through video, at the interactions between human society and the natural world through mathematics, the environmental impact of human behaviour, and the implications of conservation and conflict.
These online courses are not aimed at anyone in particular – and do not give you any qualifications per se – but they provide a thorough grounding in the main issues in geography and social science.
Leeds in the beautiful Yorkshire, the site of geographical features such as Malham Cove.
You may well be looking to study a degree in geography. With the University of Leeds being one of the top twenty institutions in the world to study geography for higher education, there is absolutely no reason to go anywhere else!
For undergraduates, Master’s programmes, and research degrees, Leeds offers excellence across the board. For bachelor programmes, you can either choose an BA or a BSc, in which you would focus on human and cultural geography and physical and environmental geography respectively. There are also opportunities to study abroad.
Graduate programmes include two Master’s in Geographical Information Science or GIS (with one being a distance learning course) and others focusing on River and Water Management.
Another option for a graduate student who loves geography but doesn’t want a career in academia is the PGCE, the Post-Graduate Certificate in Education. This will supply you with the skills and knowledge to become a geography teacher yourself, with you taking the reins of the class!
Leeds Trinity University offers such a course, which will help you to cultivate a love of our world, which presumably led you to study geography in the first place! The course takes a year if you study it full-time, and two years if part-time.
Something else you might consider is Continuing Professional Development courses, which are offered by most academic institutions and help professionals learn the skills and develop the knowledge to progress in their careers. Both the University of Leeds and Leeds Beckett University offers CPD courses, which, if you are in a different stage in your career to the A Level students, might be preferable for you.
At Leeds Beckett, geography-based courses are offered in Environmental Health, Travel and Tourism, and Outdoor Adventure, whilst the University of Leeds’s courses are rather more academic than practical: these are in Environmental Assessment, Water Consultancy, and River Basin Management.
Leeds has a lot to offer in any field, not least in geography. So, if you want to start thinking a little more deeply about the world around you, take one of these courses or check out a tutor on Superprof!