Geographical studies

Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens

Explore the relationship between society and the environment for a better future

Our society and our environment intersect and influence each other in many ways. Through a geographical studies major or minor at UNSW, you will explore the ways physical, social, cultural, economic and political factors shape places. In turn, you will examine how geographical factors impact on people and their wellbeing ecosystems, urban places and economic activity.

The relationship between people, our societies and the environment underpins many of our great global challenges. As a geographer, you will learn to analyse these dynamics by drawing insights from social and physical sciences. This will set you up to work in roles that address complex global issues across a broad range of organisations, including federal, state or local government, not-for-profit corporations, corporate entities, international organisations and educational institutions.

During your studies, you will be part of a passionate and engaged community of staff, students and alumni at UNSW who will engage, support and challenge you to work towards your goals. You will graduate with the passion to make an impact and the skills to work in a range of roles and professions, including urban management, regional planning, environmental assessment, advocacy, policy analysis and international development, and education.

Deepen your theoretical and scientific understanding of geography

Through geographical studies, you will develop your understanding of geography as an academic discipline, diving deep into the most recent theory and practice. As part of this process, you will discuss perspectives and controversies of people and organisations about a range of geographical issues and engage proactively with complex problems in professional practice and/or scholarship. 

Gain the practical experience for a career in geography

During your studies, you will gain hands-on skills and experience to support your deep theoretical knowledge of geography, preparing you for a number of roles, professions and industries.

You will learn to recognise the characteristics and spatial distribution of environments and urban places and report and debate geographic information, ideas and issues, in a range of different contexts using a variety of media.

Through your analysis and evaluation of the connections between people, places and the environment, you will gain experience in assessment of management strategies, supporting sustainable outcomes for organisations. To communicate your understanding, you’ll learn to report and debate geographic information, ideas and issues, in a range of different contexts using a variety of media. 

Our degree options

  • Honours consists of an additional year of study where you'll develop your research and practical skills. You'll be guided by staff who are passionate about research and work within a faculty that’s ranked above world standards in research excellence. Our research contributes to debate, informs policies and opinions, and creates new knowledge bases that are integral to the continued evolution of environmental understanding.

  • We currently offer the following postgraduate degrees related to geographical studies; Masters by Research (MA), Masters of Environmental Management (MEM) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). 

    Areas of research supervision include:

    • cultural geography
    • development geography 
    • environmental geography
    • historical geography
    • human geography 
    • legal geography
    • political ecology
    • political geography
    • science and technology studies 
    • urban geography.