Why study geography? Importance of geography in education

Student studying at a laptop on campus

Why Study Geography? At first glance, it might seem like it's all about maps and mountain ranges. But delve a little deeper, and you'll find that geography is the key to understanding the intricate web that connects our world's physical landscapes, diverse cultures, and delicate environments. It's not just about knowing places; it's about comprehending how these places interact and influence each other.

By diving into geography, we equip ourselves with the knowledge to make informed decisions and broaden our perspective on global issues, fostering a true sense of global awareness. Whether you're curious about bustling urban centres, serene natural habitats, or the traditions that define various cultures, geography provides the answers.

Why is geography important?

The importance of geography is simple. It isn't just an academic subject; it's a portal to understanding the world around us. Here are some of the benefits of studying geography, and how it is an important step for anyone aiming to be a globally aware individual:

1. Unlocking a world of career opportunities:

Sheffield’s BA Geography course isn't just about studying maps and terrains. It is a path to many professional opportunities. The University’s curriculum is crafted to ensure students develop a keen understanding of intricate socio-political and cultural challenges.

This deep understanding has paved the way for many of Sheffield’s alumni to venture into fields such as policy development, social research, and even data science. With an emphasis on data analysis, Sheffield’s courses also cater to those with a love for data visualisation.

The knowledge students acquire isn't confined to the classroom. Many graduates harness their understanding of human-environment interactions in careers related to urban planning, surveying, and environmental conservation. A look at Sheffield’s career paths reveals many different roles, from positions in local government and renowned organisations like Transport for London, Accenture, and the NHS, to roles at Channel 4, Deloitte, and the Campaign to Protect Rural England.

But that's not all. Sheffield’s course structure ensures students gain many perspectives on global issues, enabling you to tackle problems with a broad, informed view. And as you journey through the course, there's a focus not just on academic skill, but also on cultivating personal skills and wellness approaches – the Sheffield Graduate Attributes and Geography Graduate Attributes. These attributes aren't just buzzwords, either; they are essential tools that will boost your personal growth and employability.

2. Embracing global diversity:

Geography offers a ticket to traverse the world from your classroom. It provides invaluable insights into diverse cultures, painting vivid pictures of their unique geographical backdrops. Such understanding fosters appreciation for the varied tapestry of traditions, customs, and lifestyles across the globe, bridging cultural divides and nurturing global camaraderie.

3. Navigating the world with confidence:

Ever felt the thrill of successfully navigating unfamiliar terrain using just a map? Geography doesn't just enhance that skill; it perfects it. It hones spatial awareness, ensuring that whether you're exploring a bustling city or a serene countryside, you’re equipped to find your way with confidence.

4. Get a grasp on globalisation:

In today's intertwined world, it's vital to grasp the complex field of globalisation. Geography helps break down these concepts and ideas, revealing how regions, economies, and cultures are connected in this global tapestry.

5. Satisfying natural world curiosity:

Humans have an innate desire to understand their environment. Geography feeds this curiosity, offering a deep dive into the planet's physical wonders. Whether it's unravelling the mysteries of shifting climate patterns, the beauty of towering mountain ranges, or the intricate dance of ecosystems, geography is the lens through which we can appreciate how impressive our world truly is.

Geography is more than just a subject; it's a journey – one that creates informed, empathetic, and skilled global citizens.

Study geography at the University of Sheffield International College

For international students looking to join the University of Sheffield, the University of Sheffield International College offers a seamless transition to degree study. The University has a terrific academic reputation, ranked 13th in the UK (Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2024) and 104th in the world (QS World University Rankings 2024).

By enrolling in our International Foundation Year programme, you'll gain the necessary academic foundation, hone subject-specific knowledge, and enhance your English language proficiency to thrive at the University of Sheffield.

If you're aiming for an undergraduate course in geography, consider our International Foundation Year in Business, Social Sciences and Humanities at the International College. This programme blends core academic and English language modules with specific subjects that align with your intended area of study.

Upon successful completion (and with the required grades), you're set to embark on the first year of your undergraduate journey at the University of Sheffield, top 10 in the UK for geography (The Guardian University Guide 2024), and top 50 in the world (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2023).

For more information, check out the entry requirements, fee structures, and visa guidance related to your chosen programme.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

What is the scope of geography?

The scope of geography covers the examination of Earth's landscapes, environments, and the relationships they have. It provides a comprehensive understanding of both natural occurrences and human activities, revealing how they interact with and influence the world around us.

How much time does it take to complete a geography degree?

The duration required to complete a course in geography can vary based on the specific programme, student’s academic background and English language ability. A typical BA lasts three years.

The International Foundation Year in Business, Social Sciences and Humanities at the University of Sheffield International College has its own set duration of one year and allows you to then join the first year of your chosen degree.

Is geography easy or hard?

Whether geography is an easy or difficult subject differs from person to person. While some might find certain concepts challenging, others may find them straightforward. However, with a genuine interest in understanding the world and a commitment to the subject, geography can be both approachable and deeply enriching.