Global Development and Sustainability (Professional Placement Year) at Bath Spa University - UCAS

Bath Spa University

Degree level: Undergraduate

Global Development and Sustainability (Professional Placement Year)

Course summary

Explore contemporary global challenges and become a skilled professional who is ready to promote and implement sustainable development.

  • Learn to understand complex global challenges including sustainability, climate change, hazards, disasters, development and urbanisation.
  • Broaden your experience through work placements and international field trips to destinations such as Italy and Spain.
  • Develop the knowledge and transferable skills needed for a wide range of careers or postgraduate study.
Global sustainable development is at the heart of the environmental, social, economic and geopolitical challenges affecting the world today. Our Global Development and Sustainability degree is designed to ensure that you develop the knowledge and skills needed to manage the challenges and opportunities of sustainable development in a variety of locations and situations. You’ll explore topics including climate change, natural hazards and disaster risks, cities and urbanisation, education and development, environmental justice and migration. Your core studies will focus on key themes and skills in geography and global development, and you'll have the option to study modules drawn from a range of relevant subject areas including geography, sociology, education, business and management, and politics. As part of our supportive Geography community you’ll develop a real sense of belonging and benefit from small class sizes, specialist staff expertise and up-to-date technologies. You’ll be taught by our team of lecturers who have expertise in sustainability, climate change, urbanisation and disaster risk reduction, and who are engaged in international networks and world-leading research. You’ll learn both inside and outside the classroom, in our laboratories, and at field sites on campus in Bath, across the UK and overseas. More about the Professional Placement Year A Professional Placement Year (PPY), traditionally known as a sandwich year, is where you undertake a period of work with an external organisation for between 9-13 months. The placement occurs between your second and final years of undergraduate study. You can engage in multiple placements to make up the total time and are required to source the placement(s) yourself, with support from the Careers team. The PPY Bursary can make work experience more accessible, with students undertaking a PPY able to receive between £500 and £1,500 to be used towards placement costs such as travel, food, workwear or accommodation.


Year one You’ll develop a foundational knowledge of the social and environmental processes that shape global development and sustainability challenges, and you’ll acquire the basic skills needed to examine and analyse these issues. Year two In core modules you'll develop a more in depth understanding of sustainable development and learn critical skills and knowledge that are essential for careers in Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), companies, charities and government agencies. Optional modules enable you to specialise in topics such as:

  • climate change
  • food and nutrition
  • environmental hazards
  • social justice
  • migration.
You’ll also start to plan for your career options, with opportunities to undertake modules on geotechnologies, advocacy for change, or a work placement. The optional field trip to Italy offers a unique opportunity to explore development and sustainability themes in a highly dynamic, real-world context. On this trip you’ll learn about a range of topics such as: earthquake disasters, flood hazards, air quality and pollution, climate change impacts and vulnerabilities, regional development, sustainability and urban geographies. You’ll also have opportunities to experience the regional diversity, food and culture of Italy. Please note that some of our field trips may incur additional costs on top of your course fees. Financial support for field trip costs may be available via the Bath Spa University International Travel Fund. An optional Professional Placement Year between your second and final years gives you the opportunity to gain relevant and valuable experience in the workplace. Year three In your final year, you’ll complete an independent research project that'll enable you to demonstrate the skills and knowledge you’ve acquired on the course. Students have undertaken their final year dissertation projects in a wide range of locations across the UK, as well as in countries such as Canada, Brazil, Kenya, and Ghana. An optional field trip to Barcelona allows you to study topics such as:
  • urban development
  • wildfires and cascading hazards
  • social inequalities
  • urban sustainability policies
  • city planning
  • coastal erosion
  • nationalism and independence movements
  • heat waves
  • Olympic legacies
- urban flood risks.

Assessment method

You’ll be assessed through a variety of engaging and challenging assessment formats designed to help you to develop key skills and to prepare for your future career or postgraduate study. Your assessments will depend on the modules you choose, but may include a mix of essays, projects, reports, posters, presentations, video clips, field or lab-based activities, reflective commentaries or online tests. Most modules are assessed primarily through coursework and assessment rather than tests or exams. You'll complete many of your assessments as an individual, but there are also some group projects designed to help you to develop essential collaborative working skills. In addition to the help provided by your subject lecturers, you can also access extensive support for your assessments through ASk, the Academic Skills Service.

How to apply

Application codes

Course code:
Institution code:
Campus name:
Main Site
Campus code:

Points of entry

The following entry points are available for this course:

  • Year 1
  • Year 2
  • Year 4

Entry requirements

Qualification requirements

English language requirements

TestGradeAdditional details
IELTS (Academic)6IELTS 6.0 - for visa nationals, with a minimum score of IELTS 5.5 in each element.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

England £9250 Year 1
Northern Ireland £9250 Year 1
Scotland £9250 Year 1
Wales £9250 Year 1
Channel Islands £9250 Year 1
Republic of Ireland £9250 Year 1
EU £15750 Year 1
International £15750 Year 1

Tuition fee status depends on a number of criteria and varies according to where in the UK you will study. For further guidance on the criteria for home or overseas tuition fees, please refer to the UKCISA website .

Additional fee information

No additional fees or cost information has been supplied for this course, please contact the provider directly.
Global Development and Sustainability (Professional Placement Year) at Bath Spa University - UCAS