Tomas Howells

BSc Geography, Menzies Aviation (Management Development Graduate Scheme)

After 3 years here in the Geography Department at Swansea University it’s safe to say that studying here was one of the best decisions I ever made. Geography is such a popular subject to study here in Swansea having made many good friends on my course on top of an already friendly and helpful environment that the staff provide in the department. Over the course of 3 years, I was a member of the Geography Society, Athletics and Cross Country team and an Ambassador for the department for UCAS open/visit days.

Studying Geography at Swansea

The first year of study you cover a mix of both the physical and human elements of Geography with modules such as Earth in Action, Global Environmental Change to Sustainability in a fragile world and Moving Worlds: Mobility and Migration. Going into University I found that I enjoyed both Human and physical geographical studies, but after completing my first year, I found that I had a lot more interest in the physical modules. In years 2 and 3 you’re given more freedom of choice to select your modules and because of this I tailored my degree more towards the physical side for the remainder of my studies. The department offer a Geographical Information System (GIS) module in 2nd this was not only a great opportunity to learn a new computer software for map making but also an opportunity to develop a new skill set as GIS is highly thought of amongst employers today. 3rd year you’re given the opportunity to conduct your own research in the form of a dissertation, this allows you to really take control of your own interests and research to produce an academic report to be proud of! Under my supervisor Prof. Neil Loader, I conducted my research on identifying climate extremes using various proxies such as tree ring width, tree ring density, stable isotopes observing various targets such as summer temperature, summer precipitation, cloud cover percentage etc. 

Field Trip Opportunities

There are many opportunities provided by the department to Swansea University has provided me with some amazing opportunities to do study in the great outdoors. From trekking around Porth yr Ogof to exploring the forests of Vancouver, Canada studying the microclimates of the area and the geological landscape There is an opportunity in your final year to attend the Sikkim fieldtrip in the Himalayas which is a joint trip with other departments of the College of Science! The fieldwork opportunities at Swansea University have been as various as they have been plentiful, and have given me a wealth of scientific experience (and memories!). My favourite experiences as an Undergraduate has been the field trip to Vancouver in my 2nd year. I was lucky enough to be selected for this field trip and experience the breath taking landscapes of Whistler and Squamish and learning how processes such as volcanism and glaciation helped shape the areas. Also I was very fortunate to be selected to represent the Geography department as a student Ambassador for 2 years, this was a fantastic opportunity for me to engage with potential applicants and develop personal skills as well as expressing the fantastic opportunities there are to study here and sharing my experiences as a Geographer in Swansea.

Over my time here studying Geography, I established great relationships with many of the lecturers here, the friendliness of the staff and helpfulness they offer helped me settle and fully immerse myself into the curriculum which made my experience here in Swansea very enjoyable! Swansea is also lucky enough to have a wide variety of social societies, such as the Geography Society. The society organise a range of activities, such as, a trip to Amsterdam at the end of the 1st semester, and an annual Geography Christmas Ball which is held at the Grape and Olive restaurant. The Christmas ball is great way to unwind after a busy semester to which lecturers also attend and allows for a great evening to socialise with staff and course mates over dinner.  Whatever your passion, hobby or future aspirations, the Geography staff here at Swansea offer endless opportunities, support and encouragement to help you get to where you want to be. 

Where am I now?

The best thing about studying Geography is how the subject is so broad and the skill sets you learn and develop over the 3 years can be applied across many different business sectors! Upon completing my degree, I now work for an aviation company called Menzies Aviation on a management development graduate scheme in London Heathrow, to which I am working closely with the fuels and business development team of the company. It goes to show that studying Geography can present to you, fantastic opportunities after completing your degree where you could work in any type of industry. The skills I acquired over my 3 years have definitely helped me develop as a person and goes to show how studying Geography here at Swansea University is such a fantastic opportunity that shouldn’t be passed up.  

Graduate Profiles

Max MossMax Moss, BSc Geography with Integrated Foundation: PGCE Geography, University of Oxford

"The Foundation year was hard, harder than my first year of the degree course in some aspects! But it provided me with all the skills I needed to start my first year, not only on par with those who came straight from A levels, but with an edge. An extra year of getting to know my surroundings, lecturers, societies, and learning techniques, such as citing and referencing was invaluable. In addition, the broader spectrum of topics during the foundation year allowed me to get a feel for what I enjoyed, and what I didn’t, eventually leading to the selection of more physical topics for my second year. I graduated with a 2.1 - something I would never have even dreamed possible 4 years ago.  My experiences demonstrate that with hard work and some right choices, it is possible to go from nothing, to something.

Manisha KumarManisha Kumar, MSc Environmental Dynamics and Climate Change

Manisha, from Washington DC in the USA, graduated in September 2015 from the MSc Environmental Dynamics and Climate Change course and shortly after that she accepted a position at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and will be working in the Office of Research and Development. Manisha had very good things to say about Swansea and these kind words for her course tutor Dr Iain Robertson – “I want to thank you again for all your help, guidance, and support throughout the MSc program in Swansea. It was an experience I will always value.” Hear more from Manisha here


Louie VaughanLouie Vaughan, BSc Geography: Transport Planner, Asbri

‌"I really enjoyed the variety of different subjects the geography degree offered. The care  and passion that lecturers had was noticeable. The field trip to Sikkim was amazing, and I learnt so many skills on the trip which have helped me a great deal going forward, not to mention Sikkim is probably the coolest place I have ever been. I also learned skills such as teamworking, independent study and time management skills, but most importantly, a wider perspective of the world."



Jack PhilpottJack Philpott, BSc Physical Geography: GIS Technician

"Definitely choose to study at Swansea. Not only will you receive a outstanding level of teaching from all lecturers, you will have an incredible experience outside of University exploring everything Swansea has to offer. I learned both academic and non-academic skills at Swansea. Academically I developed a much stronger work ethic and became able to complete large bits of work on a timely basis which involves a lot of time management techniques. Non-academically, I have developed my independence living away from home and paying for bills etc. I am now enjoying the challenge of a more intense working environment and testing myself to meet individual targets."