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Information for students

Accreditation is one way universities can provide information to students about the geographical knowledge, understanding, skills, approaches and professional attributes they can expect to acquire in the course of a geography degree, and whether they are consistent with the expectations of the subject benchmark statement.

The knowledge, understanding, skills and approaches acquired in a geography degree are highly valued by employers. Over the last five years, geography graduates have reported low rates of unemployment six months after graduation, consistently lower than the average for all subjects (HECSU/AGCAS What do graduates do).

Accreditation is one of the ways for a university to receive an independent check that the knowledge, skills and other attributes expected of high quality geography graduates are being delivered. During the accreditation process, the course’s content and delivery is assessed by a peer review panel (of academics and professional geographers working in public and private sectors) in terms of the geographical knowledge, understanding, skills and approaches taught and the professional attributes and transferable skills graduates will acquire. This information is set out in the QAA's geography Subject Benchmark Statement.

If you’re thinking about choosing a course with geography, why not visit our Study Geography site to find advice and resources to help you find the course that’s right for you. Accreditation should not be the only factor you take into account when you are choosing a course - other factors might include the structure and content of the course, particular areas of expertise, the location of the institution, nature of support and guidance you might receive, fieldwork opportunities, and the feel of the department.

You can also use the UniStats KIS (Key Information Set) data to compare courses at different institutions.

Remember: The Society's programme accreditation scheme is voluntary and optional. This means that some UK geography programmes are not accredited even if they meet the criteria, or they may be accredited by other organisations. There are many excellent degree programmes delivered by UK universities which do not have accreditation.

Please note that information about RGS-IBG course accreditation will be shown on the UniStats website from 2017. In the meantime, you can check our list of accredited programmes or look for our accredited course logo on the programme’s web page or brochure.

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