This paper reviews the reasons for incorporating work-based learning (WBL) into higher education degrees and the barriers to achieving this despite the many advocates of WBL. Five key dimensions of WBL are noted and examples of WBL in departments of geography across the UK are located on these five dimensions. The paper then describes the client-based environmental audits which are run as part of an MSc degree at Lancaster University. The advantages and disadvantages of this type of WBL are enumerated and Lancaster's system of environmental audits is evaluated. The paper concludes with recommendations based on the five dimensions and on the authors' experience as to the features of WBL which will maximise its beneficial effects in geography degrees and justify the efforts needed for its successful use.