Credit: Mike Beauregard (cropped)
Welcome to the Geography subject page at King’s! Here you will find an overview of Geography at King's, the Cambridge Geography course, and information about applying to study Geography as an undergraduate.
- The Geography Tripos
- Geography at King's
- A student perspective
- Directors of Studies in Geography
- Applying to study Geography
- Reading, resources and events
- Further information
The Geography Tripos (Tripos = course)
You don't have to choose between human and physical geography at Cambridge - you'll study both. Credit: OiMax
The Cambridge Geography Tripos is designed to introduce you to all areas of the subject, including contemporary human, historical, social and cultural, environmental and physical geography. From second year onwards you start to specialise in the areas which interest you most, while maintaining the context of the discipline as a whole. Full details of the Tripos can be found on the Department of Geography’s website.
Fieldwork is an important part of Geography, and the course includes day trips, and a week’s field class in the Easter or summer vacation of your second year. You are also expected to undertake independent fieldwork for your final-year dissertation, and many students travel overseas. Both the College and the University are able to assist with funding.
The Geography Department is on the Downing Site (a collection of faculties), less than ten minutes walk from King's (see map). There are a range of Geography laboratories there as well as the specialist library and teaching rooms. All lectures are organised by the department and take place there.
The lecture programme is complemented by small teaching groups of two or three students. These are called ‘supervisions’ in Cambridge, and are organised partly by the College’s Director of Studies and partly through the Department. We have well-established links with supervisors in other colleges, enabling you to select freely from the wide variety of papers that Geography in Cambridge offers as you progress through your course.
Geography at King's
Jude Browne (Director of Studies) with Sorcha and Nick at graduation
If you come to King’s to study Geography you will be part of a lively and committed group of students. With the relatively small number geographers, students get to know each other well, and are particularly supportive of each other during their course, meeting both for work and for social activities.
Students have 24/7 access to King's College Library. As well as providing books needed for the course and a very pleasant environment for studying (see the virtual tour), the library has a special climate change and global warming collection which will be of interest. King's students also have easy access to the University Library, next to the King's Garden Hostels (see map)
Former King’s geographers have gone on to a range of varied careers. Several have studied for further degrees, and some are now eminent professors of Geography elsewhere. Recent students have followed their undergraduate degree with a Masters course in, for example, Landscape and Culture, Social Anthropology, Urban Regeneration or Science of the Environment. Others have become teachers, either in the UK or overseas, or have obtained interesting positions in non-governmental organisations or with planning authorities.
A student perspective
Having just finished first year, Ira wrote about her experiences of King's Geography, including what it was like to start the course, supervisions, the timetable and workload, the best and worst things about the course, and what she does in her spare time. This is well worth reading to get a sense of what studying Geography at King's is really like.
Directors of Studies in Geography
Jude Browne (Director of Studies) researches gender, sex segregation, political and social theories of equality, social dialogue, modern economies and capabilities, and social and human rights.
Nick Cutler will be Director of Studies in the 2015-16 academic year, and is a physical geographer with a special interest in long-term ecological change, particularly in high-latitude habitats.
Applying to study Geography
If you don't feel well supported, we have a page for this. See applying with limited support or advice.
We welcome applications from students with the potential to meet our entrance requirements from all kinds of schools, all over the world. We are keen to attract applicants who can think analytically and demonstrate a real enthusiasm for Geography, shown through their engagement with particular topics, through wider reading, or in some cases through experiences of travel to different countries.
The majority of our students have studied Geography at A level, IB Higher Level or equivalent, although this is by no means mandatory. Most academic subjects would have relevance to some part of the course and you might like to consider the further advice in the University course requirements (click on the 'Entry Requirements' tab) as well as our general advice on subject choices.
Details of the application process are available on the how to apply page, which we advise you to read thoroughly. We normally ask Geography applicants to submit an example of their written work after they have applied (details will be given after you have submitted your UCAS form) and we invite the majority of candidates to Cambridge for an interview. In the half hour before the interview you will be asked to read a short piece on which you will be asked questions in the interview.
The numbers admitted in Geography vary from year to year, but we rarely admit fewer than two or more than four undergraduates. We are happy to consider applicants who wish to take a year out before coming to study Geography at King’s.
Reading, resources and events
The Scott Polar Research Museum
- See the general advice about developing your interests.
- Given the breadth of the Cambridge Geography course there is no list of recommended books. We advise you to follow up on areas of your school courses that you have enjoyed, and perhaps look at some of the topics that are covered in our first year course.
- We also recommend that you keep up with the news and read a newspaper, as well as dipping into current affairs journals and magazines such as New Scientist, The Economist, Geographical Magazine and Geography Review.
- The subject resources section has a tag for social sciences posts, which you might like to browse.
- Events which may be of interest in the year before you apply (year 12 in the UK) include Oxford and Cambridge Student Conferences, CU Masterclasses and King's Open Days. Students from backgrounds where there is little tradition of entry to Higher Education might like to think about applying for the Sutton Trust Summer Schools or the CUSU Shadowing Scheme.
- If you visit Cambridge, as well as coming to visit King's, you might like to go to the Scott Polar Research Institute, which is a sub-department of the Geography Department. They have a very interesting museum on all aspects of polar research. See the visitor information.
- Geography course outline, video and guide
- Geography department website
- Geography Alternative Prospectus (written by students)
- International Students
- Extenuating circumstances
- If you have further questions please feel free to email King's Admissions Office.