Geography

The study of geography lets you understand how human, physical and environmental processes interact with each other – everywhere from urban neighbourhoods to globe-spanning events. This degree equips you with insights and skills that are increasingly relevant to and sought-after by all kinds of employers. 

 

Why study Geography at Christ's?

At Cambridge, the Department of Geography has over 40 academic staff and admits around 100 undergraduates every year, making it one of the largest single-honours courses in the UK. And it’s just six minutes’ walk away from Christ’s.

Our graduates go on to further studies in areas such as Polar Studies and Climate Change, and professions including law, finance, international development, social anthropology and qualitative research.
 

Course structure and content

In Geography at Cambridge everyone starts off studying the same grounding in physical and human geography before specialising in later years.

The Geography course (or ‘tripos’) is a three-year degree. Please visit the University website for full details of the Geography course content and structure.

 

Teaching

The course involves a wide range of lectures at the Department of Geography, practical classes, skills training and field courses. You have small-group teaching sessions – known as supervisions – organised by your Director of Studies at Christ’s to provide personalised feedback on your work. Every week you usually write an essay for each supervision and attend lectures for the options you’re taking.

Christ’s currently has two Fellows in Geography – Professor Sarah Radcliffe who is the College’s Director of Studies for Geography, and Professor Ash Amin, who also serves as Foreign Secretary at the British Academy. Both are academic staff in the Department of Geography and specialists in human geography. If you’re interested in physical geography, you’re very welcome too!

 

What do our students think?

Read about the experiences of Rohan, Belinda, Elise and Pascual studying Geography at Christ’s. If you’d like to hear from other Christ's students, take a look at our Student Profiles.

"I have really enjoyed the convenient location and beautiful setting, combined with a very friendly and supportive environment."

Elise

How to apply

Visit How to Apply for full details and a timeline of the application process. We welcome applicants from all backgrounds and school types, all over the world. If you're applying from outside the UK, please read our international students section.

Subjects: what do you need?

Apart from A-level Geography (or equivalent) we don’t require you to study any specific subjects. A Geography degree can be approached from an arts, sciences or social sciences background.

Pre-interview admissions assessment (GAA)

Whichever college you apply to, you sit a pre-interview admissions assessment called the Geography Admissions Assessment (GAA). It takes place in your school, college or local testing centre.

The GAA forms part of our holistic admissions process and examines your academic abilities, knowledge-base and potential, rather than looking for any set score. When applying, please be aware of the registration and assessment dates.

All Geography applicants applying in 2019 must:

  • Be registered to take the Geography Admissions Assessment (GAA) by 18:00 (UK time) on 15th October 2019. How to get registered
    (Please note that open centres may set an earlier deadline for accepting entries, and it is your responsibility to check if this applies at your centre)
  • Sit the assessment on 30 October 2019

Information about the assessment, including sample papers and subject content, is available on the University Admissions website from March each year.

Written work

After we receive your application, we ask you to send us one pieces of work you feel accurately reflects your abilities and interests. This should be work you've done during the normal course of your studies and already marked by a teacher. We recommend you keep copies for your own reference as we may discuss it at interview.

We publish full guidelines on written work in the Current Applicants section on 20 September each year.

Interviews

If we invite you for interview in Cambridge, these take place in late November or early December. You have two interviews: one with human geography specialists and the other with physical geography specialists.

We ask you to arrive early to one or both interviews, as we may give you a short passage to prepare and discuss during the following interview.

Read the information and watch the short films on Cambridge admissions interviews for an idea of what to expect when you come. We also hold interviews in various locations overseas for international students.

Offer

At Christ's we don’t have fixed quotas for places, so the number of students we admit in any year depends on the strengths of the applicants. In Geography we aim to admit around four students each year.

For Geography our typical offer is

  • A*AA at A-level including Geography
  • 42 points overall in the IB with 7,7,6 in Higher Level subjects including Geography
  • H1/H1/H1/H2/H2/H2 for Higher Level subjects in Irish Leaving Certificate including Geography
  • AAA in Scottish Advanced Highers including Geography

If you’re taking another qualification, we expect you to be working at or close to the top of the mark range i.e.

  • Option Internationale du Baccalauréat: at least 17/20 overall, with 17 or 18 in relevant subjects including Geography
  • European Baccalaureate: at least 85% overall, with 9/10 in relevant subjects including Geography

Read about offer levels in other exam systems and international entrance requirements.

Are you interested in the Geography course but haven't studied it at the levels detailed above? Please contact our admissions office for advice.

If you will have finished school when you apply, please read about post-qualification applications.

 

Helpful resources

HE+ Geography Helpful enrichment resources if you’d like to explore the subject beyond the school curriculum
Time for Geography Educational films on Geography
21st Century Challenges Discussions and accompanying resources run by the Royal Geographical Society
Polar Museum (Cambridge) Visit for free to discover stories of survival and exploration in the Arctic and Antarctic (see visitor info)

 

Come to an open day

If you can, come along to a College Open Day where you can meet us in person to find out more about Christ's and the course itself.

 

Need more information?

For a fuller picture of what the course involves, take a look at Undergraduate Geography admissions on the University website and visit the Department of Geography too.

If you can’t find what you need, contact us at admissions@christs.cam.ac.uk and we’ll do our best to help.
 

Back to the subject list / How to apply / Why choose Christ's