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?

Student Q&A film
  Watch the Christ's student Q&A film

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, please watch the Christ's student Q&A film, and visit our Student Profiles page.

 

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.

News
  • On interviews: students who apply in October 2022 and are selected for interview will be interviewed online - you will not need to travel to Cambridge. For more detail see the interviews section below.
  • There is no written assessment for Geography.


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.

Written work

After we receive your application, we ask you to send us one piece of work that 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 a copy 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 (online in 2022)

If we invite you for interviews, these usually take place in early December. Those invited for interviews are normally interviewed for 35-50 minutes in total. At Christ’s, we usually split the time into two interviews with academics in Geography; one with human geography specialists and the other with physical geography specialists.

We normally give you a short passage to prepare just before one of the interviews which you discuss during the following interview. Details will be in the inivtation to interview.

Read the information and watch the short films on Cambridge admissions interviews for an idea of what to expect when you come.

There is no written assessment to take for Geography at Christ's College.

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

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

Reading Advice Advice on what material will be helpful at this stage, and where to find it.
Time for Geography Educational films on Geography
Geography at Home Useful page by the Royal Geographical Society.
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)
National Geographic Articles and podcasts
Maths for Planet Earth Climate based maths questions for GCSE and A-Level Maths students. Maths isn't a required subject for Geography, but for students taking A level maths who are interested in Geography, this is a helpful resource.
Ask the Geographer Podcasts from the Royal Geographical Society.
Christ's Climate lectures Online lectures
The Economist International news
HE+Geography Website for secondary school students who want to study Geography
CamGuides Introducing the academic and information skills that you will need during your studies, as well as how and where you would be working.

 

Events (online / in person)

Third Court
  Third Court

Our open days and events page advertises regular online opportunities as well as events you can attend in Cambridge. If you can, sign up for a College Open Day (our October, February and September events normally include a meeting with a subject specialist). Between February and August we run regular webinars:

  • Cambridge for Beginners
  • Subject Matters: The importance of post-16 subject choices (this one is also run Sept - Nov)
  • Christ's College: A look at the Grounds and Facilities
  • Personal Statements and preparing for an application

Further subject-specific opportunities you might wish to consider include Subject Masterclasses organised by Cambridge Admissions Office, and subject-specific talks in the July Cambridge Open Days. If you are a UK student from a background where there is little tradition of entry to Higher Education, you can apply to attend a Sutton Trust Summer School in Geography or to shadow a current undergraduate studying Geography via the Cambridge SU Shadowing Scheme (do be aware that there's a high proportion of applicants to places for both of these last two opportunities so please don't be discouraged if you don't get a place).

 

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.

For further careers information see:

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