Course Guide


Geography at Cambridge is based around the Geography Department on the Downing Site. However, you will likely have supervisions in individual colleges, or the William Hardy Building that backs onto the department. Geography is a medium-sized course (there’s about 100 undergrads in every year), which means you’re unlikely to be best-friends with everyone on the course, but you should have a vague sense of who they all are. Geography is not all about: rivers, colouring in, or country capitals- despite the jokes people make about it. It’s a really broad, dynamic course that’s deeply connected to current affairs.

Introducing your Academic rep

Rebecca Oates

Hi! I'm Rebecca, and I am the undergraduate Academic Rep for Geography. I am a first year at Murray Edwards College, so I am very new to student politics but am eager to improve the student experience of Geography here at Cambridge, whether this be through access, equality, subject and reading material, or anything else that is brought to me. I hope to act as a link between students and staff so that the course can continue to meet everybody's needs. yourself.

Key Facts

Average offer: A*AA

3 years

Available at all colleges except Peterhouse

No mandatory subject prerequisites

Some colleges have a written assessment at interview

No inclusive prayer space :(


Why did you want to study Geography?


1st Year

I think geography is unique in that it has so many different facets, and I love the diversity in what I study as I always enjoyed both humanities and sciences at school. Seeing the two fields overlap in a degree makes studying geography exciting and dynamic, and it could lead you into many different and contrasting career paths.

How is your course stuctured?


1st Year

In my first year, the geography tripos consists of 13 different modules, 7 human and 6 physical. Human modules include history of globalisation, urban geography and sustainable development, while physical modules include volcanism, Quaternary climates and the cryosphere. We also complete lab practicals on data handling, coding and cartography/GIS. Fieldwork varies year-on-year, but a short trip in the Michaelmas term involved visiting Breckland to collect soil samples and survey vegetation according to the local landscape. Practicals and fieldwork build on teaching related to our coursework, which involves measuring air quality variations in Cambridge. Typically I submit around 5-7 essays a term, and have around 10-12 supervisions per term. While the course content is very broad in first year, you can begin to pick specific modules and narrow down your studies in second and third year.

What is the faculty building like?


1st Year

Based on Downing site, the Geography department is a fairly historic building with a large lecture theatre and a small lecture theatre, seminar rooms and offices, a computer lab and the geography library. The geography library is a really great study space with plenty of resources and accessibility equipment, and access to computers too.

What is the Geography workload like?


1st Year

Lectures for me are typically one or two a day in the afternoon, with practical sessions typically once a week. Supervisions are very varied but there are usually around 3 a fortnight, and they will take place all over Cambridge (geography department, supervisors' college offices etc.).

What about your course would you change?


1st Year

While there is definitely emphasis placed on it throughout the course, I would love to see an even greater inclusion of material surrounding decolonisation and climate change as these are two aspects of geography that make it so relevant and connected to the everyday.

A typical timetable

Read more about a Geography 'Week in the Life' here.

  Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
10am       Supervision (Economy)  
11am   Practical (Soil)     Supervision (Geopolitics)
2pm Lecture (Volcanoes) Lecture (Biodiversity) Lecture (Climate) Lecture (Cryosphere) Lecture (Environment)
3pm Lecture (Urbanisation) Lecture (Culture) Lecture (Economy) Lecture (Geopolitics) Lecture (Health)


Have more questions? Talk to an academic rep

Academic Reps are the voice of students in faculties, departments and schools. Reps have the power to enact changes to education, individually based on their priorities and collectively, working with other representatives across the University. Their responsibilities include taking students’ ideas and concerns to faculty and department boards, relaying important information from those boards back to students, and organising with their peers to foster a subject community.