Geography is one of the most exciting, challenging and relevant subjects you can study at university. Our first-year students take on topics as wide ranging as climate change, globalisation, biodiversity and colonial history.

In the second and third years, students begin to specialise in human or physical geography, although many prefer to keep a balance between the two.

Students attend lectures at the Geography Department and small group supervisions at the College. Supervisions in Human Geography are mostly done by Downing Fellows, and we have excellent arrangements with specialist supervisors in Physical Geography.

Downing College currently has two Fellows and one Bye-Fellow in Geography, thirteen undergraduates and four post–graduate students.

Professor Bill Adams is coordinator of the Society, Environment and Development research cluster at the Department of Geography. Bill specialises in environmental conservation and African rural development.

Dr Michael Bravo heads the Science and Development Group at the Scott Polar Research Institute, and studies environmental history and contemporary development in the Arctic Regions.

Dr Shane McCorristine is the Director of Studies for Geography. His academic interests include historical cultures of Arctic exploration, notions of spectral geographies, and the environmental humanities broadly defined.

Entry requirements and interviews

The standard conditional offer for candidates in Geography at Downing is A*AA at A2 Level.

The A-Levels most relevant to Geography at Cambridge, apart from Geography which itself is not strictly essential, include Geology, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Maths, Economics, Modern Languages and History.

At present, Geography applicants receive two interviews on the same day, each with two interviewers. Both interviews are largely subject based, although more general questions may also be asked.

Applicants will be given a written piece to study just before each interview, a discussion of which will form part of the interview. There is no requirement to sit a written test or to bring any material along to the interview.

Further advice about entry requirements and interviews for all subjects can be found in the Applying to Downing section of this site.

Introductory reading for students

We don’t issue a reading list for prospective applicants, but suggest that they maintain a strong interest in an area of geography that appeals to them. This might come from a range of sources such as newspapers, current affairs journals, novels or magazines like:

  • New Scientist
  • The Economist
  • National Geographic
  • the Geographical Magazine
  • Geography Review.

Further details about the Geography course at the University of Cambridge can be found at the University of Cambridge site.