University of Oxford Undergraduate Prospectus 2015 entry

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A BA in 3 years

UCAS code: L700

Course statistics for 2013 entry

Interviewed: 64%

Successful: 23%

Intake: 77

Entrance requirements

A-levels: A*AA Advanced Highers: AA/AAB

IB: 40 (including core points) Or any other equivalent

It is highly recommended for candidates to have Geography to A-level, Advanced Higher, or Higher Level in the IB.

How to apply (see page 118) [Transcriber's Note: page number of the printed edition. End of note]

Tests: TSA on 5 November 2014

Written Work: None required

Tuition Fees for 2014

Home/EU: £9,000/year

No upfront costs: you can get a loan for the full amount

Grants, bursaries and scholarships available

More on student finance: p 120 [Transcriber's Note: page number of the printed edition. End of note]

More Information

+44 (0) 1865 285045

Oxford Open days

2 and 3 July, and 19 September 2014

9 May 2014: Geography open day (book in advance: contact details above)

What is Geography?

Geography is a diverse discipline that bridges the arts, social and natural sciences, providing a broad education and addressing pressing issues, including: environmental change, regional and global inequalities, the transformation of global economy and culture, ethnic segregation, urbanisation, planning, natural hazards, and many more. Students obtain a coherent view of the rapidly changing world and the ways in which society influences and is influenced by it.

Geography at Oxford

The Oxford Geography degree focuses on the interrelationships between society and the physical and human environment. Students are introduced to the full range of geographical topics in the foundational courses, which they can then follow up in more detail in the optional papers. There is considerable emphasis on interdisciplinary approaches in the course, with opportunities to explore the cross-fertilisation between Geography and other disciplines such as anthropology, sociology, history, political science, economics, earth sciences and biology.

The tutorial system offers ample opportunity for independent work and the pursuit of subjects of particular interest. Seminars and classes offer the chance to interact with other students in discussing specific issues. Many special lectures by visiting speakers, both within and outside the School of Geography, enrich the opportunities open to Oxford geographers.

The facilities in the school are among the best in the country. The Radcliffe Science Library holds a geography collection, which has 107,000 volumes, and the Library has subscriptions to more than 200 journals, many of which are online. Computerised search and database systems are provided. Students may also use the extensive library resources elsewhere in the University. Students taking the physical geography options will use the well-equipped laboratories both for practical courses and for individual research projects.

Fieldwork and international opportunities

The School of Geography and the Environment emphasises the importance of fieldwork since it believes there is no substitute for teaching subjects at first hand. In the first year, all students take part in local skills-related field days. Second-year students will undertake a week-long overseas residential field course. These are currently to Copenhagen and Tenerife. Some of the option subjects in the second and third years involve field trips, which in recent years have included trips to the United Arab Emirates. Independent research in the field or in archives is a key element of the dissertation. Each year, around 40% of our undergraduates choose to do their dissertation overseas, covering a remarkable range of countries worldwide.

A typical weekly timetable

A typical weekly timetable comprises lectures in the morning, and usually a few afternoon seminars or practical classes. In addition, each student will attend at least one college tutorial a week, and some college-based classes.

What are tutors looking for?

Tutors are looking for students who match academic achievement with enthusiasm, commitment and an awareness of the world around them.

For further information about the selection criteria see:

Related courses

Students interested in this course might also like to consider Earth Sciences (Geology) or Human Sciences.


Geography graduates have a broad set of transferable skills including literacy, numeracy and graphicacy, along with their experience of research projects and working in groups. Some graduates are able to use their geographical knowledge directly in their work or in higher degrees. In recent years Geography graduates have proceeded to employment


in management consultancy, local and central government, conservation and heritage management, law, the media, teaching and research, and include an assistant manager for a multinational professional services firm, a government and public sector consultant, and a chartered accountant.

Alison, who graduated in 1999, now works at KPMG as a Knowledge Manager across a global tax business line. She believes the skills she acquired during her Geography undergraduate degree prepared her for the role: being able to deliver business messages at the highest level, being an excellent communicator, project-managing and facilitating several initiatives at once and being able to identify the important issues versus the immaterial ones (and having the confidence to shout about them).

Helen graduated in 2006 and is now a chartered accountant in the Corporate Tax Department at Deloitte LLP. She says: My degree gave me a really broad basis of knowledge and understanding of global issues on which to build more technical skills. The focus on self-study and development as well as more formal lectures has really helped with the transition to a career where I need to be self-motivated and manage my workload.

For more information about careers after Oxford, please see p 122 [Transcriber's Note: page number of the printed edition. End of note].

School of Geography Podcasts

The School of Geography and the Environment’s recorded talks and lectures are available at

1st year


Four core courses are taken:

  • Earth systems processes

  • Human geography

  • Geographical controversies

  • Geographical techniques


First University examinations: Four written papers plus practical notebooks

2nd and 3rd years


Geographical research

Foundational courses (two chosen)

  • Space, place and society

  • Earth system dynamics

  • Environmental geography

Options (three chosen)

Options currently offered include: African societies; Biogeography, biodiversity and conservation; Climate change impacts and adaptation; Climate change and variability; Complexity; Contemporary India; Desert landscapes and dynamics; European integration; Forensic geography; Geographies of finance; Geographies of nature; Northlands, peoples and politics; The politics, society and culture of China; Spaces of culture; Transport and mobilities

Dissertation (weighted as two papers)


Final University examinations: Three written core papers; three written optional papers; three pieces of submitted work on the chosen optional subjects; fieldwork report; dissertation

Student statement

The kind of person who does well in Geography is interested in the people, the processes, the problems that are shaping our contemporary world. Jack

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