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Geography

  • Number of students per year: four to six
  • Typical offer: A*AA or equivalent
  • Essential subjects: none
  • Useful subjects: Geography

Students and fellows are proud to be part of the friendly and talented community of geographers at Jesus.

Undergraduates come to us from a wide variety of backgrounds, with diverse interests across the spectrum of human and physical geography: this variety makes for a lively student experience.

The College has two Fellows in Geography, both of whom are leading figures in their field. Professor Julian Dowdeswell is a specialist in glaciology and polar sciences, and is Director of the Scott Polar Research Institute. Dr David Nally is a University Senior Lecturer in human geography, specialising in issues around food security, politics, and power.

You'll find a supportive and welcoming group of people at Jesus, and a lot of resources to help you in your studies, from the excellent Quincentenary Library to access to travel grants to assist you in fieldwork overseas.

The undergraduates, postgraduates, and Fellows together also run an active Geography Society, which meets at least termly for seminars, presentations on student research, and more informal dinners and drinks. The Geography department also runs many different activities, which allow Jesus students to make friends in other Colleges and enjoy different perspectives on the Geography course.

Our students go on to careers in a range of areas, building upon the strong skills in analysis and communication they develop during their degree. There's no typical career path, just as there's no typical student. But those who study with us do so with confidence that they are well equipped for success.

Find out more on the University webpage.

Requirements

Our typical conditional offers are normally for an A* and two A grades at A-Level or equivalent. You don't need to take a Sixth Term Examination Paper (STEP). 

The subjects 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. Given the breadth of Geography, it is not surprising that excellent students have come to us from a wide range of subject backgrounds; some have specialised in the arts and others in the sciences. We're trying to attract the most intelligent and enthusiastic candidates with a genuine commitment to developing their intellectual capabilities in the field of Geography.

We welcome applications from students with other qualifications comparable to A-Level, such as the Scottish Advanced Highers, the International Baccalaureate, and other school leaving examinations.

Written assessment

You are not currently required to sit a written admissions assessment.

Interviews

In light of Covid we are currently reviewing whether we shall be holding virtual or College-based interviews and will provide further details in the future.

In order to minimise COVID-related risks to our applicants, students and staff, all 2020 interviews were held online. A typical virtual interview for Geography usually consists of two 20 minute online interviews with the Director of Studies for Geography and subject Fellows. The interviews aim to assess your intellectual ability, enthusiasm, and commitment to the subject. The interview with the Director of Studies in Geography will include discussion of a text, which you will be asked to read before the interview; other unseen materials like maps and graphs may also be used. We may also discuss your motivation for the subject of your project work, or might talk about current issues of geographical interest in the news. However, this format may change depending on government guidelines for 2021.

We're keen that our geographers be among the best in the University. You'll need to have a genuine enthusiasm for Geography, be able to think for yourself, and show the diligence necessary to benefit from everything on offer in the Geography degree. Expect the interview to move beyond the subject matter of your A-Level course.

There is the possibility that interviews this year could take place in College or virtually once more. We will provide further details as soon as we are able.

Written work

You do not need to submit any written work.

Deferred and post A-Level entry

We're happy to consider post A-Level and deferred applications in Geography. You would normally have already achieved A*AA at A-Level or equivalent. Each year one or two students choose this option and many spend their gap year acquiring valuable experience.

We also welcome applications from mature students. You'll need to go through the normal competitive process with the other applicants. We'll also consider second time applicants without prejudice.

Find out how to apply to study at Jesus.

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