In 1833 UCL became the first university in the UK to appoint a Professor of Geography, and the Department is now one of the largest and most distinguished in the country, ranked consistently in the highest category for research excellence in all UK national research assessments to date. Our mission is to produce world-leading research and to translate this into impact in all its forms (scholarly, pedagogical, enterprise, public engagement, policy). We support a diversity of styles and scales of research, nurturing the very best of individual scholarship, concentrating strategically in areas where we can make a distinctive contribution, and exploiting cross-disciplinarity to generate critical mass and conceptually innovative and significant research. The quality of individual researchers in Geography, allied with our institutional strengths, provides an outstanding research environment that is stimulating and inclusive.
Research within the Department is organised around six clusters: (1) Past Climates; (2) Recent Environmental Change and Biodiversity; (3) Environmental Modelling and Observation; (4) Comparative Urbanism; (5) Transnational Spaces; and (6) Science, Politics and Government. Clusters 1 and 2 are associated with the Environmental Change Research Centre (ECRC, founded 1991). Cluster 5 is linked to the Migration Research Unit (MRU, founded 1988) and the Equiano Centre (founded 2007 to undertake historical research on the black presence in Britain). The Department has led several cross-disciplinary UCL initiatives, including founding and directing the UCL Environment Institute and the UCL Urban Laboratory, and has strong links with the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis and the Institutes of Sustainable Resources, Risk and Disaster Reduction, Energy, and Global Health.