UCL Department of Geography


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UCL Home  /  Geography  /  Study  /  Student Testimonials  /  Benjamin Siggery

Benjamin Siggery

BSc Environmental Geography

Ben Siggery.pngBenjamin Siggery studied for a BSc Environmental Geography degree. He says he chose to study at UCL because of its world-class reputation.

“Geography degree programmes vary massively between students, as there are so many combinations of modules (even without ancillaries). After first year, my modules have mostly been about environmental science, ecology and palaeoecology. I have also taken palaeobiology modules as ancillaries each year. The modules I’ve taken have given me a great overview of current issues in these fields and a strong background for further study. Many courses have helped to develop our (students’) analytical mind-sets and critical thinking for use in our research.

Field study and research

"The fieldtrips have definitely been one of the highlights but many of the traditionally taught modules can be really engaging and enjoyable. I’ve had the opportunity to go on a residential field class each year as part of my degree. In year one, we went to Slapton, Mallorca in year two and Lesvos in year three. There are also some day trips, including to Thursley Common.

"On top of my dissertation, I took part in an Independent Study project this year. This involved working closely with a member of staff on a niche topic that was lacking in research.

Skills for a career

"I think that the development of critical thinking and a mature academic writing style are the most useful skills that I will take away from my degree. I hope to end up in a relevant field, so that the knowledge I take from it will be useful as well, but those skills will be useful in any career. I hope to continue at UCL on the MSc Conservation Programme and complete a PGCE. Eventually, I would like to work in Environmental Education or research.

Words of wisdom

"Don’t get put off by first year – it’s a slog to have to do a bit of everything to get everyone up to speed and whether you’re human or physical, there are modules you really won’t like. UCL really gives you the opportunity to specialise in second and third years, making them a completely different experience to first year. My opinion of the department and feelings about my degree in general have been completely different over the past two years than in first.

"Secondly: Don’t be scared of ancillaries. There are so many people in third year who regret not taking modules outside the department when they hear about other people’s experiences. I took ancillaries every year (two in second year!) and they have been some of my favourite modules.

Describe the Department of Geography at UCL in five words…

Diverse, opportunity, passionate, knowledgeable, committed."