UCL Department of Geography


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UCL Home  /  Geography  /  Study  /  Undergraduate  /  Undergraduate Applications 2018-19

Undergraduate Applications 2018-19



This part of our site is for those of you who are currently thinking of coming to join us as undergraduates in 2019. We’ve an excellent group of about 120 new first years who are currently getting to grips with University life. They're getting on top of all the new skills that they’ll be developing with us, and getting ready for our Catalonia field class (which you can see in the photo above). Here they are in Gordon Square in induction week, ready for university life.


We are hoping to recruit a similar number of excellent young scholars to join us again next year. With that in mind, the idea behind this section of the site is that, over the course of the year, I'll post some bits and pieces that could help you make up your mind about us. It’s a big decision deciding what and where to study, after all.

Open Days

If you apply to us and you look like an excellent candidate for UCL Geography, we'll probably invite you to come and see us for an afternoon. The aim of these events is to give you a flavour of our course, our ethos, and our approach. You'll get to meet some of our staff and current students, you'll be taken on a short tour of our very nice Gower street campus and you'll also get to take part in some different activities linked to the kind of research that we do here.

James Kneale, Admissions Tutor for Geography

December 2018

Last week we had the first of this year's Open Days. Thanks to all of you who came along - it was lovely to meet so many of you. My colleagues and our student helpers said they were bombarded with interesting questions, which is exactly what we're after. Maisie and Katharina also did an excellent job answering questions from parents and we hope everyone who attended feels that they now have a good sense of how the Department works.

We've been busy since last week's Open Day, and I thought you might like to know what we've been up to.The UCL Conservation Society, which has well-established roots in the Department, has announced that the speaker at its annual Christmas Lecture will be TV presenter and author George McGavin. In previous years the Society has hosted packed lectures from Chris Packham and George Monbiot, and we are sure this year's event will be just as popular.

We've also set the date for our annual Staff-Student Quiz, a hotly-fought event which pits mixed teams of staff and students from all years against each other in the nearby Student Centre.

Finally I thought I'd introduce you to two more of our academics, both of whom teach on our new first year modules. First we have Caroline Bressey, one of our historical geographers, talking about the work she does on the Black Presence in British history. For some of us geography is all about how different cultural groups come to think about each other and what that means for how we deal with pressing issues like contemporary racism. Caroline's research develops this by looking at how that has featured in the way in which the history of London is presented - how public discourse has often claimed that there were no Black people here at certain points in the past, but also how, were we only to make the effort to look for them, this clearly wasn't the case.

Turning to the physical side of geography, there's Jonathan Holmes who currently teaches environmental geography to the first years, amongst other things. Here he talks about how he goes about collecting his data from different sites around the world and how he draws on this data, and his wider research work, in his teaching.

More from me as the cycle goes on but, for the moment, have a good Christmas!

James Kneale (Admissions Tutor)

November 2018

Meet your professors

Hi - we're really looking forward to seeing you at one of our open days. Before you do that, though, you might like to meet some of us. We've made a number of videos so you can hear us talking about what we do in our research, and how that feeds through into our teaching. We've picked some of the people you might meet in your first year of study with us - here's two to get us started.

First off, we have Professor Helen Bennion. Helen will be taking you on the Catalonia Field-class (which you can see in the photo at the top of this page) in the first term of your studies with us. All of our first years go on this trip, so  the whole year group gets to know each other and to start testing testing out a range of advanced geography techniques. In the video below, Helen talks about what she does in her research and how she teaches. She's collected and analysed data from lakes all around the world, and that's proved to be really important for understanding environmental change.

In the next one, we have Professor Jason Dittmer, who is interested in how 'geopolitical ideas' (ideas people have about those from other countries, and relationships between different countries more generally) are shaped through everyday processes, such as reading comic books, watching action movies or the practical work of diplomats - pretty relevant stuff in our post Brexit times, and things he'll be working with some of you on if you go on his third year fieldclass. Here he talks about his work and the teaching he might do with you: