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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

March 2019


We are coming towards the end of this year's recruitment cycle - we've again had a healthy number of applicants this year, with about 700 prospective students applying to join us in September. We've also finished all of our 'offer holder' Open Days, with about 200 of you visiting us so far. It's been really nice to meet you all – we hope you found the day helpful.

We have lots of films for you to look at in this final post. I mentioned the films that Anpu, one of our former students, has been making for us – here are two more! In the first, Anpu explores the social side of life at UCL, including UCL’s new Student Centre and our own common rooms.

You can then hear about some of the research we’re doing in this film:

And finally we have one last geographer for you to meet: Richard Taylor, who works on water issues in Africa. How might an increasingly scarce resource be managed to positive effect and what kinds of methods can we, as academics draw on, to help encourage sustainable livelihoods in difficult conditions? Here he talks about the work he has done over the years on that topic and how that informs his work with students:

And that’s the end of our admissions blog for this year. If you do have any questions please contact us on Otherwise we look forward to welcoming many of you in September. Good luck with your revision and exams in the meantime, and thanks for considering UCL for your degree.

Dr James Kneale
Admissions Tutor
UCL Geography

February 2019


We are now about two-thirds of the way through our series of open days. We’ve had a healthy number of applicants this year again with over 700 applying to join us in September. About 180 of those to whom we've made offers have now come to visit us. It's been nice to meet you all.

We have lots for you in this post. First of all we have asked one of our recent graduates, Anpu Sivakumaran, to make some short films for us exploring what it’s like to be a student at UCL Geography. Anpu is a successful vlogger and filmmaker and we’re really proud of him. The first of his films is here, do give it a look!

Second, here are two more of our 'Meet the Geographers' videos that we’ve been posting here over the course of the recruitment cycle. This time we have two of our professors talking about their excellent research and undergraduate teaching.

Here is Ann Varley to tell you about why she has become interested in ideas about what constitutes a 'home' in Mexico and why being able to communicate well is so important in geography research:

And here’s Claire Dwyer, who is interested in the experience of migration and on how we study the links between places. Here she gives us a flavour of her current research on different faith communities in the suburbs of London and tells us why being a geographer allows her to examine this topic in a really effective way.

James Kneale (Admissions Tutor)

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:

James Kneale (Admissions Tutor)