UCL Department of Geography


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UCL Home  /  Geography  /  Study  /  Undergraduate  /  Current Students  /  Your Work, Attendance and Illness

Your Work, Attendance and Illness

Attendance and Workload

Students undertaking Geography degrees are expected to attend lectures, seminars, practicals and tutorials. Students are expected to attend all classes on their timetable and attend field classes as a requirement of ‘satisfactory attendance’.

  • Students are expected to spend about 40 hours per week studying (including time spent in lectures and classes, private reading and writing essays). You are expected to attend all tutorials, seminars and lectures offered in connection with each module you are taking. Note that attendance does not mean your mere physical presence. It means doing the required reading and thinking for all the topics being considered.
  • It is important to realise that your reading should not be restricted to topics on which you are writing an essay. You should spend the equivalent of a full working day on reading for a module, you will also better equip yourself to deal with the range of questions in the examination.
  • Please note that, in compliance with UCL regulations, the Department requires that students attend all classes for their modules. The minimum level of attendance at classes and seminars is 70%. Attendance will be monitored and any absences must be justified by a valid, documented cause.
  • Students whose work or levels of attendance are deemed unsatisfactory on a particular course unit are liable to be deregistered from it. In this case, they would not be permitted to take the examination for the module and would receive no credit for any work that might have been done.
  • If you are taking any course outside the Geography Department, you should make sure that you meet the attendance requirements and follow the assessment procedures of the teaching department.

    If you plan to be absent for a particular reason you should seek prior permission from your personal tutor, the Departmental or Joint Degree Tutor.

    Coursework submission dates are likely to be set so that the deadline for work to be submitted is soon after University vacations; these periods are part of your degree duration and not entirely 'holiday'; you may of course submit work before the deadline.


    If you are ill or have other circumstances affecting your attendance, see the Extenuating Circumstances section. If you are struggling with your studies for reasons to do with your health or your welfare please do not wait to talk to someone. Speak to your Tutor, the Departmental Tutor or the Administrative Staff sooner rather than later. All discussions will be treated confidentially. Please ensure any form and evidence required are submitted by the deadline given by the departmental office.


    If your attendance or work for any course is deemed unsatisfactory by the teaching department of the course, you may be barred from it. The implications of this are serious as, in order to be eligible for an 3 year honours degree, you are required to complete 12 units. If your attendance or work is unsatisfactory, you will be sent a formal written warning (by letter or email) giving notice of barring. You will be asked to meet with the Departmental Tutor to discuss and sign a learning agreement. If you fulfil the requirements of the Learning Agreement, the barring will be lifted and you may complete the module.

    If your attendance and work does not improve and you remain barred from the module, you will need to repeat the module (attending regularly) in the following academic year.

    Provided that you need to repeat no more than one course unit, you will be normally be able to do so in addition to the four units that you would be expected to take. If the course in question is not available the following year, with the approval of the Departmental Tutor, you may be able to substitute it with another course.

    You should also be aware that, if you are barred from a module, you might not have sufficient units to progress to the next year of study. In this case, in the following academic year, you would normally need to register as a part-time revision student to complete the necessary units.

    Contact with the Department

    You must check your e-mail daily, especially for course and tutorial related information. You should also check your pigeon hole (in the Map Room, 26 Bedford Way, LG13) for personal notes and letters.  Departmental notices will be pinned on your year notice board, which is located in the foyer outside the Ground Floor Lecture Theatre in 26 Bedford Way.  Only departmental notices may be posted; non-departmental notices will be removed.  It is your responsibility to check the notice boards. Joint Degree students should also check the single honours notice boards for notices concerning specific courses.

    Student References

    Anyone applying for a job or for any kind of further education will require a reference (and normally two) from the Department. If you wish a member of academic staff, including your personal tutor, to provide you with a reference you should ensure they have sufficient time to write it. You need to plan ahead and a polite request two weeks before the deadline is appropriate. Please remember that scruffy CVs and letters of application do not create a good impression with prospective employers. In a competitive job market good spelling, decent punctuation and neat typing can make all the difference.