Do you strive to understand our rapidly changing world?
At Oxford you will be taught about our planet's most pressing issues by some of the world's leading academics.
Geography gives you the tools to investigate everything from environmental change – you will study how humans are impacting on landscape dynamics with Professor Heather Viles – to social inequality - taking a lecture with Professor Danny Dorling learning about population health, housing and inequality.
A first year that builds solid foundations
The first year gives every Oxford geography undergraduate the same broad education in earth systems processes, human geography, and geographical controversies.
Alongside theoretical modules, students develop their understanding of geographical techniques, through practical field trips (see background image by Andrey Afonin (2017), taken on the first-year field trip at the Isle of Portland) and a range of lectures.
The first year gives a great opportunity to grasp what geography is actually about and how diverse the field is. Attending lectures, practicals and tutorials on a broad range of topics, from plate tectonics to nationalism, climatology to urban exploration, not only makes it easier to choose modules for your further studies but also helps you realise that there are identifiable links between subjects and see that geography is a complex yet integrated discipline.
Barbara Tanska (2017)
Does your appetite for knowledge know no boundaries?
Bridging the arts, and social and natural sciences, geography helps us build a deeper understanding of the world that we live in.
After gaining a strong foundation in physical and human geography in your first year, you will have the opportunity to specialise.
Perhaps you'll decide to delve deep into cities, exploring new approaches to urban geography with Dr Alexander Vasudevan; or you'll opt to study the geopolitics of borderlands and marginalised peoples with Dr Fiona McConnell instead. Maybe you'll want to go back in time, to learn how the African desert environment has changed over the last 250,000 years with Professor David Thomas; or you could choose to study contemporary African Societies with Professor Patricia Daley, examining the continent's complex relationship with the rest of the world.
Global change and local impacts
You will have the chance to study change on a global scale; scrutinising the costs and benefits of financial globalisation with Professor Dariusz Wójcik; or exploring the transformation of global visual culture and its implications with Professor Gillian Rose. Or, instead, you might choose to study climate science with Professor Richard Washington, to better understand climate change, its drivers and impacts; or perhaps you'll be interested to learn the effects deserts have on human activities with Professor Giles Wiggs.
The options are wide and varied.
With geography you have lots of choice and can focus on whatever you're really interested in.
Catherine Cooper (2016)
Do you want to see the world through new eyes?
Travel and learn
Oxford geography believes that a robust understanding of theoretical approaches is greatly enhanced by first-hand experience in the real world. That is why every Oxford geography undergraduate goes on two fully-funded* field trips.
- In the first year all students take part in a four-day physical geography field trip at the start of term, as well as attending local skills-related field days.
- Second-year students will undertake a week-long residential field trip overseas, to either Berlin or Tenerife.
- There is scope to do the third-year dissertation abroad. Dissertations allow students to investigate a specific topic of their choosing in detail and are often cited by students as the most enjoyable part of their degree. Around 30% of our undergraduates choose to base their third-year dissertation overseas and there are plenty of travel grants available through the University of Oxford and its colleges to support your independent research field trips.
* The department covers the cost of travel and accommodation for both the first- and second-year field trips.