Geography

Geography at Fitzwilliam College has a long tradition. We aim to admit 10 to 12 Geographers per year. In recent years a large number of postgraduate geographers have also come to Fitzwilliam. Geography is important to the College in terms of its degree results, the number of Fellows in the subject, the size of our typical admission and in terms of the long tradition of the subject in the College.

At present the College has four Geography Fellows (two in Human Geography, one in Physical Geography and one in Environment and Development). From the second year, University teaching staff and Fellows from other Colleges provide small group teaching in fields requiring particular specialism, and we regularly appoint Supervisors of Studies to assist College Fellows for particularly popular papers. 

The College has an extensive library collection in Geography, to complement that available in the University Geography Department. This contains one of the best College collections in Environmental Science Development, and Political and Economic Geography. The College, through its scholarships and bursaries, is able to provide significant financial assistance for geographers who wish to carry out fieldwork and to travel in the United Kingdom and abroad, particularly in the vacation between the second and third years. There is a dedicated Environmental Studies Fund for travel linked to research on environment-related topics. Geographers at Fitzwilliam are particularly encouraged to choose overseas topics for their Part II dissertations and spend much of the long vacation at the end of their second year in faraway parts. Last year, for example, the Part II group conducted research in Kenya, USA, Japan, Mexico as well as within the UK.

Geography students represent a strong community at Fitzwilliam. All Geographers, whether undergraduate, postgraduate or Fellow, are proud to belong to the Fitzwilliam Geographical Society. No first year Geographer feels at sea on arrival, with a ready-made family of peers and associates with whom to socialise and enjoy areas of mutual interest. The Geography Society meets socially very regularly for meals, drinks, field trips and even ten-pin bowling! This engenders a strong sense of community among the students with friendships and support developing over the three year groups. The mutual support extends to a range of academic activities as well. Final year students, for instance, give talks on their dissertation projects, and their peers are able to provide feedback, discussion and support. First year and second year students benefit from the experience of the third years when designing their own research projects.
 
Fitzwilliam is most anxious to maintain its considerable reputation in Geography, and also to reach new schools which have not previously considered sending students to this College or to Cambridge. It is also a College with, usually, a balanced number of men and women in each year group. The Geography Fellows may be willing to come and give a talk on a Geographical topic if their time permits and any teacher interested in this should approach the Directors of Studies for Geography. The College also organises an annual Progress in Geography Conference for sixth form students. 


Requirements

The typical A Level offer is A*AA, including A Level Geography.  The standard IB offer is 40-42 points with 776 at Higher Level.  Applicants are required to submit two pieces of recent written work as part of their application.

Applicants are also required to sit the Geography admissions written assessment, prior to being invited to interview.  More information can be found on the University website.

Details of the admissions procedures can be obtained on the Fitzwilliam admissions pages, from the College Admissions Tutor, or in the University of Cambridge Admissions Prospectus. In addition the Director of Studies will be very happy to give additional information about Geography entry to the College. He may be contacted by writing to Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge, CB3 ODG, or on the telephone number or email address given below. Further information about this subject can be found on the Department of Geography website.


Life after Cambridge

Geographers at Fitzwilliam are very successful in their subsequent careers. Several recent graduates are engaged in PhD research, a large number are doing Masters courses in subjects like Development Studies, International Relations and Environmental Management, and others are pursuing successful careers in accountancy, stock broking, transport management, the Immigration Service and urban planning.


Directors of Studies and Fellows

Dr Alice Evans is a Bye-Fellow and Director of Studies for Part Ia.

Dr Andrew Hacket Pain is a Bye-Fellow and Director of Studies for Part Ib.

Dr Bhaskar Vira is a Fellow and Director of Studies in Geography, and University Senior Lecturer in Environment and Development.His research interests span the fields of political economy, development studies and environmental studies, with a regional focus on South Asia. He is particularly interested in state-society interactions over resource use, at a variety of scales. Watch a short video of Dr Vira talking about the political economy of development. He teaches courses on environmental economics, development studies, and local natural resource management at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Tel: 01223 332085/339823; Email: bv101@cam.ac.uk


More information

Watch a short video about Geography on the University's YouTube channel.