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Course outline You typically have six to eight lectures each week (with associated reading). You normally have three supervisions a fortnight at which you discuss a topic, usually following preparatory reading and essay writing. In the first and second years, you also have laboratory or practical classes, and field classes.

Year 1 (Part IA) You’re introduced to key themes and issues by studying two core papers: • Human Geography – topics include globalisation; Fordism and welfare; ecological, economic and political perspectives on resources • Physical Geography – topics include tectonics and volcanism, hydrological and geomorphological processes, atmosphere and climate You’re assessed at the end of the year by one written examination for each paper. You also take the Geographical Skills and Methods paper that covers numerical methods; survey techniques; documentary and archival data; spatial data; and field, laboratory and desk-based skills.

Year 2 (Part IB) All students take a core Geographical Ideas and Themes paper relating to global change, which is assessed through both coursework and written examination. In addition, you can begin to specialise and select three papers from a choice of six, which are also assessed by a combination of coursework and examination. Each year, three human geography papers and three physical and environmental geography papers are available. The lists below give examples of Part IB papers that may be offered. Human geography • Economic Geography • Development Theories, Policies and Practices • Citizenship, Cities and Civil Society

All students participate in a one-week residential field class during the Easter or summer vacation. This is essential for your final year dissertation research, both in terms of inspiring your choice of topic and in acquiring specific field research skills. A piece of submitted work on the field class forms part of your second-year assessment.

Year 3 (Part II) You can either specialise further or maintain a balance across the subject as a whole. You select four papers from 12, which are assessed by either written examination or by a combination of written examination and coursework. Papers on offer vary each year but recent examples include: • Imagining Europe • The Human Geography of the Arctic Regions • Political Ecology in the Global South • Geographies of Discipline and Social Regulation in the Nineteenth Century • Biosedimentary Coastal Systems

• • • •

Biogeography Glacial Environments Quaternary Environments Political Geographies of Violence • Modelling Earth’s Atmosphere • Changing Cultures of Risk • Volcanology

You also write a dissertation of 10,000 words on a topic of your choice, which you start work on during the summer vacation between your second and third years. The topic must be defined by the second term of Year 2 and the proposal is assessed as part of your second-year coursework.

Physical and environmental geography • Glacial Processes • Biogeography • The Coastal System Building on Part IA Skills and Methods, you also undertake project work involving a range of field, laboratory and computer skills and techniques.

Related courses Economics






Human, Social, and Political Sciences


Land Economy


Natural Sciences


Geography’s a really varied course and it’s very difficult to get bored or frustrated with a topic because the focus changes regularly through the term. Joe

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University of Cambridge Undergraduate Prospectus 2016 Entry  

University of Cambridge Undergraduate Prospectus 2016 Entry