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Geography T


he emphasis at Oxford is very much on independent learning, so rather than being frog-marched around on field trips with clipboards, you’re given information and left to explore and discover things by yourself.


People study Geography from a wide range of academic backgrounds, almost any of which can be useful; for example, Biology can be helpful in studying Ecology, Maths helps with Statistics while English makes it easier to plan and structure your essays. A-level work is often covered again in more depth and detail and no particu- lar combination of subjects at school will put you at a disadvantage.


Depending on your college and the ar- rangement of your course you can expect one or two tutorials a week, with one essay set for each, and around ten hours of weekly lectures in your first year. Most of the afternoons are left free with the exception of one, usually dedicated to a practical class in mapping or statistics. This places the onus firmly on you to structure your workload and allows you to study at whatever times suit you best. Tu- tors within the Department are at the very top of their field with consistently excel- lent levels of teaching, and are willing to go out of their way to help you develop both academically and personally within your degree.


The first year covers a broad range of both physical and human geography, which makes the workload particularly varied. This also includes studies on ideas within geography based around famous theorists in the subject and the chance to explore spaces in science, which involves muse- um trips both within and around Oxford. The second and third years allow you to specialise further by selecting an option to be studied each year, and can include anything from ‘Spaces of Capitalism’ to ‘Forensic Geography’, ‘Social Segregation’ and ecology. After first year, you continue to study core options that provide a solid base for your degree, but the lecture load falls considerably. You expand on this by undertaking a dissertation in the summer between your second and third years.


Many students choose to go abroad for their research, which is an excellent op- portunity to get your hands on a Univer- sity travel grant and experience a new culture. Paris, Nepal, Mexico and China are just a few of the places visited by Ge- ography students as part of their research.


Courses


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