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What It’s Really Like Studying Geography

A Picture of Katie

Geography at Newcastle is currently ranked within the top 50 universities in the world – awfully high for a subject that has a reputation for ‘colouring in’. Stereotypes brushed defensively aside, whether you are a human and/or physical geographer, I can honestly say Newcastle is the place to study Geography!

Stage 1

Both BA and BSc students choose from the same range of compulsory and optional modules so don’t worry if you feel forced to pick one path for the next three years.

Within weeks of starting your Geography degree at Newcastle, you will be packing your overnight bag for a stay in Northumberland to explore Hadrian’s Wall but crucially giving you the perfect opportunity to meet fellow geography freshers and members of staff.

GeogSoc is also a great way to connect with other geographers whilst enjoying themed nights out or trips away.

photograph of Hadrian's Wall landscape in Northumberland

Northumberland – the first freshers fieldtrip.

Stage 2

A compulsory fieldtrip takes place near Easter time. Destinations recently included Southwest USA, Ireland, Copenhagen, Berlin, Borneo, Barcelona and Hong Kong; a very extensive list of very appealing places!

The majority of fieldtrip modules will require assessments in the form of a group presentation or a research project report so it is wise to consider the topic for each fieldtrip rather than ranking choices in order of ‘distance by air miles’ for instance.

I went to Barcelona to learn about urban sustainability which I found interesting to explore and as a bonus, Barcelona was a city packed with admirable culture and sunshine!

photograph of Barcelona city skyline

Second year fieldtrip in Barcelona.

Stage 3

The dissertation is a research project and accounts for 20% of your final degree so is a very important part of third year.

You will have already completed a dissertation research proposal in Stage 2 which may seem scarily early but unlike other degrees, Geography at Newcastle prepares you well in advance to plan and organise your research.

I am currently in the midst of my dissertation and I won’t lie, it is hard work! But with the help of the array of Geography staff, the resources of the Robinson library and the support of my friends, my dissertation will provide me with many skills to use beyond graduation and I plan to make the most of my final year as a Geography student at Newcastle!

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