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Undergraduate study

Geography is one of the most exciting subjects to study at university. We live in an interdependent world caught up in chains of events which span the globe. We depend upon an increasingly fragile physical environment, whose complex interactions require sophisticated analysis and sensitive management.

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Graduate study

The Department has a large community of postgraduate students. Many are working for the PhD degree, awarded on the basis of individual research and requiring three years of full-time study. The Department of Geography also runs a range of Masters/MPhil courses.

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People in the Department

The Department's staff publish regularly in hundreds of separate publications, and attract research funding from a wide variety of sources.

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Research groups

Research in the Department of Geography, arranged in five thematic research groups, covers a broad range of topics, approaches, and sites of study. Our expertise is both conceptual and applied, and our goals as free ranging as policy oriented.

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Here come the drones

21st October, 2016


The methods we use to teach physical geography and environmental science are rapidly changing. As a new generation of high-quality affordable drones creates a revolution in the way that schools collect, process and view landscape data, Dr Steve Boreham of the Department of Geography at the University of Cambridge takes us through the ins and outs of flying drones for research.

Policy Forum investigates the geography of the court system

5th October, 2016


A Policy Forum organised by Alex Jeffrey on 29th and 30th September 2016 and funded by an ESRC Impact Acceleration Award, brought together Judges, government officials, NGO representatives and academics to debate the implications of the re-organisation of the UK Court System. As trials are focused on fewer court buildings and digital technologies are enrolled by court users to facilitate access to justice, the debate focused on the role of court spaces in shaping judicial outcomes, the significance of courts as symbols of justice and the uneven adoption of technologies amongst court users.

Anthropocene: The journey to a new geological epoch

5th October, 2016


Over the last century, humans have littered the oceans with plastic, pumped CO2 into the air and raked fertilisers across the land. The impact of our species is so severe and so enduring that the current geological time period could soon be declared the 'Anthropocene'. This was the recommendation of a group of scientists in August. The announcement was the product of years of work and, arguably, arrived on the shoulders of centuries of scientific and philosophical grappling with the idea of humanity's role in shaping the world. Professor Phil Gibbard, of the Department, is interviewed in the article.

All the World’s a Stage: Gray and Smith collaborate with Menagerie Theatre on play

4th October, 2016


What do you get when you cross two geographers with a theatre company? Mia Gray and Susan Smith have teamed up with Menagerie Theatre Company to bring you The Great Austerity Debate, a forum theatre event which shares questions and seeks fresh ideas about austerity's effects on people, policies and places. Is austerity inevitable? Is it fair? What are the alternatives? We start with a hard-hitting performance of an original play, followed by an interactive session when you get to give your responses, ideas and answers. It will be entertaining, sparky and unpredictable. We start our tour at the Festival of Ideas. Come along and join in!

The Great Austerity Debate is a year-long collaboration between Mia Gray, Susan Smith, and Menagerie Theatre Company. We created a forum theatre piece, A Life in the Week of Megan K., which tours to non-theatre venues in Cambridge, Great Yarmouth, County Durham, Norwich and London. Each venue chooses to host a performance for very specific reasons and it is through their interest and goodwill that the events are taking place. We tour to a church hall, a community centre, a former miners' reading room, a university lecture theatre and a trade union office. As in all forum theatre pieces, we involve the audience as "spect-actors" or creative participants, helping to solve problems to the play's thorny questions. The performances are largely free and the project will be documented on film. Gray and Smith's research and questions inspired the content and narrative of the piece and the performances themselves will even form part of their ongoing work.

Releasing the Commons: in discussion with Professor Jeremy Gilbert

31st August, 2016


To mark the publication of Releasing the Commons: Rethinking the Futures of the Commons (Routledge, 2016), edited by Ash Amin and Philip Howell, the Department is delighted to welcome Professor Jeremy Gilbert to join us to discuss the theme of this collection: the challenges facing the global commons. Jeremy is Professor of Cultural and Political Theory at the University of East London, and is a noted analyst of contemporary politics and radical democracy. He is a regular commentator in the progressive media, and his most recent book is Common Ground: Democracy and Collectivity in an Age of Individualism (Pluto Press, 2013). This discussion will be held in the Department of Geography on Thursday, 29th September, at 4pm.

Releasing the Commons results from the Department of Geography's major international symposium, The Shrinking Commons?, which took place on 8-9 September 2014. The book contains contributions from the department's Alex Jeffrey and Sarah Radcliffe, joining Nick Blomley, Maria Fannin, J.K. Gibson-Graham (with Jenny Cameron and Stephen Healy), Natalie Fenton, Bruce Lankford, Colin Mcfarlane (with Renu Desai), Adam Reed, Marilyn Strathern, and the late John Urry - whose passing we wish to commemorate at the same time as we celebrate his enormously influential body of work and commitment to social justice.

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