St John’s College has a large community of Geography students.

We currently have two teaching Fellows in Geography, covering aspects of both Physical and Human Geography. There are also a number of graduate students doing Masters courses and Doctorates. The College has excellent library and computing facilities. We provide financial support to help towards the cost of purchasing books that are essential for the course, and there are travel grants available to geographers to help to pay for long vacation projects. Undergraduate geographers run the Purchas Society (the College Geographical Society), which organises both academic meetings and social occasions.


The course in Geography

Undergraduates from all Colleges attend lecture courses, practicals and field classes organised by the Department of Geography. This teaching is supplemented by ‘supervisions’ organised by the College. The Cambridge Geographical Tripos is in three parts. Part IA is assessed partly by coursework but mainly through end-of-year examinations, and consists of two papers covering a broad range of topics in both physical and human geography.  Part IB provides structured choice, enabling students to specialise to some extent in their preferred area, whether Human, Historical/Cultural or Physical Geography. Part II provides free choice across a wide range of papers, and includes also a compulsory dissertation on a special topic chosen by the individual student

Vacation Fieldwork

All students attend an overseas residential field course organised by the Department in the Easter vacation of their second year, usually in the Mediterranean area. In addition there may be the opportunity to join a course doing more specialised work, for example in Dublin (urban) or Iceland (geomorphological). Many students also carry out independent travel in connection with their Part II dissertation: Johnian geographers have recently been to Peru, USA, Uganda and Thailand among other faraway places to do dissertation fieldwork.

Entry Details

UCAS Code: L700

Typical Entry Requirements

A Level: A*AA

International Baccalaureate: 40-42 points, with 776 at Higher Level

Essential/Desirable Subjects: None

Submitted Work: None

Interview Assessment: None

Admissions Interviews

Details regarding the operation of admissions interviews in the 2020-2021 admissions round have yet to be confirmed. 

We also typically ask students to develop ideas or interests they discuss in their Personal Statements, again from a geographical perspective. Each interview is therefore unique; we have no set of questions we specifically ask, other than the areas above.  We are looking for a wide but informed interest in geographical and other issues, and an awareness of the possibly unique perspective that a geographer can bring.  Subjects within the broad geographical canon still excite us; we expect you to show a similar interest and passion. We are unable to offer remote interviews. 

Further Information

Further Information

A copy of Cambridge Geography, which describes the University Department, its staff, facilities and lecture courses, can be obtained from the Secretary of the Undergraduate School, Department of Geography, Downing Place, Cambridge, CB2 3EN; or you can visit their website.