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Why study Geography at Trinity

Trinity has a thriving community of undergraduate and postgraduate Geographers and typically make up to two offers to undergraduate Geographers every year. Trinity is a large college with excellent facilities, notably a well-stocked library that contains an extensive collection of geographical texts. The College is located close to the centre of Cambridge and is only a 10-minute walk from the Geography Department.

Trinity’s Director of Studies in Geography is Cameron Petrie, who is an archaeologist with extensive experience of investigating human and environment relationships, adaptation to climate change and landscape archaeology. His research primarily investigates the archaeology of ancient South Asia (India and Pakistan) and Iran, and he has collaborated with Geographers and Earth Scientists in all of these areas.

The Geography course

Geography is a broad subject that addresses many of the most pressing issues facing contemporary societies. Details of the structure and content of the course can be found on the Geography Department webpage. First-year geographers study a broad range of human and physical topics as well as receiving training in geographical skills and methods. In the second year, students select four topics drawn from human and physical geography to study in depth and attend a week-long overseas field course. Students in the third year can specialise in either human or physical geography, although many choose to maintain a broad base. Final year students also prepare a dissertation project. Most students find the dissertation, which can be on any relevant topic, the most stimulating and rewarding part of the Geography course. Many students conduct dissertation research overseas.


We welcome applicants with a strong interest in geography and keen intellectual ability, regardless of background. We do not specify which subjects you should have studied; many of our applicants have qualifications in geography but this is not essential. We believe that past performance in public examinations is the best indicator of an applicant’s potential. We know that not all applicants have been able to benefit from the same educational opportunities, so we view exam results in the context of educational history. If you are among the very ablest students in your school or college, you have an excellent record in public examinations and if your teachers or lecturers support your application, we strongly urge you to consider applying.

The deadline for applying to Cambridge is 15 October.  Interviews are held in early December and we interview most applicants. Candidates have one interview, which is about 25 minutes long. Before the interview you will be asked to read a short article and a discussion of this article will form part of the interview. Typically, you will also be asked to interpret graphical or cartographic data. We expect our candidates to show an interest in, and awareness of, contemporary geographical issues, so you may find it useful to read around the subject as preparation for the interview. You should also re-read your submitted work and personal statement in case these are discussed. Most importantly: don’t panic!

Typical offers will be at A*AA for A-level candidates (42 points in the IB, with 776 in the Higher Level subjects, or the equivalent under other examination systems), although this may vary according to the individual circumstances of the applicant. We do not usually specify which subject the A* grade should be in.

Finding out more

The best way to find out about the College is to come to an Open Day.  Open Days are a great way to view our facilities, meet our students and get detailed information on the admissions process.

Excellent general information on the Cambridge application process is available from the Cambridge Admissions Office. Guidance is also available on the Geography Department web page.

Course Details

Course length: 3 Years
Typical offer: A*AA
Preferred A-Level subjects: No


Teaching Staff

  • Professor Cameron Petrie

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