Department of Geography, University of Cambridge

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Department of Geography
Department of Geography, University of Cambridge
Established 1888 (1888)
Head of Department Professor Bill Adams
Location Cambridge, United Kingdom
52°12′06″N 0°07′25″E / 52.2018°N 0.1236°E / 52.2018; 0.1236Coordinates: 52°12′06″N 0°07′25″E / 52.2018°N 0.1236°E / 52.2018; 0.1236

The Department of Geography is one of the constituent departments of the University of Cambridge and is located on the Downing Site. The department has long had an international reputation as a leading centre of research and is consistently ranked as one of the best Geography departments in the UK. In 2013 the department was ranked top by The Guardian University Rankings as the best Geography undergraduate degree in the country.[1]


There is a long tradition of Geography at Cambridge stretching back to the first University Lecturer in Geography appointed in 1888. Teaching was initially for a special examination leading to a diploma in geography. The Geographical Tripos - the examination for a B.A. degree - was established in 1919. In 1931 the first Professor was appointed and in 1933 the Department moved into its own accommodation. That building, which now constitutes the eastern end of the Department, was considerably extended in the 1930s, with the construction of new lecture theatres and laboratories. In the 1980s, the building was further extended with the addition of a top floor to provide a new laboratory for computing, remote sensing and geographical information systems. In 1999 the Department expanded again, to occupy two floors in an adjacent building where new laboratories, seminar rooms and offices are housed.

Since then, the Cambridge Group for the History of Population and Social Structure and the University of Cambridge Centre for Gender Studies has been integrated into the teaching and research activities of the Department (2001) and the Scott Polar Research Institute become a sub-department in 2002. Today, the Department has 35 academic staff including ten Professors and four Readers.


Scott Polar Research Institute, a sub-department of the Department of Geography.

Research in the department is organised in the following research clusters:

  • Spaces of Economy & Society
  • Historical & Cultural Geography
  • Society, Environment & Development
  • Environmental Processes
  • Glacial & Quaternary

Notable Alumni and Staff[edit]

The department has produced a large range notable alumni, including David Harvey, the world's most cited academic geographer and winner of the Lauréat Prix International de Géographie Vautrin Lud. Other notable alumni and staff include:


External links[edit]