How to Apply
The Policy of the Department of Geography, Durham University
The Department of Geography is proud of its high quality teaching underpinned by internationally recognised research; we gained an excellent for teaching in the most recent Teaching Quality Assessment, and are ranked joint first nationally in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise. Durham Geography is fortunate in being able to attract excellent students, has a very low drop out rate and its graduates are eminently employable.
The Geography Department is committed to a fair admissions process. Our policy is to select students who have the ability and motivation to benefit from our teaching and who will make a contribution to the Geography Department and the wider University. We aim to attract candidates from the widest possible pool of talent including students from the UK, overseas and from all kinds of schools and backgrounds.
Examination performance is an important criterion in our assessment process. However, in assessing applicants' merit and potential, we also consider other factors including: the educational context of an applicant's formal achievements; other indicators of potential and capability (including non-academic experiences and relevant skills); and how an individual applicant's experiences, skills and perspectives could contribute to the learning environment. This means that we do not have a single profile which all our students must fit.
We will only take into account factors that are directly relevant to the assessment of merit and potential. The Department seeks to minimise any barriers for applicants by recognising different means of assessment; the varying resources and support available to applicants; disability; and the type (vocational or academic) of an applicant's qualifications.
3 A levels (not including general studies), mix of AS and A levels, 5 Scottish Highers with 3 As at Advanced level, International, European Baccalaureate or Welsh Baccalaureate.
NVQ, GNVQ, BTEC, ACCESS course certificate, Professional qualifications.
As noted above, we do not have a fixed standard offer, but our normal offer is A*AA.
Interests, skills, experience and other personal attributes
We invite candidates to identify other interests, skills, experience and personal attributes that they consider relevant to their interest in studying for a Geography Degree at University. These might include but are not exclusive to:
Paid/voluntary work experience (e.g. full - or part-time jobs, conservation work, charity work, professional work placements); other experience (e.g. community support, youth clubs, teacher/coach, engaged in amenity developments such as school radio/magazine or recreational facilities, youth leader; family carer, fund raiser, school prefect, Young Enterprise Group, Duke of Edinburgh Award, Outward Bound qualifications.
The Admission Process
All applications to join a degree course in the Department of Geography must be made through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admission Service). The application form will provide us with information about previous examination qualifications, examinations yet to be taken, an academic reference and a personal statement from the applicant. We take all of this into consideration when evaluating applications.
We have a target quota for each of our degree courses. Once at Durham it is possible to change degree programmes, but there is no automatic right to do so. The factors that we take into account are academic merit as well as availability of places on particular programmes. This means that you must carefully consider your choice of the BA or BSc route at the application stage because in all recent years the courses have recruited to quota. The BA and BSc courses are quite different, so please look carefully at our Programmes.
Once the University has received an application from UCAS the Department considers whether an offer can be made. An unconditional offer is made where we are satisfied that the candidate has the necessary pre-qualifications. A conditional offer is made where the candidate is due to take examinations. Our typical grade offer to candidates about to take A levels is A*AA, but we sometimes vary this requirement.
A feature of the Durham system that is different to many universities is the collegiate system. An applicant must be accepted by the Department and will then be placed at their chosen college or allocated an alternative. You may indicate a preference for a particular college or make an open application. Although each college has its own social atmosphere, all provide an excellent base for intellectual development.
Contact Mrs S. Gibson, Admissions Secretary. Telephone: +44 (0)191 334 1883. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org