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Durham University

Department of Geography

Freshers Welcome

Congratulations and Welcome!

Congratulations on securing your place to read Geography at Durham University! We very much look forward to welcoming you in September and October and to working with you over the coming three years.

We pride ourselves on our excellence in research and teaching and we are all looking forward to you joining us. The Durham Geography community is a lively, friendly group of people including undergraduates, postgraduates and staff, committed to the pursuit of geographical knowledge. You will be an integral part of life in the Department.

Enrol Online

Enrolment opens eight weeks before the start of your programme. After your acceptance has been processed you will receive two email messages from which provide:

  • Your Computing and Information Services (CIS) username
  • How to derive your CIS password and guidance on how to access the system

The messages are sent 24 hours apart and are sent to the email address you provided when you applied to Durham so it is important to let us know of any changes to this information by contacting the Student Records Team at You may also need to monitor your spam folders to see if the messages have arrived there.

After you have received both emails you will need to:

  • Change your password
  • Log into Durham University Online (duo)
  • Choose the “Banner Self Service” link in duo under “External Tools”
  • Choose Registration and Enrolment
  • Enrol with the University
  • Upload a photograph for your campus card

You will receive information from your department about registering for your programme and modules. It is important that you do not register for your programme and modules before you receive advice and guidance from your department.

Verify your identity with your college, collect your campus card and get online:

  • You should aim to upload your photograph and complete enrolment two weeks before the start of your programme. Once you have arrived on campus your college will ask you to provide proof of your identity and hand out your campus card.
  • If you are unable to travel to Durham for the first term due to travel restrictions or serious health concerns and plan to study online you will still need to have your identity verified. Your college will make arrangements with you to verify your identity at the start of term through an online Teams/Zoom meeting and keep your campus card until you are able to collect it in person.

Pre-Arrival Checklist

Once you have completed online enrolment, you will be able to access the following important areas on duo via your new Durham CIS login ID:

  • Geography Freshers site - incorporating:
    • Welcome message
    • Optional late summer reading
    • FAQs
    • A guide to selecting Level 1 optional modules (please do read this area in full)
    • Induction Week programme of events
  • Geography Undergraduate Community (including the Geography Undergraduate Guide)
  • Core Level 1 modules (Human Geography, Physical Geography, Introduction to Geographical Research)

Please read and digest the information posted on the Freshers Site and the Geography Undergraduate Community (both available via duo) prior to your arrival in Durham. We will also invite you to access some informal pre-arrival transition exercises (also available via duo from mid / late September).

It is vital that you complete online enrolment as soon as possible in order to access the above materials.

You may also wish to join a facebook group dedicated to 2020-2023 Durham Geographers. This group (available only to single honours Geography students) can be accessed via

Module Registration

Single Honours Geography students will receive detailed information regarding Module Registration in the post, and should also read the briefing notes posted on the Geography Freshers site on duo. Combined Honours, Natural Sciences, Geography / Education and other students wishing to take optional Geography modules should follow instructions provided by their host department and register using the Banner Self Service system. All registration requests from Level 1 Single Honours Geography students (for Geography and/or external modules) should be submitted by 16:00 on Tuesday 22nd September.

Your First Week in Durham

The University has organised a schedule of activities throughout September and early October for all of our new undergraduates and postgraduates. This timetable has been designed so College, University and sporting events do not clash with any of your academic departmental activities, allowing you to meet all your academic induction commitments.

The Geography Department is running induction activites between Monday 28th September and Friday 2nd October (see next section).

Use the Personal Induction Planner to produce a personalised timetable of all Department, College and University events.

Geography Department Induction Events

The Department has produced a comprehensive package of stimulating induction activities for single honours Geography students which will take place between Monday 28th September and Friday 4th October. Induction week has been specifically designed so that activities do not clash with any other college, university or sport commitment. Therefore, attendance of all of the Geography-based activities listed below is compulsory for all single honours Geography students.

Of course, Combined Honours, Natural Sciences and Education/Geography students are welcome (if they wish) to attend any of the Monday and Tuesday sessions.

Monday 28th September
15:30 start Welcome from the Head of Department (Professor Mike Crang)
Education at Degree Level (Professor Jeff Warburton, Director of Education)
Breakout sessions:

Introduction to BA Geography (Dr Andrew Baldwin)
Introduction to BSc Geography (Dr Stewart Jamieson)
Sessions will conclude by 17:30
Tuesday 29th September
09:00 - 12:00 Welcome from the Learning and Teaching Manager (Mr John Thompson) and the Academic Progression Officer (Dr Felicity Wray)
14:30 - 15:30 Optional Q&A session (John Thompson and Jeff Warburton)
Thursday 1st October
09:00 - 09:30

‘Thinking Geographically’ (Introduction by Professor Phil Steinberg)

09:30 - 12:00 First meeting with Academic Advisor (30 minute online meeting)
Friday 2nd October
09:00 - 17:00

The BIG Durham Geography Quiz. Launch event at 09:00, entries close at 16:00

Further details are provided on the Geography Freshers site, which is available on duo.

Contact Information

All members of the Department are looking forward to meeting you in September and October.

Should you have any questions on any of the above, please contact John Thompson (Learning and Teaching Manager) via or +44 (0)191 334 1826. John is also available via MS Teams or Zoom for a face-to-face discussion - please contact to arrange an appointment.

Student Testimonial

"I have no doubt that my time spent at Durham has made an invaluable difference to my career. I have a degree that is instantly recognisable by employers as being from one of the best geography departments in the country."

Angela Curl BA (Hons) Geography

Student Testimonial

"A Geography degree at Durham epitomises the truly diverse nature of the discipline. Modules offered cover a wide range of issues, linked closely to cutting edge research projects and are taught by world-leading academics. Studying at Durham challenged my academic interests and provided a fantastic student experience, a combination, I believe is unmatched by any other department in the UK."

Mel Froude BA (Hons) Geography

Staff Testimonial

"Drawing on the breadth of expertise in the Department across Physical and Human Geography, we aim to deliver intellectually demanding and academically rigorous degrees in a supportive environment. We set out to enthuse and stimulate our students about Geography from the lecture hall to the coast, stretching them to realise their potential."

Professor Chris Stokes, Director of Education