We believe there is no substitute for teaching subjects through first-hand research. Unlike many other universities, Oxford's geography department fully-funds all of its students on the two compulsory field trips.
"Getting to know your coursemates through field trips is the best part of studying geography. Most of my friends from college don't really know their subject group in the same way."
Toby, Geography undergraduate
In the first year, all students take part in a four-day physical geography field trip as well as Oxford-local skills-related field days.
Practical techniques for physical geography are taught through the residential fieldtrip to Dorset early in the first term. Not only does this give students an introduction to field techniques, it also allows students to meet other geographers from different colleges and fosters geography's reputation as a friendly and sociable course.
Techniques for research in human geography are taught through the Methods in Human Geography course and students get a chance to practice these skills in group fieldwork projects in Oxford. Students develop both quantitative and qualitative techniques in human geography through exploring Oxford's ethnic and economic diversity as well as aspects of its historical geography.
Students write up both projects individually and submit them as fieldwork folders, which are assessed as part of the Prelims examination.
In the second year, all students attend a week-long overseas fieldtrip in the first week of Trinity Term. The current choice of field trips is between Berlin and Tenerife. Each of these fieldtrips links the theoretical material covered in the course with empirical examples and opportunities to practice appropriate field techniques. There is some flexibility in projects and students often take novel approaches to research. Students complete a fieldwork report of 4,500 words on their chosen project which is assessed as part of the Final Honour School examination.
Find out more about our fieldwork through the Out and About: The SoGE fieldtrip blog.