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School of Geography

How to apply

Applications for undergraduate degrees in the School of Geography should be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). The institution code for Queen Mary is Q50 and individual course codes can be found on our undergraduate degree programmes page.

If you have any queries about applying, please see the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) below or contact us:

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The main deadline for submitting an application to study with us is usually in January every year. Remember, your referee (usually your teacher or tutor) will need some time to complete their parts of the form. To ensure your form is submitted by the deadline, you will need to make sure you complete your parts of the form – and submit it to the referee – in plenty of time (at least 2 weeks before the UCAS deadline). We encourage early applications.

If you miss the deadline, don't panic. You can submit a Late Application up until the end of June typically. We usually accept Late Applications for all of our degree programmes in the School, but you should always check the UCAS website for updates.

If you have not applied by the June deadline, you can only apply in Clearing. However, places in Clearing are normally very limited in number and there is no guarantee that the programme you are interested in will have any vacancies once main cycle applicants are placed.

The Admissions Tutor is a member of academic staff who spends their time teaching and carrying out research, as well as doing the job of Admissions Tutor. They understand the academic requirements and content of all our degree programmes and can give you detailed expert advice should you have any questions. You can contact them via They will decide whether to make you an offer for one of our programmes based on your predicted grades, personal statement, reference and, where necessary, performance at interview.

When writing your personal statement, consider the following:

  1. Establish your commitment and motivation to study. Show enthusiasm and demonstrate your knowledge. Say what particularly interests you about your chosen areas of study and mention your career aspirations.
  2. Emphasise your academic interests. Write about your current studies and talk about the skills you have developed. It is quite likely that you will be asked about whatever you write about in this part of the statement if you are invited for interview.
  3. Detail any work or voluntary experience. Explain what you learnt from that experience and describe how this may help you in your proposed studies.
  4. Show your awareness of the broader subject. Demonstrate an understanding of current affairs, especially where relevant to your chosen subject.
  5. Write about your outside interests and achievements. Think about the skills involved and how they might be relevant to studying for a degree
  6. Presentation. Make sure that your personal statement is clearly expressed (good grammar), correctly spelt and well presented. Your personal statement should demonstrate that you are a careful and diligent student who cares about the quality of your work.

We will generally make an offer if your predicted grades fall within or near to our standard offer. You may be invited for an interview before we make our decision. For example, if we feel that you have the ability to perform better than your predicted grades, or if we feel you have additional qualities that would make you a good student, we may still make you an offer even though your predicted grades are a little below our standard entry requirements.

If you have already completed your A Levels (or other qualifications) but your grades are below our normal entry requirements we can still consider your application. You may be asked to attend an interview, which will enable you to demonstrate your subject knowledge, your commitment to study for a degree and the relevant skills and experience that you have gained since completing your secondary education. If you have been out of formal education for a long time you should consider taking an appropriate Access to Higher Education course.

As part of our commitment to ensuring that students with the potential to excel in a challenging university environment, regardless of background, are encouraged to apply to study with us, we are able to take ‘contextual data’ into consideration when making an offer. This involves considering, alongside the academic strengths of your application, the level of participation in Higher Education in your neighbourhood, the performance of the school(s) or college(s) where you took your GCSEs and A Levels and whether you have spent time in care.

The university's contextual admissions policy and criteria are accessible here.

Our decision to offer you a place will be based on your UCAS application. However, in certain circumstances, such as a mature student returning to higher education, an applicant with non-standard qualifications, or with grades below our normal entrance requirements, we will invite you for an interview before making a final offer decision. In these cases, the interview is important as we are looking for students who can demonstrate not only good academic achievement, but also a real commitment to and enthusiasm for Geography, Global Development or Environmental Science.

Occasionally we accept direct transfers from students into Year 2 of our degree programmes and you must apply to us through UCAS.

We do not accept transfers on to Year 3 of our degree programmes.

We do not recommend students change institution part way through their degree, although we do recognise that occasionally students may need to relocate for personal or financial reasons. We will need to ensure that the subjects you have studied at your current institution prepare you in terms of skills and knowledge for your chosen degree programme at Queen Mary. Therefore, you are advised to contact the Admissions Tutor prior to application (via, informing us of the title and content of all courses you are currently studying and indicating your reasons for transfer. We will expect you to pass all your first year courses and have an overall average of over 60%. You may be restricted from taking some of our modules. 

If you are made an offer, you will be invited to one of our on-campus Offer Holder Days held on several dates in the first few months of the calendar year. We highly recommend all offer holders attend one of these events if they can, particularly if you have not already visited campus or an Open Day.

Where Open Days provide a broad taster of university life and help you decide which courses to apply for via UCAS, our Offer Holder Days are designed to provide much more detail about your specific programme of choice to help you make an informed decision about which of your offers to accept as your Firm choice.

Each Offer Holder Day in the School of Geography includes short taster talks from teaching staff, interactive and hands-on sessions (e.g. discussion seminars, laboratory practicals), careers and employability talks, and a chance over lunch to speak with current and former students about their time in the School. Only offer-holders and guests are invited, so this will be the first time that you will meet many of the people on your course. Our School admissions team are also on-hand all day to answer questions about accepting your offer, and there are additional drop-in sessions on accommodation options, student support services and international study.

Attending an Offer Holder Day is also a good way to demonstrate your commitment to studying in the School too – something we take into consideration when making final admissions decisions if you miss your target offer grades.

You will not be able to accept or decline any of the offers you have received until all the universities you have applied to have confirmed their decision with UCAS. You must make a Firm acceptance of one of your offers, an Insurance acceptance of one other offer, and decline any other offers you have been made. Typically, students will choose to hold the course they most want to do as their Firm offer, and then hold a slightly lower offer as their Insurance.

We recommend you avoid putting higher or equivalent offers as your Insurance choice as this increases the chances that you will have to enter Clearing if you don't meet the conditions of your Firm offer.

If you achieve the grades needed for your Firm offer, your place on that course will be confirmed in August when the exam results are published. If you are rejected by your Firm choice because you did not meet the conditions of the offer, but do achieve the grades for your Insurance choice, your place on your Insurance course will be confirmed.

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