Geography and anthropology

Explore contemporary issues that affect our everyday lives, from sustainability, environmental management, conservation, and geoarchaeology to globalisation, contemporary cities, and culture and landscape. We look for alternative ways of solving the problems associated with them.

Inspirational teaching

Conservation and Heritage Management

Dr Helen Walkington examines the evolution of heritage landscapes and their conservation and management through a study of the physical and human processes that have impacted upon them.

Atmosphere and Climate

Dr Wes Fraser outlines how this module will enable students to develop a broad understanding of atmospheric science, and how observational geographical research contributes to the global "big picture" of environmental change. The module will look at how investigation of the chemical and physical nature of the atmosphere ultimately leads to informing the climate change policy-making process.

Japanese Anthropology

Oxford Brookes has been a centre for the Anthropology of Japan for many years. Jason Danely, lecturer for the Anthropology course, talks about modules you can take that specialise in Japanese Anthropology, as well as the Japanese Room, study abroad options and the Europe Japan Research Centre.

Third year Anthropologists got a chance to visit their pre-historic roots, with a workshop teaching them how to make stone tools from flint. This is part of the module Cognitive Evolution.

Links with industry

Oxford has so many opportunities for gaining work experience in museums, NGOs and local charities. Our students have held paid or voluntary positions at the Pitt Rivers Museum, the Children’s Radio Foundation, and Oxfam. Students are even able to work on research projects run by members of staff. 

Anthropology students on work placement

In the ‘Anthropology in Action’ module you will learn about the wide range of careers open to anthropology graduates. Past students have gone on to careers in environmental maintenance, education, international development, urban planning, and often engage in postgraduate study. 

“I went to Jordan to do archaeological fieldwork. It was an incredible experience and gave me a great insight into the practical side of anthropology and archaeology. It also provided a solid foundation for a lot of what I learnt later in my degree, and I wrote my dissertation on a site that I visited during the trip!”

Kizzy Ferguson, Anthropology graduate

If you choose to take the Independent Study: Work and Community Related Learning module you will have the opportunity to develop an academic programme of study alongside work experience, community work or volunteering.

“One of the most valuable parts of my experience at Brookes has been the range of opportunities and ideas that I have been exposed to as a result of my involvement in the charity Asylum-Welcome. I started volunteering in my first year and over the past three years have provided support, motivation and advice to teenagers affected by the process of seeking asylum.”

Anna McGovern, Geography and Sport, Coaching and Physical Education, 2014

Photo of Anna McGovern

Student experience

Research trip to Cabo de Gata, Níjar Natural Park, Spain

Geography students investigate the hydrology of ephemeral river channels in Spain.

Field trips

Field work is a cornerstone of Geography at Brookes, and we provide several opportunities for field studies in the Oxford region, other parts of United Kingdom, and abroad.

In your first two years, you are introduced to geographical research techniques through practical and field courses. These courses provide training in research design, use of IT and quantitative and qualitative methods that form the basis of geographical investigations.

You will participate in a number of local field trips in your first year providing an introduction to aspects of Human and Physical Geography. Single honours students will also participate in a 3–4 day field course in the first year. In your second year, residential field courses (all students) usually last for between 5–8 days and give you the opportunity to apply your research skills.

Where will I go?

Destinations for residential field trips may vary from year to year. First year field work is UK-based, second year field work typically takes place overseas.

First year

Fieldwork associated with the module Introduction to Geographical Skills and Techniques (single and combined honours) takes place locally, in and around Oxford. A typical location for the UK-based field trip associated with the module Investigating Geography (single honours only) is South Wales. 

Second year

The second year compulsory field trip location (single and combined honours) varies, but in recent years we have visited Malta, Gibraltar and Almeria, Spain.

Geography students conducting fieldwork exercise

Undergraduate research

GEOverse is a national e-journal of undergraduate research in Geography. Our aim at GEOverse is to motivate and reward students for producing innovative and excellent quality undergraduate research by disseminating their work through publication.

GEOverse welcomes articles based on undergraduate research, submitted from single or multiple authors, as well as guest papers from all other institutions. All papers of publication standard will be published electronically at GEOverse Original Papers. Students wishing to discuss a possible submission to GEOverse are welcome to contact Helen Walkington for further advice.

Geoverse eJournal logo

Facilities and resources

Environmental Sciences and Geography lab

This is a shared teaching laboratory for students on Environmental Sciences and Geography courses.

Study abroad

Recent Geography undergraduates have spent a semester or two at universities in Canada, Australia, Europe, and the USA. We also have a special partnership with the University of Malta. 

“The course appealed to me both academically and for my future career prospects, and the offer of a study abroad programme really sold it! I love travelling and take a keen interest in global current affairs. My year in sunny California has been amazing.”

Rachel Kamall, Geography with Sociology graduate

Rachel Kamal standing in front of the Golden Gate Bridge

Our geography staff

Dr Sarah Cant

Dr Sarah Cant

Senior Lecturer in Human Geography

 Christopher  Lizotte

Christopher Lizotte

Lecturer in Human Geography

Dr Mel Nowicki

Dr Mel Nowicki

Senior Lecturer in Urban Geography

Dr Ash Parton

Dr Ash Parton

Reader in Physical/Environmental Geography

Dr Sam Smith

Dr Sam Smith

Reader in Anthropology

Dr Joe Williams

Dr Joe Williams

Senior Lecturer in Physical/Environmental Geography

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