Read what graduates say about the Geography degree at Edinburgh.
My final year dissertation was on the effects of road building in rural Nepal, and it allowed me to put much of my learning in to practice. I spent a summer gathering my data in rural villages, while benefiting from plenty of critical and friendly advice from the Institute staff.
The culmination of my degree was undoubtedly the field course to Iceland where all the theory I had learnt was applied in a field project. Going somewhere like that with experts in the area really gives you a whole new way of looking at a landscape.
In the first two years you are encouraged to take a combination of physical and human courses which could involve anything from the geography of your breakfast plate to climate change and global warming!
As you progress into third and fourth year study becomes more independent and critical. You are given the freedom to choose from a wider variety of courses which allow you to focus on areas of your own interest - I particularly enjoyed courses such as the geographies of gender and sexuality and health geographies.
The flexibility of the Edinburgh Geography degree meant that I was able to study Geology and Outdoor Education (in addition to Geography) for the first two years and this helped me to clarify where I should specialise in my Honours years.
The Honours options system enabled me to concentrate on Physical Geography, and more specifically on glaciology and climate change whilst also examining the philosophies of science within Geography. This specialisation has helped me obtain a Government funded (NERC) PhD scholarship at Bristol University Glaciology Centre.
These courses presented me with a view of the world and its inequality, and for the first time in twenty years, I crawled out from my suburban middle class stone and woke up.
Two years on, with a CV that includes work at the UN in Geneva, the Army and the Red Cross, I can attribute a large part of what I have already achieved and will achieve in the future to my degree.
My geography degree and experience at the University of Edinburgh has set me up really well for the rest of my life. Just two weeks after finishing my finals I started working for an environmental company beating off competition from over 100 other applicants.
The degree, transferable skills, enthusiasm and positive attitude from four years in the department were essential in securing this post.
This article was published on May 19, 2010