Welcome to Geography at Keele


I’m delighted that you have chosen to study Geography here at Keele and look forward to meeting you when you come to register in late September. I am confident that you will have an enjoyable, rewarding and stimulating time here at Keele, and that during your three-year programme you will be introduced to a range of new concepts and active debates, learn a range of new skills, visit some exciting new parts of the world and make friends that you’ll keep for life.  If you work hard, previous experience indicates that the programme will enable you to access a range of exciting career opportunities when you graduate.

These pages have been written to help you prepare for your arrival. Please take the time to have a look through these pages to find out what you can usefully do prior to your arrival, what your first week at Keele will involve, what your elective choices will involve and where you can find some useful additional information.  Please also make sure that you take a look at Keele’s own “welcome” webpage .

You will have a series of meetings for Geography starting right at the beginning of the first week of the year (see the "Welcome Week" tab) as well as a series of events that will introduce you to the university and all the activities and facilities you have on offer.  We will sort out all the arrangements for your classes in Geography at those first meetings and do what we can to help you settle in at Keele. We are based in the William Smith Building, which is easy to find in the heart of campus just up the hill from the shops and the University Library (see the campus map available via the "Additional Info" tab). 

Our aim is always to be as helpful as possible before you arrive, whilst you’re studying at Keele and even after you’ve moved on to pursue your chosen career. Therefore if you have any questions or concerns regarding Keele in general or the degree programme in particular, please feel free to get in touch. You can contact myself directly, or you can talk to Cerys Jones, the course administrator, in the GGE Office (01782 733615)

Richard Waller My colleagues and I look forward to meeting you when you arrive at the start of the new academic year and would like to wish you the very best in your studies here at Keele.

Best wishes,

Richard Waller

Email: r.i.waller@keele.ac.uk
Telephone: (01782) 733179

Before you arrive

Leaving the familiar surroundings of school or college and embarking on a University degree programme is an exciting prospect. We are however well aware that it can be a little daunting for some and rest assured that there will be plenty of support on hand provide support and guidance as you find your feet. In order to get a head start, there are some things you can do before you arrive to prepare for your new life at Keele.

In addition to the following subject-specific list, please also make sure you have a look at University's welcome page, which contains all kinds of useful information about the local area, the University, what to do before you arrive, events taking place in the first week. There is also a Keele "Welcome & What's On" app that will guide you through your first few weeks.

Clock House Drive 1. Find out about the degree programme

We will explain exactly how the degree programme works during a series of induction sessions during “Welcome Week”. However, if you have the time, it’s well worthwhile having a quick look through the relevant introductory course handbook before you arrive so you’re familiar with some of the “key features” of the programme:

2. Things to bring with you

You should aim to bring the following essential items that will be of use throughout the programme:

  • Diary  - an invaluable tool in paper or digital form for organising your personal and academic life.
  • Modern atlas – so you can find out where things are located!
  • 1:50,000 Ordnance Survey map of the local area (landranger map 118)  - so you can get your local geographical bearings.
  • Calculator – with basic scientific functions. The university only allows specific types of calculators in exams, so you are expected to use a calculator of one of the following "approved" types: Aurora SC582 series; Casio FX-82 series; Casio FX-83 series; Casio FX-85 series; Casio FX-350 series; Sharp EL-509 series; Sharp EL-531 series; Texas Instruments TI30 series.
  • Basic drawing equipment – pens, pencils, ruler, protractor and stapler.

3. Consider purchasing some key texts

In the first year in particular, much of the wider reading we’ll expect you to do as part of your studies will relate to a series of core textbooks. Whilst multiple copies are available in the library, it’s worth considering purchasing personal copies of some of the following books for your own convenience and interest:

  • Cloke, P., Crang, P. & Goodwin, M. 2013. Introducing Human Geographies (3rd edition). Routledge.
    Core text for the Year 1 Human Geography modules.
  • Gregory, D. et al. (eds.) 2009. The Dictionary of Human Geography (5th edition). Wiley-Blackwell.
    Useful resource on key terms and concepts covered in the Year 1 Human Geography modules.
  • Holden, J. (ed.) 2017. An Introduction to Physical Geography and the Environment (4th edition). Pearson Prentice Hall.
    Core text for the Year 1 Physical Geography modules.
  • Knight, P.G. & Parsons, T. 2003. How to do your essays, exams and coursework in Geography and related disciplines. Nelson Thornes.
    Addresses the various study skills covered as part of the Year 1 tutorials.
  • Matthews, J.A. and Herbert, D.T. 2006. Geography: a very short introduction. Oxford University Press.
  • Thomas, D.S.G. (ed.) 2016. The Dictionary of Physical Geography (4th edition). Wiley-Blackwell.
    Useful resource on key terms and concepts covered in the Year 1 Physical Geography modules.

The campus bookshop usually offers special deals on our main textbooks if you prefer to wait until you arrive. These will be advertised during Welcome Week.

Welcome Week

Your first week at Keele is a “Welcome Week” that provides you with the opportunity to enrol, find your way around the university and of course settle into your academic programme prior to the start of your modules. This page focuses on the welcome week activities associated with the Geography programmes with further information on the wider events and activities being run at Keele being available here.

The main welcome week activities for Geography are as follows (please note you will have an additional range of events and activities associated with your other principal subject if you are studying a Combined Honours programme):‌

Students in the field

Geography sessions during Welcome Week

We have three Geography meetings in the first week, at which you will get to meet staff and students, get to know how everything works, start to find your way around and generally get yourself happily established on the course with your new Geography "family".

Meeting 1 – Induction for all the Geography Programmes

Monday 24th September 2018, 10-12pm (Chancellor's Building, room CBA1.103)

This will be a big meeting for all the students doing all the different Geography-related degrees. You will have to fill in some paperwork, you will be allocated tutorial and practical classes, and you will be given important information about your course. There will be chance to meet some of the other students and to ask us any questions that you might have. We will explain how the rest of your induction sessions will work. 

Meeting 2 – How to Succeed in your Degree ProgrammeFinding your Geographical Bearings

Tuesday 25th September 2018, 2-4pm (William Smith Building, room WS0.16)

This second session will consider the specific challenges posed by degree-level study and will provide a series of “top tips” for success. It will encourage you to consider the ways in which to make the most of your time at Keele and to start thinking about your future. 

Meeting 3 – Finding your Geographical Bearings
Friday 28th September 2018, 10am-1pm (William Smith Building, room WS0.16)

As a geographer, a vital first step to settling in to Keele is to explore your surroundings and develop your “sense of place”. The campus contains a number of interesting places that provide an insight into a range of local, regional and conceptual issues and demonstrates how geography is everywhere! This final self-guided trip will introduce you to some of these places and to some of the methods and resources geographers frequently employ. Best of all, it will be followed by a free lunch at 12.30pm to mark the end of Welcome Week!

Who to go to if you need help

The Geography Course Director – Dr Richard Waller

The Geography Courses 1st Year Tutor – Dr Daniel Allen

The Geography Courses Administrator – Miss Cerys Jones

Any of the Geography staff.

Further information about sources of help and advice can also be found in the Geography Handbook, which you will be provided with in the induction sections.

Please note: Full details of what you need to do during your first week at Keele can be found in the undergraduate handbook sent to you as part of your Freshers' pack.


Iceland Depending on your chosen degree route, you may be required to take one or more elective modules. You will receive information on the elective options and the registration process prior to your arrival at Keele. However, if you want to find out more information about whether you need to take an elective module and to find out what modules are available, you can follow the links below:

Geography, Geology and the Environment offers a number of approved electives as part of the elective programme that may be of particular interest. A list of these modules and links to further information are provided below:

Additional Info

Keele Hall Further information you might find useful can be accessed via the following links:

  • University Welcome page - contains lots of essential information to help with pre-arrival planning.
  • Welcome app - provides the latest information on the events taking place during Welcome Week.
  • Course Handbook – provides a variety of information on the key characteristics and organisation of the degree programmes.
  • Keele University colour campus map and guide – will help you find your way around when you arrive (the William Smith Building is building 15).