Posts Tagged ‘#geography’

Life of a transfer student…joining QMUL Geography in year 2


As we all know, adjusting to change is not the easiest thing. Whether you have moved home, school or between jobs – it can be life-changing. Making the decision to move university programmes part-way through your degree studies is a big deal. But with a bit of research, a little patience, and a view to the future, you can get over being the new arrival, settle in, and make the most of your new path!

Here, I speak to one transfer student who joined QMUL Geography at the start of the second year…

Q1: How are you finding your experience at QMUL so far?

“The campus is lovely and I am enjoying my experience so far. The university is in the heart of London so there’s always something to do within a short distance. I have really enjoyed it and the atmosphere around campus has a home-like feeling!  I enjoyed my second semester more than the first semester as I had settled in and got used to the way things work at Queen Mary.”

Q2: What were you expecting before you arrived at QMUL?

“I had an idea of what to expect in terms of academics but every university is different. I expected to meet lots of new people  but I realised this is something that takes time. As I arrived in the second year, keeping on top of university assignments as well as trying out different activities proved more difficult than I had initially thought. You just have to find the right balance!”

Q3: What did you think about the way the lectures are structured and the teaching? 

“Lectures in the School of Geography are well structured; you have an idea of what is going to be covered prior to attending the lecture. I like this as it prepares you for the lecture so you to print any specific material and take out essential books in the library. Lecturers are approachable and helpful, many will support you outside of their office hours which is nice to know.”

Q4: Any advice for anyone else who is a transfer student, or anyone who is considering transferring to QMUL but is afraid to do so?

  • It’s a good experience – honest!
  • Not many people know you are able to transfer (so do your research)
  • Be prepared for the process as it is long and can be daunting but it’s not as bad as it seems and once it’s over it’s a relief.
Join QMUL Geography in London's Queen Mary University of London

“I always wanted to graduate from this university, especially from the School of Geography – it’s a dream come true!” Transfer student

Set in the heart of London's East End, QMUL Geography is an excellent place to study undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in human and physical geography as well as environmental science

The School of Geography ranks consistently highly in university league tables and student satisfaction scores. Here a table of brochures and postcards hanging out in Geography Reception…

photo 2

The School of Geography at QMUL is named in the top 100 universities in the world for this subject according to QS World University rankings 2015.

“I’m just heading into my final year this autumn and am looking forward to graduating with a degree from Queen Mary University of London…pictured some helpful Student Survey bugs in Geography Reception…!”


  • If you have any queries about joining QMUL Geography, please contact our admissions team on or call 020 7882 8168.

Water industry visits QMUL

Award-winning students at the Queen Mary graduation day 2015 with Professor Alison Blunt (centre)

Gabriel Streich (second left) at QMUL Geography graduation 2015

Hi – my name is Gabriel Streich and I’ve just finished my masters in environmental science at QMUL Geography!

It’s been a packed semester but I just wanted to update about an annual lecture we attended here at QMUL by the Worshipful Company of Water Conservators – one of the supporters of our masters programme: Integrated Management of Freshwater Environments.

“The annual Water Conservators Lecture, this year hosted in the impressive surroundings of Queen Mary’s Octagon, was a fascinating opportunity to hear some big names in the water industry giving their take on the issues and innovations that will affect future water use in the City of London.

“Martin Baggs, CEO of Thames Water, gave a very engaging talk on the scale of Thames Water’s supply challenge and some of the measures they are taking to tighten up on efficiency.  Talks from Mark Lane, Chairman of British Water, and a representative of the host organisation, Ricardo-AEA gave insightful lectures on the pressures facing water in the City, and also on the innovations that could address these pressures, from technical solutions, such as real-time sewer controls, through to wholesale changes in economic models, e.g. from linear to circular economies.  As a representative of the water industry as a whole, Sarah Mukerhjee, Director of Environment at Water UK, provided the context within which the other talks fell.

“This was a free event and it provided a breadth of information that is really relevant to those of us with an interest in water within London and more generally within cities.  The opportunity to network with key figures in the water industry was also a bonus that any student would be glad of.”

  • I also visited the Tagliamento River in north east Italy as part of my degree, so you can see more pics from that on Flickr. Enjoy!

Where Geography meets Biology! Environmental Science students visit Croatia 2015!

Ever wondered what Environmental Science students in the School of Geography get up..? Well, below is a glimpse of what happened when they joined students from the School of Biological and Chemical Sciences on a field class to Croatia!

“As a part of our biology module in Environmental Science we had the opportunity to visit Croatia. On a day-to-day basis we were taught by professors specialised in their field from the University of Zagreb. We were taught through interactive fieldwork and we covered a different aspect of biology everyday. This involved studying springs, lakes, and vegetation to bats, crayfish, birds and frogs.


Croatia 2015

First sunset in Croatia, before the fieldwork begins

Sunset in Croatia, our first night before the field work begins!

Croatia 2015   Croatia 2015

Croatia fieldwork 2015  Cetina springs, where students were classifying invertebrates, measuring water pH, and conductivity.

  Wading in... 


Krka National Park, Croatia

Bat hunting

Eco-Location! (Bat communication) On our way to a Bat cave




Boat trip, fieldwork on a boat! Does it get any better!!  Boat trip

Tree frog

Tree frog

Prof. Nichols demonstrating to the students

Croatia 2015

Bird watching.. It isn’t as easy as it looks!

Field work


Franziska, PhD student & demonstrator with our little friend we found along the way!


Crayfish galore! No animals were harmed during the taking of this photo.

Professor Nichols exploring Church of holy salvation

A little history lesson whilst in Croatia!




Days in the Cairngorms again – Geography and Environmental Science fieldwork diary

Second year students had the opportunity to return to the legendary Cairngorms fieldtrip this year to help first years explore this unique and wonderful National Park. From searching for the geocaches left by last year’s trip to checking out the finest Scottish food and drink…they’ve kept a diary of her experience to help you catch a glimpse of this world away from the city and the research opportunities it brings.

Ebony Acheampong, BSc Environmental Science with Business Management
Kana Alam, BSc Environmental Science
James Jarrett, BSc Geography

Friday 3rd April:
After a long journey to Aviemore, Scotland yesterday, today was spent supervising the first years exploring Glenmore Lodge and the surroundings of Aviemore.
We also tested out the geocaching method that had been successfully carried out last year. The first years found one of the geocaches and proved positive as the first years enjoyed the treasure hunt.
Prof David Horne also demonstrated coring in peatlands out in the Cairngorms National Park, this allowed the students to practise looking at soil profiles from the last Ice Age and that have accumulated over large periods of time.

Overall the day was well spent observing and recognising the components that formed such a beautiful surrounding such as the Loch Morlich, Green Lochan (little Loch), Cairngorms Park and mountains in the distance.

The evening ended with a review of the 1st year students fieldnote books and then relaxing at the bar area playing poker with tea and cake.

Saturday 4th April:
Today started with mapping of all the previous geocaching sites and locations. We were preparing ahead for the 1st year students to carry out the exercise in a few days. The walk along the bike trail today was challenging but we all managed to complete it, the beautiful views and landscape also played a part in motivation along with getting back to the lodge in time for tea and cake, which is always helpful of course.

One group of 1st years went up to the Coire an t-Sneachda whilst the second group went to Glen Feshie for a mapping exercise of the river landforms and sediments. This day I spent with Kana and James planning out the walk for the geocaching. This was a brilliant way in exploring the area up to an outdoor centre called Badaguish, which looked like such a relaxed eco village centre.

The geocaches we found in the first location and second were bird boxes with the clue ‘‘Feathery friends’’ which was set up by students from the previous year.

We then interviewed some students that went up to the Coire on the first day; these are a few of their experiences.

“It was really awesome as I felt like I was in the Arctic, since I’ve never done this sort of thing before being from the city,’’ Yasin Wadud.

“It was a unique experience, as it was a complete white out of fog then as it cleared up it was really beautiful,’’ Matthew MacMillan.

Sunday 5th April:
This day me, Kana and James went on the walk up to Coire an t-Sneachda with the group who carried out the mapping exercise. This brought back so many memories from the last year we visited; the walk took about 3 hours to the Coire including a stop to the ski centre and 2 hours back.
At the halfway point there was a buzz with people from different locations enjoying the facilities in the Cairngorms Mountains and ski centre.
The walk continued afterwards to the top point for another break and drawing of the landforms present.

The second group carried out a walk to Allt Mor which was lead by two members of staff from the School of Geography. The aim of this study was to carry out hydrological analysis in the river catchment.

Monday 6th April:
We took the first group to carry out the geocaching exercise we planned out in the previous few days.

The geocaching exercise was put together with a practice Environmental Impacts Assessment (EIA). This was done in proposal for bike trails across Glenmore Forest. The two activities linked well as each geocache location had positive and negative aspects to a future bike trial. The students thought and discussed well into the effects on the nature and habitats, so overall the day was a success.

Tuesday 7th April:
The second group of first year students were taken for the geocaching exercise, this was a success as the teams found all the boxes and signed the notepads available inside. Two geocache boxes found were set up by the second years who assisted my year so it was very nice to see it all in place.

The food provided at Glenmore Lodge is also really good quality and selection, really reminded us all of home cooked meals we have missed being away from home. This was always looked forward to after a long day of fieldwork.

Wednesday 8th April:
Today we assisted the first year students in Alt Mor soil and water samples collections, for chemistry analysis of pH and minerals present. In addition to this we helped with ideas to further development of the fieldwork diversity policy for the school of geography. We came up with some good ideas to create a more interactive and realistic alternatives to exercises carried out.

Today after the fieldwork we spoke to some of the staff to learn about their experience working in Glenmore lodge. We spoke most with the Chef called Mike who had travelled a lot and finally settled in Aviemore with his wife and family. He gave us great advice that words of wisdom and how much he enjoyed being in Aviemore. We definitely think he is the happiest person that we’d had ever met; there was a joy about him that was radiant and almost alien to us.

Meeting people like Mike definitely is a perk to these trips and opportunities, which come by through being at university.

Thursday 9th April:
Today we arrived back in London after a long coach journey around 8pm; this was a faster journey than when we were setting off to Scotland. It was nice to arrive back into London at a good time, though it was equally sad to leave Scotland. Everyone was so friendly and this environment was so refreshing especially coming from London.

The trip overall was definitely worth going more than once and hopefully it will be possible for more students to experience Aviemore, Glenmore Lodge and the Cairngorms National Park.


Ebony, Kana & James


Images from fieldtrip:

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