10 Top Tips for a Cambridge Geography Personal Statement

3 min read

Your Cambridge personal statement is a crucial component in your university application as it gives you a chance to articulate why you’re particularly interested in Geography and to distinguish yourself from other applicants. Additionally, it offers the Cambridge interviewer a focal point to base discussions about your personality, interests and deduce your commitment to Geography. To help guide you through the process, our Cambridge application experts have compiled a list of top 10 tips for everything you should do and not do for your Oxbridge Geography Personal Statement for the Cambridge 2024/25 application cycle. 


Geography is a course that focuses on some of the biggest challenges facing our planet, from food security, climate and biodiversity emergencies to pandemics and globalisation, and social inequalities and urbanisation to volcanoes and melting ice sheets. Your Geography personal statement could demonstrate the link between these domains and more. Moreover, when planning out your personal statement, make sure you research Cambridge’s achievements in the field of Geography and include it into your writing to illustrate your interest in studying Geography at Cambridge. For example, the department holds themselves to a high academic standard and many graduates are employed the year after graduation.

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Almost all Cambridge colleges that admit undergraduates will accept applications for Geography. The current exception is Peterhouse College. Newnham College and Murray Edwards College only accept applications from women. Wolfson College, Hughes Hall College and St Edmund’s College only admit students who are over 21 at the time the course starts. In some years, certain Colleges have more Geography students than others, but the pattern fluctuates from year to year. 

Cambridge no longer requires Geography applicants to complete a pre-interview assessment. However, some Cambridge colleges may ask applicants who are invited to an interview to submit one or two examples of your written work from a relevant A Level/IB (or equivalent) course. Therefore, your geography personal statement is essential in making a god first impression on admissions tutors. We’re here to help, whether it’s through a cambridge geography personal statement check or reading on for our top tips.

Top 5 Tips for a Cambridge Geography Personal Statement

Tell your story

Think about what drew you to study Geography at Cambridge in the first place. What skills or experience do you have that are worth mentioning? Cambridge admissions tutors are looking out for personal experiences against a high academic background. Consider your future career plans, extra-curricular work, and why you chose to study at Cambridge over all other universities.

What makes you suitable

In your personal statement, you must demonstrate what sets you apart from all other aspiring Geographers. Since Geography is such a multi-disciplinary subject, there are many things to mention from globalisation, to inequalities, to wealth divide and more. Remember to mention what interests you about Geography and any relevant skills or experience you have. This can range from extra reading to travelling, to academic skills. 

personal statement examples geography

Read around the subject you’re applying for

Since the competition at Cambridge University is so great, demonstrating you have undertaken extra-curricular work will benefit your personal statement. Examples include readings in topics within Geography that interest you, for example, urbanisation or the wealth gap. Click here for a list of books published by Cambridge University for ideal reading.

Proof read & read aloud your work

Once you’re happy with the content of your draft, check it, check it and check it again! Useful people to ask to proofread your work include a teacher in the field, a current Cambridge student, and a student who is studying Geography. By allowing people to take a look at your statement, they would be able to pick up mistakes or name improvements that you may have missed.

Why Geography

Since Geography is such a varied subject, write a little bit about what stimulated your interest, and consider the careers this degree will present to you. Most students end up working in varied careers, such as business, marketing and human resources, according to the Cambridge website.

Top 5 things to AVOID for your Cambridge Geography Personal Statement

Writing a list of achievements

Don’t list things without expanding on them. It’s better to list fewer experiences but to expand upon what you learnt from those experiences. Make sure you link back to studying a degree in Geography as it will show Cambridge admissions tutors you have insight into what the degree will entail.

Don’t write anything that isn’t true

Don’t exaggerate. You may be asked to provide evidence of your stated achievements, or if you are interviewed you may be asked detailed questions about things you’ve mentioned. It will reflect poorly on you if you are caught out or if you are unable to answer questions about your personal statement.

Copying someone else’s personal statements

Don’t plagiarise. While you can look at geography personal statement examples, do not copy someone else’s UCAS personal statement or use something you have found on the internet. UCAS uses software to check every personal statement for plagiarism. If you are caught, your application will not be seen as genuine or authentic. 

Not reflecting on or justifying your point

Explain points without repeating yourself. Expand on how you’ve acquired certain skills and why they’re important. Examples include, data collection and analytical skills. Remember, quality is always better than quantity- it’s better to expand on a few points than to list every point you can without going into detail.

Don’t sound unprofessional

Steer clear of slang, clichés and quotes. It will sound repetitive to Cambridge admissions tutors to hear about how students are “passionate” about their subject or that they have a “thirst for knowledge”. Write about your personal experience with your Geography journey, and allow the Cambridge admissions tutor to do the rest.


What is a Cambridge Geography Personal Statement?

A Cambridge Geography Personal Statement is a written statement that accompanies a university application to study geography at the University of Cambridge. The personal statement is an opportunity for the candidate to showcase their academic achievements, interests, and passion for geography.

→What should be included in a Cambridge Geography Personal Statement?

A Cambridge Geography Personal Statement should include the candidate’s academic achievements, their relevant work experience, any relevant extracurricular activities or hobbies, and their passion for geography. The statement should also highlight the candidate’s interest in the course and their future career aspirations.

→How long should a Cambridge Geography Personal Statement be?

A Cambridge Geography Personal Statement should be no longer than 4,000 characters or 47 lines of text, whichever comes first. This includes spaces and punctuation.

→How important is it to proofread my personal statement?

Proofreading your personal statement is extremely important as it shows attention to detail and a commitment to presenting your best work. It is recommended that you read your personal statement out loud to catch any errors or awkward phrasing.

→What are some common mistakes to avoid in a Cambridge Geography Personal Statement?

Common mistakes to avoid in a Cambridge Geography Personal Statement include making general statements without providing specific examples, using cliches, copying or plagiarizing content, being too informal or using inappropriate language, and not proofreading thoroughly.

→Why is the personal statement important for a Cambridge geography application?

The personal statement is an important component of a Cambridge geography application because it allows the admissions team to assess the candidate’s suitability for the course. The personal statement also provides an opportunity for the candidate to demonstrate their motivation and passion for the subject.

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