The College usually admits eight undergraduates each year to study Geography.
Mansfield has been one of Oxford’s major Geography colleges since the early 1970s. The College admits 8 Geographers each year, and there are usually about 12 postgraduate Geographers as well. Geographers have long played a leading role in sporting, social as well as academic aspects of College life. There is a flourishing Geographical society, the 1887 Society, which organises a variety of social and other events including an annual dinner to which many former Mansfield Geographers return.
Mansfield is the nearest college to the School of Geography and within five minutes’ walk of the Bodleian Library, Rhodes House (for Commonwealth books and journals) and the Radcliffe Science Library (for human and physical geography). Mansfield’s own library has one of the best College collections of Geography books.
The three Geography tutors all have rooms in college and are readily available to students who need help or support. They share the tutorial teaching of those parts of the geography course which are common to all students, whilst each student is normally assigned to one of the three Mansfield tutors for guidance concerning his or her undergraduate dissertation. College tutorials, normally in pairs, are supplemented by classes where appropriate. Those parts of the course which are a matter of choice - Special Subjects in the second and third years - are taught by the appropriate specialist tutors inside and outside the College.
Thanks to the generosity of former students, Mansfield has a travel fund to assist undergraduates who choose to do their dissertations overseas. The Henty Fund exists to assist ‘ambitious or unusual travel’ and to finance a prize for the best 2nd year performance in Geography.
We find that most employers welcome an Oxford Geography degree as evidence of a broad intellectual training, development of specific IT and other skills, and understanding of many important social-economic, political and environmental issues. Some Mansfield Geographers go on to do research degrees or more vocationally orientated postgraduate degrees including law conversion courses. Many pursue careers in management, consultancy or commercial research, others in teaching, health administration and local government. A significant proportion take challenging posts overseas.
We are very happy to discuss potential applications and to meet applicants at open days or other times. Provided that you have taken Geography at A level or equivalent, the precise combination of other academic subjects is not important. Applications are welcome from both pre and post A2 (or equivalent) candidates from all kinds of schools and backgrounds. We are happy to make deferred offers to candidates with worthwhile ‘gap year’ plans.
We interview everyone who has a chance of success. You will meet all three of the geography tutors in the course of two interviews, with a chance of a further interview if you feel that you have not done yourself justice. We are interested in assessing potential and ability to think and develop arguments, rather than just factual knowledge. The emphasis in interview is on encouraging you to do justice to yourself and reveal your potential. Commitment to and enthusiasm for Geography are important qualities.
In the event of the College having more deserving Geography applicants than places, we try hard (usually with some success) to find places in other Colleges.