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Geography at 100

In 2022, the King's Department of Geography celebrated its 100th anniversary – everything we have achieved, as well as our work to come.

Place, space, and time – Geography is all around us! It is in the air we breathe, the food we eat, the fabric of our cities and transport systems, the nature we enjoy. Equally, it is in climate change, the COVID-19 pandemic, homelessness and biodiversity loss. Encompassing both human and physical perspectives, Geography shapes our understanding of the world – and for the past 100 years, Geography at King’s has been contributing to this knowledge.

To mark its 100-year journey, the department held a series of celebrations that looked at the past, present and future of the discipline and its vital role in today’s global society.

Where are we today?

Today, the Department of Geography at King’s sits within the School of Global Affairs, Faculty of Social Science & Public Policy. Located in the centre of London, our horizon for geographical research and study is the world, but also the many ways in which our home city is deeply connected with the wider world, for example through environmental processes, human mobility, finance and power, ideas and culture. 

Along with teaching, our research community undertakes problem-solving research on critical environmental, urban and social issues such as climate change, disasters, smart cities, risk regulation, water, human migration and wildfire hazards.

Our research findings contribute to public debates and policy development on global, national and local scales. Three interdisciplinary hubs – King’s Climate, King’s Water Centre and Earth Observation & Environmental Sensing – bring together academics and practitioners to generate impact.

Our geographers are outward-looking and entrepreneurial, seeking to understand the social and environmental challenges faced by different societies around the world and demonstrating how geographers can make a difference.

In the latest UK Research Excellence Framework, the Department ranked in the top 10 for research power, with almost 90 per cent of our research rated as internationally excellent or world leading in quality.

Discover more about the history of the department and our alumni voices

Geography’s role in society: past, present and future

The main centenary event in November included a panel discussion and exhibition based on the research and teaching stemming from the department, including policy briefs, community work, data mining tools, satellite technology, and weather and pollution monitoring stations.

The panel, moderated by Yik Kei Leung, former Co-President of the King's Geography Society, ranged widely, showing the relevance of geography to people of all ages and backgrounds.

Speakers on the panel included Sean Fletcher (King’s alumnus and journalist), Alan Mills MBE (MapAction, a current internship partner), Iram Sammar (Geography PhD student) and Dr Catherine Souch (Head of Research and Higher Education, Royal Geographical Society with IBG).

Read more about the event

Download the Geography 100th anniversary brochure

The Geography at 100 brochure provides a summary of our research, teaching and achievements, as well as some our history since 1922.