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Field trips

Field trips are an exciting way to practically apply your studies in a real-world situation while exploring the world. They are integral to the King’s Geography experience because they allow you to gain exposure to the practicalities of data collection overseas.

They also offer you a better understanding of the wide range of opportunities available as a graduate. Plus, they're a great way for everyone to get to know each other better.

The locations of the fieldtrip are subject to national and university policy, as well respect to minimise potential environmental impacts. Given these considerations, locations vary depending on the national and international context. We currently hold field trips in domestic locations within the UK but are seeking to return to international destinations as soon as possible. In the past these have included Spain, Morocco, San Francisco, India, Portugal, Hong Kong.

The hero image on this webpage was taken by student Zi Shao on a field trip to southern Spain.

First year field trip

In previous years, our first year students have visited southern Spain, where they have undertaken research projects. This included:

  • analysing the historical and cultural geographies of the cities of Almería and Cartagena
  • exploring the impacts of industrial agriculture
  • investigating the experiences of migrants who tend the fields
  • considering the evolution of natural resources in Cabo de Gata region, the tectonics and geomorphological evolution of the coast, and the geomorphology and eco-hydrology of the Tabernas Badlands

This field trip is currently free for all students required to attend, with the exception of visa fees for some international students.

Second year field trip

Your destination in year two is guided by your degree (BSc or BA) and depends on your main area of interest. For human geographers, the trip is preceded by a term’s worth of preparatory classes in which youconceive and develop a research project to be undertaken ‘in the field’. For physical geographers, data collected in the field as part of the trip is analysed back in London in our state-of-the-art computer labs or the John B Thornes Laboratory. 

Potential destinations

This development geography field trip to coastal Kerala, India, is challenging and exciting. For three days you will work in groups of three with a local student counterpart acting as a guide and translator on an individual group project that you will have designed before arriving in Kerala.

Student projects are the backbone of the field experience and will have you quickly immersed in local culture, language and development challenges. This will be through interviews, focus group discussions and informal observation at a range of locations from schools, fish markets, churches and prawn or coconut plantations to community groups and local governments.

Projects are framed by three observation days focusing on urban and rural livelihoods and change and a transect into the Western Ghats. Watch out for elephants – these can be distracting!

This field trip to Hong Kong explores urban and economic development and change in two of East Asia’s most dynamic city-regions. The focus of the week-long trip is independent research projects on contemporary issues of urban geography in Hong Kong, including high-density living, relationships with China, legacies of British colonialism, and the cultures of globalisation.

Several tours enable students to explore Hong Kong’s housing, architecture and culture, while a hike up Victoria Peak will provide amazing views of Hong Kong and the surrounding bays and islands.

We spend seven days in San Francisco, United States, looking at the politics, economics and cultural geographies of this iconic city. The trip intersperses group-based project work (supervised by one of the staff members) with a walking tour of the city, a boat trip around the Bay, and a trip over the Golden Gate Bridge to Muir Woods National Monument.

In recent years, student projects have focused on gentrification; urban cycling; queer San Francisco; alternative food movements; and earthquake risk and policy. Skills acquired range from the ability to work with archival and visual sources to interviewing and survey-based skills.

This 10-day fieldtrip to Morocco starts in Marrakesh and then takes a transect southwards over the spectacular Atlas Mountains, down the Draa River valley, following this vital water resource through oasis villages until it dissipates into the sand dunes of the Sahara.

Along the way, we will explore the changing climate, from the Mediterranean through to semi-desert mountains, to the arid Sahara. As we do this, we will investigate the effects of a changing climate on the geomorphology, ecology and human subsistence.

The trip includes discussing these issues at numerous locations, as well as practical studies of the aquatic biodiversity of the Draa River and methodology to estimate its past discharge.

King's Geography photography competition

Each year, we run a competition to showcase photos taken by staff and students on their field trips around the world.

2020 competition winners

See the full list of winners from the 2020 Geography photography competition.


2019 competition winners

See the full list of winners from the 2019 Geography photography competition.


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