Geography – Oxford Interview Questions

“How can I prepare when the interviewer could ask me absolutely anything about Geography?”

By understanding how the interview works and, crucially, what it is that the interviewer is looking for. The interviewer is not looking to catch you out, but rather for you to demonstrate your curiosity, knowledge and passion for Geography.

“How am I able to do that?”

Demonstrate your enthusiasm and personality

You might be asked general interview questions so that the interviewer can learn more about you – review our list of General Interview questions to prepare.

Show that you enjoy studying Geography independently
The easiest way to demonstrate your enthusiasm for Geography is to show that you are self-motivated and have studied the subject in your free-time for enjoyment – for example through online lectures and independent reading. If you don’t know where to start, review our suggested reading list below.

Demonstrate your subject knowledge about and passion for Geography
The key to answering these questions is to always demonstrate your thought process aloud. The interviewer does not expect you to be able to answer every question immediately, but rather wants to determine that you are able to think about and work on unknown topics with confidence, intelligence and clarity – and they won’t be able to do that if you sit in silence! Use the list of questions below to prepare. Perhaps you can have a friend or relative ask you these questions so that you can develop your skills of thinking under time pressure and speaking out loud.

Subject Interview Guide – Geography

Our Subject Interview Guides help you to prepare and go into your interview with confidence.

OIQ Interview Guides

Each guide discusses ten Oxford Interview Questions in depth with answers and approaches – along with possible points of discussion to further demonstrate your knowledge. They have been specially edited for applicants for each subject by a team of Oxford and Cambridge graduates.

Download a sample page from our Physics Guide here.

Please Note: Currently “The Oxford Interview Guide” is available for Chemistry and Physics (available to download below). Other subjects will be available for download in November 2016 – please enter your email below to receive a notification when your subject guide is available for download.

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Geography Suggested Reading

People, Space, Geographies of Difference (Please note that the below are undergraduate texts)

Society Environment and Development (Please note that the below are undergraduate texts)

Physical Geography (Please note that the below are undergraduate texts)

Geography Interview Questions

Would anything remain in Geography if we took the notion of place away?
Give and explain some environmental impacts of industrial agriculture?
Why should we conserve?
Where should physical and human geography be looked at together?
What are the issues surrounding world debt?
How does drama relate to geography?
Why do you think Bavaria has the lowest breastfeeding rate in Germany?
How does Geography relate to A Midsummer Night’s Dream?
What is the role of maps in modern day society?
If I were to visit the area where you live, what would I be interested in?
What do you think about those who regard global warming as nonsense?
Are fair trade bananas really fair?
Imagine you are hosting the BBC4 Radio Show on New Year’s Day, what message would you send to the people using this programme?
Explain cliff formation after looking at a photograph. How can computers aid geographers in understanding such processes?
What is the relevance of physical geography to human geography?
Are there any articles you’ve read in the paper recently that are relevant to physical geography?
What is the population of Croydon?
Is nature natural?
Are there any articles you’ve read in the paper recently that are relevant to physical geography?
Can we consider nature as natural in today’s world?
Compare and contrast Venus and Mars.
Could the great biblical flood have ever happened?
Define risk.
How can computers aid geographers in understanding physical processes?
Give me an example of a geological phenomenon that has had a significant impact on humans.
How can volcanic eruptions change global climate, and at what timescales?
How can ICT help geographers understand physical process and natural hazard events?
How did the Ancient Greeks know that the earth wasn’t flat?
How do human and physical geography overlap?
How do we know that dinosaurs once existed?
How do we know that Pangaea existed?
How do we know what is in the core of the Earth?
How do we measure sea levels? Why is this a poor method?
How does carbon dating work?
How does drama relate to geography?
How would you definitively prove that global warming was man made?
Plot the graph of CO2 emissions vs. time starting from the lOth century.
The atmospheric pressure is 10,000 Pa. Calculate the mass of Earth’s atmosphere.
What is the relationship between global population and atmospheric CO2?
What are natural hazards?
What are the limitations of hazard mapping?
What is culture?
What is Malthus’ principle of population’?
What is the difference between a volcano and a mountain?
What is the impact of globalization and multi-national corporations?
What is the impact of the economy/policy on social inequality? Do you think that access to education lies at the heart of development?
What is the point of conservation?
What is the role of maps in modern day society?
What percentage of the world’s water is contained in one watermelon?
What would happen if a 10 km wide asteroid smashed into the Pacific Ocean?
What would happen if the Earth had two Moons of equal size?
Where would you survive longer – in the Arctic or Sahara?
Why are temperatures rising more in polar regions than in tropical regions?
Why do rainforests contain so much biodiversity compared to the Sahara desert?
Why is it that in some developing countries slum settlements have sprung up near high-rise buildings/wealthier neighbourhoods?
Why are glacier melting rates non-linear?
Why do we know so little about the depths of the Ocean? How could this be rectified?
Why do you think some people don’t take global warming seriously?
Why is Antarctica so much colder than the Arctic?
Why is biodiversity not evenly distributed around the world?
Why is it important to know the number of living species on Earth?
Why is place important in geography?
Would it matter if tigers became extinct?
Would you rather conserve Antarctica or the Amazon?