James Walley

James is studying BA Geography. He’s also a Manchester Global Ambassador, having spent a year abroad in Canada.

On choosing Geography at Manchester

James Walley

The flexibility of the Geography course at Manchester was the main attraction for me. I was indecisive as to whether I wanted to study human or physical, and at Manchester, you can choose modules from either side throughout your degree (unlike many other universities).

The abundance of students around the city really adds to Manchester’s buzz too and makes it a great student city. The campus itself is impressive and I was drawn by the huge investment that it’s been undergoing, which I’ve been able to benefit from during my time here.

On spending a year abroad

The highlight has been gaining a place at McGill University in Canada to do my study abroad. This was a great opportunity to expand on my academic knowledge whilst gaining fantastic life experiences through living in another country.

I didn’t originally apply for the year with international study but changing onto it was the best decision I’ve made so far. It also gave me time to think about what I want to do in the future.

On international fieldwork

In the second year, I went on a joint human/physical geography field trip to Crete. My highlight was the project I conducted called ‘The Geomorphology of the Loutro Coast’ where a fellow student and I led a team on an observation and in-depth analysis of the coastal processes forming the coastline.

On my future

I’m currently applying for jobs in urban design and planning-related disciplines. Geography is looked upon highly in this field as it teaches relevant skills. However, if this doesn’t work out then Manchester has a great planning school so I can complete my planning conversion course here at the University.