About us

The Soil Science BuildingGeography and Environmental Science is a new department comprising the former, long established departments of Geography and Soil Science, and along with the Department of Archaeology forms the School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science (SAGES).

Geography was first taught as a degree subject at the University of Reading in 1902. Formally established in 1964, the origins of Soil Science go back to the establishment of courses in agriculture at Reading in the late nineteenth century.  The merger of the departments in 2010 strengthens and broadens the teaching and research links that we have built over the years.

Our highly rated research activities investigate the pressing issues of today.

Soil Science building third floor greenhouseWe offer the opportunity to study at undergraduate, masters or research degree level.

As well as large teaching laboratories, the excellent facilities include specialised analytical and research laboratories. Students and staff also have access to the up to the minute IT facilities located around the School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science (SAGES)

Athena SWAN Bronze awardThe School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science is a holder of the Bronze Athena SWAN Department Award.

REF 2014 results confirm Reading Environmental Science as amongst the very best

The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) published the results of its Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 on 18 December 2014. The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is the method for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions (HEIs) held approximately every six years.

Reading ranked 3rd of 45 submissions in Earth System & Environmental Sciences (UoA7) in terms of 'research power', placing Reading higher than Southampton, UEA, Cambridge, Lancaster, Oxford and UCL. The submission comprised staff primarily from Meteorology plus 15 staff from Geography & Environmental Science (two-thirds of our department).

Expert peer review has confirmed 79% of the research outputs as scoring in the world-leading and internationally excellent categories. In addition, scores well above the sector means were achieved for research impact (51% at 4*) and research environment (60% at 4*). All impact case studies were ranked as world-leading or internationally excellent.

One-third of our department was submitted in Geography (UoA17b). Based on research power, Reading Geography ranked close to the mid-point of 74 submissions. 47% of research outputs were graded as internationally excellent and 10% world-leading.

For more information on the University's results, please see: Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014

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