Graduate Profiles

Kathryn Moffatt

I studied Geography BA at the University of Liverpool from 2004-2007 graduating with a 2:1 honours degree and receiving the Roxby Memorial Prize for my dissertation (one of my proudest achievements to date).


After graduating, I completed a Geography PGCE at the University of Sheffield and went to work as a geography teacher. In 2009 I started working at Edgbaston High School in Birmingham, a school I feel privileged to teach in as pupils are polite, interested and enthusiastic. 

I use my degree every day and have even adapted the lessons I teach to include some of the things I studied whilst at university. Currently 3 of my A-level geography students are hoping to go to the University of Liverpool in September. I am very excited about this prospect, I have such fond memories of my time in Liverpool and of the geography department there but also because my own geography teacher was a University of Liverpool graduate who suggested the degree course to me many years ago, a careers chat that I have always been very grateful for. 

In August, 10 years after starting university I will be making another big move, this time to Thailand to teach Geography in an international school. I am excited to teach the subject in a country that has such a diverse geography itself such as rapidly expanding cities and population policies to control this growth. 

I always encourage my students to look at Geography at Liverpool University for a number of reasons, the friendly department, the range of modules available, the great feedback from lecturers and the fieldwork on offer are to name but a few however I think the biggest asset my degree has given me are the doors it has opened for me and the fantastic friends I have made along the way.

Carys Claffey

I studied BA Geography at the University of Liverpool, graduating in June 2012 with a first class degree.


I am now based in Sheffield on the ‘National Graduate Development Programme’; a two-year graduate management development programme, run by the Local Government Association. The programme has been set up to provide local government with the high-calibre managers their communities need – and to give committed graduates the training and opportunities to make a positive impact to the sector.

I always enjoyed Geography at school and chose to study it at university purely for this reason. I had no set career path in mind but felt that geography was not only a subject that I was enthusiastic about, but one that was very well regarded by employers. Perhaps the most appealing thing about a geography degree to me was the tremendous flexibility it offered careers wise. There is a wide range of career paths that my former class mates have chosen to go down, from teaching to management and from research to work in the third sector – the range is huge. I am almost certain that many of my friends, alike myself, did not know exactly what they wanted to before embarking upon their degree, but that is what is so fantastic about geography. It offers you three years to learn not only about the world, but what your place may be within it.

What I particularly liked about Geography at Liverpool was the breadth of the course. The modules that I studied were very diverse and wide ranging, covering topics from politics to populations, the economy to the environment and cities to colonialism. The department itself is a good size: small enough for the staff to get to know you, but large enough to find staff with interests in topics similar to your own. Beyond the department there is so much to get involved in and as for Liverpool itself, it truly is a fantastic city.

My geography degree certainly stood me in good stead for my current job. So much of what local government does is geographical: whether it be in terms of transport, housing, health, the environment, and so on and I was able to comfortably explain at interview why my geography degree was relevant. The course also enabled me to really developed my ‘softer’ skills, such as critical thinking, research methods and analysis, essay and report writing, and team working, all of which have all been invaluable to my current position.

Studying Geography at the University of Liverpool was definitely one of the best decisions that I ever made. If you want a course that not only teaches you about the world but makes you want to change it, that offers huge scope and flexibility, that enables you to develop those all-important ‘softer skills’ and that does all of this in a supportive and friendly environment, then Geography at Liverpool is the course for you.

Anastasia French:

I knew that geography was my subject when I was 6 and chose an atlas over a Barbie doll as a birthday present. 


Therefore, when it came to choosing university options the choice was more where to go rather than what to do. I knew I wanted a city university in the north with a good reputation and the University of Liverpool ticked all of the boxes. 

It was the right choice to make; my 3 years in Liverpool were 3 of the happiest years of my life. I found the degree programme fascinating, studying a wide range of topics from oil depletion to Latin American guerrilla groups. I went on some fabulous field trips; the highlight of the whole course was a trip to Santa Cruz, California studying the risk of flooding to the city. Finally, the best thing of studying in Liverpool was the city itself, I’m a Londoner at heart and I never thought I’d ever say this of another city, but it is the best city in the world. It is difficult to describe Liverpool’s charm, it’s the scouse sense of humour, the friendliness and honesty of the people, the amazing architecture and its creativity and culture that mix together to create a place like nowhere else. I’m now living in London and not a day goes by where something doesn’t make me drift back to my 3 years living in Scouseland.

I am now working for the Ramblers as their Campaigns Administrator. It is a job where I have to think of geography on a daily basis. The role includes helping members of the public with problems that they face in the walking environment, be it barbed wire on a stile or aggressive cows, helping to lobby MPs and PPCs to sign up to the Ramblers manifesto for walking, to map using GIS all proposed path creation, diversion or extinguishment orders in England and Wales and appearing as an expert in Britain’s leading walking magazine’s “ask the experts” section. There is a lot of variety to my role which is what I relish and it can occasionally get difficult having to juggle it all, but being a student volunteering, working, socialising and studying has given me the skills to prioritise and juggle so that I can get the best outcomes. The course also provided me with a broad range of skills including the ability to work in a team and independently to carry out research, an introduction to GIS and report writing.

I hope to continue in the path that I am currently on, to a career in charity campaigning. Without my degree from Liverpool, I would not be able to approach this career with the confidence and enthusiasm that I am.

Jane Elliott:

I graduated from Liverpool University in 1999 with a first class honours degree in Geography. 


In the first two years of my degree I focused on physical geography, moving in the third year towards courses and subjects at the cusp of physical and human geography around issues of global sustainability.

My degree sparked a genuine passion for sustainable development which has in turn shaped much of my career. Over the past nine years I have used the sound basis my degree gave me to develop expertise in environmental consultancy, planning and urban design.

Following graduation I gained work experience in a surveying company in Manchester, before moving to London to work for urban regeneration not-for-profit group, URBED. Here I developed a real interest in the role of regeneration in enhancing the sustainability of places. In 2001, I made an important move to focus more specifically on environmental sustainability issues at environmental consultancy at Land Use Consultants.

At Land Use Consultants I was centrally involved in developing and appraising a number of the strategies and plans which are the basis for many of the sustainable development objectives across the UK. I provided environmental planning consultancy services to public sector agencies such as English Nature and Countryside Agency (now Natural England), as well as private sector clients. I played a key role in strategic planning projects and was particularly involved in the promotion of Green Infrastructure strategies for central government and local authorities.

An increasing sense of frustration with preparing strategies which often sat on clients’ shelves led me to undertake a masters degree in urban design with a view to being involved more directly with ‘action on the ground’. By bringing together both my undergraduate experience and my postgraduate knowledge I have now forged a career at the forefront of sustainable urban design. In 2005 I was elected onto the Town and Country Planning Association’s (TCPA) Policy Council to advise on sustainable development, and now sit on their Zero Carbon Task Team. In 2006 I was appointed as an Enabler for the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE), and am now ‘parachuted into’ projects to trouble shoot and review their sustainability credentials.

In 2006 I moved to Urban Practitioners, where I now work as an Associate with responsibility for leading urban design and masterplanning projects. I’m currently working with CABE in preparing an authoritative ‘Manual for Sustainable Cities’. This extensive project has brought me into direct contact with many of the pioneers and sustainability experts I read about during my time at Liverpool. So in many ways the sense of passion they instilled via my tutors at Liverpool has allowed me to join them in the same ambition.

Dr Liz Maher:

I studied at the University of Liverpool between 1999 and 2006 as both an undergraduate and a postgraduate in the Geography Department. 


I left Liverpool with a 1st Class Degree and a PhD after 6 ½ years. Since that time I have lectured in Physical Geography, undertaken post-doctoral research at Aberystwyth University and been involved in the commercialisation of research activities. In September 2008 I moved to Liverpool John Moores University to take a lectureship in Environmental Science and GIS.

I have no doubt that my time at Liverpool has played a significant role in shaping my career and it has given me the confidence to try my hand at a range of different job roles from PhD student to Business Development Officer! The nature of the degree programme I studied (Geology and Physical Geography) ensured that I had a diverse learning experience in a wide range of environments including; laboratory based analysis and field work in areas such as southeast Spain, the Lake District, Ireland and Pembrokeshire. Furthermore, the skills I obtained during my time in the Geography Department prepared me for both academic and non-academic job roles.

The friendliness and professionalism of the staff at Liverpool ensured that at every stage of my development I was able to freely speak to people who could advise me on my chosen career path, drawing on their own personal experiences. This open door approach was invaluable as an undergraduate and made my degree experience fantastic!

Dr. Matt Rowberry:

I studied Geography in Liverpool between 2000 and 2003, leaving with a 1st class degree; with this I was able to embark on a PhD in Wales, which I finished in 2007. 


I am presently working as a post-doctoral researcher in South Africa - studying how the landscape of southern African continent has changed and evolved over the past several hundred million years or so.

I’m sure that my present career can be traced directly back to my time as an undergraduate in Liverpool as we had numerous opportunities to undertake fieldwork in a wide variety of geographical settings; although the sand dunes of Merseyside and the uplands of the Lake District are great places to work, as far as I’m concerned nothing beats the sun streaming down, and so the having the opportunity to study in southern Spain and California as part of my degree was fantastic. It was in those places that I developed an interest in landscape evolution on geological timescales.

A degree in Geography allows you to learn about a huge range of topics from across a wide range of Earth Science disciplines; the insights I gained into such diverse subject areas from structural geology and sedimentology to geomorphology and climatic reconstruction have all proved invaluable to my current research.

More importantly, through my time as an undergraduate, postgraduate, and researcher I’ve spent a lot of time in various geography and geology departments both here and overseas. I’ve yet to find another where the staff are so approachable, friendly, and prepared to offer help and advice; for me, this distinguishes the Geography Department at Liverpool from all the others. I’d like to think that when my students ask for help, I try to advise in the same way that my former lecturers did.

Mike Marshall:

I studied for a BSc in Geography at the University of Liverpool between 1999 and 2002, graduating with a first class degree.


I enjoyed my time there so much that I stayed on to complete the interesting and highly relevant MSc in Environment and Climate Change, passing with distinction in 2003.

We are interested in the circulation and eddies both in the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC), which flows from one ocean basin to the next, and the Weddell Gyre, which fills the region between the ACC and the Antarctic Continent south of the Atlantic.

I am currently work as a post-doctoral research assistant at Aberystwyth University on two different projects; studying long-term past climate change at the source of the Nile in Ethiopia, and improving sediment dating techniques using a lake record from Japan.

As soon as I visited the Geography Department at the University of Liverpool on the open day I knew that it was the place where I wanted to spend the next three years studying. I was made to feel so welcome by the staff and students that showed us around the department and campus. The City of Liverpool has a great atmosphere and is an exciting place to live and study.

The teaching took place in a wide variety of environments, and whether in the large lecture theatres, small tutorial groups, or out in the field, it was always first rate. All of the staff made it obvious that their door was always open to discuss both academic and personal matters.

A definite highlight of the course was the opportunity to travel and learn through ‘hands on’ experiences by going on field courses. I studied sand dunes in Southport, peat bogs in the Lake District and polluted lagoons in California. These trips enable you to put into practice the academic theory and are great for team building. They also give you the opportunity to socialise with friends on the course and to get to know the geography staff.

The course covers a great breadth of subjects, many of which focus on current and contemporary issues, from the challenges faced in Third World development to the impacts of humans on the environment and climate. The course also provides you with numerous transferable skills including; IT, statistical analysis, report writing, team work, debating, presentations, and in depth research. These skills are essential in a wide range of careers and were indispensable to me as I went on to study for a PhD and allowed me to pursue my current research career.

Rachael Fordham:

I studied Geography at Liverpool from 2005-2008 and graduated with a 1st class degree.


I thoroughly enjoyed my time in the Department and was reluctant to leave in 2008, but moved onto studying an MSc in Meteorology at the University of Reading, with a funding scholarship from the National Environmental Research Council (NERC).

Next year I aim to take on a role of a trainee weather forecaster at the Met Office, or continue studying for a PhD related to extreme weather events (such as the Boscastle floods or the recent 2009 Australian wildfires) and their impact on the economy and the reinsurance industry.

I know it’s a cliché but I can honestly describe the three years I spent in the department and in Liverpool as the best three years of my life. From the day I arrived in Liverpool as a slightly nervous 18 year old I knew I had made the right choice to move to Liverpool and choose Geography. The staff were always friendly and supportive ranging from first year tutorials to the final year dissertation projects and careers advice, and this undoubtedly helped me to achieve a high quality degree. I have many memories of being part of the graduation class of 2008, such as the fieldtrip to the Californian coastline (where I studied beach erosion models), to fieldtrips closer to home, such as the Lake District (where we visited in both second and third year), as well as particular module favourites such as Geomorphology, Climate Change, Earthquakes and Volcanoes and Oil, the Economy and Society.

Living in Liverpool can only be described as a good experience. Especially with the recent funding for the 2008 Capital of Culture year many events take place in the city, with good restaurants, bars, museums and shops. The running scene is quite active in Liverpool, and whilst there I trained to complete the Liverpool Half Marathon, 10K Tunnel Run and many more.

Moving away from home and starting a degree can be a daunting prospect, but one I have no regrets about. Choosing Geography at Liverpool is one of the best decisions I have ever made, and has given me a good foundation to my current career prospects, as well as giving me the chance to develop professionally and make friends for life.

Stephen Brady:

I studied Geography at Liverpool between 2004 and 2007, and graduated with a second class Bachelor of Arts degree almost a year ago.


In that year a lot has changed, with my degree opening the door to a lot more employment opportunities. 

I currently hold a graduate position with Murco, in a busy marketing department. Murco are a wholly vertically integrated oil company, owning and running around 200 stations, which I now deal with on a daily basis.

The skills I learnt while studying at Liverpool University have helped me immensely in my new career, with basic statistics, and thorough research being key areas of both my degree, and now my job. Perhaps what was best about studying at Liverpool is the freedom to study what you are interested in, as your personal tastes and attitudes towards subject areas develop. The staff in the Geography Department are always happy to assist you in your endeavours. A particular example was a project I carried out about the ethics of green advertising, using the energy company BP as my primary case study. Something that I still look back on to this day, as the research done then applies to what I do now.

While from the outside it would seem that my Geography degree is not really relevant to what I do now, that is not case at all. The wide range of transferable skills, and wide selection of topics that you can learn about mean that a degree in Geography is what you make of it, shifting the focus to suit your own goals and interests, the experiences I had on field trips, and what I learnt about in lectures have proved invaluable to me already, as I am sure they will time and again over the coming years.

Tom Whelligan-Fell:

I studied a BA in Geography from 2005, with a year break to work as Vice President Communications for Liverpool Guild of Students, through to my graduation with an Upper Second in 2009.


Following my graduation in 2009 I have started my Graduate training programme with Shell Oil as a Global Retail Human Resource Adviser. I owe my job to the University of Liverpool and particularly to the Geoography department.

When I joined the University I didn't know exactly what I wanted to do post university, all I knew was that I wanted to do a Graduate training scheme for a large multinational company, a well regarded and respected degree like Geography from the University of Liverpool made this a possibility. A lot of the skills and experience that I needed to get through the Interviews and assesment centres were obtained through my course.

Geography is not just maps and rocks! Geography teaches you to think on a much larger scale, to see how each part of a scenario interacts with another and how they all link together. The flexibility and range of module choices allows you to tailor the course to your own interests or requirements. I was able to take modules in urban development, family and household development and urban regeneration (through the Civic Design department). One of my favourite modules was our Fieldtrip to Berlin, studying; development, tourism, political history and social segregation. The assessment methods encouraged you to produce a well structured and rounded project, from being assessed on your presentation skills and group work to assessment based on your final project or through continuous assesment this flexibility in module choices, combined with the innovative and varied assessment processes, allows students to flourish and progress to the next stage post university.

I am proud to have studied at the University of Liverpool in the Geography department, with its support , guidance and skills acquired I have secured a position on a top graduate training scheme. I will always look back with great gratitude to the Geography department and University for everything they have taught me.

Tom Whittington:

I graduated from the University of Liverpool with a BSc in Geography (1st class honours) in 1999. 


I then went travelling and a year later moved to Scotland to study a Masters in GIS at the University of Edinburgh.  After that I landed on my feet in a property consultancy in London where my role was to enhance in-house research using GIS. I’m still with the same firm only now I head the Planning, Retail and Healthcare Research teams and have relocated to Manchester. My job involves looking at the commercial viability of property developments and helping schemes with the planning process.

Geography was a fantastic course to be part of and I loved the fact that there were so many options to choose from within the department as well as other modules in other University departments, as this meant that the course was very much customised to meet my own needs. On one hand this suited the fact that I had no idea of what I wanted to be, so I chose those modules I found most interesting; on the other hand it gave me an excellent grounding in a wide range of ‘transferable’ skills that made me highly employable.

OK so I studied Volcanology and Environmental Change and now work with demographics and property markets, but the skill sets developed are surprisingly similar and the rest can be learned on the job. In fact, now that I am an employer my preferred candidates to recruit are often geography graduates.

I am both proud of my time at Liverpool as well as tremendously grateful for having had the opportunity to be involved with the geography department. Yes, I worked hard when it counted, but I made some great friends and also had a lot of fun in the process.

Emma Johnston:

I studied for a BA in Geography and Archaeology at the University of Liverpool between 2005 – 2008, graduating with a 1st class degree.


This enabled and inspired me to continue my education at the University of Bristol. It is here I am currently studying for an MSc in the Science of Natural Hazards, and have recently returned from Guatemala where I was involved in measuring S02 emissions from the volcanoes as part of a study assessing rates of volcanic degassing, and subsequently, the role this plays in global climatic change.

I remember the first time I visited the city of Liverpool on an open day, and knew this was the place I wanted to spend the next three years studying. The atmosphere of the city and the friendliness of the people made me feel so welcome, so much so, that I shall always consider Liverpool a second home, and look forward to any future opportunity I have to return there.

My undergraduate degree equipped me with a broad range of skills which were acquired in a first rate, diverse teaching environment. Both the geography and archaeology components of my degree completed each other exceptionally well, and I was offered a vast choice of modules that were both fascinating and enjoyable to undertake. I feel that I got a much more rounded education than by studying either subject alone, and would definitely recommend it to anyone with a passion for geography and an interest in the past.

Joanne Elmer:

I studied Geography at the University of Liverpool from 2005 to 2008, leaving with a 2.1 class degree. 


Since September 2008 I have been working for Transport for London on the Surface; Transport Planning Graduate Scheme. This scheme allows me to experience different parts of the business before being posted in a substantive role at the end of 2 years.

The area which has probably helped most with the transition into the work place, were the interface modules. These are the modules where the route of the problem is environmental but the problem has an impact on humans. Examples of this would be the Peak Oil module, or the Climate Change: A Critical Review module. These are helpful because they make you focus on real life problems and issues and the ways of mitigating there impact.

I grew up in London and always new I wanted to go to a city based university. Liverpool doesn’t disappoint. The centre is always lively; night and day. There are plenty of shops, bars, clubs and cheap places to eat, as well as lovely old buildings, cathedrals, and the docks to explore. Plus if you’re not a city person the Lake and Peak District are train rides away
I was attracted to the degree programme at Liverpool for a number of reasons. Firstly, it gives you the flexibility to mix physical and human modules. Secondly the wide range of field trips offered. The first field trip is on the second week of term; this means that you get to know people on your course very quickly, which is unlike any other degree course, or university. The final field trip I went on was to Santa Cruz in California. Here we looked for evidence of Tsunamis is sediment deposits.

The geography department is a great place to study, the lecturers are welcoming and the facilities are great. I completed a lab based dissertation during my final year, and the lab technicians were very friendly and always around to give you a help and guidance.

I am a very practical person. I like real problems which have causes, effects and impacts. I like creating solutions or practices to mitigate impacts. This is why I studied Geography, and why I have become a Transport Planner.

Lauren Smith:

I graduated from the University of Liverpool last year, July 2008, with BA Geography (Hons) and I can honestly say the three years spent there were the best years of my life so far.


The degree offered allowed me to have as much choice as possible whether it is within the department or in other departments as well as providing core modules – at the time these core modules do not seem that interesting, but competing a dissertation and a year after graduating it becomes apparent these skills are much needed! Field trips were definitely a highlight of the university experience as it meant we could put into practice the skills we had learnt and the bigger fields like Vancouver – well I’m sure you can imagine the fun we had there!! Joining ‘GeogSoc’ which is the university’s geography society is a good way to meet new people and if you have the opportunity to get involved with running it, not only does it look good on your C.V but it is a rewarding experience introducing people.

The geography department is extremely friendly and all the staff are willing to help you even if they do not know you on a personal level. Still today I am in contact with some lecturers and they will assist you once you have graduated if you need help such as advice or references.

Originally I am from the south coast so the change to a big city was incredible; at first a little daunting, however, after the initial move and meeting friends I could not have asked for a better university to complete my studies. The city itself is a fantastic day and night out with other attractions close by. Every opportunity I get to go back with friends I do!

The great thing about a geography degree is there are so many career paths. At the moment I am a Transport Planner. This is not the career path I thought I would enter into but now I’ve been working nearly a year I am enjoying it; especially the accessibility aspect of the job. I get to work with people in our environment, maritime and planning departments, from simple jobs such as a housing development to complex jobs like port developments. Ideally I would like to progress my career so I can work in developing countries looking at accessibility to healthcare.