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Simon Tate and Peter Hopkins

In this chapter we explore the social and academic transitions new geography undergraduates are confronted with at the start of their degree. There has been extensive discussion amongst the geography community about the academic transitions students encounter when beginning to study for a degree in geography. However, our research indicates that there is a symbiotic relationship between these academic transitions and the social transitions students also face at this time. It also suggests that, while the transition to university is one of the ‘critical moments’ in a young person’s life course, it can be more usefully conceptualised as a process of transitioning to, and through, university, rather than as an event. As such, the chapter includes practical and pedagogical ideas for university educators to help students negotiate these academic and social transitions successfully throughout their degree.