Subject Advice


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I support as Subject Adviser for Geography and Philatley 

I  organise and run an annual Geography Competition throughout the Northumbria Region U3As.  A u3a does not have to have a ‘pure’ Geography group to take part in this competition .. just an interest in the subject (and at least 6 members to form a team of 4 with 2 reserves).

Some parts of Geography can be accommodated in a Philatelic group, (eg. maps, places, industry, agriculture et al.).  History, Religion and many other subjects are also to be found via Philately.

I already have a list of speakers/presenters in the North East of England offering a wide variety of topics, together with many local, national and international events throughout the year which are open to all.

It would be a simple exercise to combine both Geography and Philately in one group if that appeals more to your U3A members.

I do not include Coin/Banknote collections within my sphere of interest.

If any u3a has a Geography or Philatelic group would you let me have details, such as number of members, frequency and length of meetings and how is the group organised with their subject matter?.

I would like to compile a list of these groups and then encourage other u3as to start up similar groups.  

I look forward to hearing from as many u3as as possible in due course.

Please get in touch with me via telephone at 018907 81400 or by email Contact the adviser

At your first meeting

  1. Get the members of the group to introduce themselves 
  2. Ask each what they think  geography is 
  3. Then ask what they are expecting to get out of being in such a special group 
  4. Decide whether they would like to stay indoors .. outdoors.. or a combination of both
  5. Decide how frequently they would like o meet ( weekly/ fortnightly/ monthly
  6. Decide on the time of day to meet and the duration of the meeting
  7. Would they like to meet and the duration of the meeting
  8. Would they take part in visits to (factories/physical feature areas/studies of economics eg. Shopping/footprints et al and how often
  9. Would they take part in practical exercises like cross sections/map walking and study/design games to test knowledge e.g., construct a railway route across the USA or Europe with positives/negatives along the way such as availability of water, raw material, physical in terms of terrain/ attacks / labour problems/ finance / industrial and agricultural developments
  10. if just general geography is required then a good modern Atlas would be necessary - countries/flags/counties’, regions, or /state's/ towns & capitals/rivers/mountains & highland areas/mining areas/industrial centres/agricultural areas/main climate regions &weather /main oceans, seas, lakes & rivers /infrastructures and so on.
  11. If wanting 2 specialise in an aspect of Geography decide which ‘branch for the majority
  • Perhaps run a regular (occasional )quiz to include some of the above suggestions.
  • Two very good atlases are DK World Atlas ( a practical companion to the world today 2015 ) and Collins World Atlas ( illustrated edition 20150


  • There are 30 travel courses plus The world’s Greatest Geological wonders.
  • Courses consist of 36 talks of 30 mins each, by eminent lectures
  • Each one is accompanied by a book – courses vary from £39 £59


 Searches from the u3a blog - find out what they are doing


Jeff Armstrong

National Geography and Philatelic u3aAdvisor

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