The Royal Geographical Society with The Institute of British Geographers (RGS-IBG) is a national and international learned society and professional body for geography and geographers.

It was founded in 1830 for the advancement of geographical science and played a major role historically in scientific exploration, dissemination of knowledge, and in developing geography as a discipline in universities and in the school curriculum. It has been among the most active of the learned societies ever since its foundation.

The Society’s activities currently focus on supporting and promoting geographical research, education (secondary and tertiary levels), fieldwork and expeditions, and wider public understanding and enjoyment of geography. It also promotes the contribution of geography to policy and plays a strong role in advocacy for geography. The RGS-IBG voice and role was greatly strengthened by the merger of the Royal Geographical Society with The Institute of British Geographers in 1995, creating one body and facilitating new strategic thinking and developments.

The Society has a membership of approximately 14,000 in the UK and around the world, but as a charity serves a wide range of stakeholders. The programme of activities includes over 150 lectures, seminars and conferences each year, that range from a major programme of popular lectures in London and the nine regional branches to the four day International Annual Conference in September for the research community. RGS-IBG has 23 specialist research groups linked to current research areas within the discipline, and the Society publishes three of the leading international academic geography journals. A specialist unit, the Expedition Advisory Centre, is devoted to the training and advising of young field scientists; and the Public Affairs Unit supports initiatives in policy, advocacy and the media. The Society’s information resources, which amount to over 2 million items dating from 1482 to present – maps, photographs, manuscripts, books and artifacts – have been opened for the first time in 2004 to public use in a £7m project that includes a new Study Centre, complemented by new display, education and meeting facilities, as well as online learning resources.

The Society welcomes applications for Membership, Fellowship and for the accredited professional status of Chartered Geographer (C.Geog.). Details on

Royal Geographical Society with the Institute of British Geographers
Lowther Lodge
1 Kensington Gore




One of the world’s leading English-language journals of geographical research. It publishes substantial, internationally refereed, original research articles of the highest scholarly standard and reviews books across the full spectrum of the discipline. It has featured for many years in the top three places in the international geography journals citation index. Published in hard copy and online for the Society by Blackwells; complete online archive also available.


Area aims to publish the best of geographical research and scholarship across the field of the subject. The distinctive role of this international journal is to provide rapid publication; to be accessible to new researchers (including post graduate students) at an early stage of their research careers; and to publish shorter articles that focus on topical issues, new results and methodology, and academic debate. Published in hard copy and online for the Society by Blackwells; online archive also available.

Geographical Journal

Published since 1893, it is the Society’s longest standing research journal. It publishes original research papers and review articles ranging across the entire subject of geography and from all parts of the world. It places particular emphasis on publishing papers on all aspects of the environment and development that relate to geographical thought and investigation. Published in hard copy and online for the Society by Blackwells.

Geographical Magazine

The Geographical Magazine is published under licence for the Society. A lively and colourful monthly magazine, it presents geography in its broadest sense to a general readership. Articles cover geographical aspects of cultures, places, adventure, travel, exploration, science and the environment. Available with membership of the Society and through retail outlets.