Membership – general questions
1. What category of membership should I apply for?
Our membership page gives an overview of all the membership categories, their benefits and joining eligibility. If you are still unsure about what membership category is best for you, please do not hesitate to contact the Membership team for advice at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are enquiring about Fellowship, we cannot confirm eligiblity until the application has been received, but we can advise the most appropriate membership type for you.
2. How long does the application process take and how will I know it has been processed?
Membership applications can take up to 7-14 working days to process, however we endeavour to process them as quickly as possible. When your application has been processed, you will recieve a confirmation email allowing you to use your online benefits immediately. Please check any spam or junk folders. If you have not heard from us after six weeks, please contact the Membership team.
3. Can I still apply if I do not live in the UK?
Yes, we welcome Fellows and Members based all over the world.
4. Can I pay by Direct Debit?
Yes, new Fellows and Members can fill out a Direct Debit mandate attached to the paper application forms and submit it with your application. If you are an existing member, or are joining online, please email email@example.com and we can send you a copy of the mandate. Please note that mandates require an original signature either wet or scanned in order to be submitted and processed successfully. Existing members can also set up a Direct Debit over the phone. Please call the Membership Office on +44 (0)20 7591 3080 and have your account details ready.
5. Can I join online?
Online joining is available for Membership, Student Membership and School Membership. Please complete the online form found on the relevant page and you will then be prompted with payment options.
Unfortunately due to the nature of the application process, online joining is not available for Fellowship and Associate Fellowship.
6. Can I give Fellowship or Membership as a gift?
Membership, Student Membership and School Membership are available to give as gifts. You can do this online by completing the form on the relevant page and selecting the gift option at the beginning. Alternatively you can download a gift application form and return it to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you need your gift processed by a specific date, please make this clear in your email and we will do our best to accomadate you.
Fellowship and Associate Fellowship cannot be given as a gift due to the nature of the application process.
7. How can I update my personal details?
You can update your personal details in the MySociety pages, if you unable to do this please email email@example.com or call the Membership team on +44 (0)20 7591 3080.
8. How do I create an online login to access the Members' Area of the website?
To create a login for the first time go to the login page. Select 'Forgotten password' and enter your email address to receive a link to set your password.
On occasion, the password reset email is sent to spam or junk folders, so please check there if you do not receive the email. In addition, institutional firewalls, especially in universities and schools, block the email, so please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you do not receive the password reset email.
9. I’ve don't have/have forgotten my password for the website.
If you are a Fellow or Member and don't know your password or your current password doesn't work, click 'Forgotten password' on the login page, enter the email address we have for you on record, and we'll send you a link to reset your password.
If your email and password are correct and you're still having trouble, please email email@example.com.
10. I’ve not received my membership card yet
New member cards can take two to three weeks to arrive. If you have not received your card after this time, please email the Membership team and we can send out a replacement.
Fellowship – general questions
11. Who can become a Fellow and how?
Anyone who is over 21 and meets the eligibility criteria can become a Fellow.
Briefly, this requires either
being able to demonstrate using geographical skills and/or knowledge in the workplace or
having relevant education/qualifications in geography (or related subject) or
being an Member for five years
The Membership team will also be able to answer any eligibility queries on +44 (0)20 7591 3080.
12. What if I do not know another Fellow to propose my application?
If you are an academic working in a higher education institution, your application does not need to be proposed, although a CV is still required.
For non-academics who otherwise meet the eligibility criteria the Society will be very happy to arrange internal proposers to support your application. It is no longer neccessary to have applications seconded.
We will still require a completed Fellowship application form, a CV and a short covering letter explaining how you feel you meet the criteria required for Fellowship.
13. Who can become an Associate Fellow?
Associate Fellowship is open to:
Registered postgraduate students (in geography and closely allied subjects) including PGCE. International students are also welcomed
Geography graduates up to five years post-graduation, including ITT, ECT and equivalent geography teachers.
14. How is School Membership different to Fellowship?
School Membership is an organisational membership predominantly based on giving access to our full range of teaching resources.
Both Fellows and School Members can receive discounts on our CPD events for teachers and students.
Fellowship is an individual membership and Fellows are able to attend member-only events. Fellows are able to apply for Chartered Geographer (Teacher) status, and are eligible for the £100 application fee for this to be waived if they are also employed in a school that has an active membership.
15. Are international schools able to join?
We welcome applications from international schools. Details of how to pay from abroad are on the invoice we will provide you.
16. How can I pay for School Membership?
School membership costs £91 for 12 month. If your school requires an invoice, we will send it when you submit your membership application. Your school can pay by BACS, cheque or credit card and we ask that you send a remittance advice to us for BACS payments. Your membership will start after we process your payment. You will receive a welcome email with login instructions for the main contact and a separate login for pupils and colleagues.
17. Does it run for an academic year or calendar year?
School Membership starts when your payment has been processed and runs for 12 months from the 1st of the month after we have received your payment.
18. What if I change schools?
If you change schools, you will not be able to use your existing login at your new school. If your new school is not a member, please suggest that they consider joining. Please ensure that you let us know who the new membership contact will be at the school you are leaving. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
19. Can I bring students to Monday night lectures?
Unfortunately our group memberships, including School Membership, do not allow access in-person to our Monday night lecture series. School Members are able to buy tickets for ticketed lectures at the Society, usually with a discount. School Members can login to view our Monday night lecture series online and we also provide teaching materials to accompany curriculum-related talks.
Visiting the Society
20. When can I visit and do I need to book in advance?
The Society's opening hours are 10.00am to 5.00pm Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays and the period between Christmas and New Year).
Check the Visiting the Society page for up to date information about the Society's booking requirements for events or Society rooms.
If you are attending an event at the Society, you will need to book your place in advance. Please check individual event pages for information.
21. How can Fellows and Members use the Society building?
Fellows and Members are very welcome to visit the Society in South Kensington.
Fellows and Members can use the Members’ Room – an elegant, informal working space. Meeting rooms can be booked in advance for £10 for a two hour slot. Fellows and Members are also welcome to book an appointment to use the Foyle Reading Room where they can research the Society's collections.
For more information and the latest requirements in line with government restrictions check the Visiting the Society page.
22. Is food and drink available if I visit the Society?
The Tea Room is open to Fellows and Members from 11.30am to 2.30pm on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Tea and coffee are available in either the Tea Room or the Members’ Room.
23. Is there Wi-Fi available?
Free Wi-Fi is available at the Society.
24. Can I bring guests to the Society?
Please contact the Society either by email email@example.com or on +44 (0) 207 591 3000 for the latest information.
25. How I find out about Society events?
The Society runs three seasons of events: autumn (September-December); spring (January-March); and summer (April-August). Alongside ticketed public events, we offer a number of events for Fellows and Members only, such as our weekly Monday night lecture programme. Our Kensington Gore premises are also used by a number of other organisations for their events, many of which are advertised on our website and in our Bulletin. We also offer a range of events outside London, including our Regional Theatres Programme and local events organised by regional committees.
Visitors can find all of our events on the What’s On page of our website and can sign up to receive regular emails featuring event highlights by region by logging in and updating their communication preferences. Fellows and Members are sent a printed or digital Bulletin featuring news from the Society and a condensed events programme for that term as well as a monthly e-update including event highlights.
Unavoidable changes to events do sometimes occur and coronavirus restrictions have meant our events are currently online only, so we encourage visitors to check the What’s On page of our website for the most up to date information.
26. What events can Fellows and Members attend for free?
Many Society events are free for Fellows and Members, including Monday night lectures, Be Inspired afternoon talks and exhibitions in the Pavilion, and many regional events. We offer a discounted rate to our members for most other events, including public events in London and the Regional Theatres Programme. Some non-Society events held at our Kensington Gore premises also offer a discount. Details and prices of all events are available on the What’s On page of our website.
27. Do I need to book for events?
Booking is required for all of our ticketed public events in London, Regional Theatres events, and some others, including Be Inspired afternoon talks and On View displays.
All our London events can be booked online at www.rgs.org/whatson or over the phone on 020 7591 3100. Regional bookings are made through the local committee or through the venue, check the individual event listing for more information. Please note: external events hosted at the Society must be booked through their respective organisers. Although we do advertise some non-Society events, we are not the ticket vendors.
28. When will I recieve my link to attend an online event?
For the majority of our online events you will receive joining instructions for this event at 10.00am the day after making your booking, or 30 minutes prior to the event if you book on the day. For some events more detailed joining instructions are sent and these will be sent nearer the date of the event. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you don't have the link 24 hours before the event is due to start and have booked before this time.
29. Can I bring guests to events?
Many of our events are open to the public and therefore visitors are welcome to book additional tickets for guests. Some events are free to attend and some have a charge. If a member wishes to book additonal guest tickets these will be charged at the non-member rate.
For most in-person member-only events, including Monday night lectures, members are welcome to bring a guest. However, a few lectures, which are anticipated to be extremely popular, will be designated members only and will be labelled M in the Bulletin and ‘members only’ online.
30. I want to go to an event but it is open to ‘members only’ or has a special discounted rate for members. If I join now, will my membership be processed in time?
Member and Student Member are open for anyone to join and as long as we have a completed application form and payment we can usually process one-off requests on the same day if the time sensitivity is highlighted. We cannot process a new membership application by telephone, but you can join online.
On receipt of completed forms and payment we can send an email confirmation with your membership number, and you can use this to access events or apply for discounted rates until you receive your membership card through the post. Please note that it will not be possible to access discounted rates through online booking until your online account has been set up.
Our Membership team are available between 9.30am and 5.30pm Monday to Friday, excluding bank holidays and the period between Christmas Eve and New Year.
Unfortunately due to the nature of the application, we cannot process Fellowship or Associate Fellowship application forms on the same day.
31. I am attending an event at the Society that I can’t find on your website or in the members’ Bulletin. Where can I find the details for that event?
The Society’s building is a popular events space and is frequently hired by third parties. If the event in question is not listed as a Society event on our website or in the Bulletin, please get in touch with the event organisers directly.
32. How can I propose a lecture?
To propose a lecture please email email@example.com. Details of what to include are available here.
33. I am a wheelchair user. Is there step-free access to the event venue?
There is step-free access to the Society’s building in Kensington via the Exhibition Road entrance, and the Kensington Gore entrance (via a ramp). The Ondaatje Theatre has a limited number of wheelchair spaces, but more can be made available if needed and a personal assistant or carer can usually be accommodated. Please email the Programmes team in advance on firstname.lastname@example.org to book a carer place or if you have any further access requirements.
As a variety of venues are used for our events outside London, it is best to contact the venue directly for queries on accessibility and other facilities.
34. Where can I access event recordings?
Event recordings are available to members only and be found by logging into the Member's area and click ing on Talks on demand.
35. Can I pay for an event by invoice?
We do not accept payment via invoice for the majority of our events, please book online via credit/debit card. For our Annual International Conference and some CPD sessions we may be able to arrange for an invoice payment to be made, please contact email@example.com for more information.