Membership – general questions
1. How long does the application process take and how will I know it has been processed?
Membership applications can take 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.
2. How do I renew my membership?
We accept several payment methods for renewing membership by post or online. For more information visit the Renewing you membership page.
3. Can I pay by Direct Debit?
Yes, if you are an existing member, or are joining online, please email firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
4. 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 begining. Alternatively you can download a gift application form and return it to email@example.com. If you need your gift processed by a specific date, please make this clear in your email.
Fellowship and Associate Fellowship cannot be given as a gift due to the nature of the application process.
5. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Membership team on +44 (0)20 7591 3080.
6. 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 email@example.com if you do not receive the password reset email.
7. I 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
8. I’ve lost/have not received my membership card
New member/renewal 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. Similarly, if you have lost your card please email the Membership team and we can send a replacement.
Fellowship – general questions
9. How long does it take to become a Fellow?
From start to finish, the process can take up to six weeks.
10. Do I need to have been an Member for five years before applying for Fellowship?
Continuous Membership is one method of applying for Fellowship but if you meet the alternative eligibility criteria by sufficient skills, qualifications or knowledge with geography or an allied subject you can apply directly for Fellowship. Visit the Fellowship page for more information.
11. 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.
12. 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.
13. How can I pay for School Membership?
School membership costs £89 for 12 months. 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.
14. 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.
15. 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 email@example.com
16. 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 public 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
17. 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 visiting and 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.
18. How can Fellows and Members use the Society building?
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 check the Visiting the Society page.
19. 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 also available in either the Tea Room or the Members’ Room.
20. Is there Wi-Fi available?
Free Wi-Fi is available at the Society. The password changes monthly and will be on display in the Members' Room. Alternatively a member of staff will be able to provide this too.
21. Can I bring guests to the Society?
Please contact the Society either by email firstname.lastname@example.org or on +44 (0) 207 591 3000 for the latest information.
22. Do Fellows and Members get a discount if they wish to hire the building?
A discount is available for personal use. Please contact the Venue Hire team on +44 (0)20 7591 3090 or email email@example.com for further information.
23. How do Fellows and Members 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.
Prior to each season, all Fellows and Members are sent a printed or digital Bulletin featuring news from the Society and a condensed events programme for that term. You will also receive a monthly e-update including event highlights, and if your main address is within one of our nine UK regions or Singapore and Hong Kong, periodic e-updates with information on events and activities local to you. You can update your print/digital communication preferences here and sign up to regional mailings here.
Unavoidable changes to events do sometimes occur so we encourage Fellows and Members to also check What’s On page of our website for the most up to date information.
24. 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.
25. 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 event attendees, including Fellows and Members must book Society tickets in advance. We are not selling any tickets on the door, and you will not be allowed entry without a booking.
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.
Booking is required for Monday night lectures and they are also live streamed online.
26. When will I receive 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.
27. Can I bring guests to events?
Many of our events are open to the public, and Fellows and Members are welcome to book additional tickets although 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.
28. Do I need to bring my membership card to Society events?
You will need to show your membership card at Monday night lectures and other member only events. We recommend bringing your membership card to all Society events.
If you are attending an in person event and have forgotten or lost your card, we will be able to look up your details. Please follow the sign for ‘forgotten cards’ and report to the membership desk.
29. 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.
30. How can I propose a lecture?
To propose a lecture please email email@example.com. Details of what to include are available here.
31. 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.
32. Where can I access event recordings?
We try to record as many of our events as possible and make these available for Fellows and members, and on occasion they are publicly available. You can view our online catalogue to enjoy past events, talks and podcasts featuring a wide variety of speakers.
33. 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.
Changes to membership categories
34. What are the Society’s Bye Laws?
The Society's Charter and Bye Laws set out our Royal Charter, charitable objective, constitution and categories of membership.
35. What changes are being introduced?
The Bye Laws were amended on 6 September 2021 after a vote of the Fellowship agreed to a series of changes proposed by Council. The main changes to the Bye Laws were:
From 1 March 2022:
Introduction of a new sub-category of Fellowship called Associate Fellow for geographers studying at postgraduate level and for early career geographers.
Renaming of Young Geographers as Student Members.
Renaming of Ordinary Members as Members.
36. There is a price difference between the fee I paid and the fee for my membership category from 1 March, do I need to pay the difference?
No, if we have moved you to a new membership category that better suits your requirements, you do not have to pay any difference in fees. However, when you next renew, your subscription fee will be the current price for the membership category you are in.
37. Do I need to replace my membership card?
It is not necessary to replace your membership card and all existing cards will still be valid until their expiry date. When you renew you will receive a new card that reflects the new category names.
However, as current Young Geographers have the option of two or three year memberships, we will send them replacement cards over the coming months.
38. Are my benefits going to change?
For the majority of membership categories the only change is to the name of the category and benefits are not changing.
The one exception is that the introduction of Associate Fellowship means that geography graduates in the first five years of their career will now be able to receive support and benefits targeted at early career geographers.
39. I want to join the Society, do I have to wait for these changes to be introduced?
You can continue to join us at any time prior to membership category changes as the changes will happen automatically and will not impact your day-to-day experience as a member. If you have any queries, please contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org
40. Do I need to do anything to update my membership?
Any changes to our membership category names or structure will be implemented automatically. From 1 March 2022 our website and any correspondence you receive will refer to the new category names.
All existing Postgraduate Fellows will become Associate Fellows and continue to access their networks and resources, while existing Young Geographers who are graduates will become Associate Fellows and be able to access the new support on offer. We therefore recommend you check your membership record is up to date so that we can ensure that you are placed in the correct membership category and receive the right support. Please do get in touch if you have any questions or are unsure what information we hold about you.
41. Who can become an Associate Fellow?
Associate Fellowship is open to:
Registered postgraduate students (in geography and closely allied subjects)
Geography graduates up to five years post-graduation, including ITT, ECT and equivalent geography teachers.
42. What benefits does Associate Fellowship include?
Associate Fellowship includes all the benefits under the current Postgraduate Fellowship as well as the addition of more targeted support for early career geographers which includes professional development resources and skill building webinars, tailored updates and mentoring opportunities as well as access to networks such as the Professional Practice Groups.