Geography MPhil, PhD

Entry requirements:
2:1 +
3 years (PhD), 2 years (MPhil)
6 years (PhD), 4 years (MPhil)
Start date:
January, April, July, October 2018
UK/EU fees:
International fees:



of research classed as 'internationally recgonised'

REF 2014


in the UK for Geography

The Complete University Guide 2018

Top 20

in the UK for Geography

Guardian University Guide 2018


The Department of Geography is a dynamic and vibrant place to be a postgraduate research student, and we are proud of our reputation for creating a friendly and supportive working environment.

We have over 30 academic staff, who are all leading international experts in their fields. Our human geographers conduct research that informs government policy on student housing, international aid, alcohol policy, and community cohesion. Our physical geographers continue to influence climate adaptation and development planning, the management of rivers, flood risk modelling, and hazard management and mitigation.

Our graduates are highly employable. Employability skills are embedded throughout our programmes, with graduates appointed to posts across a full range of industries and sectors.

Almost all of our postgraduates are in employment within a few months of graduating, and many others choose to embark on academic research careers.

The work undertaken in our Department spans the breadth of contemporary physical and human geographical research (with strong connections to other disciplines) and deals with many of the most striking environmental, social and economic challenges facing our world.

95% of our research is internationally recognised (REF 2014) and it is our inter-disciplinary, collaborative research focused on understanding our social and environmental futures which we are renowned for.

Our two areas of physical geography expertise include ‘Hydrological and Ecosystem Science’ and ‘Polar and Alpine Research’. In human geography, we have led intellectual agendas in ‘Children, Youth and Families’ research, and have developed distinctive contributions to knowledge on ‘Migration, Identity and the State’. Our expertise also contributes in important ways to a number of well-established international, national and cross-campus research networks.

Entry requirements

A 2:1 honours degree or its equivalent.

IELTS: overall 6.5 with minimum 6.0 in each component.

Our facilities

We are located inside a brand new, state-of-the-art research and teaching facility, complete with a river science laboratory, geospatial laboratory, and several meteorological and hydrological field stations.

The campus also has a 16 hectare research forest comprised of ancient and semi-natural woodland.

As a research student in the Department of Geography, you will be provided with access to a shared office with networked PC and specialist software, the Department’s extensive library of over 10,000 maps and atlases, and a wide range of laboratory resources, field equipment and facilities to support physical geography research.

Research areas

Human Geography Research Group

This Group brings together leading researchers to provide two distinct and cross-cutting views on: Children, Youth and Families (CYF), and Migration, Identity and the State (MIS). CYF research explores the way ideas about and experiences of childhood, youth and families are shaped within and reshape diverse geographical contexts in the Global North and South. MIS has core interests in understanding progressing and deepening understandings of the interconnections between migration, identity and the state in today’s globalising society.

Physical Geography Research Group

Physical geographers at Loughborough conduct leading edge research with a strong tradition of interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary collaborations.

Research activity is organised into two main groupings: the Polar and Alpine Research Centre (PARC) and the Centre for Hydrological and Ecosystem Science (CHES). PARC research focuses on a wide range of environmental processes and changes that characterise the world’s cold places. CHES has core interests in monitoring, modelling and managing hydrological and ecological systems.

Your personal and professional development

Support from your supervisor

Postgraduate research is a very important part of the academic life of our Department, and we invest a great deal of time and resources in supporting postgraduate students in your research.

You will be assigned two supervisors who provide academic guidance and pastoral support throughout your studies. We also offer an extensive programme of research training, seminars and discussion groups to help integrate postgraduates into the Department’s academic community.

Skills and experience

Each programme includes training and support to develop the key transferable skills and attributes required to continue into careers across the full range of industries and sectors. On completion of their programme, many postgraduates have continued into roles with government agencies, not-for-profit organisations, the European Commission and the United Nations.

Future career prospects

Recent graduate destinations include:

  • Nesta, Senior Policy Researcher
  • Department of Energy and Climate Change, Policy Adviser
  • Ramm Sanderson, Ecologist
  • APEM Ltd., Consultant Scientist.

Fees and funding


Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessment and operating University facilities such as the library, IT equipment and other support services. University fees and charges can be paid in advance and there are several methods of payment, including online payments and payment by instalment. Special arrangements are made for payments by part-time students.

Who you'll be working with

How to apply

If you can't find a suitable PhD opportunity that fits your interests and experience from our funded (studentships) and unfunded opportunities, you can submit a research proposal to the Department of Geography in the hope of finding a supervisor who will work with you on your dream project.

If you are interested in applying for a PhD through this method, you should submit a research proposal with your application. Your research proposal should be approximately three pages, with references, and include a summary of the research they wish to undertake. It is usually helpful to contact the Department in advance of submitting an application to discuss ideas.