Geography and Environment

Qualification(s) available: PhD

Entry requirements
3 years
6 years
Start date
1 January, 1 April, 1 July or 1 October
UK fee
To be confirmed
International fee


Based within the School of Social Sciences and Humanities, academic staff in Geography and Environment are active researchers, working within and across disciplinary boundaries.

Geography and Environment is home to over 30 academic staff, who are all international experts in their fields, across human and physical geography.

In human geography, our key research themes explore migration, cities, education, and the geographies of children, youth and families. In physical geography, our research covers a wide range of cutting-edge topics including hydrological and ecosystem science, polar and alpine research, and the relationship between climate, water and energy.

We are currently leading a range of exciting research projects funded by major international research bodies and the UK Government that sit at the interface of physical and human geography to tackle real-world global challenges.

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.

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Why you should choose us

Our research

We have an excellent international reputation for our research across different areas of physical and human geography.

Children, Youth and Families

At the forefront of establishing and advancing Children’s Geographies, our research explores formal and informal spaces of education, youth volunteering, and childhood experience.


We are known for leading international urban research through the Globalization and World Cities (GaWC) Research Network which is the leading academic thinktank on cities in globalization.


We are home to the Low Carbon Energy for Development Network which is improving energy access and low-carbon energy transitions in developing regions. Our research also builds sustainability of water resources, hydropower and coastal infrastructure under climate change.

Hydroclimate, Risks and Resilience

We are advancing knowledge of long-term changes in extreme climate events (such as deadly heat, flooding, hazards) and their societal impacts through data reconstruction, process modelling and scenario analysis.

Migration and Nation

We explore how individuals and social groups move across international boundaries (e.g. human trafficking, high skilled migration) as well as internally (e.g. gentrification, youth and student mobility).

Understanding and Managing Environmental Change

We apply field monitoring, laboratory experiments and modelling methods to develop understanding and/or management strategies for environmental change relating to rivers, lakes, dust and ecology.

Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP)

The Department of Geography is part of the Central England NERC Training Alliance DTP in partnership with the universities of Birmingham, Leicester, Warwick and Cranfield, the Open University, and the National Centre for Earth Observation, National Centre for Atmospheric Science, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, and British Geological Survey. It provides three and a half years of PhD study with a framework of additional training, personal and professional development.

Your development

You will be assigned two supervisors who are international experts in their respective fields, plus an internal reviewer and a Director of Doctoral Programmes. This team provides tailored academic and pastoral support throughout your studies.

The School runs an extensive programme of research training and you will have the chance to participate in and run seminars and discussion groups. These will help you integrate into the School’s academic community and develop skills that will enable you to present your work at national and international conferences. You will be provided with access to a shared office with networked PC and specialist software, allowances for photocopying, conference attendance and interlibrary loans.

Undertaking a PhD will give you the opportunity to develop new and highly sought-after skills, which you can apply to a range of careers in academia, industry and beyond. You will be able to make a novel contribution to knowledge, giving you the chance to become a world expert in your field and opening up opportunities with a range of leading employers. You will also further develop your transferable skills, such as advanced research skills, time and project management, and networking and relationship building.

Our extensive training provision, supported by the Doctoral College, will also enhance your skills and experience as a researcher. These include seminars and modules in advanced research methods, our School research student conference and research café, and the Doctoral College’s Café Academiques, Research Conference and Summer Showcase.

Your future career

Recent graduate destinations include:

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

Entry requirements

Our entry requirements are listed using standard UK undergraduate degree classifications i.e. first-class honours, upper second-class honours and lower second-class honours. To learn the equivalent for your country, please choose it from the dropdown below.

Entry requirements for United Kingdom

A 2:1 honours degree (or equivalent international qualification) in a relevant subject.

English language requirements

Applicants must meet the minimum English language requirements. Further details are available on the International website.

Fees and funding

UK fee

Full-time degree per annum
To be confirmed

International fee

Full-time degree per annum

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. Fees are reviewed annually and are likely to increase to take into account inflationary pressures.

Find out more about research degree funding

How to apply

If you can't find an advertised project that fits your interests and experience, you can submit a research proposal to the School of Social Sciences and Humanities to find a supervisor who will work with you on your project. You can view our list of academic staff on our website or you can email us for guidance.

Your research proposal should be up to 5000 words long (at least 5 -7 double-spaced pages) and details about what should be included in it can be found here.

You are strongly recommended to contact us before applying to discuss your topic, availability and funding.

Apply now