Research degrees

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

Becoming a postgraduate research student within Geography and Environment provides you with the opportunity to become part of our innovative research community.

We are able to support postgraduate research in most areas of human and physical geography - as well as the interface between them – but we particularly encourage applications from those who are interested in working in one of the research areas for which we are internationally-recognised.

100% of research impact rated ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’

Research Excellence Framework 2021


Articles published in academic journals by our doctoral researchers (89 as first author)



Independent external research funding won (largest single award)



of doctoral researchers continue in academia upon completion of their PhD


Doctoral researchers are integral partners in our research, working on exciting projects across our six research themes.

We aim to develop well-rounded students confident in a wide range of scientific, research, leadership and professional skills. We look to enable our doctoral researchers to go on to become future sector leaders, equipped with the specialist and technical expertise in their research fields, the ability to translate research into impact, and to address the complex and shared challenges facing people and places.

Between 2014-2020 this enabled 60% of our doctoral researchers continue in academia upon completing their PhD (including 12 lectureships and prestigious postdoctoral positions at Amsterdam, ETH Zurich and Cornell). Others have gone on to take up research related positions with the Environment Agency, TfL, Severn Trent, Atkins Global, AECOM and GEC.

There are also funding opportunities across all areas of geographical and environmental research. If you are a natural or environmental scientist there is also the Central England NERC Training Alliance (CENTA), which received the highest rating of all NERC Doctoral Training Partnerships nationally when re-accredited for 2019-2024. If you are a human geographer there is the Midlands Graduate School ESRC Doctoral Training Partnership which offers PhD studentships in ‘Human Geography’ and ‘Sustainable Development, Net Zero and Climate Resilience’.