Postgraduate study

Geography (Human Geography)

Awards: PhD, MPhil

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Funding available

Programme website: Geography (Human Geography)

The research degree in Geography draws on expertise from the School’s Human Geography Research Group, part of the Geography and the Lived Environment Research Institute.

The Human Geography Research Group is recognised for its leading contribution to research at the forefront of the field.

The group’s research efforts provide challenging new insights to core geographical concerns through three research themes:

  • relations and identities
  • knowledges, practices and policies
  • development and power

We draw on quantitative and qualitative methods, making innovative contributions to both approaches. Several research projects span our specified research themes, and many of us work in collaboration with colleagues in other parts of the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences.

We have expertise in a wide range of regions, including the UK and Europe, South Asia, Australia, North and South America, Canada, the Caribbean and the Middle East. We also have productive collaborations with colleagues in many parts of the University.

We support a lively programme of seminars, symposiums, readings groups and postgraduate workshops that support and disseminate our three research themes.

The Human Geography Research Group is a member of the ESRC-recognised Scottish Human Geography Consortium and the Kindrogan Consortium for Advanced Postgraduate Research Training in Human Geography. It has expertise in qualitative and feminist methodologies, archive use, and GIS-linked analysis of large datasets.

The School of GeoSciences is recognised as an outlet for the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) RT (1+3) postgraduate training programme and has a RT-recognised masters by research programme:

As a research student affiliated to a research institute, you will also benefit from an excellent peer-supported network.

As groupings of researchers with related interests, the institutes provide a forum for development of ideas, collaboration, and dissemination of results, and an environment for training, development and mentoring of research students and early career researchers.

We encourage our students to undertake demonstrating and tutoring work for the School's undergraduate programmes, for which appropriate training is given.

We have one of the best-equipped GIS laboratories in Europe, together with software for data handling in a range of social, economic and demographic datasets, GIS, database management, modelling and visualisation.

Our collaborations with colleagues in other parts of the University include the Schools of Education, Health in Social Science (including Counselling Studies), Edinburgh College of Art and other areas within the College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences.

A UK undergraduate degree, or its international equivalent, in a related subject.

We may also consider your application if you have other qualifications or experience; please contact us to check before you apply.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

All applicants must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of their English language ability:

  • an undergraduate or masters degree, that was taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country as defined by UK Visas and Immigration
  • UKVI list of majority English speaking countries
  • IELTS Academic: total 7.0 (at least 6.0 in each module)
  • TOEFL-iBT: total 100 (at least 20 in each module)
  • PTE(A): total 67 (at least 56 in each of the "Communicative Skills" sections; the "Enabling Skills" sections are not considered)
  • CAE and CPE: total 185 (at least 169 in each module)
  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with a pass in all four components

Degrees taught and assessed in English must be no more than two and a half years old at the beginning of your degree programme. Language tests must be no more than two years old at the beginning of your degree programme.

Find out more about our language requirements:

Academic Technology Approval Scheme

If you are not an EU, EEA or Swiss national, you may need an Academic Technology Approval Scheme clearance certificate in order to study this programme.

Additional costs apply to this programme: minimum £500 per year (normally paid directly by sponsors for those on studentships). Further research costs may be required, depending on your project requirements.

Find out more about tuition fees and studying costs:

  • School of GeoSciences
  • Institute of Geography
  • Drummond Street
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9XP

We encourage you to apply at least one month prior to entry so that we have enough time to process your application. If you are also applying for funding or will require a visa then we strongly recommend you apply as early as possible. We may consider late applications if we have places available, but you should contact the relevant Admissions Office for advice first.

You must submit two references with your application.

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • School of GeoSciences
  • Institute of Geography
  • Drummond Street
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9XP