Physical and Human Geography postgraduate research degrees
Physical and Human Geography postgraduate research degrees
If you're looking to take your studies and expertise in human or physical geography to the next level, the University of Portsmouth is the perfect place to do it.
Environmentally and socially, the world is in a state of great uncertainty, and through our Physical and Human Geography work, we're exploring the roots and impacts of social and environmental crises, such as worsening inequality and climate change. We're looking for new ways to combat them – and when you study for a postgraduate research degree with us, you'll play your own part in turning our expertise into action.
The School of Environment, Geography and Geosciences supports postgraduate research in a range of topics, from climate change in mountain environments, geographies of youth smoking, and innovations in river restoration, to management of community water resources in rural Uganda, the use of social media in health campaigns, and reconstructing glacial environments.
In the most recent Research Excellent Framework (REF2014), 60% of our research in Geography was classed as having outstanding or very considerable impacts in terms of its reach and significance – with all of our impact being recognised as ‘considerable’.
Types of research degrees
Find out about our PhD, MPhil, and PhD by Publication opportunities in Physical and Human Geography below, including how to apply, entry requirements and funding your degree. For more detailed information about the application process, visit our How to Apply pages.
Physical & Human Geography PhDs and MPhils
Explore our pre-approved funded and self-funded PhD projects in Physical and Human Geography, or submit your own research idea.
PhD and MPhil projects
There are currently no funded PhD projects available in this area – for more information on funding your own research project, visit our pages on funding your research degree.
- Bioprotection or biodeteroriation? The contradictory role of microbiological activity in heritage stone decay under changing climates
- Conservation of Cultural Heritage
- Geoconservation of Rocky Coasts
- Global and Regional Temperature Change in Mountainous Regions
- Measuring and Modelling Surface Temperatures in Areas of Complex Relief
- Past Wildfire Histories
- Urban Ecological Networks
- Exploring tephrostratigraphic links of climate records in southern England with continental Europe for the last 15,000 years
PhD by Publication
A PhD by publication is a postgraduate research degree based on research you've already undertaken and had published (excluding self-publishing) before registering with us.
Eligible research outputs include peer-reviewed academic papers, complete books or chapters in anthologies, and other materials accepted for publication, exhibited or performed. You'll have to submit these materials for examination between 6-12 months after registering with us.
For more information, please visit our PhD by Publication page.
Duration, fees and funding
What do my tuition fees cover?
If you're self-funding your PhD, you'll pay tuition fees to the University to cover course and university costs.
Your tuition fees cover:
- The cost of your postgraduate research programme* at the University as well as charges for registration, tuition, supervision, and examinations
- Bespoke training, professional development courses, networking, and research support through The Graduate School
- Research seminars and workshops (university-wide and faculty-specific)
- A contribution to funding to attend a conference or development activity in your research field
- Tailor-made weekly and monthly events, including weekly, themed experienced researcher-led talks and workshops
- Helping you become part of our thriving research community, including Research and Innovation services where 78% of our research impact was rated as world-leading or internationally excellent in REF 2014
- Your graduation ceremony
- Viva examination and administration costs
- The facilities and equipment you need to complete your studies, such as computer rooms, access to laptops, the Library, and laboratories
- Access to resources including electronic journals, alternative guide to funding, and thousands of hours of educational videos on LinkedIn Learning
- University support services including academic, financial, careers and wellbeing support and personal tutors
- Membership of the Students' Union (giving you the right to vote in elections, join clubs and societies, and get free independent advice)
- Access to software such as Microsoft Office, SPSS and Adobe Creative Suite (this includes Photoshop, InDesign, and Adobe Premiere Pro)
*Please note that some research programmes may come with additional bench fees.
How long will my research degree take?
- MPhil: 2 years full-time, 4 years part-time
- PhD: 3 years full-time, 6 years part-time
- PhD by Publication: 1 year part-time
How much will my research degree cost?
2021/2022 fees (applicable for October 2021 and February 2022 start)
PhD and MPhil
- Home/EU/CI full-time students: £4,500 p/a*
- Home/EU/CI part-time students: £2,250 p/a*
- International full-time students: £17,600 p/a*
- International part-time students: £8,800 p/a*
PhD by Publication
- External candidates: £4,500 p/a*
- Members of University of Portsmouth staff: £1,720 p/a
*All fees are subject to annual increase. If you are an EU student starting a programme in 2021/22 please visit this page.
Some PhD projects may include additional fees – known as bench fees – for equipment and other consumables, and these will be added to your standard tuition fee. Speak to the supervisory team during your interview about any additional fees you may have to pay. Please note, bench fees are not eligible for discounts and are non-refundable.
MPhil full-time and part-time courses are eligible for the Government Postgraduate Loan.
PhD full-time and part-time courses are eligible for the Government Doctoral Loan.
For information on other sources of funding, visit our funding your postgraduate research degree page.
The entry requirements for a PhD or MPhil include a good honours degree or equivalent in a relevant subject, or a master’s degree in an appropriate subject. Equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications may be considered. All applicants are subject to interview.
If English is not your first language, you'll need English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.
If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.
Support and facilities
When you join us, you'll be supported by our Graduate School, alongside your assigned supervisory team, who'll help you get the most from our facilities. The Graduate School will help you become part of our thriving, collaborative research community, and help grow your skills as a researcher through the Graduate School Development Programme, which offers training, workshops and events.
You'll also have access to fully equipped physical geography, GIS and photogrammetry labs.
What can a postgraduate research degree do for my career?
Once you complete your postgraduate research degree, you'll be a highly-skilled researcher with the knowledge and skills to make an impact in many different industries.
Your postgraduate research qualification demonstrates to potential employers that you're an intelligent, capable and motivated person, with provable abilities and experience in critical thinking, problem-solving, project management, communication, leadership and creativity.
Explore the work we're doing across the areas of expertise within our Physical and Human Geography research.
Our research is looking at the the myriad reasons that lead to inequalities in the health, wellbeing, prosperity and social development of different communities.