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Geography MPhil/PhD

As well as providing world-leading disciplinary and interdisciplinary research training, our programmes provide outstanding opportunities for networking across public, private and third sector organisations. With extensive experience in building partnerships, knowledge transfer, applied research and public engagement and impact, UCL Geography enables doctoral students to enhance their employment prospects while pursuing cutting-edge research.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2017

Modes and duration

Full time: 3 years
Part time: 5 years

Tuition fees (2017/18)

£4,915 (FT) £2,455 (PT)
£19,010 (FT) £9,560 (PT)

Application dates

Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Current Students website.

Location: London, Bloomsbury

Entry requirements

Normally a UK Master’s degree in a relevant discipline, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.

English language requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.

The English language level for this programme is: Good

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

International students

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.

Select your country:


UCL Geography is an established international leader in geographical research. We are committed to theoretically informed empirical research on major social and environmental issues. The department is distinctive in the scale and diversity of its research, as well as its international scope, collaborative links and policy orientation. Students are central to the department's research culture, are able to take advantage of the plethora of opportunities available, and are often involved in hosting events. All our graduate students have access to specialist laboratories and computing facilities.

Research areas

  • Past climates
  • Recent environmental change and biodiversity
  • Environmental modelling and observation
  • Global urbanisms
  • Environment, politics and society
  • Culture and mobility
  • Geospatial analytics and computing

Please visit the departmental website for full details on the research areas.
More information can be found on the department website: Geography MPhil/PhD


Past research students have received funding through a range of awards such as the UK Research Council, University and Commonwealth Scholarships, and we also have a number of students who self-fund or obtain work-associated funding. Funding opportunities vary from year to year, so please check the UCL Geography website for up-to-date information.

UCL scholarships and sources of funding may also be available; please check our Scholarships and Funding website. You should take note of funding application deadlines as these will differ from programme application deadlines.

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.


A significant number of recent graduates have gone on to lectureships and many others into university research, at institutions such as King’s College London, the University of Tokyo, National University of Singapore and California College of the Arts. Having gained a variety of technical and analytical skills as well as in-depth substantive expertise in particular fields, others have entered professions within government, non-governmental organisations and the private sector.

Top career destinations for this degree

  • Teaching Fellow, UCL
  • Energy Procurement Adviser, Power Efficiency / Cofely
  • Lecturer, University of Chester
  • Postdoctoral Researcher, York St John University


Skills development is an important component of the research degree process, and UCL provides a strong and varied graduate skills development programme. Within UCL Geography, research students have access to state-of-the-art research equipment, a variety of data archives and are trained to research council level training in methodology. The department also offers research students a range of teaching assistant opportunities that provide valuable experience. Our established track record in partnership working, knowledge transfer, applied research, public engagement and impact further enables students to gain broad experience to support career development.


Our graduate students attend and participate in seminars, workshops and conferences within the department and within interdisciplinary research centres across UCL, providing opportunities to network with leading academics across a variety of research fields. RCUK-funded students in the department have additional opportunities to interact with non-academic partners, to develop collaborations and to spend time developing their skills in public, private and third sector organisations. Students are also supported to participate in public workshops, seminars, conference and other events related to their research, providing further networking opportunities.

Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2012–2014 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.

Why study this degree at UCL?

UCL Geography provides a world-class environment for research students. UCL has been ranked the leading university in the UK for its research strength and the department, which is consistently rated among the best geography departments in the country, is currently ranked third (Research Excellence Framework 2014). Its research environment and impact have been rated as internationally excellent.

Students work towards an MPhil or PhD supported by seminars, training and a dedicated supervisory team of expert academics. The department attracts prestigious scholarships and studentships to support graduate research and enables students to conduct fieldwork around the world.

Department: Geography

Student / staff numbers › 43 staff including 15 postdocs › 170 taught students › 70 research students

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.

The following REF score was awarded to the department: Geography

Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.

What our students and staff say

Student view

"UCL provides its students with the opportunity to enrich their networks in the academic and business world. I have attended many career open day events organised either by UCL itself or by companies outside UCL."

Katerini Pylarinou

Geography PhD
Student view

"I strongly believe in the value of forming good links with other researchers working in my field and being at UCL has enabled me to do this. I have spent time working at institutions and universities both within the UK and internationally during my time at UCL, forming new contacts and gaining valuable new experiences. The proximity of so many high-quality universities and institutions facilitates collaborative working and enables me to present my research at a range of venues."

Hannah Robson

Geography PhD

Application and next steps


Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

Application deadlines

Deadlines and start dates are usually dictated by funding arrangements so check with the department or academic unit to see if you need to consider these in your application preparation. In most cases you should identify and contact potential supervisors before making your application. For more information see our How to apply page.

For more information see our Applications page.

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Contact information


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  • Receive notice of graduate open days, events and more
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