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Geography MPhil/PhD

Key Information

Modes and duration

  • Full-time: 3 years
  • Part-time: 5 years

Programme start date

September 2016

Tuition Fees (2016/17)

£4,770 (FT) £2,385 (PT)
£17,190 (FT) £8,755 (PT)

Application dates

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.
Fees note: All fees quoted are for new students only for 2016 entry. Fees for subsequent years are subject to increase by approximately 3-5%.

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:

Research areas

  • Recent environmental change and biodiversity: over decadal to centennial timescales; threats to terrestrial and aquatic biodiversity; role of biodiversity in ecosystem function and resilience
  • Comparative urbanism: studies of poverty and inequality including housing, infrastructure and socio-economic impacts of globalisation; studies of cities and urban dynamics; regional specialisations include the UK, Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas
  • Environmental modelling: interdisciplinary model-based science to understand environment systems and their interactions - research spans climate science, biogeochemical cycles, coastal and estuarine processes, ecological and hydrology systems and remote sensing techniques
  • Past climates: reconstruction of past climates and ecosystem responses over long (tectonic to historic) timescales; climate signatures of critical intervals in human evolution; conceptualisation of long-term climate change
  • Science, politics and government: biopolitics and government; the practice of everyday life; political events and materials, environment, politics and expertise, geo-temporal demographics and big data
  • Transnational spaces: cultural and historical geographies of modernity; race, gender and post-colonial theory; geopolitics, popular culture and art; migration and mobility in a global context
  • Geographic Information Science (GIS): geo-temporal demographics of human populations, including biosocial geographies, migrations and applications in business and service planning; spatial decision support systems.


Past research students have received funding through a range o 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 availability.

Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed (where available) below. For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Wolfson Scholarships

£27,000 (3 years)
UK, EU, Overseas students
Based on academic merit

More scholarships are listed on 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. Others have entered professions within government, non-governmental organisations and the private sector.

Top career destinations for this degree

  • Technical Specialist, Environment Agency
  • Consultant, International Labour Organisation
  • Research Fellow, Overseas Development Institute


Skills development is an important component of the research degree process, and UCL provides a strong and varied graduate skills development programme. Undertaking research within UCL Geography, graduate students have access to state-of-the-art research equipment and a variety of data archives. The department also offers research students a range of teaching assistant opportunities that provide valuable academic experience in numerical and writing skills development, and organisation and planning of learning and teaching.


Our graduate students attend and participate in departmental seminars which provide opportunities to network within the department, across UCL and with invited visitors from a range of external universities, institutes and organisations.

Why study this degree at UCL?

Student / staff ratios › 43 staff including 15 postdocs › 158 taught students › 70 research students

Department: Geography

Degree reviews

Alumni review

"I made contacts at other universities and was encouraged to take part in conferences, receiving financial support to do so, which was great for getting general research experience and networking skills."

Emma Wiik

Geography PhD (2012)
Research Associate, Loughborough University
Student review

"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 review

"I applied to UCL Geography because of the reputation of the department - specifically for the opportunity to work with the researchers here."

Jessica Durkota

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.

Apply now

Contact Information


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