Geography MPhil; PhD

MPhil: minimum 12 months full time; minimum 24 months part time
PhD: minimum 36 months full time; minimum 72 months part time


Fees per academic year 2014-15

UK and EU: full time £4,320 part time £2,160
International: full time £11,380-£14,890 part time fees

More information is available about tuition fees and discounts.

Research Areas

MPhil/PhD supervision is offered in both human and physical geography. Research is centred in the following five research clusters:

Physical Geography
Physical Geography carries out our research in a wide variety of environments across the globe, supported by active collaboration with colleagues within Newcastle University and beyond, both nationally and internationally. Examples of recent research projects include: New Homonid discovery in South Africa; Lake Suigetsu ultra-high-resolution palaeoclimate project (NERC funded); Impacts of recent catastrophic floods in the North of England (NERC funded); and  impact of meltwater floods during the 2010 Eyjafjallajökull volcanic eruption in Iceland (NERC funded). (Dr Andy HendersonDr Steve JugginsDr Andy Large, Professor Darrel Maddy, Dr Anne-Sophie Meriaux, Professor Takeshi NakagawaDr Emma PearsonDr Neil RossProfessor Andrew Russell, Dr Hiro Yamazaki)

Economic Geographies
Theoretically-informed and politically-engaged research on the production, forms, experiences and impacts of uneven geographies of commodities, people, finance, knowledge and technology. The cluster includes much of the work in the Centre for Urban and Regional Development Studies, a designated University Research Centre formed in 1977. (Professor T Champion, Professor M Coombes, Dr S Dawley, Professor A Gillespie, Professor J Goddard, Dr A Hughes, Professor N Laurie, Professor N Marshall, Professor A Pike, Professor J Pollard, Mr R Richardson, Professor A Stenning, Professor J Tomaney).

Power, Space, Politics
Our research focuses on the expression of political power across space. We do this at a range of scales, from the international and national to the individual, and with reference to a range of global contexts. Our work is methodologically innovative, and we draw on ethnographic, discourse analytic, participatory and visual methodologies which enable grounded, empirically-informed reflections on the multiple ways in which concepts of power, space and politics intersect. (Dr P Hopkins, Professor N Laurie, Dr K Manzo, Professor A Bonnett, Dr N Megoran, Dr A Williams, Professor R Woodward; Dr J Pugh). 

Geographies of Social Change
Explores and extends an applied, critical understanding of cities and urbanism. Ideas about identity, families and households, health, welfare and care, infrastructures and community run through our research and these lead us to connect with issues of gender, race, ethnicity and migration, youth, religion, class, social size and generation. (Professor A Bonnett, Professor T Champion, Professor M Coombes, Dr P Hopkins, Dr H Jarvis, Professor N Laurie, Professor A Nayak, Professor A Stenning, Dr S Tate, Dr J Pugh).

MPhil in Physical Geography

This programme involves advanced study and research into a specific area of physical geography research. You will undertake fieldwork or lab-based research in a specific topic such as: flood impacts on natural and human systems; fluvial geomorphology and sedimentology; glacial outburst floods; glacial geomorphology; volcano-ice interactions; tectonic geomorphology; geoarchaeology; past changes in the Earth’s climate system and palaeoenvironmental change (including palaeoceanography, palaeolimnology palaeohydrology and anthropogenic changes). Newcastle physical geographers have active research programmes in countries including UK, Greenland, Iceland, Patagonia, Turkey, USA, Tibet and Japan.

Many of the research opportunities in Geography are interdisciplinary and we are keen to encourage supervision across subject areas. For example there are opportunities for joint supervision with Latin American researchers in the School of Modern Languages.

For more information about staff specialisms please see the School's website.

Research Degree Training and Skills Development

Human Geography is a pathway within the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) North East Doctoral Training Centre. Students can apply for 1+3 (Research Training MA degree plus PhD) or +3 (PhD) grants through this scheme.

We participate in a Humanities and Social Sciences Faculty training programme for research students. This covers quantitative and qualitative research methods, the organisation of PhD research, and library, information and writing skills. We also offer a Science, Agriculture and Engineering Faculty training programme for physical geography students covering fieldwork, scientific research and writing, methods and data analysis.

All students have opportunities to participate in postgraduate research seminars and conferences and many have opportunities to get involved in laboratory demonstrations and other teaching support work. Postgraduate research is conducted in co-operation with a variety of international and national bodies as well as other universities.

+Entrance Requirements

An upper-second-class Honours degree and a master’s degree, or international equivalent, in a relevant arts, humanities or social science subject such as geography, planning, urban studies, environmental studies, sociology, politics, history or business studies.

Applicants whose first language is not English require IELTS 6.5, TOEFL 90 (Internet-based), Pearson's PTE Academic Test 62 or equivalent.

Our INTO Newcastle University Centre can provide extra tuition to help you meet the University's English language requirements.

The UK Border Agency (UKBA) has rules for international students regarding minimum English language requirements.

+Scholarships and Other Sources of Funding

The School will provide each full-time and part-time PhD student with a laptop computer for School and home use.

International Students, consult your own government for funding. The University offers International Scholarships, and there are funding opportunities by external organisations available.

Students should consult their employers for sponsorship opportunities.

More information on scholarships, studentships, bursaries and other funding is available from our database.

+How to Apply

Visit our postgraduate application site.

Applications are considered throughout the year although specific deadlines for funding may apply. Further application advice is available from the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences.

There are two possible start dates for your research degree:

  • 6 January 2014
  • 22 September 2014

However, these dates are not mandatory and in some circumstances permission can be granted for alternative start dates.

Please note: As a formal condition of the offer to study at Newcastle University, students from outside the UK/EU are required to pay a deposit of £1,500 or submit an official letter of sponsorship for their chosen programme. The deposit payment is non refundable, but will be deducted from tuition fees upon registration.

+Further Information

For further information please contact:
Postgraduate Secretary
School of Geography, Politics and Sociology
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 5200

Subject Overview

This programme is within the subject area of Geography.

Student profiles:

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