We offer MPhil and PhD supervision across a wide range of human and physical geography topics. Our research engages with applied issues and public policy concerns, as well as more abstract cultural and theoretical issues.
We were recently ranked within the top 30 geography departments in the world (QS World University Rankings by subject). Almost all our research is world-leading or internationally excellent (Research Excellence Framework, 2014).
Our staff provide supervision in a range of specialisms. Our research focusses on four research clusters:
Physical geographyPhysical geography
Our research strengths in physical geography include:
- landscape evolution
- applied geomorphology and natural hazards
- Quaternary geochronology
- water science
We carry out research through active collaboration with colleagues in Newcastle University and beyond. Our research takes us to a wide variety of environments across the globe, including:
- the UK
Examples of recent research projects include:
- new homonid discovery in South Africa
- Lake Suigetsu ultra-high-resolution palaeoclimate project
- impacts of recent catastrophic floods in the North of England
- impact of meltwater floods during the 2010 Eyjafjallajökull volcanic eruption in Iceland
Our Physical Geography MPhil involves advanced study and research into a specific area. You will do fieldwork or lab-based research in a topics such as:
- flood impacts on natural and human systems
- fluvial geomorphology and sedimentology
- glacial outburst floods
- glacial geomorphology
- volcano-ice interactions
- tectonic geomorphology
See a full list of MPhil and PhD physical geography research topics.
Economic geographiesEconomic geographies
Our research in economic geographies is theoretically-informed and politically-engaged. It covers the production, forms, experiences and impacts of uneven geographies of:
Our location in the north east is a European periphery. Our researchers in this theme explore 'ordinary', diverse and/or marginalised economies and subjectivities. They also scrutinise orthodox socio-economic models and practices in the following contexts:
- western industrialised
Economic geographies contributes much of the work in the Centre for Urban and Regional Development Studies.
See a full list of MPhil and PhD economic geography research topics.
Power, space, politicsPower, space, politics
In power, space, politics our research focuses on the expression of political power across space and includes topics around:
- borders and boundaries
- critical geopolitics
- international development
- militarism and military geographies
- the politics of representation
- issues of resistance, justice and peace
We conduct research on a range of scales. From the international and national to the individual, with reference to a range of global contexts. Our work is methodologically innovative, drawing on:
- interactional research
- ethnographic research
- discourse analysis
- participatory research
- visual research
This enables us to produce grounded, empirically-informed reflections on the multiple ways in which concepts of power, space and politics intersect.
See a full list of MPhil and PhD power, space and political geography research topics.
Geographies of social changeGeographies of social change
In geographies of social change we explore and extend an applied, critical understanding of cities and urbanism. Ideas that run through our research include:
- families and households
- welfare and care
These lead us to connect with issues of:
See a full list of MPhil and PhD social geography research topics.
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.
Our facilities include:
- dedicated postgraduate study facilities
- GIS and cartography software
- fieldwork vehicles
- a suite of laboratories for the analysis of water and sediments for projects in geomorphology, environmental change and hydrology
In the news
Newcastle moves up 20 places into the top 150 in the QS World University Rankings 2019.
published on: 15 June 2018
Want to know more about postgraduate study? Come along to one of our PG Café events on the 18 July on our city campus.
published on: 10 July 2018
Student blogger Kinsey tells us about the differences between studying in the US and the UK.
published on: 6 July 2018
Training & Skills
As a research student you will receive a tailored package of academic and administrative support to ensure you maximise your research and future career. The academic information is in the programme profile and you will be supported by our doctoral training centres, Faculty Training Programme and Research Student Support Team.
Our Faculty Training Programme provides a community made up of postgraduate social sciences and humanities students and staff. It is a unique blend of cross-disciplinary and generic researcher development training, recognised by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) as providing a solid basis for doctoral study.
We also offer a Science, Agriculture and Engineering Faculty training programme for physical geography students covering:
- scientific research and writing
- methods and data analysis
Although your focus will be on your specialist study, our aim is for you to develop a broad range of research and project management skills that will support you in your career ahead. We have nurtured a multi-cultural, multi-disciplinary and supportive environment where staff and students from across the world can come together and share their research experiences. You can also choose to register for a Postgraduate Certificate in Research Training, which accredits the core foundation modules on the training programme.
You will study in our Doctoral Training Suite with purpose-built facilities for lectures, workshops, seminars and computer access to specialist software required for doctoral research in the social sciences and humanities. Each year we have two student-led research postgraduate conferences and we have a variety of prizes and awards to celebrate the successes of our students.
ESRC Northern Ireland/North East (NINE) Doctoral Training Partnership
The ESRC Northern Ireland/North East (NINE) Doctoral Training Partnership is a joint venture between Durham University, Newcastle University, Northumbria University, Queen’s University Belfast, University of Sunderland, Teesside University and Ulster University. We are a centre of excellence for postgraduate social sciences. We offer a world-class, interdisciplinary environment for doctoral training and research.
Funded and accredited by the ESRC, we are one of the most innovative of the national network of doctoral training centres with a strong track record of partnership working with public, private and community organisations.
Northern Bridge doctoral training partnership
Based at Newcastle University, Northern Bridge brings together the expertise and exceptional resources of Newcastle University, Durham University, Queen’s University Belfast and their partners for the training and development of outstanding arts and humanities postgraduate researchers.
Northern Bridge is funded by the AHRC to provide doctoral studentships and has been commended for the strength of its research base, shared vision, and its successful track record of partnership working.
EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Digital Civics
IAPETUS Natural Environment Research Council Doctoral Training
IAPETUS is a partnership between the universities of Newcastle, Durham, Glasgow, St Andrews and Stirling, the British Geological Survey and the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology. It offers multidisciplinary doctoral research and training programmes for the next generation of leaders in the science of the natural environment.
IAPETUS is a multidisciplinary Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP), funded and accredited by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), offering PhD students a world-class environment in which to study. This includes:
- fully-funded PhD studentships
- supervision and support from academics and researchers who are world-leaders in their field
- tailored training and development programmes
- placements and internship opportunities
- high-quality laboratories, facilities and resources
IAPETUS doctoral research projects available to study at Newcastle.
Postgraduate research student support
Our award winning Research Student Support Team is dedicated to providing you with information, support and advice throughout your research degree studies. The team can help and advise you on a variety of issues from registration to producing your transcripts.
Fees & Funding
The fees displayed here are per year. If your studies last longer than one year your fee may be subject to an annual inflationary increase.
Full time: £4,800
Part time: £2,400
Full time: £4,800
Part time: £2,400
Full time: £15,600 - £16,800
Find out more about our tuition fees, including how to pay them and available discounts.
Funding for PhD studentships in geography at Newcastle University is available through the:
- ESRC Northern Ireland/North East (NINE) Doctoral Training Partnership (human geography projects)
- Northern Bridge Doctoral Training Partnership (cultural geography projects)
- IAPETUS Doctoral Training Partnership (physical geography projects)
EU students starting at Newcastle in 2018 and 2019 will pay the UK (Home) tuition fee for the full duration of their course.
Our fee range takes into account your research topic and resource requirements.
Your research topic is unique and as such will have unique resource requirements. Resources could include specialist equipment, such as laboratory/workshop access, or technical staff.
If your research involves accessing specialist resources then you're likely to pay a higher fee. You'll discuss the exact nature of your research project with your supervisor(s). You'll find out the fee in your offer letter.
A 2:1 honours degree and a master's degree, or international equivalent, in a relevant arts, humanities, science or social science subject such as:
- urban studies
- environmental studies
- business studies
Find out the equivalent qualifications for your country.
Use the drop down above to find your country. If your country isn't listed please email: email@example.com for further information.
English Language Requirements
Select an English language test from the list to view our English language entry requirements.
Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
Pre-sessional English Course RequirementsPre-sessional English Course Requirements
- 6 week Pre-sessional entry:Not accepted
- 10 week Pre-sessional entry: IELTS 6.5 overall (with a minimum of 6.0 in all sub-skills)
You can study our Pre-sessional English course at the INTO Newcastle Centre.
How to Apply
You apply online, track your application and contact the admissions team via our applicant portal. Our step-by-step guide can help you on your way.
The course usually starts in September or January. In some circumstances we can arrange an alternative start date.
There is no application closing date for this course but specific deadlines for funding may apply. Read our guidelines for producing a research proposal (PDF: 41.5KB) from the Faculty of Humanities and Social Science Graduate School.
We suggest international students apply at least two months before the course starts. This is so that you have enough time to make the necessary arrangements.
If you live outside the UK/EU you must:
- pay a deposit of £1,500
- or submit an official letter of sponsorship
The deposit is payable after you receive an offer to study at Newcastle University. The deposit is non-refundable, but is deducted from your tuition fees when you register.