Taught course

Human Geography and Sustainability Research

Keele University · Faculty of Natural Sciences

Entry requirements

Applicants should be graduates with an Honours degree (2.1 or above) in a relevant social science subject. However, applicants from different backgrounds who believe they have the capacity to undertake postgraduate work in the social sciences should contact us to discuss their situation.

Prospective applicants are strongly encouraged to view our available projects on our website, then contact and discuss research options with the Keele University staff member listed for the research area/topic of interest before making an official application. In your application documents, state clearly your preferred subject area or specific project, including potential supervisor, and your motivation and background for carrying out a project in a particular area. Please contact us if you would like to discuss options. Acceptance on the course is subject to having an agreed research project and project supervisor.

Months of entry


Course content

Please note, all course information including entry requirements relates to the 2022/23 academic year.

This Master's programme in Human Geography and Sustainability Research provides you with advanced-level skills in human geography and sustainability-related research for a career in the public, private and/or voluntary and community sector. It delivers high quality postgraduate training, enabling you to pursue a PhD in human geography or environmental studies.

The MA in Human Geography and Sustainability Research provides students with advanced-level skills in human geography and sustainability-related research for a career in the public, private and / or voluntary and community sector. This includes positions with national and local government, other public bodies, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), private sector consultancies and research and policy institutes. It also delivers high quality postgraduate training to students wishing to pursue a PhD in human geography or sustainability and environmental studies.
The programme is distinctive in three ways. First, it brings together expertise in Human Geography and Sustainability-related research to provide a truly interdisciplinary approach focused around equipping students with the necessary methodological skills to investigate key societal problems and their resolution. Second, through providing both subject-specific and broader social science training, the MA provides students with a wide-ranging set of research competencies which can be utilised in a range of academic, policy and practice- based settings. Third, in developing research skills and knowledge of human geography, sustainability and the environment, the MA is compliant (subject to approval) with the research training requirements for Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) PhD scholarships (commonly termed +3), and is also suitable as the master's year as part of an ESRC scholarship award that covers both the master's and PhD (commonly termed a 1+3 award).
One third of the course (60 credits) involves students following a number of new subject-specific research training modules in Human Geography and Sustainability, including a focus on contemporary key themes in human geography and sustainability, advanced methods in human geography and sustainability and a 'research traineeship', whereby students will have the opportunity to get 'hands on' real world research experience working with a research mentor on a live research project. Such modules will be delivered by internationally recognised experts from within the School of Geography, Geology and Environment.
A further 60 credits involves students studying alongside other social science postgraduates at Keele University to develop advanced qualitative and quantitative research and data analysis skills, as well as exploring approaches to research design and the philosophy of the social sciences. The remaining element of the course involves students undertaking an extended independent research project of their choice (60 credits) and which allows students to develop and apply skills generated during the taught component of the programme and to focus on a topic of interest to them.
The programme will be suitable for those considering doctoral (PhD) study or looking to work in the public, private or third sectors, for example, social or market research; social and health care; local and national government; or charitable and community organisations. It will be equally valuable to people already working in these sectors who wish to update or develop their social research skills.

Information for international students


IELTS 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in each component. The University also accepts a range of internationally recognised English tests.

If you do not meet the English language requirements, the University offers a range of English language preparation programmes.

During your degree programme you can study additional English language courses. This means you can continue to improve your English language skills and gain a higher level of English.

Fees and funding

For information related to fees and funding, please visit the individual course page on the Keele University website.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MA
    part time
    24 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details