Research course

Physical Geography

Institution
The University of Manchester · School of Environment, Education and Development
Qualifications
PhD

Entry requirements

  • A First or Upper Second Class Bachelor's degree (or its international equivalent).
  • A relevant master's degree, with Merit and a minimum average grade of 60% in both the taught course units and your dissertation (or international equivalent of 60%).

Months of entry

September

Course content

PhD Physical Geography will allow you to benefit from the supervision of world-leading academics that have very strong reputations for research quality.

The University of Manchester is one of the best places in the world to study physical geography, and our department has a global reputation for its research and teaching.

In the UK's most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014), 94% of our outputs were considered internationally recognised, with an exceptionally high proportion (65%) judged to be internationally excellent or world-leading.

Your research will help to create solutions to global environmental problems, engaging with themes such as:

  • Biogeochemical cycling and pollutant dynamics;
  • Geoarchaeology;
  • Geochronology;
  • Geomorphology;
  • Glaciers and glacial processes;
  • Quaternary climates and environments;
  • Remote sensing, GIS and spatial modelling;
  • Upland environments;
  • Urban environments.

Our physical geography staff members hold editorial positions with leading research publications, including major journals such as Journal of the Geological Society, Geoarchaeology and Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers and also serve on various panels of the UK Natural Environmental Research Council (NERC).

In addition, there are two research groups specialising in physical geography: Environmental Processes, and Quaternary Environments and Geoarchaeology.

The work of the Environmental Processes research group includes the analysis of environmental processes at a range of spatial scales and geographical locations, but particularly in upland and urban environments. Fundamental and applied research is supported by the Research Councils and a range of government and non-government agencies, including DEFRA, DTI, UKCIP, Environment Agency, Natural England and Moors for the Future.

The Quaternary Environments and Geoarchaeology research group is particularly interested in the analysis of the response of geomorphological systems and ecosystems to global climate change. This includes the study of glaciers, rivers, lakes, deserts and high mountain terrains, as well as paleoecology, geochemistry and a range of geochronological applications. This research involves work throughout the world, including the Arctic, British Isles, Mediterranean, Himalayas, North America, and Africa. Research is funded by various bodies, including the Leverhulme Trust, NERC, the Royal Society and the Royal Geographical Society.

Recent PhD graduates have been appointed to positions at leading universities around the world, while others now work in government agencies and research institutes as well as conservation organisations. Many graduates have gone on to work in environmental consultancy in both the public and private sectors. Our graduates also have a strong track record in the energy and mining sector, including renewable energy, oil, gas, aggregates and minerals.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • PhD
    full time
    36 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    part time
    72 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Name
School of Environment, Education and Development
Email
pgr-seed-admissions@manchester.ac.uk
Phone
+44 (0)161 275 0807