Research course

Geographical Sciences (Human Geography)

University of Bristol · School of Geographical Sciences

Entry requirements

An upper second-class honours degree in a relevant subject or an equivalent qualification and a master's qualification from a UK university (or equivalent).

The School welcomes applicants with an interest in utilising ESRC and UKRI secondary datasets in their research projects.

The School of Geographical Sciences, like many other Schools and Departments across the University, is committed to efforts to decolonise our curricula and transform our research and teaching as part of these efforts. We especially welcome applicants interested in supporting this work, and we encourage applicants from diverse backgrounds, life experiences, and geographies to apply.

See international equivalent qualifications on the International Office website.

Months of entry


Course content

The excellence of Bristol's social science research was confirmed by the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF 2021). According to the Times Higher Education's analysis of REF 2021, The School of Geographical Sciences ranked first in the UK for the fifth REF cycle in a row.

We have a large and vibrant postgraduate community, focusing both on PhDs by research and on taught programmes. Our postgraduate community is international and interdisciplinary and offers an exceptional academic environment for postgraduate research. We also have a 100% completion rate over the past five years for UKRI-funded PhD students.

Research opportunities span a variety of subjects at the leading edge of geographical research. Our research groups span a range of human geographical research. These include the History and Culture Research Group, the Geographies of Political Economy Research Group, and the Quantitative Spatial Science Research Group. Within these three main groups, postgraduate research covers the gamut, from health and housing inequalities to embodied posthuman geographies, to urban sustainability futures, to the environmental humanities, to improving techniques of quantitative modelling and machine learning, to geopolitics, decolonial geographies, and political ecology.

There is also a range of exciting possibilities for interdisciplinary research that cross and connect research groups and departments. Supervision is possible across schools and faculties.

Alternatively, you may be interested in our PhD in Geographical Sciences (Physical Geography).

Information for international students

See international equivalent qualifications on the International Office website.

Fees and funding

The Faculty of Social Sciences and Law has an allocation of 1+3 and +3 ESRC scholarships. Applicants may also be interested in applying for funding from the University of Bristol scholarship fund or alumni PhD scholarship fund.

The School of Geographical Sciences also has very limited PhD funding available for applicants via the Liv Sidse Jansen Memorial Fund (for BME applicants only) and the PGTA Scholarship program. Please see the School's Postgraduate Scholarship page for details.

Further information on funding for prospective UK and international postgraduate students.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • PhD
    part time
    96 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    full time
    48 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Postgraduate Student Administrator
+44 (0) 0117 928 7872