Taught course

Geographical Research

University of Cambridge · Department of Geography

Entry requirements

Applicants for this course should have achieved a UK High 2:1 Honours Degree.

Most students will have a substantial background in geography or a related discipline, although other subjects may be relevant.

Months of entry


Course content

The course is intended for students who have a substantial background in geography or a related discipline with a good first degree. It aims to provide: (i) broad-based training in geographical research, its philosophical backgrounds and debates, and interpretation of geographical literature, (ii) comprehensive training in research methods in human geography and the social sciences as a whole, and (iii) the opportunity to develop large-scale research management skills by completing a research thesis under academic supervision and guidance.

The course aims to develop general transferable skills for research employment in a wide range of walks of life or as a bridge between first degree and PhD. The MPhil thesis element can be a freestanding project, but is usually used as a vehicle for developing plans and research design for subsequent doctoral research.

Students develop their skills in assessing contrasting theories, explanations and policies; collecting, critically judging, evaluating and interpreting varied forms of evidence; preparing maps and diagrams; employing various methods of collecting and analysing spatial and environmental information; combining and interpreting different types of evidence to tackle specific problems; and recognising the ethical and moral dimensions of study.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of the 11 months, students taking the MPhil in Geographical Research will be expected to have:

  • Acquired a broad knowledge of qualitative research methods and general statistics
  • Acquired the skills to use library and internet resources independently
  • Acquired specialist knowledge of the relevant literature related to their thesis
  • Acquired skills to independently structure their research design
  • Given a presentation on their thesis to their peers and academic staff
  • Written three essays and one thesis

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MPhil
    full time
    11 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details