Research course

Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences (Environmental Sustainability)

University of Edinburgh · School of Geosciences

Entry requirements

A UK undergraduate degree, or its international equivalent, in a related subject.

Months of entry


Course content

The research degree in Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences draws on expertise from two research institutes: Global Change and Geography and the Lived Environment.

The School has the largest geoscience research group in the UK, with about 370 academics and researchers. The quality of our research is second to none: we were the highest rated research group in the latest UK Research Assessment Exercise.

Among our large and experienced academic team are many global leaders in their field. Two of our researchers were lead authors of the Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fourth Assessment Report, and we also boast a double winner of the World Meteorological Organization’s Norbert Gerbier Prize.

Global Change Research Institute

Our overarching aim is to improve the scientific understanding of past, present and future changes in the Earth system through measurements, theory and computational modelling.

Better understanding of the Earth system allows us to inform policymakers and to develop effective mitigation strategies, which, if implemented, would minimise the economic and humanitarian implications of changes in climate and the Earth system.

Our aim incorporates some of the most compelling scientific challenges of the 21st century. To address these questions we nurture a multidisciplinary research and teaching environment, integrating expertise across the Institute, the School and more broadly throughout the University.

Geography and the Lived Environment Research Institute

We seek to generate agenda-setting research that improves understanding of the relationships between people, society and the environment.

Our research investigates key areas of contemporary and historical societal concern, including development, climate change, inequalities, land-use change, ecosystem services, health and wellbeing and urbanisation.

The lived environment refers to those aspects of the Earth system that are experienced by people – not as it is purely conceptualised or theorised, but as it is lived. It is a multidisciplinary concept that brings together environmental science, geography, economics, policy, social science and computer science.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

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

Course contact details

Postgraduate Secretary
+44 (0) 131 650 8556