Research course

Human Geography

Institution
University of Kent · School of Anthropology and Conservation
Qualifications
MSc by researchPhD

Visit the institution website for COVID‑19 updates

Entry requirements

For an MSc by research a first degree (at least 2:1) in a relevant subject is required.

For an MPhil or PhD a first degree and a usually a Master’s (at least Merit) or substantial professional experience in a relevant field is required.

All applicants are considered on an individual basis and additional qualifications, professional qualifications and relevant experience may also be taken into account when considering applications.

Months of entry

January, May, September

Course content

At Kent we are fundamentally concerned with studying the complex, dynamic and changing relationships between humans and the environment, particularly how these interactions are reproduced spatially. Human adaptation to the environment and to environmental change is also a key focus.

Postgraduate research in Human Geography can cover a wide range of topics, but in essence it is broadly concerned with the dynamic interactions between humans and their environment. This encompasses social and cultural geography, urban and political geography, economics and development studies, as well as environmental and landscape planning.

PhD

The PhD is a three-year full-time and five-year part-time programme. You research and write a thesis of a maximum of 100,000 words under the supervision of an academic team. Students participate in the vibrant seminar culture of the School and have opportunities to meet and interact with researchers who work in major areas of Human Geography.

The first year includes training in research methodology and then the remaining years involve field work and/or library research and writing up. Normally, you work closely with two supervisors throughout your research, although you have a committee of three (including your primary supervisor) overseeing your progress.

MSc by Research

This programme is one-year full time, or two-year part-time. You research and write a thesis under the supervision of one or two academic staff. We have a vibrant research group whose interests stretch across the range of Human Geography.

Choosing a topic

PhD applications are welcome in any main aspect of Human Geography including Rural and Urban Geographies, the Geographies of Tourism, Development Geography, and Political Geography as well as GIS and the utilisation of new geo-spatial technologies.

Although sometimes we have specific PhD research projects which might be externally funded by a Research Council where the PhD project has already been specified, most of our research students choose their own research topics. Once you have decided on the nature of your project, you should informally contact the member of staff in the School whose expertise and interests most closely match your area of research and ask them if they will act as your supervisor.

It is extremely important that you attach to your email an updated CV, a 2-page research proposal (including background statement, aims and objectives and research methods) and that you indicate how you are planning to fund your PGR studies. You then work with your proposed supervisor on refining your research proposal which provides the starting point for your subsequent research.

Supervision

Each student is supervised by a supervisory team that consists of at least two members of academic staff one of them designated to act as the student’s Main supervisor. Occasionally, particular projects require more than two supervisors depending on the expertise that each supervisors brings in the project. It is also possible that co-supervision is provided by a member of staff from different School.

Students meet (or, while in the field, make contact) with their supervisor(s) several times over the course of each term. These meetings involve intensive discussion of the way the project is developing, the readings and training that have been done and that need to be done, and the way field research and writing-up is progressing.

If the research project requires that the student has to spend a significant amount of time in the field (away from the School), local supervision is usually organised. Overseas students who wish to spend most of their time in their home country while undertaking PhD research may register as an external student or for a split PhD.

Skills training

The University’s Graduate School co-ordinates the Research Development Programme for research students, providing access to a wide range of lectures and workshops on training, personal development planning and career development skills.

Information for international students

Please see our International website for entry requirements by country and other relevant information. Due to visa restrictions, international fee-paying students cannot study part-time unless undertaking a distance or blended-learning programme with no on-campus provision.

English language entry requirements

The University requires all non-native speakers of English to reach a minimum standard of proficiency in written and spoken English before beginning a postgraduate degree. Certain subjects require a higher level.

For detailed information see our English language requirements web pages.

Need help with English

Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of pre-sessional courses in English for Academic Purposes through Kent International Pathways.

Fees and funding

For further information about funding, including scholarships, please visit our funding web pages.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MSc by research
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    part time
    24 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
  • PhD
    full time
    36-48 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    part time
    60-72 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
  • Further details of qualification

    Start date - MSc: September; PhD: September, January, May

Course contact details

Name
School of Anthropology and Conservation
Email
sacadmissions@kent.ac.uk
Phone
+44 (0)1227 827928