Research course

Environment, Geography and Geosciences

University of Portsmouth · School of the Environment, Geography and Geosciences

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Entry requirements

A good honours degree or equivalent in a relevant subject or a master's degree in an appropriate subject. Exceptionally, equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications will be considered. All applicants are subject to interview.

English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.

Months of entry

February, October

Course content

If you're ready to take your expertise in Earth and Environmental Sciences into a postgraduate research degree, the University of Portsmouth is the perfect place to do it.
Seventy-two per cent (72%) of our research outputs in Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences were classed as world leading or internationally excellent in the Research Excellence Framework 2014 – and through our Earth and Environmental Sciences research, we're studying our planet and how life on Earth has evolved from its earliest beginnings to the present day.
With environmental crises such as climate change putting the future of the planet in jeopardy, we're using our findings to predict how the Earth may change in the future and researching what we can do to safeguard it. As a postgraduate researcher here, you could research subjects including crustal evolution, environmental modelling and monitoring, marine biogeochemistry and ecosystems, palaeontology, applied geoscience and applied physics.
When you study for a postgraduate research degree with us, you'll join our collaborative research community, and play your own part in turning our knowledge into action.

What you’ll experience
When you join us, you'll be supported by our Graduate School, alongside your assigned supervisory team, who'll help you get the most from our facilities. The Graduate School will help you become part of our thriving, collaborative research community, and help grow your skills as a researcher through the Graduate School Development Programme, which offers training, workshops and events.
You'll have access to fully-equipped physical geography, GIS and photogrammetry labs.
Other facilities you can use include:
Geochemical facilities, which include laser ablation and solution ICP-MS and ICP-MC-MS. Using these facilities, you can analyse a large range of materials and elements across the periodic table, and measure isotope ratios for sourcing of materials and dating minerals.
Imaging facilities, including scanning electron microscopy and near infrared spectroscopy. Using these facilities, you can image materials to extremely high magnification, measure the chemistry and crystallography of materials down to the nanometre scale, characterise the spectra of materials, and use remote sensing techniques to map their spatial distribution in the natural environment.
Rock and soil mechanics, including triaxial and uniaxial presses, acoustic emission sensors, and heating and cooling elements. Using these facilities, you can obtain data on the physical properties and behaviour of materials under different loading conditions and over a range of conditions.
Our Hyperspectral Laboratory, which has an ASD Labspec4 (Vis-NIR) spectrometer and a range of spectral imaging systems including an infrared geotechnical core-scanner to examine rocks, soils, debris, environmental materials and archaeological artefacts for engineering and hazard characterisation.
Careers and opportunities
Once you complete your postgraduate research degree, you'll be a highly-skilled researcher with the knowledge and skills to make an impact in many different industries.
Your postgraduate research qualification demonstrates to potential employers that you're an intelligent, capable and motivated person, with provable abilities and experience in critical thinking, problem-solving, project management, communication, leadership and creativity.
Current research
Explore the work we're doing across our 4 areas of research expertise in Earth and Environmental Sciences.
We're achieving significant impact with our research – from providing foundational knowledge on planetary geology, to solar system exploration missions, such as NASA and ESA Mars rovers (Curiosity, InSight, ExoMars 2020), to creating process-driven models that improve the efficiency of hydrocarbon and metal deposit exploration. Many specialist publications have covered our work, including Nature, Science, Nature Geoscience, Nature Communications and Geology.
  • Our work explores the following topics
  • Disaster and crisis management
  • Terrain evaluation and risk
  • Engineering geology and geomorphology
  • Rock mechanics and engineering
  • Remote sensing, hyperspectral sensing and geoinformatics
  • 3D data visualisation
  • Masonry structures
  • Characterisation and source attribution of dusts
  • Geoconservation and built heritage
  • Our work explores the following topics
  • Palaeobiology and Evolution
  • Biostratigraphy and Palynofacies
  • Taphonomy and Trace Fossils
  • Palaeoclimate and Palaeoecosystems
  • Experimental Palaeontology
  • Hydrocarbon and Coal Exploration
  • Our work explores the following topics
  • Environmental impacts
  • Hydrogeology and water quality
  • Marine biogeochemistry
  • Marine environmental science
  • Radioactivity and radiation
  • Ecotoxicology
  • Environmental modelling
  • Water, air and soil pollution
  • Passive sampling
  • Environmental monitoring and assessment
  • Emerging contaminants and microplastics
  • Antimicrobial resistance
  • Environmental chemistry and mineralogy

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

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

Course contact details

023 9284 2994