Research course


University of Sussex · School of Global Studies

Entry requirements

Months of entry

January, October, April

Course content

  • PhD in African Studies
  • PhD in Geography
  • MPhil in Geography

All research students are required to complete an appropriate programme of research methods training. This may involve enrolling on the MSc in Social Research Methods – a stand-alone Masters degree – before proceeding to a PhD. This is known as a 1+3 degree.

Students who have already completed a programme of research methods training can apply for the basic, three-year doctoral degree leading to a PhD.

Applications for research courses are welcomed across any of our research clusters, each of which maintains a strong international reputation. Geographers also provide interdisciplinary doctoral supervision in subject areas such as colonial and postcolonial studies, contemporary European studies, development
studies and migration studies.

Coursework and supervision

Whether you start the three-year PhD or the 1+3 MSc/PhD course, you are normally required to complete some research methods training modules and possibly some specialist thematic modules drawn from the MSc course.

You are allocated two academic supervisors with whom you work for the duration of your research degree. These are allocated according to their regional and thematic expertise, to provide a complementary ‘match’ with your research.

Recent thesis titles

An evaluation of GIS as a countryside management tool to inform the creation of a large-scale, near-forest habitat network in West Sussex

Black and white collaborative politics in South African Christian student movements 1907-1978

Botanic gardens: ‘walled, stranded arks’ or environments for learning

Cities in motion: towards an understanding of the cinematic city

Ecotourism, institutions and livelihoods: a study of North Rupununi, Guyana

Food crop marketing and local economic development in Eastern Cape Province, South Africa

Gains, losses and changes: resettlement of Somali refugees in London and Toronto

Institutional needs for natural resource conservation in mountain areas

Media, imagination and migration: the role of Italian television in the Albanian migration to Italy

Pastoral-farmer conflict in the Hadejia-Nguru wetlands of north-eastern Nigeria

Rainfall variability and extremes over southern Africa

Representations of diversity and cultural participation: performances of multiculturalism in Bologna and Barcelona

Sediment transport in the Ouse-Newhaven Estuary

The global-local interplay and foreign direct investment in the European Union

The internationalisation of productive capital: Korean textile and clothing foreign direct investment in China

The migration and transition of Sierra Leonean refugee girls in England

The response of shingle beaches to storm events: a managed approach

Threats to coastal shingle biodiversity in the Rives Manche

Department specialisms

For further information visit the postgraduate study page.

Information for international students

Fees and funding

UK students
International students

The University of Sussex aims to attract the most talented students to postgraduate study and offers one of the most generous scholarship programmes of any UK university. For full details of our scholarships please

Qualification and course duration


full time
24-48 months
part time
36-72 months


part time
24-48 months
full time
12-36 months

Course contact details

Student Recruitment Services
+44 (0)1273 877107