PhD/MPhil by Research

AHRC Midlands3Cities Studentships available in Geography (deadline Monday 15 January 2018) - Find out more

ESRC Midlands Graduate School Studentships available in Human Geography (deadline Thursday 18 January) - Find out more

Geography is proud to uphold the University of Leicester Equalities Statement, and welcomes applications from prospective students of all nationalities and gender identities, regardless of age, disability, race, religion, marital or pregnancy status, or sexual orientation.

“My time at Leicester has been a real journey of discovery. When I started as an undergraduate I had no idea that I would still be studying in the Geography Department nearly 10 years later.

The department is extremely welcoming and has a really committed staff team who were a real inspiration and were always ready to help.”

Thomas Grant

Why conduct research in Geography?

Geographic knowledge and skills help make sense of the complex and dynamic world that we inhabit in the 21st Century. Geography helps to explain the formation of places and landscapes, the interactions between environment and people and the many interconnections between economies, societies and cultures. Increasingly, we have to be able to think spatially using maps, images and other sources of data. We have to be able to formulate questions, collect, process and analyse data. We have to make sense of trends, patterns and anomalies and effectively communicate this to politicians, scientists, and the public. The training you will gain from a Leicester research degree will enable you to benefit from this range of much sought-after skills. Geography is a valuable and rewarding career move.

Geography is also relevant for personal and social development including self motivation and interpersonal skills, confidence building, project design and implementation, critical analysis and debate. As a Leicester Geography research postgraduate you will develop practical and academic skills, communication skills (written and oral) and a sophisticated spatial awareness.

The Department offers research degrees at PhD and MPhil level, all of which can be taken on either a full-time or part-time basis.

Research Topics

postgraduate research

Our departmental research broadly falls within two thematic groups: Centre for Landscape and Climate Research, and Centre for Critical and Creative Geographies. To help you develop ideas for research, please see the research themes. Applicants can also propose their own research topics.

We offer a PhD topics, within and linking across these themes, with funding available through a range of schemes, including:

"I am glad that I was a part of the University of Leicester. The years that I spend at Leicester during my PhD were very creative and inspiring and I had excellent collaboration with everyone.”

Penelope Kourkouli

If you are interested in studying for a PhD in one of these research areas, please make informal enquiries to

The Department offers a supportive and vibrant research environment in which to conduct postgraduate doctoral research. The Department is able to offer expert supervision and associated support and training in a diverse range of innovative and cutting edge research themes which span physical and human geography and associated disciplines. For a list of current PhD students and their research interests view our staff page.

Entry Requirements

“Geography in the University of Leicester has some of the highly cited academics and expertise allowing me to develop the knowledge and skills for my future career.”

Ramesh Ningthoujam

For research degrees, applicants should generally hold, or expect to hold, a minimum of an upper second-class honours degree, or its equivalent. Anyone not meeting these requirements, or who holds non-standard qualifications, should, in the first instance, contact the department. Mature students who do not possess the normal qualifications but who have relevant industrial or academic experience are strongly encouraged to apply.

English Language Requirements

If you have not previously been taught in English or are not a native English speaker:

  • English language requirements are IELTS 6.5 (with a minimum of 6.0 in all four components), 90 TOEFL (with a minimum of 20 in each component) or 61 PTE (with a minimum of 51 in each component).

Full details can be found at: English Language Entry Requirements

For preparatory courses contact the English Language Teaching Unit. A pass in course D satisfies the English language requirements for taught courses.

Apply now: PhD Online Application

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Contact Details

School of Geography, Geology and the Environment
Bennett Building
University Road
University of Leicester

T: 0116 252 3933

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