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Postgraduate research

We are a major centre for research in human geography and planning with emphasis on helping our students recognise their fullest potential in their chosen area of research.

Our international reputation attracts high quality PhD students from around the world, which is reflected in our current cohort of students of multiple origins including Europe, Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and all parts of the UK.

We play a leading role in academic and policy debates at national and international levels, and aim to recruit committed research students for the pursuit of innovative, cutting-edge research at PhD level.

We place considerable value on the quality of training for and supervision of our research students. Each research student is allocated two supervisors with expertise in their relevant topic, and is linked to one of the School’s Research Groups. Being a member of one of these groups provides a context in which knowledge about the broad research area can be exchanged, and students are exposed to the wider academic community within the School.

A bespoke package of methods training is designed for all first year PhD students. A regular PhD research seminar programme and two PhD 'Away Days' per year provide our students with opportunities to present their research in a supportive and constructive environment.

Apply for a PhD or MPhil in the School of Geography and Planning.


We are eligible for ESRC funded PhD research and are happy to support the applications of promising candidates in our fields of expertise. For details of eligibility and an explanation of the grant-making process, please visit ESRC Funding Opportunities.

We have been awarded ESRC recognition for 1+3 and +3 PhD programmes. First year PhD students in Geography and Planning can gain the opportunity to undertake a scheme of study directly related to research training in planning, environment and housing. First year PhD students will be expected to undertake some or all of the MSc in Social Science Research Methods. Distinct routes through the course in planning, housing, sustainability, transport and regeneration are available.

Overseas applicants have been funded by the British Technical Assistance programme administered by the British Council, the Commonwealth Technical Co-operation Programme, the Ford Foundation, the World Bank, the EU or their own government or employer. Self-financed students may pay the fees in two instalments.

The University also offers a range of scholarships and bursaries for students starting their studies.