Self-funded PhD students only

Project code



School of the Environment, Geography and Geosciences

Start dates


Closing date

Applications accepted all year round

On this self-funded PhD programme, you'll research spatial patterns in temperature, particularly the role of cold air drainage in arctic and mountains environments in causing decoupling of the surface climate from the free air profile.

This PhD is supervised by Dr Nick Pepin, and you'll compare field data and model simulations from across the globe.

The work will include:

  • comparing field data and model simulations in locations including Finnish Lapland, the Pyrenees, Colorado and East Africa
  • the use of satellite data (e.g. MODIS) to measure temperature in mountain regions – in particular the validation of satellite technology for temperature measurement in complex landscapes using in situ field data

There is also the potential for joint projects across the department - such as research into the relevance of microclimate and cold air drainage for palaeoclimate reconstruction in an Arctic context.

There's also potential for investigations into glacier mass balance and retreat, both in the tropics (see Dr Pepin’s current research on Kilimanjaro) and in other high latitude locations (Svalbard and Norway). This is in collaboration with Dr Clare Boston and Dr Harold Lovell.

Fees and funding

Funding availability: Self-funded PhD students only. 

PhD full-time and part-time courses are eligible for the UK Government Doctoral Loan (UK and EU students only).

2021/2022 fees (applicable for October 2021 and February 2022 start)

PhD and MPhil

Home/EU/CI full-time students: £4,500 p/a**

Home/EU/CI part-time students: £2,250 p/a**

International full-time students: £17,600 p/a*

International part-time students: £8,800 p/a*

PhD by Publication 

External candidates: £4,407*

Members of staff: £1,720 

All fees are subject to annual increase. If you are an EU student starting a programme in 2021/22 please visit this page.

*This is the 2020/21 UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) maximum studentship fee; this fee will increase to the 2021/22 UKRI maximum studentship fee when UKRI announces this rate in Spring 2021.

Bench fees

Some PhD projects may include additional fees – known as bench fees – for equipment and other consumables, and these will be added to your standard tuition fee. Speak to the supervisory team during your interview about any additional fees you may have to pay. Please note, bench fees are not eligible for discounts and are non-refundable.

Entry Requirements

Entry Requirements

  • A good first degree from an internationally recognised university (depending on the course, minimum second class or equivalent) or a Master’s degree in an appropriate subject
  • Exceptionally, equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications will be considered
  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0
  • All applicants are subject to interview

How to Apply

To make an enquiry or to discuss this project informally with Dr Nick Pepin, call +44 (0)23 9284 2507 or email, quoting the project code GEOG1271015 and the project title.

When you are ready to apply, you can use our online application form. Make sure you submit a personal statement, proof of your degrees and grades, details of two referees, proof of your English language proficiency and an up-to-date CV.

You can also visit our How to Apply pages to get a better understanding of how the PhD application process works.

October start

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February start

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