Physical and Human Geography postgraduate research degrees
If you're looking to take your studies and expertise in human or physical geography to the next level, the University of Portsmouth is the perfect place to do it.
Environmentally and socially, the world is in a state of great uncertainty, and through our Physical and Human Geography work, we're exploring the roots and impacts of social and environmental crises, such as worsening inequality and climate change. We're looking for new ways to combat them – and when you study for a postgraduate research degree with us, you'll play your own part in turning our expertise into action.
The School of Environment, Geography and Geosciences supports postgraduate research in a range of topics, from climate change in mountain environments, geographies of youth smoking, and innovations in river restoration, to management of community water resources in rural Uganda, the use of social media in health campaigns, and reconstructing glacial environments.
In the most recent Research Excellent Framework (REF2014), 60% of our research in Geography was classed as having outstanding or very considerable impacts in terms of its reach and significance – with all of our impact being recognised as ‘considerable’.
Types of research degrees
Find out about our PhD, MPhil, and PhD by Publication opportunities in Physical and Human Geography below, including how to apply, entry requirements and funding your degree. For more detailed information about the application process, visit our How to Apply pages.
Physical & Human Geography PhDs and MPhils
Explore our pre-approved funded and self-funded PhD projects in Physical and Human Geography, or submit your own research idea.
PhD and MPhil projects
There are currently no funded PhD projects available in this area – for more information on funding your own research project, visit our pages on funding your research degree.
- Bioprotection or biodeteroriation? The contradictory role of microbiological activity in heritage stone decay under changing climates
- Conservation of Cultural Heritage
- Geoconservation of Rocky Coasts
- Global and Regional Temperature Change in Mountainous Regions
- Measuring and Modelling Surface Temperatures in Areas of Complex Relief
- Past Wildfire Histories
- Urban Ecological Networks
- Exploring tephrostratigraphic links of climate records in southern England with continental Europe for the last 15,000 years
- Capturing sugar-promoting environments and understanding the link with oral health outcomes
- Gamification of Society
- Graduate Self-employment and Entrepreneurship in the Creative Economy
- How Can Economic Growth Become More Inclusive?
- Understanding and shaping space and society through playful activities
- Responding to and managing refugees’ arrivals: Between institutional centres and informal camps
Submit your own idea
If you already have a research idea, find a supervisor whose research interests match yours using the Portsmouth Research Portal. Once you've identified someone suitable, contact them to discuss your idea. You'll find their contact details on their profile on the portal.
PhD by Publication
A PhD by publication is a postgraduate research degree based on research you've already undertaken and had published (excluding self-publishing) before registering with us.
Eligible research outputs include peer-reviewed academic papers, complete books or chapters in anthologies, and other materials accepted for publication, exhibited or performed. You'll have to submit these materials for examination between 6-12 months after registering with us.
For more information, please visit our PhD by Publication page.
Duration, fees and funding
How long will my research degree take?
- MPhil: 2 years full-time, 4 years part-time
- PhD: 3 years full-time, 6 years part-time
- PhD by Publication: 1 year part-time
How much will my research degree cost?
PhD and MPhil
- Home/EU/CI full-time students: £4,260 p/a*
- Home/EU/CI part-time students: £2,130 p/a*
- International full-time students: £13,200 p/a*
- International part-time students: £6,600 p/a*
PhD by Publication
- External candidates: £4,260 p/a
- Members of University of Portsmouth staff: £1,550 p/a
*All fees are subject to annual increase
MPhil full-time and part-time courses are eligible for the Government Postgraduate Loan.
PhD full-time and part-time courses are eligible for the Government Doctoral Loan.
For information on other sources of funding, visit our funding your postgraduate research degree page.
The entry requirements for a PhD or MPhil include a good honours degree or equivalent in a relevant subject, or a master’s degree in an appropriate subject. Equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications may be considered. All applicants are subject to interview.
If English is not your first language, you'll need English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.
Support and facilities
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 also have access to fully equipped physical geography, GIS and photogrammetry labs.
What can a postgraduate research degree do for my career?
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.
Explore the work we're doing across the areas of expertise within our Physical and Human Geography research.
Our research is looking at the the myriad reasons that lead to inequalities in the health, wellbeing, prosperity and social development of different communities.