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We have 24 Physical Geography PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships






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Physical Geography PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships

We have 24 Physical Geography PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships

PhD in Physical Geography

PhD students in Physical Geography focus the natural environment, including the Earth's landforms, climate, and ecosystems. It is one of two main branches of Geography, the other being Human Geography – which studies the interaction between humans and their environment.

By the end of your PhD, you’ll complete an extended dissertation which should make a significant original contribution to the field.

What’s it like to study a PhD in Physical Geography?

Most of your time will be spent conducting independent research. This is likely to have a large field work component, but you may also carry out lab-based experiments, analyse data collections or use remote sensing technologies such as satellite imagery.

Some popular research areas include:

  • Glaciers and ice sheets
  • Volcanic activity
  • Natural disasters and environmental hazards
  • Coastal erosion
  • Desertification

Alongside your research, you may be required to attend additional training and help with undergraduate teaching. You may also have the chance to present at academic conferences and publish your work in journals.

There are numerous advertised PhD projects available in Physical Geography, but you also have the option of designing your own project.

PhD in Physical Geography entry requirements

The minimum entry requirement for PhD projects in Geography is usually a 2:1 Bachelors degree in a relevant discipline, though a Masters degree is sometimes required. Applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis, so it’s likely that a postgraduate qualification will be an advantage, even if it is not required.

PhD in Physical Geography funding options

PhDs in Physical Geography are usually funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), which provides studentships covering tuition fees and living costs. Advertised Psychology PhDs will often have studentships attached. Students proposing their own research project may be able to apply for a studentship after being accepted onto a programme.

Many Human Geography PhD programmes, however, will only accept self-funded students. Options for independently financing your PhD include the UK government’s doctoral loan, part-time employment alongside your studies and support from charities or trusts.

PhD in Physical Geography careers

Many people will go on to pursue a research career after completing a PhD in Physical Geography, however you will also be well-qualified to seek work in numerous other fields such as environmental planning, disaster management, conservation and climate policy.

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Younger Dryas Apocalypse and Archaeological Conspiracism

This project will work across disciplines (palaeoecology, archaeology and human geography) in order to critically analyse current hypotheses within and outside academia about the origin and impact of climate events such as the Younger Dryas climate event (YD) and their impact on the wider public. Read more

Reconstruction of past human and environmental interaction in East Anglia

This project is based around the use of long-term environmental analyses of a newly discovered long Holocene environmental record in East Anglia to understand human environmental interaction in the area. Read more

Smart water: engendering climate-sensitive low-land flood-resilience through novel nature-based abstraction

Climate change exacerbates the occurrence and negative effects of extreme weather events, increasing the risk of both groundwater and surface water flooding including in low-lying areas commonly used for high-value agriculture. Read more

PhD in Cosmic Landscapes: disambiguating cosmogenic nuclides in detrital populations

The most common way to estimate the erosion rate at the landscape scale is to calculate the mean residence time of sediment in a river basin by measuring the accumulation of cosmogenic nuclides (rare isotopes formed in the near surface due to the bombardment of cosmic radiation) within the modern river sediment. Read more

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