We have 14 Physical Geography PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships

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Physical Geography PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships

We have 14 Physical Geography 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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Using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) for Mapping Hydromorphology and Hydraulic Habitat

Hydromorphology is synonymous with physical habitat in rivers and describes the combination of the morphological and hydrological / hydraulic components of river channels. Read more

Determining woodland antiquity through assessment of historical map and documentary evidence

  Research Group: Humanities Research Group
Fully Funded PhD Studentship, Humanities Research Group, Dundalk, Ireland. Key areas; History, Historical Geography, Cartography, Maps, Archives, Woodland. Read more
Last chance to apply

PhD studentship - Historic landscape character and climate change adaptation: modelling impacts and opportunities

Award summary . Four years (full-time, or pro rata part-time). Stipend funded by UKRI (AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Partnership) at 2024/25 rate (currently £19,237); annual training and research allowance with £1,000 per year from Historic England; tuition fees (UK Home rate, £4,786 per year). . Read more

Valuing green and blue urban landscapes

During this prolonged period of neo-liberal development our discourse in the West has become fragmented between a growing concern for climate change/sustainability and a continued need to promote intensive growth and prioritise the needs of capital. Read more
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