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Physical Geography PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships in the UK

We have 64 Physical Geography PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships in the UK

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Geography

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United Kingdom

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We have 64 Physical Geography PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships in the UK

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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Understanding below ground controls on drought-induced mortality of tropical trees

Project summary. Tropical forests play a wide range of beneficial roles for humans including regional climate moderation, carbon capture, clean water provision and, possibly most importantly, preserving an immense richness of biodiversity. Read more

NERC Panorama DTP - Assessing the impacts of floodplain rehabilitation on fish population dynamics

River flood plains are biodiversity hotspots and provide essential nursery habitat for multiple riverine fishes. Many rivers, however, have been extensively modified and, in a significant proportion of cases, separated from their flood plain. Read more

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