Geography and Environmental Sciences PhD/MSc (Research)

The School offers postgraduate research opportunities leading to PhD degrees across the whole range of its research activities, with funding coming from a variety of sources, including national research councils, School scholarships and industry.

Postgraduate students benefit from a thriving research community, expert supervision, dedicated training programmes and the opportunity to participate in research seminars and discussions with academic staff.

The School offers postgraduate research opportunities leading to PhD degrees across the whole range of its research activities, with funding coming from a variety of sources, including national research councils, School scholarships and industry.

Postgraduate students joining the School benefit from a thriving research community, expert supervision, dedicated training programmes and the opportunity to participate in research seminars and discussions with academic staff. All postgraduate students are provided with dedicated workspaces and have access to excellent computing and laboratory facilities.

You can study for a PhD on campus or by Distance Learning

Fees and funding

Fees for 2019

  • Home/EU students £4,320 FT (£2,160 PT)
  • International students £16,740 FT class-based, £21,420 FT lab-based 

Learn more about fees and funding

International students can often gain funding through overseas research scholarships, Commonwealth scholarships or their home government.

The School is the lead institution for the NERC-funded CENTA Doctoral Training Centre, which funds between five and seven PhD UK/EU studentships at Birmingham each year.

For further information contact the School directly or get in touch with the Funding, Graduation & Awards via the online enquiries system.

For EU students applying for the 2020/21 academic year

The UK Government has confirmed that EU students will continue to be eligible for 'home fee status' for entry in September 2020, and will continue to have access to eligible financial support via the Postgraduate Masters or Doctoral loan for the duration of their course. For more information visit the website.

You can also visit our EU Referendum information page for more information and updates.

EU Referendum

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Entry requirements

Entry on to the courses requires a 2:1 Honours degree and a Masters in a relevant subject

Learn more about entry requirements

International students:

Academic requirements

We accept a range of qualifications, our country pages show you what qualifications we accept from your country.

English language requirements

Standard English language requirements apply (IELTS: 6.0 overall with no less than 5.5 in any band)

How to apply

When clicking on the Apply Now button you will be directed to an application specifically designed for the programme you wish to apply for where you will create an account with the University application system and submit your application and supporting documents online. Further information regarding how to apply online can be found on the How to apply pages

Apply now


  • Policies and governance processes of urban and brownfield sites; regeneration and the understanding of the role of (temporary) creative uses and intermediaries in shaping spaces and making places; forms of persistent resilience of groups of individuals and communities in a context of disturbances and pressures.
    Contact: Dr Lauren Andres 
    Tel: +44 (0) 121 414 5021 
  • Biogeochemistry of peat, soil and sediment environments; Subsurface chemical and biological response to long-term (global) changes to the environment; Environmental recovery from acidification (microbial sulphur cycling); Geo-microbial influence on nutrient cycling and water chemistry (carbon, sulphur, nitrogen cycles); Sediment-water and mineral-nutrient interactions (e.g. manganese-oxides in the nitrogen cycle); Stable isotope techniques.
    Contact: Dr Rebecca Bartlett 
    Tel: +44 (0)121 4145541 
  • Environmental hydrology, particularly floodplain wetlands, permeable catchments, soil-water fluxes in macro-porous soils, and hydroecology of tropical floodplains.
    Contact: Dr Chris Bradley
    Tel: +44 (0)121 414 8097
  • Numerical modelling of micro- and meso-scale meteorological and climatological processes; urban heat island and climate change; air pollution and climate in urban street canyons; computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modelling of wind around buildings; large-eddy simulation of atmospheric turbulence and dispersion of air pollutants; boundary-layer meteorology; air pollution meteorology.
    Contact: Dr Xiaoming Cai
    Tel: +44 (0)121 414 5533
  • The impact of weather and climate change on the built environment, with particular reference to transport.
    Contact: Dr Lee Chapman
    Tel: +44 (0)121 414 7435
  • Environmental governance (particularly how formal and informal rules, processes and behaviours within organisations affect environmental policymaking/environmental policy outcomes); the evolution of EU environmental policy; the constraints upon and opportunities for territorial economic development in the UK and Mediterranean states; EU political procedures and policy-making; and the interdisciplinary relationships between political science and political geography.
    Contact: Dr Julian Clark
    Tel: +44 (0)121 414 6262/5544 (main office)
  • Public understanding and experience of environment and health risks; environmental inequalities/environmental justice in terms of how these notions may be conceptualised and how inequalities in environmental experiences come about; older people's practices with respect to nature, local environment and sustainability; urban environmental policy and environmental service provision.
    Contact: Dr Rosie Day
    Tel: +44 (0)121 414 5531/5544 (main office)
  • Quaternary environmental change, particularly pollen and non-siliceous micro and environmental archaeology in the Eastern Mediterranean; tephrology, in tephrochronology, tephra geochemistry and the impact of volcanic eruptions in distal areas.
    Contact: Dr Warren Eastwood
    Tel: +44 (0)121 414 8079
  • Urban geopolitics; urban conflict and division; radicalization and cohesion. Area specialism: Middle East and Lebanon.
    Contact: Dr Sara Fregonese 
    Tel: +44 (0) 121 414 3635 
  • Speleothems and climate change; aqueous geochemistry in relation to weathering reactions and hydrology in glacial and riverine environments (Iceland, Himalayas); experimental studies of mineral-water interactions; carbonate geochemistry in ancient glacial environments.
    Contact: Professor Ian Fairchild
    Tel: +44 (0)121 414 4181
  • Children’s geographies; new urban environments; development geographies; qualitative methodologies
    Contact: Dr Sophie Hadfield-Hill
    Tel: +44 (0)121 414 8147
  • Hydroclimatology, particularly synoptic to micro-climatological impacts on surface waters; meltwater generation and drainage within glacierised basins; techniques for environmental data analysis and simulation modelling.
    Contact: Professor David Hannah
    Tel: +44 (0)121 414 6925
  • Urban regeneration; qualitative GIS; mobile methods; sustainable urban development; performativity and non-representational theory.
    Contact: Dr Phil Jones
    Tel: +44 (0)121 414 5546
  • Characterizing the ecohydrological resilience of ecosystems to both natural and anthropogenic disturbance; peatlands; understanding the processes that control the provision of key ecosystem services within these environments, and quantifying their response to changing climatic conditions and extreme events such as fire and drought. 
    Contact: Dr Nick Kettridge 
    Tel: +44 (0)121 414 3575 
  • Meteorological and Climatological Extreme Events; Research to Dynamics of Climate Variability on different Time Scales; Climate Impact Research on Natural Hazards; Global Climate Model Diagnostics; Regional Climate Modelling and Diagnostics; Downscaling and Mediterranean Climate; Physical Processes in the Climate System; Natural Climate Variability; Anthropogenic Climate Change; Antarctic Research; Indian Monsoon System; West-Africa Climate Variability and Impact on Disease Outbreaks; Linking Air-Pollution signatures to climate variability.
    Contact: Dr Gregor C Leckebusch
    Tel: +44 (0)121 41 45518
  • Freshwater ecology; invertebrate ecology; algal biodiversity; biofilm development; trophic interactions; food webs.
    Contact: Dr Mark Ledger
    Tel: +44 (0)121 414 5540
  • Neighbourhood Trajectories and social exclusion; Housing markets and strategy; Spatial planning; Urban regeneration; Futures, foresight techniques and neighbourhoods; Low carbon planning and regeneration strategies 
    Contact: Dr Peter Lee 
    Tel: +44 (0)121 414 3645 
  • Hydroecology of alpine and Arctic streams, riverine community deveopment following glacial recession and disturbance; the ecology of glacier-fed streams.
    Contact: Dr Sandy Milner
    Tel: +44 (0)121 414 8098
  • Carceral Geography (a geographical perspective on spaces and practices of imprisonment)
    Contact: Dr Dominique Moran
    Tel: +44 (0)121 414 8013
  • Historical Geography, Environmental History, History of Science, Russia, Soviet Union, Sustainable Development, Climate Change.
    Contact: Dr Jon Oldfield
    Tel +44 (0) 121 414 2943
  • Geographies of behaviour change; critical psychology and neuroscience approaches to geography; emotional governance; social welfare and policy
    Contact: Dr Jessica Pykett
    Tel: +44 (0) 121 415 8133 
  • Political geography / geopolitics; War and peace; Middle East geographies; The ‘Arab uprisings’; Refugee geographies
    Contact: Dr Adam Ramadan
    Tel: +44 (0)121 415 8904
  • The social and economic costs of transition in post-Soviet Russia and Ukraine; the development of coping tactics in response to economic marginalisation; state-society relations and welfare reform in post-Soviet regions; the role of social capital and informal economies in negotiating economic uncertainty in everyday life; the post-release experience of Gulag survivors; northern restructuring and the use of geography as a welfare tool.
    Contact: Dr John Round
    Tel: +44 (0)121 414 5530
  • Palaeoecology, with reference to invertebrates; palaeolimnological studies of human impact on water bodies; impact assessment and conservation; biogeographical analysis of plant and animal distributions.
    Contact: Dr Jonathan Sadler
    Tel: +44 (0)121 414 5776
  • Fluvial sedimentology and geomorphology; geophysical techniques.
    Contact: Dr Greg Sambrook-Smith
    Tel: +44 (0)121 415 8023
  • Past and future climate change; statistical modelling and numerical simulations from regional to global scales.
    Contact: Dr Martin Widmann
    Tel: +44 (0)121 414 5520

We receive funding for this research from a variety of sources, including national research councils, School scholarships and industry. This PhD will equip you to work within areas such as these.

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