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Research in Human Geography MSc

Start date
1 year full-time
Course Type
Postgraduate, Taught

£10,530 FT (UK students)
£23,310 FT (International Students)
More detail





A research training Masters degree providing the skills necessary to undertake a PhD in Human Geography, or for those who want to acquire rigorous research skills more generally

The programme replies on GEES’ expertise in Human Geography, offering a vast breadth of academic research expertise, research-focused teaching, and key transferable skills.

In addition to exposing individuals to cutting-edge debates in human geography, environmental science and related fields, the programme provides research training in theoretical, philosophical and methodological issues relevant to human geography and social science research. These include debates concerning social theory and epistemology, qualitative and quantitative techniques and their application to human geography, and research design, ethics and presentation.

In essence, the MSc provides rigorous research skills with a broad human geography focus, but can also be combined with a number of optional modules concerned with environmental management and decision-making and urban resilience.

The Aims of the Programme are as follows: 

  • To develop a deeper understanding of advanced level debates in contemporary human geography; 
  • To provide advanced training in research methodologies and their application in human geography;
  • To develop a student's ability to communicate ideas and research effectively;
  • To develop specialist research-grounded expertise

I decided to study at the University of Birmingham because of its academic reputation and research development. I had a strong interest in human geography and I believed that pursuing my degree at Birmingham would be a good opportunity to expand my networks with other scholars in the world as well as to contribute to my home country in the future.

Janu Muhammad, MSc Research in Human Geography alumnus

Why study this course?

The MSc Research in Human Geography fulfils the requirements of the  Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) training model for postgraduates.


Compulsory modules:

  • Theoretical Themes for Geography (20 Credits) - Semester 1
  • Research Project (60 Credits) - Summer
  • Qualitative Research Methods (20 Credits) - Semester 1
  • Quantitative Research Methods (20 Credits) - Semester 2

Optional modules:

  • Geographies of Forced Displacement (20 Credits) - Semester 1
  • Urban Environments in the Global South (20 Credits) - Semester 1
  • Urbanity and Wellbeing (20 Credits) - Semester 2
  • The City and Modernity (20 Credits) - Semester 2
  • Sustainable Cities (20 Credits) -  Semester 2

Please note: The modules listed on the website for this programme are regularly reviewed to ensure they are up-to-date and informed by the latest research and teaching methods. On rare occasions, we may need to make unexpected changes to compulsory modules; in this event we will contact offer holders as soon as possible to inform or consult them as appropriate.


Fees for 2024/25

  • Code 9782: UK students £10,530 FT
  • Code 9765: UK students £5,265 PT
  • Code 9782: International students £23,310 FT only

Learn more about fees and funding.

Are you an international applicant?

All international applicants to this course will be required to pay a non-refundable deposit of £2,000 on receipt of an offer, to secure their place.

Find out more about the deposit >>.

Scholarships and studentships

Scholarships may be available, contact the Postgraduate Administrator on +44 (0)121 414 6935 or email the Administration Team. International students can often gain funding through overseas research scholarships, Commonwealth scholarships or their home government.

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

How To Apply

International students requiring visas

1 July 2024 is the application deadline for international students who require a visa to study in the United Kingdom. We are not able to consider applications for 2024 made after this date; a new application will need to be made for September 2025.

UK students

31 August 2024 is the application deadline for UK students. We are not able to consider applications for 2024 made after this date; a new application will need to be made for September 2025.

Applications for 2024 entry are now open.

Making your application

How to apply

To apply for a postgraduate taught programme, you will need to submit your application and supporting documents online. We have put together some helpful information on the taught programme application process and supporting documents on our how to apply page. Please read this information carefully before completing your application.

Apply now

Our Standard Requirements

Normally a 2:1 Honours degree or equivalent in Geography or a related discipline.

Learn more about entry requirements.

International Requirements

International Students

English language requirements

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

  • IELTS 6.0 with no less than 5.5 in any band
  • TOEFL: 80 overall with no less than 19 in Reading, 19 in Listening, 21 in Speaking and 19 in Writing
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE) including online: Academic 64 with no less than 59 in all four skills
  • Cambridge English (exams taken from 2015): Advanced – minimum overall score of 169, with no less than 162 in any component

Modules avalaible on qualitative and quantitative methods for human geographers.

We offer Research-focused teaching, entirely taught by staff from the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Science's.

Modules are taught using a diverse blend of teaching styles and assessment formats. Teaching methods include lectures, seminars, workshops and guided reading.


Assessment Methods

Assessment formats include:

  • Essays (Summative)
  • Seminar / group presentations (formative and summative)
  • Research project (dissertation)

Former students taking this Masters degree programme have developed successful academic, business and policy-based careers (for example, in policy development, international finance and accountancy, economic development and consultancy, journalism and market research for a range of public, private and voluntary organisations). Other graduates of the course have continued to PhD research in the School and elsewhere, such as Oxford. Given the increasing competition for graduate jobs, many students are now deciding to read for an MSc to enhance their CVs.