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Research in Human Geography MSc

Start date
1 year full-time; 2 years part-time
Course Type
Postgraduate, Taught

£9,810 (UK students)
£20,430 (International Students)
More detail



Our Research in Human Geography MSc combines expertise from Geography with Political Science, International Studies, Sociology and Social Policy; allowing you to gain a unique breadth of academic research, teaching and key transferable skills.

The MRes Research in Human Geography is a research training Masters degree. It can provide a useful foundation for undertaking a PhD in Human Geography, or is ideal for those who want to acquire rigorous research skills more generally.

The programme combines interdisciplinary expertise from Geography, Political Science and International Studies, and is truly multidisciplinary. Students will interact with other MSc students from across the social sciences and thereby gain a unique breadth of academic research, 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 theoretical, philosophical and methodological debates in contemporary human geographies and related social sciences; 
  • To provide advanced training in social science research methodologies and their application in social research in general and human geography in particular;
  • To develop a student's ability to communicate ideas and research effectively; and 
  • To develop specialist research-grounded expertise (for example, environmental management and/or urban resilience)

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 programme incorporates the School’s Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)-recognised research training masters qualification Research in Human Geography, which fulfils the requirements of year one in the ESRC's ‘1+3’ training model for postgraduates.

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Compulsory modules:

  • Theoretical Themes for Geography (20)
  • Doing Human Geography (20)
  • Social Research Methods I (20)
  • Social Research Methods II (20)
  • Foundations in Qualitative Research (20)
  • Fundamentals in Quantitative Research Methods (20)
  • Research Design, Practice and Ethics (20)
  • Dissertation (60)

Optional modules (Choose 2):

  • Geopolitics and Globalisation (20)
  • The City and Modernity (20)
  • Negotiating Environmental Controversies (20)


Fees for 2022/23

  • UK students £9,810 FT
  • International students £20,430 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 International students can often gain funding through overseas research scholarships, Commonwealth scholarships or their home government.

Birmingham Masters Scholarships

We are offering over 200 awards of £2,000 to support the brightest and best applicants wishing to undertake Masters study at the University during 2022-23.

The deadline for applications is Friday 1 July 2022.

Apply now  

College of Life and Environmental Sciences Global Excellence Scholarships

We are offering awards of £4,000 to support the brightest and best international applicants wishing to undertake Masters study in the College of Life and Environmental Sciences during 2022-23.

The deadline for applications is Thursday 30 June 2022.

Apply now  

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

Friday 1 July 2022 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 2022 made after this date; a new application will need to be made for September 2023.

UK students

Wednesday 31 August 2022 is the application deadline for UK students. We are not able to consider applications for 2022 made after this date; a new application will need to be made for September 2023.

Applications for 2022 entry are now open.

Making your application

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

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 that 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 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, presentations, a research proposal and a 12,000 word 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.

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