Masters by Research or PhD Geography and Environmental Sciences (Postgraduate)

Mountain and Lake view

Study mode

Full-Time or Part-Time


Francis Close Hall, Cheltenham

Develop advanced knowledge and professional practice through an in-depth research project in a subject of your choice.

Undertake research in one of three areas below or pursue an inter-disciplinary project by drawing upon expertise in cognate fields such as biological sciences and social sciences.

Environmental change Climate and environmental change from the mid-Pleistocene to late Holocene; environmental reconstruction using luminescence dating, tephrochronology, pollen analysis; fluvial geomorphology; river channel dynamics using GIS; human impact on sensitive environments; wetland management; species' response to climate change; conservation ecology. Research in this area is promoted by the Centre for Environmental Change and Quaternary Research (CRCQR), and environmental reconstruction activities are supported by our Cheltenham Geochronological Laboratories.

Urban issues, globalisation and development The cultural geography of cities; community development and regeneration; social housing; public policy responses to climate change; the city in the developing world including urban and peri-urban agriculture; migration and transnational identities; democracy in global governance; the global impact of organised crime; representation, development and change in Africa; food production, distribution and marketing in developing countries.

Pedagogic research Effective teaching and learning; inclusive education; education for sustainable development; student volunteering; use of new technologies in teaching; the student experience.

Entry requirements

  • An Honours degree of upper second class or above from a UK/EC university, or equivalent qualification, is normally required in a relevant subject area
  • In exceptional circumstances, we will consider applications from non-graduates with experience of undertaking research or graduates who wish to work in a new subject area 
  • Initial registration is usually for MPhil or MRes or MA/MSc by Research with the possibility of transfer to PhD. Candidates with a Master’s degree in a relevant subject that contains appropriate research methods training may register for PhD directly


See the further details of tuition fees when studying a course at the University of Gloucestershire.

Dr. Phillip Toms

Staff Profile

Dr. Phillip Toms

Academic Subject Leader in Environmental Sciences

"Phillip lectures on physical geography, leads the Environmental Sciences Group and is Director of the School’s luminescence dating laboratory. He specialises in Quaternary Science studying environments of the past 2.58 million years, the interval within which modern humans and that provides one of the best analogues for understanding future climate change. He uses the luminescence of minerals to date past environmental changes and hominin evolution, dispersal and occupation."


Dr. Sam Scott

Staff Profile

Dr. Sam Scott

Senior Lecturer in Geography

"Sam’s research interests focus on labour migration and workplace exploitation. He has worked at the Universities of Sheffield, Liverpool, Bristol and Exeter; has studied at the University of Sheffield and the Sorbonne in Paris; and has extensive experience of research consultancy (public and private sector) as well as working in both Geography and Social Policy Departments. Sam’s teaching interests centre on population geography, social geography, international migration, qualitative methods and geographical fieldwork."


Dr. Rachel Bennett

Staff Profile

Dr. Rachel Bennett

Senior Lecturer in Human Geography

"I am a Lecturer in Human Geography, specialising in quantitative methods and population health and ageing. Prior to joining Gloucestershire, she worked as a Research Fellow and later a Lecturer at Southampton University. Her recent research has focused on gender and wellbeing amongst older people globally, family migration dynamics in South Africa and resilience amongst older people in Kenya."


Develop your skills in research methods through dedicated modules

Research students who have not already completed a relevant Masters degree or other appropriate postgraduate research methods training will benefit from the university's research methods training modules: Philosophy and Approaches to Research and Methodologies and Methods.

Focus your research in one subject or undertake an inter-disciplinary project

Undertake research in Geography and Environmental Sciences or pursue an inter-disciplinary project by drawing upon expertise in cognate fields such as Biological Sciences and Social Sciences.

Contact us

Find out more about our courses

Call +44 (0)3330 141414