UCL Department of Geography


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UCL Home  /  Geography  /  Study  /  Graduate Research  /  Guidance on MPhil/PhD in Geography (Practice-Related)

Guidance on MPhil/PhD in Geography (Practice-Related)

At UCL Department of Geography you can work towards an MPhil/PhD in Geography (Practice-Related), which allows students to develop a thesis alongside a body of creative work, which together make an original contribution to knowledge. Students applying for admission to the Geography (Practice-Related) route will be expected to have demonstrable prior training and experience in the field of creative practice that they wish to develop. This route will enable students to further develop their practice in tandem with rigorous academic research training in Geography.


Practice-related Geography PhDs will follow the same admissions and approval procedures of existing geography PhD students.

The only exception will be in the requirements for their dissertation submission where the PhD submission will include a body of creative work devised specially for the degree together with a body of critical/theoretical writing. Both will show coherence, originality and intellectual rigour, illustrating knowledge and understanding of relevant practice and critical debates in the field. The relationship between the creative and critical/theoretical components will vary depending on the specific project. Taken together, they will demonstrate the contribution to knowledge made by the thesis as a whole. The submitted PhD will include (1) a substantial body of creative work (2) up to 80,000 words of critical writing.

Practice-related geography PhD students will follow the existing research skills programme offered by the Department of Geography and the Graduate School. As appropriate, depending on the particular areas of interest of PhD candidates, they may be able to draw on research skills training from other relevant UCL departments such as architecture or fine arts.

Candidates will follow the usual upgrade procedures for Geography but would be required to submit as part of the upgrade document evidence of substantive work towards the thesis objectives in relation to both the creative practice and written thesis.

If a candidate has not made sufficient progress in the creative element of the thesis at upgrade, but other progress is satisfactory, they may be permitted to continue towards an ordinary PhD in geography.

Submission for a practice-related PhD in Geography will include a written thesis of 60-80,000 words with the submission of a body of creative work which together make an original contribution to knowledge.

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What our students have to say...

"I am thoroughly enjoying being a researcher here - geographers do very varied things, and there are many opportunities to meet friendly people across this department. So I learn new things every week, and have a lot of freedom to explore different multi-disciplinary and creative approaches to my own work."
Lubaina Mirza