UCL Department of Geography


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UCL Home  /  Geography  /  Study  /  Graduate Research  /  Postgraduate Research Community

Postgraduate Research Community

The Department offers a world-class environment for pursuing graduate-level research in geography, environmental science and related areas of interdisciplinary inquiry.
Meet our current Research Students

Postgraduate (Research) Newsletter

Want to find out what our current Postgraduate (Research) Students have been up to?

Read the latest newsletter


Diversity of research and experience

Read some recent examples of the diversity of research, experiences and recognition that our postgraduate research students have enjoyed.


Jin Li - Experiences of Human Geography fieldwork in China

Jin Li reflects on her experiences of fieldwork in Guangzhou, China.

Jin Li's story



Jason Lynch – Research Video

Over 1000 photos were stitched together and scaled in this raw reconstruction of a coral reef in Fiji by Jason Lynch. Jason's next step is to extract habitat metrics including surface roughness and fractal dimension which are critical measures of habitat complexity.

Video coming soon.



Helen Greaves - Bringing ponds back to life in Norfolk and Lancashire

An example of work and public engagement output by Helen Greaves, one of our Physical Geography PhD students nearing the end of their research.


Joshua Powell - Photography award

Joshua Powell's image of the Asiatic black bear (Ursus thibetanus), or moon bear, reinforcement programme in Jirisan National Park, South Korea, which he took during a research visit to Korea earlier in the year, was chosen as the student winner of the 'Ecology in Action' category in the British Ecological Society's annual photography awards.

Read the full story

What our students say

Testimonials from current PhD students, taken in December 2021.


"It has been really exciting to be part of this department which spans so many topics of research, and it has definitely made the PhD journey a lot easier having such kind and helpful colleagues!"

Lilian Unger

"My experience has been good. I started when we were fully working from home, so being able to come into the office has been nice. It is still quite quiet so it may be nice if we all make an effort to organise socials as Geography PGR students. I feel supported, but not managed, which is nice, and if I am ever stuck, all I have to do is ask any of the administrators or my supervisors and things get supported. Everyone is really helpful and supportive."

Reagan Pearce

"Everyone in the UCL Geography department has been very helpful and welcoming as I begin my PhD research."

Hamish Gibbs

"I have had great experiences with UCL faculty including accidental canteen intros with Jan and Izzy, being invited by Jan and Sam to attend thought-provoking and relevant MSc Conservation courses, the opportunity to attend a wealth of UCL Doc Skills courses, and the ongoing and patient support of my advisor, Muki Haklay."

Leila Wolfe


"My experience in Geography is being wonderful! My supervisors, the Department and my fellow PhD students have been very supportive and great to work with."

Beatriz Moraes Vidal

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"I’ve had an amazing experience as a PhD student in UCL Geography and I’m rather sad to be leaving! The pandemic certainly brought many unexpected challenges but I’m really grateful for my brilliant supervisors Prof Jan Axmacher (UCL), Dr Mike Chadwick (KCL) and Prof Carl Sayer (UCL) for all their support in getting me through."

Eleri Pritchard

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"I have immensely enjoyed my experience so far! Geography is quite a broad field and I am always learning something new about the world. I also find that the students and staff are engaged, curious, and supportive. A PhD is several years of your life and a huge commitment, so a solid support network is supremely important! 5/5, would recommend."

William Stewart

"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

Academic Representation in UCL Geography

Academic representation is a process through which we ensure students’ voices are heard.

Though their representatives’ work with staff, all students should have the opportunity to shape their academic experience. We collectively refer to all students in the roles outlined below as Academic Representatives (or Academic Reps).

Research Student Representatives in Geography are students who are members of Staff-Student Consultative Committees (SSCCs) and represent the students across our range of PGR programmes. The role of Research Student Representatives is to work with staff to ensure students feedback is acted on and that students voices are represented in departmental decision-making.

One of our Staff-Student Consultative Committee (SSCC) Representatives for Human Geography, Beatriz Moraes Vidal, outlines why she wanted to be a Postgraduate Research Student Representative and what she aims to bring to the role:

‘My name is Beatriz Moraes Vidal, second year Human Geography PhD student. We, Human Geographers of this Department, come from very diverse backgrounds and many, including myself, not even from a Geographical one.

It is very important to represent every need these students (who come from different studies and places in the world) may have, in order to make their experience at UCL as fruitful and enjoyable as possible. By being non-British and self-funded, I know very well the struggles of these collectives and can accurately voice any concerns to the Department.

I also find being a Student Representative an excellent way to help, both myself and my other fellow PGR students, feel more connected to the Department, particularly after this first year studying remotely and not experiencing life on campus."

Beatriz Moraes Vidal, SSCC Representative for Human Geography

In Geography we have active Research Student representation across earlier years to later years/completing students and across both Human and Physical Geography. The team actively represent our Postgraduate Research Students at Termly SSCC Meetings as well as on the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion committee.

They also run a bi-monthly ‘Virtual Coffee Morning’ which gives the opportunity to bring together all PGR students irrespective of whether they are working on campus or undertaking fieldwork elsewhere. They also run other one off events, socials and are really encouraging of a friendly community atmosphere.


Useful links for existing students


Graduate Research

Fees and funding

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