UCL Department of Geography


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UCL Home  /  Geography  /  Study  /  Graduate Research  /  Applying for your PhD

Applying for your PhD

By choosing to complete your PhD with us, you are selecting one of the most consistently top 10 ranked Geography departments in the world, both for teaching and research. Our departmental Graduate Tutor, their deputy and a Postgraduate Research administrator will support and guide you through your studies. They will help you from your application and induction through upgrading from MPhil to PhD and on to the completion of your course.
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What you can study

Choose from our Research degrees in:

Why study with us?

  • With approximately 90 Postgraduate Research students, we are a large Department running undergraduate and Masters programmes, allowing you to gain experience teaching and demonstrating on these courses.
  • The wide range of interests among our Human and Physical geography academic staff means we have been able to support PhD topics as diverse as 'politics on the space station', 'sustainable fishing in Greenland', 'visualising Black British millennial livelihoods and the urban landscape of the White City Estate', and 'assessing human impacts on groundwater resources in Sub-Saharan Africa'.
  • We are a welcoming community, holding termly socials and fortnightly virtual coffee mornings as well as providing access to a varied programme of weekly seminars and other one-off events.
  • The Postgraduate Research community is represented at termly meetings, giving you the chance to have your voice heard.
  • You will get in-department training in the first year of your degree as well as access to the wide range of UCL-wide training, facilities and services.
  • As a full-time PhD student, you will have your own desk space in the department. Part-time students will be accommodated as far as possible.

What to do next

  • The first stage towards applying for your MPhil/PhD is to contact the relevant members of our Academic Staff to discuss your project ideas.
  • Next, spend some time on this site learning about the Department and our Research. This will help you select the best person to supervise your PhD research. They will be able to give you information about specific opportunities and talk about how to fund your studies.
  • Formal applications to UCL Admissions are made once you've got your prospective supervisor and project idea. Please contact the Geography Office, the Graduate Tutor or Deputy Graduate Tutor with any specific questions on making an application.
  • Your application will then be assessed by the UCL Admissions department and a panel of academics with relevant expertise. You may also be invited for an interview either in person or remotely to help us assess your ideas, skills, experience and commitment. This is also an opportunity to learn more about how the Department works.
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