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Physical Geography (FT) PhD

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Degree awarded
Doctor of Philosophy
36 Months. [Full-Time]
Entry requirements
  • A first or upper second class honours Bachelor degree (or international equivalent)
  • A relevant postgraduate qualification, generally a Master degree, with a minimum average grade of 65% in the taught modules and a minimum grade of 65% in the dissertation

Full entry requirements

How to apply

Apply online

Programme options

Full-timePart-timeFull-time distance learningPart-time distance learning

Programme description

The University of Manchester is one of the UK's leading centres for geographical research. All of our 28 full-time members of staff are research-active and Geography at Manchester has risen to become one of the top tier institutions for its size, being widely recognised for the quality of our contributions to the international research community. In the Research Assessment Exercise of 2008 94% of our outputs were considered internationally-recognised, with an exceptionally high proportion (65%) judged to be internationally-excellent or world-leading. Geography at Manchester also sets international research agendas in other ways. Over half of our staff hold editorial positions with leading research publications including the editorship of major journals such as Antipode, Area, European Urban and Regional Studies, Geoarchaeology, Geoforum, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, New Political Economy and Progress in Human Geography. Manchester is known too for the impact and influence of its post-docs and PhD students. Graduates have been appointed to Chairs at leading universities in Europe, North America and the Far East, while others now shape national and international policy environments through their work in government agencies, research institutes and activist organisations.

The University of Manchester has a long tradition of research in the areas of geomorphology, environmental change and human-environment interactions. Currently, we specialise in the geomorphology of catchment systems, with particular interests in upland environments in the UK, the Mediterranean, Africa and North America. Quaternary research embraces the study of glacial systems, fluvial systems, lacustrine systems, marine environments, paleoecology and geoarchaeology.

Research in these areas is funded by by various bodies, including NERC, the Royal Society and EPSRC.

Specialisations relate to our two research groups - Environmental Processes and Geoarchaeology:

  • Geomorphology and hydrology, especially of upland environments
  • Environmental Reconstruction (Pleistocene and Holocene) including paleoarchaeology and geoarchaeology

Geographical Information Science (GISc), including remote sensing and GIS (Geographical Information Systems), with specialisms in habitat mapping, peatland restoration, wildfire, urban air quality and climate change adaptation

For more information please visit:

Open days

For details of the next University Postgraduate open day, visit open days and visits


For entry in the academic year beginning September 2014, the tuition fees are as follows:

  • PhD (full-time)
    UK/EU students (per annum): £4,900
    International students (per annum): £14,000

Please note for the majority of projects where experimentation requires further resource: higher fee bands (where quoted) will be charged rather than the base rate for supervision, administration and computational costs. The fees quoted above will be fully inclusive and, therefore, you will not be required to pay any additional bench fees or administration costs.

All fees for entry will be subject to yearly review and incremental rises per annum are also likely over the duration of the course for UK/EU students (fees are typically fixed for International students, for the course duration at the year of entry). For general fees information please visit: postgraduate fees. Always contact the department if you are unsure which fee applies to your project.


Postgraduate research students in SEED are normally eligible to apply for financial support from one of the following research councils:

The School offers a number of internal awards that are advertised on our website from January with a closing date of March. Further details will be published on the School's website as they become available.

Please see for further information.

Contact details

Academic department
School of Environment, Education and Development
Contact name
Laura Dobson, Postgraduate Research Recruitment and Admissions Officer
+44(0)161 275 0807
+44(0)161 275 0421

Academic department overview

See: The School.

Related programmes

Related subject areas