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Postgraduate Admissions

Apply using the Applicant Portal

The Apply Now button on the right will take you to the Applicant Portal. There, you can create and submit your application and supporting documents, and you can also request your references.

An application is only complete when:

  1. you have submitted your application and supporting documents via the Applicant Portal
  2. you have paid the £70 application fee. Further information on application fees see here.
  3. your referees have provided their references.

If you miss the deadlines specified in this section, you will not be able to submit your application.

Applicants for research in geography should select the following course: PhD (probationary) in Geography in the Department of Geography. The department will then decide into which category – Physical/Natural Science or Social Sciences and Humanities – your application falls. This will affect the level of fee you pay if you are an overseas applicant.

Selection Process

Applications received up to the January funding competition deadline will be reviewed in a series of small gathered fields and can usually expect to receive a decision between late January-February. Any applications received after this date will be considered in further gathered fields up to the March deadline with decisions usually made in April-May.

Further information on How To Apply


Things You'll Need

In order to apply for this course you'll need to think about getting a few things ready before you apply.

  • Two academic references  
  • Transcript  
  • CV/resume
  • Evidence of competence in English  
    If required - you can check using our tool
  • Reasons for applying (1500 characters)
  • Research proposal (M)
    You should include a statement (approximately 2,000 words) of your research proposal, including aims and methods, sources and the location of the proposed research. Please state which academic in the Department could supervise your research. Physical Geography applicants, choosing from the list of topics, do not need to include a research proposal but should include a statement giving information about why they have chosen a topic or topics and their suitability for the chosen topic or topics. A listing of specific resource needs for your research (such as travel budget, fieldwork, laboratory equipment, chemical, IT needs, etc) should be included with your research proposal. Please include an outline of any experience you have that is relevant to your application.

Gates Cambridge Scholarships

If you wish to be considered for a Gates Cambridge Scholarship you will also need to provide the following:

  • Gates Cambridge Reference  
  • Research Proposal (PhD applicants only)

See Gates Cambridge for more information.


How to Find a Supervisor

Each postgraduate student requires a principal supervisor to guide their research. You will work closely with your supervisor. Therefore before making an application you must make contact with your chosen supervisor and satisfy yourself that advanced study in your chosen field can be effectively supervised by the Department of Geography. Acceptance of any applicant will be dependent upon specialist supervision being available.

Please consult the Department of Geography's Research webpages to give you an idea of the types of research done by the department, and consult our online staff list to determine if there is someone in the department willing to supervise your topic. Physical Geography applicants can apply with their own topic if they believe there is a supervisor available but there is also a list of advertised Physical Geography topics on the Department's website.

If we cannot supervise your topic, we will decline your application regardless of its academic merit.

(Please note: Identification of a potential supervisor, while an essential requirement for application, does not imply any guarantee of admission and the full admissions procedure must be followed in all cases).

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Key Information


3-4 years full-time

5-7 years part-time

Doctor of Philosophy

Department of Geography

Course – related enquiries

Application – related enquiries

Course on Department Website

Dates and deadlines:

Michaelmas 2021

Applications open
Sept. 1, 2020
Application deadline
March 31, 2021
Course Starts
Oct. 1, 2021

Some courses can close early. See the Deadlines page for guidance on when to apply.

Graduate Funding Competition
Jan. 7, 2021
Gates Cambridge US round only
Oct. 14, 2020

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