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Undergraduate study

Geography is one of the most exciting subjects to study at university. We live in an interdependent world caught up in chains of events which span the globe. We depend upon an increasingly fragile physical environment, whose complex interactions require sophisticated analysis and sensitive management.

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Graduate study

The Department has a large community of postgraduate students. Many are working for the PhD degree, awarded on the basis of individual research and requiring three years of full-time study. The Department of Geography also runs a range of Masters/MPhil courses.

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People in the Department

The Department's staff publish regularly in hundreds of separate publications, and attract research funding from a wide variety of sources.

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Research groups

Research in the Department of Geography, arranged across six Thematic Research Groups and two Institutes, covers a broad range of topics, approaches, and sites of study. Our expertise, individually and in collaboration, is both conceptual and applied.

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‘Climate Change’: New title in the Key Ideas in Geography series

23rd July, 2021


Professor Mike Hulme's new book 'Climate Change' publishes today, the latest title in the Routledge student textbook series Key Ideas in Geography, edited by Noel Castree and Audrey Kobayashi.

Hulme makes the case that the power of climate change as an idea can only be grasped from a vantage point that embraces the social sciences, humanities and natural sciences. The book is a synthesis of Hulme's 40-year research on the science, discourses and cultural politics of climate change. In ten carefully crafted chapters, he presents climate change as an idea with a past, a present and a future, and illustrates the many ways different political, social and cultural movements in today's world seek to make sense of climate change, and how they act accordingly.

Piers Vitebsky awarded IASSA Honorary Lifetime Membership

22nd July, 2021


During the ICASS X meetings in June 2021, Dr. Piers Vitebsky was awarded an Honorary Lifetime Membership by the International Arctic Social Sciences Association (IASSA).

This very prestigious award is some small marker of the esteem with which Piers is held by the Arctic social sciences and humanities community. The presentation to Piers was made virtually, and a number of SPRI colleagues joined an international audience to reflect on Piers's career and celebrate his achievements.

Moran Professorship of Conservation and Development

19th July, 2021


The Board of Electors to the Moran Professorship of Conservation and Development invite applications for this Professorship from persons whose work falls within the general field of the Professorship to take up appointment on 1st January 2022 or as soon as possible thereafter.

Candidates will have an outstanding research record of international stature focusing on the challenges of biodiversity conservation, especially in rich biodiverse regions in the Global South, and a demonstrable ability to work across the social and natural sciences to understand conservation challenges and solutions.

Mapping glacier surface debris thickness across high mountain Asia

16th July, 2021


PhD student Karla Boxall and supervisor Ian Willis have mapped the thickness of debris cover on all glaciers in High Mountain Asia. With colleagues from the US and China, they developed a robust statistical relationship between surface temperature and the few existing field measurements of debris thickness. Using regional scale thermal imagery, they applied that relationship to map debris thickness across all 134,770 glaciers in the region. Their map of debris thickness is as accurate and more precise than one already in the literature.

They also determine the controls on the distribution of debris thickness across glaciers showing that thicker debris typically occurs on flatter, west-facing slopes at lower elevations, where ice flow is slower.

Debris thickness contributes to the rate at which glaciers melt, so these findings have important implications for modelling the future behaviour of glaciers in this region.

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