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Department of Geography



MPhil in Geographical Research

Master of Philosophy Degree Course
Full-time, 11 months

Important note: The MPhil information on this website is for guidance only and detailed course provision may change.

Course Aims

The course seeks to bridge the gap between first degree and PhD or further research and is intended for students who have a good first degree in geography or a related discipline. The course aims to provide:

  1. training in geographical research within specific chosen fields, its philosophical backgrounds and debates, and interpretation of geographical literature
  2. comprehensive training in research methods in geography and the social sciences as a whole,
  3. the opportunity to develop large scale research management skills by completing a research thesis under academic supervision and guidance. The MPhil thesis element can either be a free-standing project, or can be used as a vehicle for developing plans and research design for subsequent doctoral research.

The outcomes of the course are achieved both through focused study of selected specialised aspects of geographical research and through development of more general research skills and methods. The main outcomes of student learning sought are that students:

  • are familiar with an appropriate range of intellectual and methodological traditions within geographical research and the social sciences
  • become critical and skilled readers of geographical and other research publications
  • develop in-depth knowledge of some substantive area(s) of geography and geographical research
  • develop their capacity to frame research questions, to derive appropriate research designs, and develop awareness of alternative approaches
  • develop a competence and confidence in using a range of both qualitative and quantitative methods of gathering, analysing and interpreting evidence
  • develop their skills in presentation of research-based evidence and argument
  • develop a capability to manage research, including data management, conducting and disseminating research, working in a team, and understanding codes of research practice and research ethics
  • gain practical experience of geographical research through conducting small-scale research project(s), chiefly through their thesis.

This is a eleven month course with the thesis submitted in late August.