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Newcastle University: Geography

Institution Newcastle University View institution profile
Department School of Geography, Politics and Sociology
Web Visit Newcastle University website
Study type Research


We offer PhD supervision across a wide range of human and physical geography topics. Our research engages with applied issues and public policy concerns, as well as more abstract cultural and theoretical issues.

We were recently ranked within the top 30 geography departments in the world (QS World University Rankings by subject). Almost all our research is world-leading or internationally excellent (Research Excellence Framework, 2014).

Our staff provide supervision in a range of specialisms. Our research focuses on four research clusters:

PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY: Our research strengths in physical geography include: •paleoclimatology •landscape evolution •applied geomorphology and natural hazards •Quaternary geochronology •glaciology •water science.

We carry out research through active collaboration with colleagues in Newcastle University and beyond. Our research takes us to a wide variety of environments across the globe, including: •the UK •Greenland •Iceland •Patagonia •Turkey •USA •Tibet •Japan.

Examples of recent research projects include: •new homonid discovery in South Africa •Lake Suigetsu ultra-high-resolution palaeoclimate project •impacts of recent catastrophic floods in the North of England •impact of meltwater floods during the 2010 Eyjafjallajökull volcanic eruption in Iceland.

The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) funds many of our research projects. We are also a member of the IAPETUS Doctoral Training Partnership.

Our Physical Geography PhD involves advanced study and research into a specific area. You will do fieldwork or lab-based research.

ECONOMIC GEOGRAPHY: Our research in economic geographies is theoretically-informed and politically-engaged. It covers the production, forms, experiences and impacts of uneven geographies of: •commodities •people •finance •knowledge •technology.

Our location in the north east is a European periphery. Our researchers in this theme explore 'ordinary', diverse and/or marginalised economies and subjectivities. They also scrutinise orthodox socio-economic models and practices in the following contexts: •western industrialised •post-socialist •post-colonial.

Economic geographies contributes much of the work in the Centre for Urban and Regional Development Studies.

POWER, SPACE, POLITICS: In power, space, politics our research focuses on the expression of political power across space and includes topics around: •borders and boundaries •critical geopolitics •international development •militarism and military geographies •the politics of representation •issues of resistance, justice and peace.

We conduct research on a range of scales. From the international and national to the individual, with reference to a range of global contexts. Our work is methodologically innovative, drawing on: •interactional research •ethnographic research •discourse analysis •participatory research •visual research.

This enables us to produce grounded, empirically-informed reflections on the multiple ways in which concepts of power, space and politics intersect.

GEOGRAPHIES OF SOCIAL CHANGE: In geographies of social change we explore and extend an applied, critical understanding of cities and urbanism. Ideas that run through our research include: •identity •families and households •health •welfare and care •infrastructures •community.

These lead us to connect with issues of: •gender •race •ethnicity •migration •youth •religion •class •size •generation.

Many of the research opportunities in geography are interdisciplinary and we are keen to encourage supervision across subject areas. For example there are opportunities for joint supervision with Latin American researchers in the School of Modern Languages.


Our facilities include: •dedicated postgraduate study facilities •GIS and cartography software •fieldwork vehicles •a suite of laboratories for the analysis of water and sediments for projects in geomorphology, environmental change and hydrology.

Doctor of Philosophy - PhD

Newcastle University







About us
A Global Top 125 university (QS World University Rankings 2023), Newcastle University is dedicated to excellence, creativity and innovation, pioneering solutions that can change our world.

Through world-class research it tackles some of the biggest challenges facing society globally, leading in its key strengths of ageing and health, data, energy, cities, culture and creative arts. The UK’s Research Excellence Framework 2021 assessed its research as world-leading with outstanding impact.

Through high quality teaching it …

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