This programme's emphasis on independent research allows you to work closely with scholars who are leaders in their field.
Research may be in any area of social, urban, environmental, development, political, economic, historical or cultural geography that is supported by the Human Geography Research Group. It is co-delivered with the University’s Graduate School of Social Science.
The programme can stand alone as a masters degree, or form the first year of a ‘1+3’ ESRC-backed PhD programme.
Students who successfully complete this programme will:
acquire transferable skills relevant to advanced researchers
develop skills in data acquisition and analysis
understand wider methodological and epistemological debates relevant to their research
This programme is affiliated with the University's Global Environment & Society Academy.
The course combines lectures, practical work, workshops, essays, seminars and one-to-one supervision of independent research leading to delivery of a dissertation. A highlight of the programme is the postgraduate conference where you present your research to colleagues.
We offer a balance between general and specialist research training. The programme combines lectures, practical work, workshops, essays, seminars and one-to-one supervision of independent research leading to delivery of a dissertation.
Research Design in Human Geography
Methodological Debates in Human Geography
Core Quantitative Data Analysis 1 and 2
Research Skills in the Social Sciences: Data Collection
Dissertation in Human Geography
In consultation with the Programme Director, you will choose from a range of option courses. We particularly recommend:
Conducting Research Interviews
Contemporary Social Theory
The Documents of Life
Explanation and Understanding in Social and Political Research
Intermediate Inferential Statistics: Testing and Modelling
Listening to Children: Research and Consultation
Qualitative Methods and Ethnographic Fieldwork
Survey Methods and Data
Values and the Environment
The emphasis on independent research allows you to work closely with scholars at the cutting edge in order to advance your own research passions. A highlight of the programme is the postgraduate conference where you present your research to colleagues.
The University of Edinburgh has an unbroken record of teaching and research in the earth sciences going back to 1770, when Robert Ramsay became the first Professor of Natural History.
James Hutton and Arthur Holmes were prominent among those who set an academic tradition in Edinburgh that continues today with the University achieving top ratings in earth sciences teaching and research.
Our interactive and interdisciplinary research environment allows us to tackle difficult research questions, from causes of past glaciations to interactions of earth, climate and society. The ambition and quality of our research was reflected in the latest Research Assessment Exercise: 66 per cent of our research was rated within the top two categories – world-leading and internationally excellent.
Our location at the King’s Buildings campus – home to most of the University’s science and engineering research – benefits our work too. Our King’s Buildings neighbours include external institutes such as the British Geological Survey; our proximity to them strengthens these research links.
As a research student, you will be affiliated to one of our research institutes, benefiting from an excellent peer-supported network.
As groupings of researchers with related interests, the institutes provide a forum for development of ideas, collaboration, and dissemination of results, and an environment for training, development and mentoring of research students and early career researchers.
The School receives strong backing from industry, particularly in areas such as hydrocarbons and carbon capture and storage. We receive support from the EU and from major UK research councils, including the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and the Economic and Social Research Council.
The Institute for Energy Systems (IES) helps shape tomorrow's difficult energy decisions in decarbonising society. It continues a long line of world leading innovation by Edinburgh researchers, including the 1970s 'Duck' wave energy converter, invented by Stephen Salter - now Emeritus Professor of Engineering Design.
Our research covers all aspects of the low carbon energy chain: resource modelling, impact of climate change, wind, wave, tidal & solar energy, electrical power conversion, energy storage, carbon capture, biofuels and delivery into the electrical network. In addition, we have established a low carbon vehicle group developing more efficient internal combustion engines. IES is also involved in two doctoral training centres: the Industrial Centre for Offshore Renewable Energy (IDCORE) as a lead partner and the Centre for Doctoral Training in Wind and Marine, led by Strathclyde University.
Students are strongly encouraged and trained to present their research at conferences and in journal papers during the course of their PhD.
Students are also encouraged to attend transferable skills courses provided by the University and to participate in external courses provided by organisations such as the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).
PhD candidates pursue their research projects under continuous guidance, resulting in a thesis that makes an original contribution to knowledge. You will be linked to two academic supervisors, and one industrial supervisor if the project is industrially sponsored.
IES has excellent experimental facilities for both marine and electrical power. The Institute hosts the unique FloWave Ocean Energy Research Facility, which is the world’s most sophisticated large marine energy test laboratory.
We offer a comprehensive range of exciting research opportunities through a choice of postgraduate research degrees: MSc by Research, MPhil and PhD.
An MSc by Research is based on a research project tailored to a candidate’s interests. It lasts one year full time or two years part time. The project can be a shorter alternative to an MPhil or PhD, or a precursor to either – including the option of an MSc project expanding into MPhil or doctorate work as it evolves. It can also be a mechanism for industry to collaborate with the School.