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Masters Degrees (Economic Geography)

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In this master students are trained to analyze increasing urbanization, growing environmental threats and uneven economic globalization. Read more

Researching Diversity in Cities and Regions

In this master students are trained to analyze increasing urbanization, growing environmental threats and uneven economic globalization.

Cities and regions throughout the world face challenges that require integrated knowledge of urban geography, economic geography, international development studies, and planning. In this Research Master's programme in Urban and Economic Geography (previously known as Human Geography and Planning), students will gain a broad theoretical and methodological background that will allow them to become an academic or professional researcher of ongoing social, spatial, and economic developments in cities and regions. Students can specialize in their preferred geographic sub-discipline while maintaining a broader perspective on the functioning of cities and regions, as well as the relevant theories and methods.

Programe Objective

In Urban and Economic Geography, you will study the reasons behind the diverse developments in the globalized and urbanized world, and you will learn to translate up-to-date theoretical and methodological developments into empirical research. You will also formulate effective policy recommendations to make cities and regions more viable and sustainable.

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In this Master's specialisation you will study the role of regions as locations for economic activities. Especially with increased competition an optimal interaction between economic activities and the local environment is essential. Read more

Master's specialisation in Economic Geography

In this Master's specialisation you will study the role of regions as locations for economic activities. Especially with increased competition an optimal interaction between economic activities and the local environment is essential. Think of flows of knowledge, the recruitment and training of employees, relations with suppliers, local governments and the role of environmental and social organisations. In this specialisation you will learn to analyse and understand local developments from a global perspective, focussing on both mainstream and alternative economic practices.

See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/eg

Career prospects

The Master's specialisation in Economic Geography prepares students for a professional career in government, semi-government, and business. It also provides a stepping stone towards a research career in academia or consultancy. You will be able to apply the scientific insights and the practical skills you have acquired to topics including the development of regions and cities, the marketing of regions and cities, the locational choice of (multinational) companies, and innovation and learning in regions and firms.

Imagine yourself working at the Spatial or Economic Development department of a municipality or a larger city. You could become responsible for labour market policies, the planning of industrial zones, the upgrading of city centres, the attraction of new firms and investments, or for getting European Union funds. Provincial governments and new spatial-governmental entities such as city-regions are also happy to employ economic geographers. The same goes for Ministries: in the Dutch context, you can think of ‘Economische Zaken’, ‘VROM’, ‘Verkeer en Waterstaat’, ‘Binnenlandse Zaken’ and ‘LNV’.

A range of job opportunities is further offered by Chambers of Commerce, Regional Development Agencies, and Innovation Platforms. These institutions provide (starting) entrepreneurs with a wealth of information about rules, subsidies, regional labour markets and innovation policies. Often, they are the nodes in formal as well as informal networks of key actors in a region. It is important to add that governments, employers’ organisations, labour unions and housing corporations are increasingly interested in themes such as immigrant entrepreneurship, the ‘Creative Economy’, and sustainability. Economic geographers are well equipped to work on these socially engaged themes.

Currently, a majority of economic geographers works for consultancy and advisory firms. As a consultant or advisor, you may find yourself writing Strategic Plans for the sustainable development of regions and cities, you may help foreign firms and investors to find a suitable location, or you may assist regional and city governments in getting and managing EU funds (project and process management).

See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/eg

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The real estate markets have become global. That urges for real estate professionals who are trained in integrating financial and economic-geographic skills with knowledge of local institutions. Read more
The real estate markets have become global. That urges for real estate professionals who are trained in integrating financial and economic-geographic skills with knowledge of local institutions.

The real estate markets have become global, making the real estate profession an international enterprise. At the same time global, commercial brokers report huge differences among local real estate markets. That urges for real estate professionals who are trained in integrating financial and economic-geographic skills with knowledge of local institutions.

The Department of Economic Geography at the University of Groningen is one of the leading centres in Continental Europe in real estate. It offers a Master of Real Estate Studies that integrates financial engineering, location theory and planning.

Why in Groningen?

The master in Real Estate Studies is based on economic geography and planning, rather than financial or business studies and technical sciences. This gives the course in Groningen a unique profile compared to other master programs in real estate. The program has a multidisciplinary character.

Job perspectives

Many graduates find jobs as market researchers or real estate consultants in a company, consultancy or government agency, or become a concept or property developer at a real estate investor. Graduate students find work as a research manager or portfolio manager at a real estate investor. Several people opt for an academic career at the university. In practice, graduates mostly do policy work, both in the private sector as well as at the local, regional and national government.

Research

The program of the master in Real Estate Studies is related to the major research sub-disciplines in spatial sciences. Interim results of the research projects are integrated in to the course.

Research in geography & planning focuses on the interrelationship between property and spatial environment. Geographical and planning literature provides insight into how location decisions are made and the role of institutions. These aspects are reflected in courses like 'property and land markets' or 'real estate development'. The research in economic geography focuses on a deeper understanding of choice of locations. This choice is based on economic and financial motives. In the research in real estate development, the interests of various economic actors are important; the landowner, the developer, the builder, the investor and owner / user. The spatial economic and financial-economic research provides insight into the considerations. The business and management-oriented studies contribute to understanding the value chain and processes in real estate development. These aspects are reflected in subjects like 'finance', 'property investment' and 'property development'.

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Human Geography is a new Master’s programme that starts in September 2017. It stems from the former Economic Geography and Urban Geography programmes. Read more

A NEW PROGRAMME WITH A SOLID FOUNDATION

Human Geography is a new Master’s programme that starts in September 2017. It stems from the former Economic Geography and Urban Geography programmes. You can specialize in one of the two fields by choosing a track:

-Urban Geography: Neighborhoods & Residential Dynamics: This track focuses on relocation between different living environments over time and the consequences of these relocation for cities and neighborhoods;
-Urban Geography: Daily Life & Public Spaces: This track focuses on on daily life. You will learn who participates in which work, shopping and leisure activities.
-Economic Geography: Business & Location: This track focuses specializes in entrepreneurship - from large multinational corporations to small-scale local business activity and start-ups.
-Economic Geography: Regional Development & Policy: This track studies the life cycle of regions.

Urban regions are bubbling, dynamic places where people get together and generate new ideas. They are the grounds for innovation and economic growth. In the Human Geography Master's programme you learn how urban and economic issues are interwoven.

This Master’s programme has an international character. We welcome students from around the world onto the programme. You will go on an international field trip and can complete your Master's thesis project and/or internship abroad.

Objective

This Master’s programme gives you a thorough understanding of important urban and economic issues. You will receive comprehensive training in the methodological and critical analytical skills needed to find possible solutions for challenges in urban regions. Working from a scientific and theoretical foundation, you come into contact with the daily practice. Through guest lectures and practical assignments (active learning), you will learn what graduates do and be able to determine where you would be most at home.

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What is the Master of Geography all about?. The Master of Science in Geography is a two-year advanced study programme jointly organised by KU Leuven and the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB). Read more

What is the Master of Geography all about?

The Master of Science in Geography is a two-year advanced study programme jointly organised by KU Leuven and the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB). The interuniversity master programme provides the students with comprehensive training in geography's approaches to social geographical and/or natural geographical phenomena. The objective of this programme is to provide a deeper understanding of geographical problems and methods, knowledge to the theoretical debate within the discipline, and training in the use of geographical working techniques.

The global aim of the master is to generate geographers that can play an active role in our contemporary society. Teaching is based on scientific research. Therefore the KU Leuven and the VUB work together for their master in geography, since their focal points of research are similar. The following specialties are offered in English:

  • Earth and Climate;
  • City, Society and Space;
  • GIS and Spatial Modelling.

This is an initial Master's programme and can be followed on a full-time or part-time basis.

Structure

The full programme comprises 120 ECTS. In addition to core courses on human-environment interactions and research methods in geography (27 ECTS), you take the compulsory courses within your chosen specialisation (33-34 ECTS) as well as a number of specialised electives in your field (29-30 ECTS). The remaining 30 ECTS are allocated to the master’s thesis.

The programme offers three specialisations:

  • Earth and Climate: this specialization focuses on terrestrial ecosystems and environmental changes, emphasising timely and relevant research topics in the geosciences like global warming, ice-climate interaction, soil and water conservation, long-term landscape development, natural hazards and risk assessment.
  • City, Society and Space: in a strongly urbanised world there is a growing need to better understand social, economic, cultural, and political dynamics of urban areas. This specialisation focuses on the multifaceted issues that cities are experiencing in the current era of globalisation.
  • GIS and Spatial Modelling: within this specialisation you will become acquainted with new approaches and techniques for acquiring, managing, analysing and mapping spatial data.

Within this specialisation you can also opt to include a two-month GIS internship in your study programme.

Courses are taught at KU Leuven’s Arenberg Campus in Heverlee and at the VUB campus in Etterbeek. A joint degree will be awarded upon the successful completion of the programme.

Departments

This highly competitive programme is jointly offered by the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at KU Leuven and the Department of Geography at VUB and is firmly rooted in current research at both universities. Both departments continuously develop and maintain innovative and internationally recognised research programmes on fundamental and applied aspects of the geosciences, covering a wide range of spatial and temporal scales. Within the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at KU Leuven, geographical research activities are focused on earth surface processes and climate, human-environment interactions, society and space, tourism, and education in the geosciences. Research in the Department of Geography at VUB is focused on the dynamics of glacial systems, the study of hazardous geomorphological and volcanological processes, small-scale cartography and map projections, remote sensing, and the geography of world cities. 

Objectives

The Master of Geography aims to gain the analytical and synthetical ability, necessary to understand independently and critically the scientific and social aspects of the environmental problems in our country, in a European dimension and on global level. It aims to enable the student to approach the relation between society and environment in an integrated way. The student will learn to overview and to function within the realm of the geographer. This is possible in the area of fundamental and applied geographical research, as well as in the area of communication and education of geographical sciences.

In the master thesis the research activities are emphasized, next to the acquiring of knowledge and abilities on an advanced level.

The global aim of the master is to produce geographers that can play an active role in our current society. Teaching is based on scientific research. To be able to realize this the KU Leuven and the Vrije Universiteit Brussel work together for their Master of Geography, since their focusses of research are similar. The following specialties are offered in English:

  • Earth and Climate
  • City, Society and Space
  • GIS and Spatial Modelling

Career perspectives

Geographers study the interaction between human societies and their environments, characterize the regions and localities that result, and analyze the spatial distributions and processes of particular natural and human phenomena. Being equally a natural science and a social science equipped with geographical information science techniques, geography integrates the physical and human environments. Thus, geographers have long applied integrated multidisciplinary approaches to solve real-world problems at all spatial scales from local to global.

Undoubtely there exists a growing demand for competent professionals in the broad field of geo-sciences. As a graduate from the interuniversity master programme geography, you may be recruited by surveying companies, mapping agencies, service and utility providers and public entities. You will also be placed high on the recruitment list of international and national administrations dealing with urban and rural land use planning, disaster management, environmental conservation and management. Careers can also be perused in research and education, whereby this Master programme is most often complemented by a relevant PhD programme.



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The MSc Research in Human Geography is a research training Masters degree that provides the skills necessary to undertake a PhD in Human Geography, or for those who want to acquire rigorous research skills more generally. Read more
The MSc Research in Human Geography is a research training Masters degree that provides the skills necessary to undertake a PhD in Human Geography, or for those who want to acquire rigorous research skills more generally.

The recognition of the programme by the UK’s Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) means that applicants are eligible to apply for 1+3 funding for Masters and PhD or, on successful completion, can apply to ESRC for +3 funding for a PhD.

The programme combines interdisciplinary expertise from Geography, Political Science and International Studies, and is truly multidisciplinary. Students will interact with other MSc students from across the social sciences and thereby gain a unique breadth of academic research, teaching and key transferable skills.

In addition to exposing individuals to cutting-edge debates in human geography, environmental science and related fields, the programme provides research training in theoretical, philosophical and methodological issues relevant to human geography and social science research. These include debates concerning social theory and epistemology, qualitative and quantitative techniques and their application to human geography, and research design, ethics and presentation.

In essence, the MSc provides rigorous research skills with a broad human geography focus, but can also be combined with a number of optional modules concerned with environmental management and decision-making and urban resilience.

The Aims of the Programme are as follows:

- To develop a deeper understanding of advanced level theoretical, philosophical and methodological debates in contemporary human geographies and related social sciences;
- To provide advanced training in social science research methodologies and their application in social research in general and human geography in particular;
- To develop a student's ability to communicate ideas and research effectively; and
- To develop specialist research-grounded expertise (for example, environmental management and/or urban resilience)

About the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences

The School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences has a renowned history for international excellence in research and teaching.
Our postgraduate programmes are shaped by research that addresses global grand challenges across the fields of geography, planning, earth sciences, environmental science, occupational health and safety, and environmental and public health. With policy- and practice-focused teaching, all our programmes have high employability outcomes.
We offer excellent facilities for postgraduate study including extensive map and archive facilities, earth imaging laboratory, stable-isotope laboratory (SILLA), environmental library, fully digital drawing office, and state-of-the-art laboratories for environmental chemistry, sedimentology, ecology, groundwater and palaeobiology. Our diverse range of programmes will provide you with a thorough understanding of the discipline, high-quality training and skills development, and access to our expert staff and extensive facilities.
Our graduates go on to forge careers in areas that matter – from environmental consultancies and the hydrocarbon industries, to urban planning, policy roles in NGOs and government regulatory services – and make a real contribution to global challenges. Many graduates also go on to study for PhDs.

Funding and Scholarships

There are many ways to finance your postgraduate study at the University of Birmingham. To see what funding and scholarships are available, please visit: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/funding

Open Days

Explore postgraduate study at Birmingham at our on-campus open days.
Register to attend at: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/visit

Virtual Open Days

If you can’t make it to one of our on-campus open days, our virtual open days run regularly throughout the year. For more information, please visit: http://www.pg.bham.ac.uk

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Uniquely among German universities, this accredited Master's programme in Geography allows students to combine regional studies with tourism research and specialise in one of seven world regions, as well as learn the corresponding language. Read more

About the programme

Uniquely among German universities, this accredited Master's programme in Geography allows students to combine regional studies with tourism research and specialise in one of seven world regions, as well as learn the corresponding language.

The M.A. Geography includes compulsory courses in business, economics and cultural studies, based on the University's highly successful International Cultural and Business Studies programme.

While studying this programme you will develop the skill set needed to tackle complex issues in regional development and tourism through the use of integrated and cross-disciplinary methodologies. In-depth regional knowledge and extensive intercultural competence round off the profile of this hands-on programme.

Features

– A combination of subjects that is unique in Germany
– Core subjects: Cultural and Environmental Geography, Regional Studies and Tourism, Management and Marketing, and Inter-disciplinary Regional and Tourism Analysis
– Specialise in a world region of your choice and learn the corresponding language

Syllabus

The degree programme consists of three module groups:

A) Core modules
B) Cultural studies focus modules
C) Profile modules

A) You will complete all four core modules of this group:
– Cultural and Environmental Geography
– Regional Studies and Tourism
– Management and Marketing
– Interdisciplinary Regional and Tourism Analysis

B) In module group B, you will choose one of the following regional specialisations: the anglophone world, the francophone world, the Ibero-Roman area, Italy, Eastern Central Europe, Southeast Asia or Germany.

C) Module group C provides a choice of either regional studies or the tourism research profile.

As part of the programme, you will write a thesis on a topic chosen from the profile modules or one of the core modules in cultural and environmental geography, regional studies and tourism, or interdisciplinary regional and tourism analysis. The programme amounts to a total of 120 ECTS credits.

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This programme will provide advanced training in geographical thought and analysis. Students will choose either of two 'pathways' - "Social/Cultural Geography" and "Population Studies". Read more
This programme will provide advanced training in geographical thought and analysis. Students will choose either of two 'pathways' - "Social/Cultural Geography" and "Population Studies". These are based in the areas of research expertise of the Human Geography staff within the Department of Geography & Planning.

One third of the course (60 credits) will provide specific training based upon the pathway chosen.

A further 60 credits will deliver generic research skills training required in order for ESRC Research Training Accreditation. This is delivered in combination with Planning staff in the Department, but also in combination with students studying in Sociology.

Finally, students will also undertake a 60 credit dissertation. This piece of independent research will allow students to develop the skills developed during the taught components of the research and to focus on a topic of interest to them.

Students will undertake 60 credits of taught work relevant to their chosen pathway. In Social/Cultural Geography, this would involve key areas/concepts of interest to contemporary human geography and related to staff expertise. An indicative list would involve issues such as identity, political activism and resistance, experiences of migration and diaspora, alternative economic practices, and health and the lifecourse. In Population Geography, a similar list could include demographic theory, household-level analysis of population trends, analysing social segregation, and critically interpreting migration statistics.

60 Credits of research training will be structured across 4 15-credit modules shared between the Department of Geography & Planning and Social Sciences in the University more broadly. These modules would provide training in the design, collection and analysis of research data, together with training in the philosophical and theoretical basis of research.

60 Credits of the degree will take the form of a supervised dissertation, conducted independently by the student (with support from a relevant member of staff) on a topic of their choice.

Why Geography?

We’ve exceptional academic staff with expertise in a range of areas:

Geographies of Population and the Lifecourse
Globalisation, Development and Place
Advanced Environmental Analytical Techniques
The study of Environmental and Climate Change.

Career prospects

Our degrees provide pathways into rewarding careers and our graduates have found employment in a wide range of industries and organisations, both in the UK and abroad. Graduates of the Environment and Climate Change MSc have gone on to continue their studies towards a PhD, or are employed in a wide range of positions, including environmental, energy and engineering consultancies, multinational companies (energy), local government, environmental bodies, research positions and teaching.

PhD graduates are now working in academic life as lecturers in Geography, Environmental Science, Economic History, Development Studies and Statistics at universities in the UK and overseas. Others are employed in applied fields, working in Europe, Africa and across the world, for example as professional statisticians (one is now Director of Statistics in Zambia, another working in the Health Service in the UK), development professionals (including a member of staff on the WHO malaria programme in East Africa), and scientists at climate and environmental research centres around the world.

Students will be well placed to undertake a career in social science research at the end of their studies, both in an academic and a non-academic environment.

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Our Human Geography Research MA is a recognised pathway within the the ESRC Northern Ireland/North East (NINE) Doctoral Training Partnership. Read more
Our Human Geography Research MA is a recognised pathway within the the ESRC Northern Ireland/North East (NINE) Doctoral Training Partnership. It provides advanced-level training in research skills, methods and theories so you can pursue a career in research.

Our course equips you with the knowledge and research skills needed to develop as a human geography researcher. Throughout the course you will develop:
-The ability to define research problems and design appropriate methods for their investigation
-Individual research interests through choosing your own projects
-Your research profile
-Research skills in data collection and analysis
-An understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of different data types and research methods
-Bibliographic and computing research skills, including the use of specialist software
-A professional approach to ethical issues surrounding research in human geography
-Research skills in qualitative and quantitative data analysis techniques
-Communication skills for the effective dissemination of research to both specialist and non-specialist audiences

Our key areas of research in human geography include:
-Social and cultural geography
-Economic geographies
-International development
-Geopolitics

Newcastle University is one of the leading places for geographical research in the UK. In 2014, we received recognition for the quality of our publications and research outputs. 80% of our geography research output is world-leading or internationally excellent. This ranks us fourth in the UK for output quality. The impact of our research was also recognised, with Newcastle ranked equal third in the UK.

Following the assessment of case studies ranging from a wide topic area, 70% were rated as world-leading, including:
-The role of universities in regional growth
-New ways of benchmarking economic areas
-Standards for the assessment of water quality
-The impact of people trafficking

Delivery

Members of our vibrant research community deliver teaching and assessment. Tutors are from geography and the Centre for Urban and Regional Development Studies (CURDS).

Facilities

We provide high quality facilities for our postgraduate students. Facilities include a dedicated postgraduate suite for geography students.

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The MRes Research in Human Geography is a research training Masters degree that provides the skills necessary to undertake a PhD in Human Geography, or for those who want to acquire rigorous research skills more generally. Read more
The MRes Research in Human Geography is a research training Masters degree that provides the skills necessary to undertake a PhD in Human Geography, or for those who want to acquire rigorous research skills more generally.

The recognition of the programme by the UK’s Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) means that applicants are eligible to apply for 1+3 funding for Masters and PhD or, on successful completion, can apply to ESRC for +3 funding for a PhD.

The programme combines interdisciplinary expertise from Geography, Political Science and International Studies, and is truly multidisciplinary. Students will interact with other students from across the social sciences and thereby gain a unique breadth of academic research, teaching and key transferable skills.

The programme provides research training in theoretical, philosophical and methodological issues relevant to human geography and social science research. These include debates concerning social theory and epistemology, qualitative and quantitative techniques and their application to human geography, and research design, ethics and presentation.

The aims of the programme are:

To develop a deeper understanding of advanced level theoretical, philosophical and methodological debates in contemporary human geographies and related social sciences;
To provide advanced training in social science research methodologies and their application in social research in general and human geography in particular
To develop a student's ability to communicate ideas and research effectively.

About the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences

The School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences has a renowned history for international excellence in research and teaching.
Our postgraduate programmes are shaped by research that addresses global grand challenges across the fields of geography, planning, earth sciences, environmental science, occupational health and safety, and environmental and public health. With policy- and practice-focused teaching, all our programmes have high employability outcomes.
We offer excellent facilities for postgraduate study including extensive map and archive facilities, earth imaging laboratory, stable-isotope laboratory (SILLA), environmental library, fully digital drawing office, and state-of-the-art laboratories for environmental chemistry, sedimentology, ecology, groundwater and palaeobiology. Our diverse range of programmes will provide you with a thorough understanding of the discipline, high-quality training and skills development, and access to our expert staff and extensive facilities.
Our graduates go on to forge careers in areas that matter – from environmental consultancies and the hydrocarbon industries, to urban planning, policy roles in NGOs and government regulatory services – and make a real contribution to global challenges. Many graduates also go on to study for PhDs.

Funding and Scholarships

There are many ways to finance your postgraduate study at the University of Birmingham. To see what funding and scholarships are available, please visit: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/funding

Open Days

Explore postgraduate study at Birmingham at our on-campus open days.
Register to attend at: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/visit

Virtual Open Days

If you can’t make it to one of our on-campus open days, our virtual open days run regularly throughout the year. For more information, please visit: http://www.pg.bham.ac.uk

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About the MSc programme. Rapid technological change, an unprecedented drive towards globalisation of the world economy and the rapid expansion of world trade are among some of the changes affecting economic development today. Read more

About the MSc programme

Rapid technological change, an unprecedented drive towards globalisation of the world economy and the rapid expansion of world trade are among some of the changes affecting economic development today.

In this context, local and regional economies increasingly need new responses and demand specialist skills to exploit the opportunities these changes offer. The MSc Local Economic Development, accredited by the Institute for Economic Development (IED), prepares you to meet these challenges.

You will focus on the variety of ways in which local and regional agencies can work with the private sector in order to stimulate local economies. You will also develop an understanding of the local, national and international trends in business organisation and a knowledge of the variety of local agents involved. The programme emphasises management issues of local capacity building, attracting investment, network building, infrastructure and human resources, and focuses as well on the rationale and impact of regional and local development policies and on the role of institutions.

The programme is targeted at two groups of students: first, those who have recently finished a first degree in a relevant discipline and want to develop specific skills and an understanding of local and regional economic development; second, managers of local economic development institutions who want to widen and deepen their existing knowledge. The MSc is also an ideal starting point for a career in economic development research.

Please note that MSc Local Economic Development is currently being restructured for 2018-19, please check the following link for any updates:

http://www.lse.ac.uk/study-at-lse/Graduate/Degree-programmes-2018/MSc-Local-Economic-Development

Graduate destinations

Previous graduates are working in international organisations (eg the UN system [including ILO, UNDP, FAO], World Bank, OECD, European Union, World Trade Conference), national and regional governments, international consultancy, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), research centres and leading universities. 

Further information on graduate destinations for this programme



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We offer MPhil and 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. Read more
We offer MPhil and 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 focusses 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

Economic geographies

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

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

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The MSc Human Geography is an ESRC-recognised Masters course that covers current themes in critical human geography and research methods for social scientists. Read more
The MSc Human Geography is an ESRC-recognised Masters course that covers current themes in critical human geography and research methods for social scientists.

It is targeted at students contemplating pursuing PhD research or a research-related career.

As such, the course fulfils the requirements of year one in the ESRC's 1+3 postgraduate training model.

This programme offers training in a range of research techniques and methods as well as transferable, employment-related skills. The objective is to provide you with the necessary skills to begin doctoral research while also preparing you for a career beyond higher education.

As a student in the School of Geography, you will become part of a lively research culture, which will expose you to work taking place at the cutting edge of human geography.

You will be encouraged to attend school research seminars at which you will be exposed to advanced research by external speakers, while the school's research workshop series will allow you to engage with research-in-progress presented by staff within the school, and by current research postgraduates.

Key facts

This course is recognised by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) as providing 1+3 Research Training leading on to PhD study.
The School of Geography is one of the strongest both nationally and internationally – this is reflected in its position in the UK's top five geography departments in The Times Good University Guide.
73% of our research was rated as 'world leading' or 'internationally excellent' in the Research Excellence Framework 2014 and we were rated 'excellent' in the Higher Education Funding Council for England assessment of teaching provision.

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Research profile. This programme's emphasis on independent research allows you to work closely with scholars who are leaders in their field. Read more

Research profile

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.

Programme structure

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.

Compulsory courses:

  • 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

Option courses:

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
  • Political Ecology
  • Qualitative Methods and Ethnographic Fieldwork
  • Survey Methods and Data
  • Values and the Environment

Independent research

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.

Training and support

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.

Backed by industry

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.



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The MA in Geography (Research Methods) - or MARM - aims to give a broad training in social science research methodology as well as more specific training in the approaches and techniques used in human geography. Read more

The MA in Geography (Research Methods) - or MARM - aims to give a broad training in social science research methodology as well as more specific training in the approaches and techniques used in human geography. There is a balance between theory and practical application. The degree programme includes skills training and reflection on personal experience, and those students who are going on to MPhil/PhD work are encouraged to relate what they learn to their future research. Most of the teaching is in small groups and emphasises student engagement and discussion. The MARM is an ESRC recognised Masters training course and all modules are designed and delivered in line within the ESRC's requirements. All modules include formative and summative assessment. The teaching programme is delivered in Terms 1 and 2. From Easter onwards students work on their dissertation with the support of an allocated supervisor.

Course Structure

The MARM is composed of six core (compulsory) modules and a choice from three optional modules. The core modules total 150 credits and, in addition, students take 30 credits from the optional modules adding up to a total of 180 credits. The course is delivered by the Department of Geography, the Department of Anthropology, the Department of Psychology and the School of Applied Social Sciences (SASS).

Core Modules

  • Philosophy and Theory in Contemporary Human Geography
  • Research Frontiers in Human Geography
  • Using Geographical Skills and Techniques
  • Perspectives on Social Research
  • Fieldwork and Interpretation: Qualitative Research Methods
  • Dissertation

Optional Modules available in previous years include:

  • Statistical Exploration and Reasoning
  • Applied Statistics
  • Quantitative Methods in Social Science.


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