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Masters Degrees in Social Geography

We have 47 Masters Degrees in Social Geography

Masters degrees in Social Geography offer advanced study of the relationships between people, natural resources and animal life, and their spatial distribution over geographical locations.

Related subjects include Urban Geography and Cultural Geography. Entry requirements normally include an undergraduate degree in a relevant subject such as Human Geography.

Why study a Masters in Social Geography?

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Social research methods are a means of providing evidence to examine ideas about society - they are a way of 'knowing'. This course seeks to introduce you to a portfolio of research skills that will help you not only to become a competent researcher but also to expand your employment horizons. Read more
Social research methods are a means of providing evidence to examine ideas about society - they are a way of 'knowing'. This course seeks to introduce you to a portfolio of research skills that will help you not only to become a competent researcher but also to expand your employment horizons.

Why study Social Research Methods at Dundee?

Social research methods are important not just to social scientists wishing to study a particular problem or to test a theory in a way that is be considered rigorous. They are also fundamental tools of value to government, service providers and to business. There are of course a diverse range of research methods available to social scientists.

The aims of the MSc/Diploma programme in Social Research Methods are:
To advance your knowledge and understanding of the nature of research in social science.
To enhance your skills in areas that will equip you as a social scientist for employment in a government, business or a public policy environment as well as in an academic context.

"I undertook the Social Research Methods MSc in 2009/2010. This was a really interesting course which not only helped me develop a range of research skills which have been extremely relevant and useful in my PhD, but also helped me to critically engage with broader issues of social justice. This sparked an interest in my current research field, and ultimately, has been invaluable in giving me a solid foundation for continuing onto an academic career. Beyond the academic knowledge however, this MSc also provides a useful set of practical and applicable skills which many employers value, such as in GIS and statistics"
Andrew Wooff, studied full-time 2009-10

Researcher, Centre for Criminological Research, University of Sheffield

Specialism in population and welfare

The MSc in Social Research Methods offers a specialism in population and welfare issues under the title MSc Social Research Methods (Population and Welfare). This option is an accredited course for the ESRC Population Investigation Council funding. This specialism is particularly relevant for students interested in demographic and welfare issues.

What's so good about Social Research Methods at Dundee?

The staff teaching the MSc in Social Research Methods course have wide experience of both quantitative and qualitative research methods, and have deployed these skills not only to pursue frontline research in social science, but also as expert advisers to governments and as consultants to international organisations.

This course emphasises that it is important not only to understand how to use a particular research tool, but also to consider the wider meanings of how knowledge can be constructed in different ways and for diverse range of purposes. One particular feature of the course is the comprehensive and in-depth coverage of a variety of research methods including ethnographic and participatory tools; the analysis of large datasets plus GIS skills. The course seeks to encourage students to think critically not only about the methods they use, but also to reflect on the limitations of what is knowable from the evidence presented by others.

"As a part time student on the MSc Social Research Methods course, my experience was exceptionally inspiring. Coming from an arts background it was a real challenge, but one that allowed me to broaden my horizons and bring back to my day job teaching design in an art college an understanding of human geography and how it informs us of local and global social issues. My experience was invaluable in so many ways and staff were always very supportive"

Jackie Malcolm, studied part-time 2010-12
Lecturer in Design, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design, Dundee

The start date is September each year, and lasts for 12 months.

How you will be taught

There are core modules in:

Research Training
Social Theory
Quantitative Methods in Social Research
Qualitative Methods in Social Research
Plus students choose one from:

Research in Practice (work placement)
Applied GIS and Geospatial Data Analysis
Population Vulnerability and Resilience

For students following the MSc Social Research Methods (Population and Welfare) route, ‘Social Impacts on Population’ is a core module, and ‘Qualitative Methods in Social Research’ is an option module.

Students enrolled on the MSc programme also complete a dissertation.

How you will be assessed

The course is assessed by coursework (essays, practical classes, projects), examination and dissertation (for Masters students).

Careers

The course seeks to offer students a wide range of skills suitable for entry into careers as information officers and analysts, research assistants and geographical system experts working in a business or government environment.

Research by the Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC) shows that the demand for Social Science Masters students with quantitative research skills far outstrips supply. This degree programme course has strong emphasis in this area, but the optional modules allow you to tailor the course to your personal career ambitions.

Previous students from our other MSc programmes have gone on to work for local authority planning departments, the General Registrars Office Scotland (census office), GIS analysts for Tayside Police, ONS social analysis unit, and also as research assistants within the University sector.

"The course allowed me to develop on an academic and personal level through its range of critical thinking and skill based modules. I appreciated the broad themes set out by lecturers as it provided an opportunity to integrate my own research interests into class assignments and discussions, enhancing the individual relevancy it had for my classmates and I. Since completing the course in September 2012, I have started working towards a PhD in the Geography department at Dundee, incorporating many of the attributes that I learned at MSc level. The training, support and enthusiasm offered on the course gave me the confidence to undertake fieldwork overseas and inspired me to pursue a future career in academia"

Jade Catterson, studied full-time 2011-12
ESRC-funded PhD student, University of Dundee

Read less
Social research methods are a means of providing evidence to examine ideas about society - they are a way of 'knowing'. This course seeks to introduce you to a portfolio of research skills that will help you not only to become a competent researcher but also to expand your employment horizons. Read more
Social research methods are a means of providing evidence to examine ideas about society - they are a way of 'knowing'. This course seeks to introduce you to a portfolio of research skills that will help you not only to become a competent researcher but also to expand your employment horizons.

Why study Social Research Methods at Dundee?

Social research methods are important not just to social scientists wishing to study a particular problem or to test a theory in a way that is be considered rigorous. They are also fundamental tools of value to government, service providers and to business. There are of course a diverse range of research methods available to social scientists.

The aims of the MSc/Diploma programme in Social Research Methods are:
To advance your knowledge and understanding of the nature of research in social science.
To enhance your skills in areas that will equip you as a social scientist for employment in a government, business or a public policy environment as well as in an academic context.

"I undertook the Social Research Methods MSc in 2009/2010. This was a really interesting course which not only helped me develop a range of research skills which have been extremely relevant and useful in my PhD, but also helped me to critically engage with broader issues of social justice. This sparked an interest in my current research field, and ultimately, has been invaluable in giving me a solid foundation for continuing onto an academic career. Beyond the academic knowledge however, this MSc also provides a useful set of practical and applicable skills which many employers value, such as in GIS and statistics"
Andrew Wooff, studied full-time 2009-10

Researcher, Centre for Criminological Research, University of Sheffield

Specialism in population and welfare

The MSc in Social Research Methods offers a specialism in population and welfare issues under the title MSc Social Research Methods (Population and Welfare). This option is an accredited course for the ESRC Population Investigation Council funding. This specialism is particularly relevant for students interested in demographic and welfare issues.

What's so good about Social Research Methods at Dundee?

The staff teaching the MSc in Social Research Methods course have wide experience of both quantitative and qualitative research methods, and have deployed these skills not only to pursue frontline research in social science, but also as expert advisers to governments and as consultants to international organisations.

This course emphasises that it is important not only to understand how to use a particular research tool, but also to consider the wider meanings of how knowledge can be constructed in different ways and for diverse range of purposes. One particular feature of the course is the comprehensive and in-depth coverage of a variety of research methods including ethnographic and participatory tools; the analysis of large datasets plus GIS skills. The course seeks to encourage students to think critically not only about the methods they use, but also to reflect on the limitations of what is knowable from the evidence presented by others.

"As a part time student on the MSc Social Research Methods course, my experience was exceptionally inspiring. Coming from an arts background it was a real challenge, but one that allowed me to broaden my horizons and bring back to my day job teaching design in an art college an understanding of human geography and how it informs us of local and global social issues. My experience was invaluable in so many ways and staff were always very supportive"

Jackie Malcolm, studied part-time 2010-12
Lecturer in Design, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design, Dundee

The start date is September each year, and lasts for 12 months.

How you will be taught

Modules start at the beginning of the academic session in September and are taught by lectures and tutorials.
What you will study

There are core modules in:

Research Training
Social Theory
Quantitative Methods in Social Research
Qualitative Methods in Social Research
Plus students choose one from:

Research in Practice (work placement)
Applied GIS and Geospatial Data Analysis
Population Vulnerability and Resilience

Students enrolled on the Masters programme also complete a dissertation.

How you will be assessed

The course is assessed by coursework (essays, practical classes, projects), examination and dissertation (for Masters students).

Careers

The course seeks to offer students a wide range of skills suitable for entry into careers as information officers and analysts, research assistants and geographical system experts working in a business or government environment.

Research by the Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC) shows that the demand for Social Science Masters students with quantitative research skills far outstrips supply. This degree programme course has strong emphasis in this area, but the optional modules allow you to tailor the course to your personal career ambitions.

Previous students from our other MSc programmes have gone on to work for local authority planning departments, the General Registrars Office Scotland (census office), GIS analysts for Tayside Police, ONS social analysis unit, and also as research assistants within the University sector.

"The course allowed me to develop on an academic and personal level through its range of critical thinking and skill based modules. I appreciated the broad themes set out by lecturers as it provided an opportunity to integrate my own research interests into class assignments and discussions, enhancing the individual relevancy it had for my classmates and I. Since completing the course in September 2012, I have started working towards a PhD in the Geography department at Dundee, incorporating many of the attributes that I learned at MSc level. The training, support and enthusiasm offered on the course gave me the confidence to undertake fieldwork overseas and inspired me to pursue a future career in academia"

Jade Catterson, studied full-time 2011-12
ESRC-funded PhD student, University of Dundee

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This Master’s degree in geography will give you a thorough understanding of contemporary approaches to critical social and cultural geography, engaging with questions of inequality, identity and belonging, power and dissent, culture and conflict, critical cartographies, the spatiality of social inequalities, and the representation and power of cultural landscapes. Read more
This Master’s degree in geography will give you a thorough understanding of contemporary approaches to critical social and cultural geography, engaging with questions of inequality, identity and belonging, power and dissent, culture and conflict, critical cartographies, the spatiality of social inequalities, and the representation and power of cultural landscapes. You will develop your knowledge in the fields of social and cultural geography and understand their relationship to the wider field of human geography.

The compulsory modules explore cultural encounters, cultural change and conflict, and identity and power in the contemporary world, using case studies from the UK and internationally. You will acquire the conceptual ideas, theoretical approaches and analytical research skills needed to study geography at a postgraduate level.

You can then choose 2 option modules from a wide variety of topics including anthropology, Geographic Information Systems, postcolonial studies and urbanisation. You will also learn research methods that will enable you to specialise and undertake the researching and writing of a dissertation on the subject that interests you most and to conduct independent research in both academic and non-academic contexts.

Why study this course at Birkbeck?

This distinctive Master's degree combines theoretical and critical approaches to social and cultural geography with real-world case studies.
The programme allows you to follow your own interests, with a wide choice of option modules, while developing your research skills and undertaking a dissertation in an area that interests you.
The structure and teaching of the programme is informed by the critical, socially-engaged research of academics in the Department of Geography, Environment and Development Studies.
The department is at the forefront of research into social and spatial inequalities, urbanisation and environmental change with active research in these fields.
The department is one of the hosts of the Living Maps project and our students have the opportunity to access activities and research centres across the College, including the Birkbeck Institute for Social Research and the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities.
Our location in Bloomsbury puts us at the heart of academic London. You can take advantage of the rich research collections nearby, including Senate House Library, which is right next door to Birkbeck and the British Library, which is 5 minutes' walk away.

Our research

Birkbeck is one of the world’s leading research-intensive institutions. Our cutting-edge scholarship informs public policy, achieves scientific advances, supports the economy, promotes culture and the arts, and makes a positive difference to society.

Birkbeck’s research excellence was confirmed in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, which placed Birkbeck 30th in the UK for research, with 73% of our research rated ‘world-leading’ or internationally excellent.

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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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Goal of the pro­gramme. Students who graduate from the Master’s programme in geography have strong theoretical and practical skills. Read more

Goal of the pro­gramme

Students who graduate from the Master’s programme in geography have strong theoretical and practical skills. The education in geography offers a broad understanding in current social and environmental issues. Our students can work as experts in their field, both independently and as members of multi-professional teams.

The teaching within the programme is connected with the work of the geography research groups. It is often possible to write the final thesis as part of work in a research group or a research institute in a related field. 

The Master’s programme in geography is divided into three study tracks (described in section 4).  Our students have been very successful in the job market after completing our programme.

The strengths of students who have completed our Master’s programme when it comes to research and expertise are:

  • their ability to apply theoretical knowledge 
  • a broad understanding of multi-layered regional issues 
  • strong interaction skills within multi-disciplinary groups of specialists
  • their ability to communicate in writing, orally, and graphically about geographical phenomena and research findings
  • their ability to utilise and interpret various kinds of research data
  • their versatile knowledge of methodology in geography
  • their ability to apply the newest methods in geoinformatics and cartography
  • their embracing of responsible and ethical scientifc practices

Further information about the studies on the Master's programme website.

Pro­gramme con­tents

The first year of the advanced module of the Master’s programme contains the method courses of your chosen study track, elective courses, and advanced literature. During this year you will start planning your Master’s thesis.

In the autumn of the second year, you will join a Master’s seminar and take exams on literature related to the MSc thesis. In the spring, you should be ready to present your finished MSc thesis (Pro gradu). In addition, you can take optional courses in both years that support your study track. If you are studying to be a teacher, you will take courses in pedagogy during your second year.

Studying takes many forms. A large part of the instruction is contact teaching. Method and specialisation courses are usually implemented in groups of 10-20 students, where it is easy to discuss professional issues and gain deeper insights. Independent study is supported through workshops supervised by older students, and reading circles. The Master’s programme also includes extensive exams on literature in the field.

Se­lec­tion of the study track

The Master’s programme in geography is divided into study tracks. The study tracks offer students the opportunity to specialise in different areas of geography. The Master’s programme contains both general and study track-specific courses. The teaching within the Master’s programme in geography is seamlessly connected with the Master’s programme in urban studies and planning, which is jointly implemented with Aalto University. 

The study tracks in the Master’s programme for geography are:

  • physical geography
  • human & urban geography and spatial planning
  • geoinformatics


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Birkbeck's MSc Geography offers you the opportunity to tailor a postgraduate programme in geography to your own interests and professional needs. Read more
Birkbeck's MSc Geography offers you the opportunity to tailor a postgraduate programme in geography to your own interests and professional needs. You can select modules from the exciting range offered in our department and bring them together into a bespoke programme. We offer a wide choice of modules that respond to the demands of today's workplace and are linked to the cutting-edge research interests of our staff. This programme gives you the opportunity to study with internationally recognised experts who are defining the field with their ground-breaking research. Ours is a lively, stimulating environment in which to study and research.

You will also benefit from our mix of classroom and field-based teaching, including a number of fieldwork opportunities that bring together students to build social and professional networks and develop important skills in data collection and analysis. You will develop the social and technical skills you need for both academic research and the modern workplace.

The MSc Geography is ideal if you want to study geography at postgraduate level for personal or professional reasons and want a flexible evening study course that allows you to explore and deepen your interests. You will also complete a piece of research in an area of special interest to you.

You can choose from a wide range of topics, including:

Development studies
Cultural landscapes
Energy and climate change
Critical social geographies
Critical geographies of nature
Contesting culture
Environmental science
Environment and policy
Sustainable business practice
Environmental reporting and management systems
Gender and development
Geographic information science and remote sensing
International childhood studies
Spatial analysis and statistics
War, conflict and development.

Why study this course at Birkbeck?

We offer multiple approaches to the study of societies and cultures, human geography, and sustainability, poverty and development, as well as community and citizenship, at local, regional and global levels.
Our Department of Geography, Environment and Development Studies thrives on the breadth of research interests of our staff. This means that we offer a wide range of postgraduate courses in geography, as well as allowing students to engage with other disciplines such as anthropology and international development.
Birkbeck's mode of teaching is unique: it is almost all in the evening or at weekends, including fieldwork, so you can also gain relevant work experience during the day. Birkbeck's professional recruitment service, Birkbeck Talent, can help you secure paid interning and work opportunities to give you the edge in a competitive job market.
You will be surrounded by committed fellow students from all cultures, backgrounds and career stages, who share their experience and expertise with their peers. Many of our students work in areas under discussion and so can bring their experience to bear in discussions about theory and practice.
We are proud of our vibrant research culture, powered by a shared passion for learning and intellectual engagement among our academics and students. We have a strong commitment to social justice, which is demonstrated in much of our research.
This is complemented by an extensive student support system and excellent research resources.

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The Geography MA/MSc programmes provide a strong grounding in current geographical theory, methods and issues by drawing on the expertise of our human geography staff from across the School. Read more

Overview

The Geography MA/MSc programmes provide a strong grounding in current geographical theory, methods and issues by drawing on the expertise of our human geography staff from across the School. Combining core training in theory and practice with the opportunity for you to specialise in your chosen areas, you can choose the length of the dissertation. It is possible to develop your own area of research or to complete a dissertation on a subject advertised by the School (see below). Opportunities to work with institutions and groups beyond the university are provided through our close ties with museums, archives, community organisations and artists. Depending on options you choose, you can study key issues such as globalisation and development; cities, space and power; and collaborative cultural geographies. MRes version of this course is also available.

This programme:

- provides an advanced understanding of geographical theory, methods and substantive issues at the cutting edge of human geography
- allows you to design your own programme with help from our staff and take advantage of the flexibility of the length of dissertation and the number of option modules you study
- equips you with advanced-level research skills including project design, planning and management, as well as analytical and interpretive skills that are ideal for those looking to enhance their qualifications, broaden skills and knowledge specialisms, or to conduct further research.

Specialist topics

- Projects available from our human geography specialists change every year and a full lists of research topics is available at http://www.geog.qmul.ac.uk/docs/pgadmissions/194250.pdf.

Why study at QMUL Geography?

- Professional and friendly environment: We are recognised as an international centre for excellence in teaching and research. Our work is at the forefront of human geography, shaping debates and providing significant new insight and understanding. We are also known for our friendly, collegial and welcoming ethos and are home to many of contemporary human geography's best known scholars.
- Research excellence: Almost 80 per cent of our research outputs (books and articles) are rated as world-leading (4*) or internationally excellent (3*) placing us 5th in the UK for this measure. Our research scores increased across all areas in the latest UK score of research excellence (REF 2014) and we're ranked joint 11th for geography in the UK overall. We're also proud to feature in the top 100 departments in the world to study geography (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2016).
- Employability: 94% of respondents from our postgraduates were in work or further study six month after graduation; 91% at graduate level (DLHE 2015).
- Capital location: We're a School that cares about the world beyond the university, working with a range of community groups, artists, cultural and heritage institutions and policy makers, particularly here in east London. Our passion is to demonstrate through research and teaching the intellectual and political significance of geographical research and understanding. We encourage our students to become part of this vibrant intellectual culture.

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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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During this Master's programme, you will be thoroughly trained to analyse and advise on contemporary social issues. You will therefore develop yourself into an academic professional and an expert on your chosen theme. Read more

Sociology: Contemporary Social Problems

During this Master's programme, you will be thoroughly trained to analyse and advise on contemporary social issues.
You will therefore develop yourself into an academic professional and an expert on your chosen theme. In these themes, the boundary between public and private is often transcended, which means that once you complete the Master's, you can work in both the private and (semi) public sectors. Potential careers include social science expert, applied researcher in the corporate world, policy advisor at a ministry or municipality, advisor, project coordinator or consultant.

In the one-year Master's programme Sociology: Contemporary Social Problems, you will be trained to become an expert on one important social theme. You choose one contemporary issue in which you will specialise: Crime and Safety - Internet, Social Media and Networks - Care, Policy and Organisations.

You design your own track in this programme, in which you quickly and rigorously immerse yourself in your specialisation. You will learn about the state-of-the-art in current scholarship. As an expert, you will also learn to think in multidisciplinary terms. In addition to sociology as your core subject, you will also take courses in the social psychology and social geography of your chosen theme.

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Visit our website for more information on fees, scholarships, postgraduate loans and other funding options to study Social Theory and Space at Swansea University - 'Welsh University of the Year 2017' (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017). Read more

Visit our website for more information on fees, scholarships, postgraduate loans and other funding options to study Social Theory and Space at Swansea University - 'Welsh University of the Year 2017' (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017).

The MSc by Research Social Theory and Space enables students to pursue a one year individual programme of research. The Social Theory and Space programme would normally terminate after a year. However, under appropriate circumstances, this first year of research can also be used in a progression to Year 2 of a PhD degree.

You will be fully integrated into one of our established research groups and participate in research activities such as seminars, workshops, laboratories, and field work.

Key Features

Swansea is a research-led University and the Department makes a significant contribution, meaning that as a postgraduate Geography student you will benefit from the knowledge and skills of internationally renowned academics.

In the latest Research Assessment Exercise, 95% of Geography research at Swansea was judged to be of international quality, and 60% was regarded as World-leading or internationally excellent.

Facilities

As a student of the Social Theory and Space programme you will have access to:

Computer laboratory with 24 computers providing general IT software and programmes dedicated to Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Remote Sensing Computer laboratory with 10 high-performance Linux workstations delivering software tools for advanced GIS and remote sensing applications

Specialist laboratory suites for stable isotope ratio analysis; tree ring analysis; extraction and identification of organic compounds; pollen extraction and analysis; rainfall simulation; tephra analysis; soil and sediment characterisation

In addition, the computing facilities include 15 dual-processor workstations for Earth Observation, a 20-node multiprocessor Beowulf cluster, and the Department’s IBM ‘Blue Ice’ Supercomputer, used mainly for climate and glaciological modelling.

Research

All academic staff in Geography are active researchers and the department has a thriving research culture and a strong postgraduate community.

The results of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 show that Geography at Swansea University is ranked joint 9th in the UK for research impact and 11th in the UK for research environment.

Research groups include:

Environmental Dynamics

Glaciology

Global Environmental Modelling and Earth Observation

Migration, Boundaries and Identity

Social Theory and Urban Space



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A world leader in research, the School of Geography at The University of Nottingham offers an exciting programme aimed at students who wish to focus primarily on undertaking a research-based masters level qualification. Read more
A world leader in research, the School of Geography at The University of Nottingham offers an exciting programme aimed at students who wish to focus primarily on undertaking a research-based masters level qualification. It also provides an excellent opportunity to experience what it is like to do a PhD without the requirement to undertake three years of study.

The MRes programme enables students to conduct in-depth research into a science, technological or social science focused aspect of geography. The creation of a major supervised thesis underpins the programme, but students also have the opportunity to develop generic research training skills by registering on prescribed taught courses run either by the School of Geography or the Graduate School.

Students receive close support and guidance from two academic supervisors within the school, appropriate to their research interests. Supervisors meet regularly with students and ensure they are fully connected to the school's research community. If deemed appropriate studies could be taken at a distance. For more information on current research themes within the school please see our research pages.

A key benefit of the programme is that students gain an excellent masters degree and, subject to the approval of the school, have the option to be registered as candidates for the degree of PhD and receive accreditation for their MRes studies.

Course Details

The main assessment of the degree is a supervised thesis focusing on a science, technological or social science aspect of geography. For more information on the school's current research interests please see our research pages.

Students will also have the opportunity to develop generic research training skills by registering on taught courses run either by the School of Geography or the Graduate School. A maximum of 60 taught credits from masters level modules can also be taken as part of the degree.

Course structure

Full-time students must study for a minimum of one year and a maximum of four years to obtain the degree.

This is a research degree, but requires students to undertake at least 20 credits of generic research training. A maximum of 60 taught credits may be taken on this degree with the balance consisting of a thesis, supervised within the School of Geography. Successful students will graduate with a MRes science degree.

Students can submit an application for permission to be registered as a candidate for a PhD degree prior to the submission of their thesis and with the approval of the school (after a period of not less than nine months study). The normal completion period for a PhD is at least three years full-time.

However, MRes students who are accepted for a PhD will receive accreditation for their MRes studies to that point. This makes the Masters of Research particularly suitable for those who may be interested in exploring the idea of a PhD without having to make a three-year commitment at the outset.

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The programme is located at the cutting-edge of inter-disciplinary social science and humanities research engaged with the role of space, place and power in shaping modern knowledge and societies. Read more
The programme is located at the cutting-edge of inter-disciplinary social science and humanities research engaged with the role of space, place and power in shaping modern knowledge and societies. Research training is provided in a range of qualitative methodologies relevant to research within and beyond the university sector. Modules running in 2016-17 include 'Popular geopolitics', 'Security and Securitization,' and 'Geographies of Markets'. A 12 week placement module is being planned and will provide an opportunity to engage with a public, charitable or other non-governmental organisation.

The programme develops specialised knowledge of the interaction between society and space and an understanding of how research underpins cultural analysis, interpretation and practice that gives graduates the opportunity to:

• Develop specialist knowledge and understanding of human geography and its approaches, philosophies and ontologies, and methods of analysis and interpretation;
• Develop critical, reflexive thinking;
• Develop research skills in human geography to prepare for doctoral research in human geography and cognate disciplines in the humanities and social sciences, or to undertake social and cultural research in the private, public and third sectors;
• Develop skills in qualitative, quantitative, textual and visual analysis
• Undertake a substantial piece of research in the field of Human Geography.

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Human geography is a dynamic discipline with profound influence on current debates in the social sciences and humanities. Read more
Human geography is a dynamic discipline with profound influence on current debates in the social sciences and humanities. Human geographers focus on the relationships between space and society, in particular the interconnection between environment, place and identity, knowledge, globalisation processes, social justice, and a variety of other themes of crucial relevance in our contemporary world.

This programme provides you with a rigorous grounding in social theory and mainstream debates and techniques in human geography. It also offers a thorough training in qualitative and quantitative methods. The MSc is closely linked to the University's Cabot Institute, which brings together multidisciplinary research into all aspects of global environmental change.

Programme structure

Core units
-Experimental Geographical Methods: Practising Post-humanism in Social Research
-Theorising Society and Space
-Researching Society and Space: Hermeneutics, Genealogy, and Critical Theory

Optional units - Optional units can change from year to year, but may include:
-Affect/Biopolitics/Technologies
-Explanation, Causation and Longitudinal Analysis
-Geographies of Time and Timing
-Geographies of Knowledge
-Practical Statistics for Use in Research and Policy
-Post-colonial Matters

ESRC-funded students must take either of the following:
-Explanation, Causation and Longitudinal Analysis
-Practical Statistics for Use in Research and Policy

Dissertation
You will complete a research-based dissertation of up to 15,000 words. You begin work on the dissertation in May and submit by the middle of September.

Careers

The programme equips you for a career in high-level public research, business and the creative industries, and provides an outstanding academic training for prospective PhD students and for those seeking a Master's-level qualification.

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A world leader in research, the School of Geography at The University of Nottingham offers an exciting programme aimed at students who wish to focus primarily on undertaking a research-based masters level qualification. Read more
A world leader in research, the School of Geography at The University of Nottingham offers an exciting programme aimed at students who wish to focus primarily on undertaking a research-based masters level qualification. It also provides an excellent opportunity to experience what it is like to do a PhD without the requirement to undertake three years of study.

The MRes programme enables students to conduct in-depth research into a science, technological or social science focussed aspect of geography. The creation of a major supervised thesis underpins the programme, but students also have the opportunity to develop generic research training skills by registering on prescribed taught courses run either by the School of Geography or the Graduate School.

Students receive close support and guidance from two academic supervisors within the school, appropriate to their research interests. Supervisors meet regularly with students and ensure they are fully connected to the school's research community. If deemed appropriate studies could be taken at a distance. For more information on current research themes within the school please see our online research pages.

A key benefit of the programme is that students gain an excellent masters degree and, subject to the approval of the school, have the option to be registered as candidates for the degree of PhD and receive accreditation for their MRes studies.

Read less

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