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Geography MA, MSc

Course Description


The MA/MSc Geography programme provides a strong grounding in current geographical theory, methods and issues by drawing on the expertise of the human geography staff from across the research themes of the School. The programme is designed to be flexible, combining core training in theory and practice with the opportunity for you to specialise in your chosen areas, and you can choose to graduate with a MA or MSc. You can also choose the length of your dissertation. Opportunities to work with institutions and groups beyond the university are provided through our close ties with numerous museums, archives, community organisations and artists. Those opting for the longer dissertation may graduate with a named specialism, chosen in conjunction with the Programme Convenor.

This programme will:

- provide an advanced understanding of geographical theory, methods and substantive issues at the cutting edge of the discipline
- promote flexibility, allowing you to choose the length of your dissertation and the number of option modules you study
- equip 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

- critical public health; global health; historical perspectives on urban environment and health (Dr Tim Brown)
- Latin American transnational migration in European contexts; gender-based violence against women and girls in the Global South (Professor Cathy McIlwaine)
- Knowledge infrastructure and regional innovation in the European South; Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and local economic development (Dr Konstantinos Melanchroinos)
- Streets, parks and squares: space and sociability in 18th-Century London; New Spaces, New Publics?: inclusion and exclusion in London's public spaces (Professor Miles Ogborn)
- Vital geographies; humanitarianism; historical geographies of development; democratic theory and public reason (Dr Simon Reid-Henry)
- Macro-regional integration and uneven development: how integration impacts on development; Global value chains and development: evaluating the effectiveness of labour standards implementation; Free trade agreements and sustainable development: comparing the US and the EU's models (Professor Adrian Smith)
- Food banks (Professor Jon May)
- Migrant Finance: Remittances, philanthropy and diaspora funding (Dr Kavita Datta)
- Critical geographies of biomedicine; political geographies of global health and development; geographies of philanthropic practices in contemporary and historical perspective (Dr Stephen Taylor)
- Matters of urban public space and culture; the representation and imagination of cities; food, dining and consumption practices; social entrepreneurism (Dr Regan Koch)
- Collaborative research with The Geffrye Museum of the Home, via the Centre for Studies of Home, on past and present geographies of home, including research on home, migration and the city (Professor Alison Blunt)
- Collaborative research with Eastside Community Heritage on community heritage, identity, migration and urban change (Professor Alison Blunt)
- Collaborative research with the campaigning organisation ShareAction, exploring geographical implications of financialisation, relationships between pension savers across geography and age-groups, and share-holder activism by pension funds as a mechanism to achieve social and environmental objectives that deliver benefits to pension savers (Professor Jane Wills)

Why Study at QMUL Geography?

Our work is at the forefront of human geography, shaping debates and providing significant new insight and understanding. The School of Geography at Queen Mary University of London is recognised as an international centre for excellence in teaching and research. Almost 80 per cent of the School’s research outputs (books and articles) are rated as world-leading (4*) or internationally excellent (3*) placing it 5th in the UK for this measure. Scores increased across all areas and the School is ranked joint 11th for geography in the UK overall. This success is underpinned by a clear and effective research structure, and a strong record in attracting high quality staff and students, as well as research income.

We're a School that cares about the world beyond the university working with a range of community groups, cultural and heritage institutions and policy makers, particularly here in East London. We are also known for our friendly, collegial and welcoming ethos and are home to many of contemporary human geography's best known scholars. We are a School that 'engages' with the wider world and demonstrates, through research and teaching, the intellectual and political significance of geographical research and understanding. Our students become part of this culture.

- Our curriculum is research-led and reflects some of the latest research developments in geography.
- Depending on options you choose, you can study key issues such as globalisation and development; cities, space and power; and collaborative cultural geographies.
- Optional modules include some opportunities to work with external organisations, such as the Geffrye Museum, with whom we have a partnership through our jointly directed Centre for Studies of Home.

This programme is led by Dr Kavita Datta, Reader in Geography.

Visit the Geography MA, MSc page on the Queen Mary University of London website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Nick Owen

1210.jpg “I’d recommend the programme to prospective students for the quality and variety of teaching. I felt seminars were inclusive yet challenging, with guest speakers from diverse fields leading classes and encouraging debate. Dissertation supervision was also excellent, my supervisor provided expert guidance throughout the process, and I felt able to discuss any issues I had with the research. The School values progressive and innovative thought, which undoubtedly contributes to its standing as one of the leading geography departments in the UK.”

(Student Profile)

Eilidh Reid

The QM Geography school offered me the ideal environment in which to study. From my first day, I found the staff and students to be very friendly and sociable. Within the school, the Masters study room was used as a place to meet and study alongside other Geography students. Having a designated space was great during peak times when the library might be busy or too noisy. I really felt like part of the community at QM, which was a main motivation for my application to do a PhD here. As a part-time student, the flexible teaching programme helped me to balance work commitments and studies. At QM, I grew increasingly confident through taking part in seminar discussions and I was always impressed that staff knew their students personally.


Chevening Scholarships - 20+ Awards

The programme makes awards to outstanding scholars with leadership potential from around the world to study postgraduate courses at UK universities.

Value of Scholarship(s)

Full tuition fees


Available to students across the UK and Overseas (from a Chevening-eligible country).

Application Procedure

Visit the Chevening website for more information.

Further Information



Walter Oldershaw Award - 8 Awards

Eight awards will be available across all masters degrees offered by the School of Geography for 2016 entry.

Value of Scholarship(s)



Home/EU and international students are eligible to apply.

Application Procedure

Interested applicants must submit a 300-word statement elaborating why they should be considered, highlighting their academic and professional merit and details of how the award will further their professional development. Applications should be sent to the Postgraduate Studies Manager () by Friday 15th July 2016. Successful candidates will be informed on the 22nd of July 2016 and must confirm acceptance by the 15th of August 2016. Further details or queries should be addressed to the Director of Masters Programmes, Dr Kavita Datta ().

Entry Requirements

Applicants will normally be expected to have a relevant first degree with first or upper second class honours (or equivalent) in geography or a related discipline in the social sciences or humanities. We actively encourage applications from students who have developed an interest in any aspect of human geography or related social sciences at undergraduate level, and/or who have relevant work experience. Candidates are expected to have good English language ability and to meet the standard of the IELTS or equivalent at a level of 7.0.

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Recipient: Queen Mary University of London
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