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MPhil/PhD Geography (Physical)

University of Exeter

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Course options

  • Qualification

    PhD/DPhil - Doctor of Philosophy

  • Location

    University of Exeter Penryn Campus, Cornwall

  • Study mode

    Full time

  • Start date

    SEP-21, JAN-22

  • Duration

    4 years

Course summary

Physical Geography

In physical geography our research is focused around the following two groups who work on past, present and future environmental change:

Cryosphere, Coastal and River Dynamics (CCoRD)

The CCoRD group investigates geomorphic and ecosystem changes in the cryosphere and in marine and coastal, and fluvial systems over the recent past, in the present, and into the future. Our fundamental aim is to understand how these different environments are responding to current environmental and climatic change.

Landscape and Ecosystem Dynamics

This group builds on Exeter’s established strengths in water, sediment and nutrient cycling, but integrates expertise in ecosystem functioning, carbon dynamics and climate modelling. A key focus is on the links between landscape processes and ecosystem responses to human activity and climate change.

Geographers at Exeter also contribute to the cross disciplinary Earth System Science group.

Inter-disciplinary research initiatives

Geography has been at the fore-front of developing two major cross University research initiatives:

Climate Change and Sustainable Futures (CCSF)

CCSF research has three main themes: predicting climate change and its effects on ecosystems and human and animal health; developing technologies to mitigate these effects; and public attitudes and government policy to climate change.

Humanities and Social Science (HASS)

The HASS strategy is a focus for Exeter’s world-leading research across the humanities and social sciences, and Geography leads two core themes in Science, Technology and Culture, and Environment and Sustainability.

Geography also contributes to the Environment and Sustainability Institute (ESI) on our Penryn Campus in Cornwall which has allowed us to expand our expertise in environmental and social change into areas focused explicitly on ecosystem services.


No matter what your ambitions, aspirations or career choice may be there has never been a better, or more significant, time to study geography. Key global issues such as climate change, migration, environmental degradation and social cohesion are not only at the forefront of socio-political philosophies and attitudes, but are also deep-rooted within geography, making it one of the most relevant courses that you could choose to study.

You can be confident that a Geography research degree from the University of Exeter will serve you well upon graduation. Our students graduate with a wide range of skills desirable to employers including data gathering, problem solving, project planning, report production, presentation skills and team work. Almost all our research students have the opportunity to train to teach or teach, acquiring and practising additional transferable skills.

Opportunities on graduation are diverse and include work in academia, the voluntary sector, the public sector (eg, Environment Agency, councils), the private sector, and consultancy.

Tuition fees

Students living in United States
(international fees)

£ 21,900per year

Tuition fees shown are for indicative purposes and may vary. Please check with the institution for most up to date details.

University information

University of Exeter

  • University League Table


  • Campus address

    University of Exeter, Northcote House, The Queen's Drive, Exeter, Devon, EX4 4QJ, England

Subject rankings

  • Subject ranking

    14th out of 71 5

  • Entry standards

    / Max 210
    154 77%


  • Graduate prospects

    / Max 100
    74.0 74%


  • Student satisfaction

    / Max 5
    4.05 81%



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