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PhD / MPhil Human Geography

Keele University

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Course options

  • Qualification

    PhD/DPhil - Doctor of Philosophy

  • Location

    Keele University

  • Study mode

    Full time

  • Start date


  • Duration

    3 years

Course summary


PhD: Human Geography research at Keele is wide-ranging but particularly focused around Social and Cultural Geography.

Social Geography

A key area of research focuses around family mobility, social justice - including the importance of citizenship and volunteering and entrepreneurship - and emotional and health geographies. In this respect, current research is innovative and highly relevant to the world in which we live in today, including an exploration of the dystopian and utopian qualities of ‘busyness’ and issues around alcohol consumption, diabetes, smoking, vaping and health inequalities.

A second key area of research relates to international migration - including motivations and impacts, as well as people's place-based experiences of globalisation and development in a range of different contexts, including super-diverse communities. Research also considers the importance of transnational networks, changes in local livelihoods and the possibilities for locally sustainable, alternative economic development, and environmental degradation linked to migration.

Research at Keele also explores the governance, planning and regeneration of rural communities in the UK and beyond. In particular, recent work has explored the impact of new migration on rural communities, community-based approaches to rural regeneration and the challenges of mobility in rural-urban fringe environments. Staffs are also actively using and applying GIS technology in a number of different contexts, including Historical Cartography, Geographies of Food and Eating and other relevant areas, such as exploring nationalism, geolinguistics and social media, land use change, electoral geographies and mapping housing supply and demand.

Cultural Geography

With reference to cultural geography research at Keele, an important area of investigation relates to postcolonialism, including issues of power, narrative, identity construction, class chasms, social and cultural change, and interdisciplinarity. The research on postcolonialism in Keele has expanded through the theorising of re-orientalism theory and discourse to include studies on commercial international surrogacy, precarity, hospitality studies, and romance. Staff at Keele have also expertise in two more distinct areas of postcolonial studies: i) a gendered approach on the social and spatial entrapment of women, the struggles of single women in growing middle-class urban spaces, the significant ongoing changes in the creation of (South Asian) women’s images and identities, as well as cultural changes within diasporic South Asian communities; ii) in textual representations of 21st century India and South Asia, particularly problematic and contested urban representations.

A second key area of research relates to the relationships between humans, animals, public knowledge and identity, and with a particular focus on historical otter hunting, contemporary otter conservation, animal welfare and pet theft.

Finally, a third and important area of research is focused around ‘creative geographies’. In this respect, researchers at Keele are using highly innovative and exciting methods of engagement focused around curating development and the use of community art and plastic waste.

Tuition fees

Students living in United States
(international fees)

£ 14,900per year

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

University information

Keele University

  • University League Table


  • Campus address

    Keele University, Keele, ST5 5BG, England

Keele students represent over 120 different nationalities. A welcoming campus, Keele recognises the benefits of such a diverse population of cultures and ideas.
Keele provides individual and group language and academic skills guidance for international students at all levels, through its language centre on campus.
Keele offers a friendly and supportive environment for international students. A range of cultural events are arranged and celebrated throughout the year.

Subject rankings

  • Subject ranking

    37th out of 71 10

  • Entry standards

    / Max 210
    111 56%


  • Graduate prospects

    / Max 100
    74.0 74%


  • Student satisfaction

    / Max 5
    4.36 87%



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