StudyQA — PhD: Geography and Environmental Sciences and MPhil By Research — University of Birmingham


Geography and Environmental Sciences and MPhil By Research

Study mode:On campus Study type:Full-time Languages: English
107 place StudyQA ranking:1282 Duration:36 months

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The School offers postgraduate research opportunities leading to PhD degrees across the whole range of its research activities, with funding coming from a variety of sources, including national research councils, School scholarships and industry.
Postgraduate students joining the School benefit from a thriving research community, expert supervision, dedicated training programmes and the opportunity to participate in research seminars and discussions with academic staff. All postgraduate students are provided with dedicated workspaces and have access to excellent computing and laboratory facilities.

Type of Course: Doctoral research

Duration: PhD: 3 years full-time; MPhil: 1 year full-time


Research interests of staff

* Policies and governance processes of urban and brownfield sites; regeneration and the understanding of the role of (temporary) creative uses and intermediaries in shaping spaces and making places; forms of persistent resilience of groups of individuals and communities in a context of disturbances and pressures.Contact: Dr Lauren Andres
Tel: +44 (0) 121 414 5021
* Biogeochemistry of peat, soil and sediment environments; Subsurface chemical and biological response to long-term (global) changes to the environment; Environmental recovery from acidification (microbial sulphur cycling); Geo-microbial influence on nutrient cycling and water chemistry (carbon, sulphur, nitrogen cycles); Sediment-water and mineral-nutrient interactions (e.g. manganese-oxides in the nitrogen cycle); Stable isotope techniques.Contact: Dr Rebecca Bartlett
Tel: +44 (0)121 4145541
* Environmental hydrology, particularly floodplain wetlands, permeable catchments, soil-water fluxes in macro-porous soils, and hydroecology of tropical floodplains.Contact: Dr Chris Bradley
Tel: +44 (0)121 414 8097
* Geographies of energy (especially: social equity, security of supply, oil/gas pipelines, climate change mitigation and adaptation); Post-industrial urban geography and demography gentrification and reurbanisation; Architectural geography, flexibility and the built environment of the inner-city more generally; Geographical focus on Southern, Central and Eastern Europe.Contact: Dr Stefan Buzar (Bouzarovski)
Tel: +44 (0)121 414 2943
* Numerical modelling of micro- and meso-scale meteorological and climatological processes; urban heat island and climate change; air pollution and climate in urban street canyons; computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modelling of wind around buildings; large-eddy simulation of atmospheric turbulence and dispersion of air pollutants; boundary-layer meteorology; air pollution meteorology.Contact: Dr Xiaoming Cai
Tel: +44 (0)121 414 5533
* The impact of weather and climate change on the built environment, with particular reference to transport.
Contact: Dr Lee ChapmanTel: +44 (0)121 414 7435
* Environmental governance (particularly how formal and informal rules, processes and behaviours within organisations affect environmental policymaking/environmental policy outcomes); the evolution of EU environmental policy; the constraints upon and opportunities for territorial economic development in the UK and Mediterranean states; EU political procedures and policy-making; and the interdisciplinary relationships between political science and political geography.Contact: Dr Julian Clark
Tel: +44 (0)121 414 6262/5544 (main office)
* Spatial planning; Urban regeneration and management; Sport and cultural-led development; Planning for risk and resilience; National security and counter-terrorism Contact: Professor Jon Coaffee
Tel: +44 (0)121 414 7421
* Public understanding and experience of environment and health risks; environmental inequalities/environmental justice in terms of how these notions may be conceptualised and how inequalities in environmental experiences come about; older people's practices with respect to nature, local environment and sustainability; urban environmental policy and environmental service provision.Contact: Dr Rosie Day
Tel: +44 (0)121 414 5531/5544 (main office)
* Quaternary environmental change, particularly pollen and non-siliceous micro and environmental archaeology in the Eastern Mediterranean; tephrology, in tephrochronology, tephra geochemistry and the impact of volcanic eruptions in distal areas.Contact: Dr Warren Eastwood
Tel: +44 (0)121 414 8079
* Speleothems and climate change; aqueous geochemistry in relation to weathering reactions and hydrology in glacial and riverine environments (Iceland, Himalayas); experimental studies of mineral-water interactions; carbonate geochemistry in ancient glacial environments.Contact: Professor Ian Fairchild
Tel: +44 (0)121 414 4181
* The political economy of post-socialist cities; Critical urban geographies - urban and housing policies under neoliberalism, world city entrepreneurialism, gentrification; Urban and regional resilience, social and economic vulnerabilities and adaptive and transformative strategies; Energy and the built environment, energy efficiency, low carbon urbanism. Contact: Dr Oleg Golubchikov
Tel: +44 (0)121 414 8143
* Hydroclimatology, particularly synoptic to micro-climatological impacts on surface waters; meltwater generation and drainage within glacierised basins; techniques for environmental data analysis and simulation modelling.Contact: Professor David Hannah
Tel: +44 (0)121 414 6925
* Urban regeneration; qualitative GIS; mobile methods; sustainable urban development; performativity and non-representational theory.Contact: Dr Phil Jones
Tel: +44 (0)121 414 5546
* Characterizing the ecohydrological resilience of ecosystems to both natural and anthropogenic disturbance; peatlands; understanding the processes that control the provision of key ecosystem services within these environments, and quantifying their response to changing climatic conditions and extreme events such as fire and drought. Contact: Dr Nick Kettridge
Tel: +44 (0)121 414 3575
* Fluvial processes, especially river erosion and channel hydraulics; Fine sediment transport dynamics in river systems; Urban river water quality; Recent climate change and river floods; Environmental Impact Analysis applied to rivers.|Contact: Dr Damian Lawler
Tel: +44 (0)121 414 5532
* Freshwater ecology; invertebrate ecology; algal biodiversity; biofilm development; trophic interactions; food webs.Contact: Dr Mark Ledger
Tel: +44 (0)121 414 5540
* Neighbourhood Trajectories and social exclusion; Housing markets and strategy; Spatial planning; Urban regeneration; Futures, foresight techniques and neighbourhoods; Low carbon planning and regeneration strategies Contact: Dr Peter Lee
Tel: +44 (0)121 414 3645
* Hydroecology of alpine and Arctic streams, riverine community deveopment following glacial recession and disturbance; the ecology of glacier-fed streams.Contact: Dr Sandy Milner
Tel: +44 (0)121 414 8098
* Carceral Geography (a geographical perspective on spaces and practices of imprisonment)Contact: Dr Dominique Moran
Tel: +44 (0)121 414 8013
* Cities; Critical political economy; Local government; Post-communism; fiscal federalism, industrial restructuring, and territorial cohesion; the 'knowledge-based economy', manufacturing, and neo-liberalism; public health outcomes of economic and fiscal crises Contact: Dr Vlad Mykhnenko
Tel: +44 (0)121 414 9129
* Community Planning; Urban and rural policy/governance; Policies and politics of managed migration; Social Inclusion; Urban regeneration management; Geographies of state rescaling Contact: Dr Simon Pemberton
Tel: +44 121 414 2680
* Microbial transformations of radionuclides and metals; Biogeochemistry of radionuclides, metals and organic pollutants in groundwater; Bioremediation of contaminated land and groundwater ; Interactions of microbes and nanoparticles Contact: Dr Joanna Renshaw
Tel: +44 (0)121 41 46172
* The social and economic costs of transition in post-Soviet Russia and Ukraine; the development of coping tactics in response to economic marginalisation; state-society relations and welfare reform in post-Soviet regions; the role of social capital and informal economies in negotiating economic uncertainty in everyday life; the post-release experience of Gulag survivors; northern restructuring and the use of geography as a welfare tool.Contact: Dr John Round
Tel: +44 (0)121 414 5530
* Palaeoecology, with reference to invertebrates; palaeolimnological studies of human impact on water bodies; impact assessment and conservation; biogeographical analysis of plant and animal distributions.Contact: Dr Jonathan Sadler
Tel: +44 (0)121 414 5776
* Fluvial sedimentology and geomorphology; geophysical techniques.Contact: Dr Greg Sambrook-Smith
Tel: +44 (0)121 415 8023
* Renewable energy; social and societal aspects of deployment; Spatial analysis in environmental policy evaluation; the spatial planning of multifunctional land use and ecosystem services delivery.Contact: Dr Dan van der Horst
Tel: +44 (0)121 414 5525
* Energy Policy; Public Understandings of Risk; Risk Governance/ Decision Making Under Uncertainty (esp. Nuclear Waste, GMOs, Climate Change); Evaluation of Public & Stakeholder Engagement Processes; Safety Culture in safety critical industries (esp. Nuclear Sector and Railway industry) Contact: Dr John Walls
Tel: +44 (0)121 414 7279
* Transnationalism and population migration; Transnational families; International education; Mobility and education Contact: Dr Johanna Waters
Tel: +44 (0)121 41 45527
* Past and future climate change; statistical modelling and numerical simulations from regional to global scales.Contact: Dr Martin Widmann
Tel: +44 (0)121 414 5520


* Attainment of an Honours degree (normally a First or Upper Second Class Honours degree or equivalent) in a relevant subject awarded by an approved university, or
* Attainment of an alternative qualification or qualifications and/or evidence of experience judged by the University as indicative of an applicants potential for research and as satisfactory for the purpose of entry to a research degree programme.

In addition:

* Admission and registration for a research degree programme may be conditional on satisfactory completion of preliminary study, which may include assessment.
* In some cases you will also need to have completed a Masters degree or equivalent qualification in a relevant subject.

Please note

* Entry onto many programmes is highly competitive, therefore we consider the skills, attributes, motivation and potential for success of an individual when deciding whether to make an offer.
* Specific entry requirements are given for each programme. Any academic and professional qualifications or industrial experience you may have are normally taken into account, and in some cases form an integral part of the entrance requirements. If your qualifications are non-standard or different from the entry requirements stated in the online prospectus, please contact the relevant school or department to discuss whether your application would be considered.
* After we have received your application you may, if you live in the UK, be invited for an interview or to visit us to discuss your application.

English language requirements

* IELTS 6.5 with no less than 6.0 in any band;
* TOEFL IBT 93 with no less than 20 in any band

English Language Requirements

IELTS band: 6 TOEFL iBT® test: 82

IMPORTANT NOTE: Since April 2014 the ETS tests (including TOEFL and TOEIC) are no longer accepted for Tier 4 visa applications to the United Kingdom. The university might still accept these tests to admit you to the university, but if you require a Tier 4 visa to enter the UK and begin your degree programme, these tests will not be sufficient to obtain your Visa.

The IELTS test is most widely accepted by universities and is also accepted for Tier 4 visas to the UK- learn more.


Please check the Postgraduate Funding Database here for opportunities:
We are eligible to receive studentships from NERC and ESRC ('1+3'. +3 and CASE/ESRC and NERC/ESRC). We also offer a number of our own postgraduate studentships, available to both home and overseas students.

International students can often gain funding through overseas research scholarships, Commonwealth scholarships or their home government.

See the University of Birmingham Website for more details on fees and funding.

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