PhD research

As a postgraduate researcher (PGR) in the School of Geography and Planning, you will be conducting cutting edge research at a time when our disciplines are making critical contributions to environmental and societal discussions around the world.

Three PGR students sat at a table in discussion

The School of Geography and Planning has a vibrant research culture, with over 100 academic staff and around 80 postgraduate researchers investigating a wide range of topics, from the impact of melting glaciers in the polar regions to the housing issues of the urban poor in the UK and questions of sustainable development worldwide.

The value of a Sheffield PhD can be seen in the rapidity with which graduates have obtained employment in a range of contexts including not just academia, but also local and central government and the charitable sector.

A dynamic academic community

Our postgraduate research students come together as a community through a range of activities that continue throughout the academic year.

This includes bespoke weekly training sessions in both semesters, presentations of research in progress, an enhanced support programme, and other events such as masterclasses from visiting academics, reading groups, and co-writing sessions.

We encourage everyone to participate in these activities; this enhances your own professional development, and maintains the strong ethos of mutual support that has underpinned the school’s research success.

An international learning environment

Students come from all over the world to pursue postgraduate research in the School of Geography and Planning.

International students make up a significant proportion of our postgraduate research community, joining us from countries such as India, China, Korea, Syria, Mexico, Nigeria, Turkey and across the EU. This diversity provides a rich learning experience for all students.

Many of our PGRs undertake research in international contexts and make visits overseas to conduct fieldwork, participate in workshops and attend conferences.

The School also has close links with a number of universities internationally, and we regularly welcome visiting scholars from around the world. These contacts enable students to challenge their ideas against the circumstances found in environments outside their own focus of study.

PhD training in the Faculty of Social Sciences

As part of the Faculty of Social Sciences, you will have access to world-class training alongside your doctoral study. The Social Sciences Doctoral Training programme is tailored to your individual needs to ensure you have the right skills to conduct your research.

The training programme is designed to exceed current UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) training and development guidelines and gives all postgraduate researchers in the Faculty of Social Sciences access to ESRC-funded White Rose Doctoral Training Partnership cohort activities, regardless of your source of funding.

Bespoke training methods are designed and delivered through the Sheffield Methods Institute, which has world-class research expertise in both qualitative and quantitative methods. Additional discipline-specific training is provided by our school.

Research networks

As a postgraduate researcher in the School of Geography and Planning, you will join our research groups within the school, as well as research institutes across the University, including the:

Through our national and international networks of research councils, industrial partners, policymakers and academic scholarship, our students are part of a research environment in which postgraduates can thrive.

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