Our PhD Research.

Facing the mountain

Urban Institute

The Department of Geography has a vibrant research culture with over 30 academic staff and around 50 PhD students researching a wide range of topics across human and physical geography, 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.

This is reflected in the wide-ranging nature of our 6 Research Clusters - Power, Policy and Place; Geographies of the Global South; Culture, Space and Difference; Ice and Climate Research; Food, Environment and Water; and Landscape Dynamics - many of which examine multi- and inter-disciplinary themes.

Our PhD students come to us via a range of funding routes: through the university but also through UK and international funders. As a PhD student in Geography you will be researching at the edges of geographical knowledge, at a time when our discipline is contributing centrally to environmental and societal debates on how our world is evolving. 

Professor Grant Bigg and Dr Miguel Kanai - Directors of Doctoral Research

Our programmes

We ensure that research students have the training and development to prepare for successful academic and professional careers. In addition to the intellectual environment provided by the graduate community, our research groups and your PhD supervision, all students have access to the Social Sciences Doctoral Training Programme. This programme is an integral part of your research degree, tailored to your individual needs and designed to enhance your existing skills as well as allowing you to acquire new skills and experience.

All students are members of the Doctoral Training Academy. The breadth of research undertaken by our doctoral students means that the Department of Geography is also affiliated with the White Rose Social Science Doctoral Training Programme and the ACCE (Adapting to the Challenges of a Changing Environment) Doctoral Training Partnership.

Research Networks

As a research student in Geography, you will be part of research clusters within the department as well as Research Centres across the university such as Sheffield Institute for International Developmentthe Urban Institute and the Grantham Centre for Sustainable Futures. Through our national and international networks of research councils, industrial partners, policy makers and academic scholarship, our students are part of a research environment in which postgraduates can thrive.