Our PhD research

As a geography PhD student, you will be at the cutting edge of geographical research and knowledge, at a time when our discipline is making critical contributions to environmental and societal discussions around the world.

A woman in a lab coat using a pestle and mortar

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 and interdisciplinary nature of our five research groups.

Our PhD students come to us via a range of funding routes, through the University as well as UK and international funders.

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 our social science PhD students 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. All our students receive interdisciplinary training and experience opportunities via the White Rose Doctoral Training Partnership and additional discipline-specific training is provided in each of our departments.

Research networks

As a research student in geography, you will join our research groups within the department as well as research institutes across the university including the Sheffield Institute for International Development, the Urban Institute, the Institute for Sustainable Food and the Grantham Centre for Sustainable Futures. 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.

Discover more about the University's research networks.

PhD scholarships

There are lots of different types of scholarships available, from full awards covering fees, living expenses and research costs to partial fee scholarships.