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MRes ( 1 year Full-time / 2 years Part-time )


People and buildings reflected in the Cloud Gate sculpture, Chicago

The Geography MRes is a pre-doctoral training programme version of the Geography MA/MSc. Alongside the opportunity to specialise in a chosen area of human geography (see below), you will develop social science research skills and methods appropriate for further study in this field. Depending on the options you choose, you can study key issues such as globalisation and development; cities, space and power; and collaborative cultural geographies.

This MRes is a pre-doctoral training programme taught in conjunction with the London Interdisciplinary Social Science Doctoral Training Partnership (LISS DTP) and is an approved pathway for ESRC 1+3 PhD studentship funding and ideal for those seeking to work in a research-related role. The new MRes programmes from 2017 will be the same structure as the MA/MSc equivalent, but will include two compulsory modules: ‘Introduction to Social Science Research 1: Epistemology, Research design, and Qualitative methods’ and ‘Introduction to Social Science Research 2: Quantitative Methods and Data’. Please check the website at time of application for the latest module structure.

This programme:

  • allows you to obtain advanced training in human geography
  • equips you with research methods leading to PhD study
  • lets you choose from a wide range of option modules and specialisms, allowing you to tailor the course to suit your interests
  • provides you the opportunity to work with external organisations, such as The Geffrye Museum of the Home

Specialist topics for 2016/17

  • Community organising; looking at the theory and history of community organising; contemporary practice and challenges; different models of organising and their integration into different institutional settings (Professor Jane Wills)
  • Critical public health; global health; historical perspectives on urban environment and health (Dr Tim Brown)
  • Latin American transnational migration in European contexts; gender-based violence against women and girls in the Global South (Professor Cathy McIlwaine)
  • Knowledge infrastructure and regional innovation in the European South; Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and local economic development (Dr Konstantinos Melanchroinos)
  • Streets, parks and squares: space and sociability in 18th-Century London; New Spaces, New Publics?: inclusion and exclusion in London's public spaces (Professor Miles Ogborn)
  • Vital geographies; humanitarianism; historical geographies of development; democratic theory and public reason (Dr Simon Reid-Henry)
  • Macro-regional integration and uneven development: how integration impacts on development; Global value chains and development: evaluating the effectiveness of labour standards implementation; Free trade agreements and sustainable development: comparing the US and the EU's models (Professor Adrian Smith)
  • Food banks (Professor Jon May)
  • Migrant Finance: Remittances, philanthropy and diaspora funding (Dr Kavita Datta)
  • Critical geographies of biomedicine; political geographies of global health and development; geographies of philanthropic practices in contemporary and historical perspective (Dr Stephen Taylor)
  • Matters of urban public space and culture; the representation and imagination of cities; food, dining and consumption practices; social entrepreneurism (Dr Regan Koch)
  • Collaborative research with The Geffrye Museum of the Home, via the Centre for Studies of Home, on past and present geographies of home, including research on home, migration and the city (Professor Alison Blunt)
  • Collaborative research with Eastside Community Heritage on community heritage, identity, migration and urban change (Professor Alison Blunt)
  • Collaborative research with the campaigning organisation ShareAction, exploring geographical implications of financialisation, relationships between pension savers across geography and age-groups, and share-holder activism by pension funds as a mechanism to achieve social and environmental objectives that deliver benefits to pension savers (Professor Jane Wills)

Become a part of QMUL Geography

  • Professional and friendly environment: We are recognised as an international centre for excellence in teaching and research. Our work is at the forefront of human geography, shaping debates and providing significant new insight and understanding. We are also known for our friendly, collegial and welcoming ethos and are home to many of contemporary human geography's best known scholars
  • Research excellence: Almost 80 per cent of our research outputs (books and articles) are rated as world-leading (4*) or internationally excellent (3*) placing us 5th in the UK for this measure. Our research scores increased across all areas in the latest UK score of research excellence (REF 2014) and we're ranked joint 11th for geography in the UK overall. We're also proud to feature in the top 100 departments in the world to study geography (QS World University rankings 2015)
  • Employability: 94% of respondents from our postgraduates were in work or further study six month after graduation; 91% at graduate level (DLHE 2015).
  • Capital location: We're a School that cares about the world beyond the university, working with a range of community groups, artists, cultural and heritage institutions and policy makers, particularly here in east London. Our passion is to demonstrate through research and teaching the intellectual and political significance of geographical research and understanding. We encourage our students to become part of this vibrant intellectual culture.


  • Walter Oldershaw Award: eight awards (£3,000 each) are available across all masters degrees offered by the School of Geography
  • Queen Mary Alumni Loyalty Award: all graduates of QMUL are awarded with a £1,000 bursary 
  • Postgraduate Loans Scheme: eligible students will be able to borrow loans up to £10,000 
  • Read more about these opportunities on the funding a masters page


  • Weekly research seminars: As a postgraduate student you will be invited to weekly research seminars as well as several research frameworks sessions with top-level academic researchers.
  • Individual working space: Research students have individual desk and computing space in dedicated offices within the School of Geography and access to facilities for specialist statistical and Geographical Information System (GIS) analyses, desktop publishing and the processing of video and electronic images.
  • University of London network: Queen Mary is a part of the University of London, so our students have access to the facilities, learning resources and libraries across the group's institutions. You can also use the first-rate resources of other libraries with London collections (e.g. the British Library).


The programme is made up of 180 credits.

Core module:

  • Dissertation of 15,000 words (60 credits)

Compulsory modules:

  • Geographical Thought and Practice (30 credits)
  • Introduction to Social Science Research: Qualitative Methods (30 credits)
  • Introduction to Social Science Research: Quantitative Methods (30 credits)

Option modules:

  • Advanced Readings in Geography (30 credits)
  • Art, Performance and the City (30 credits)
  • Cities, Space and Power (30 credits)
  • Critical Geographies of Global Health (30 credits) 
  • Cultural Geography in Practice (30 credits)
  • Empire, Race and Immigration (30 credits)
  • Global Working Lives (15 credits)
  • Migration and Mobilities (15 credits)
  • Researching Development in Practice: Mumbai Unbound (30 credits)
  • Re-theorising Development Futures (30 credits)
  • Transnational Democracy, Right and Citizenship (15 credits)


Entry requirements

An upper second class honours degree or higher in a humanities or social science subject from a UK university (or an equivalent international qualification) together with two supportive references is required. Candidates are expected to have good English language ability and to meet the standard of the IELTS, or equivalent, at a level of 7.0. Read more about English language requirements. If you do not meet language or scholarly requirements it might be possible for you to undertake foundation or pre-sessional programmes that will prepare you for the masters programme.

For more information, please contact the Admissions Office on +44 (0)20 7882 5533 or email

It is not necessary to have a first degree in geography and we welcome applicants from different backgrounds in the arts, humanities and social sciences.

For detailed country-specific entry requirements please visit the international section of our website.

Learning and teaching

As a student at Queen Mary, you will play an active part in your acquisition of skills and knowledge. Teaching is by a mixture of formal lectures and small group seminars. The seminars are designed to generate informed discussion around set topics, and may involve student presentations, group exercises and role-plays as well as open discussion. We take pride in the close and friendly working relationship we have with our students. You are assigned an Academic Adviser who will guide you in both academic and pastoral matters throughout your time at Queen Mary.

Independent Study

For every hour spent in formal classes you will be expected to complete further hours of independent study. Your individual study time could be spent preparing for, or following up on formal study sessions; reading; producing written work and completing projects.

The direction of your individual study will be guided by the formal study sessions you attend, along with your reading lists and assignments. However, we expect you to demonstrate an active role in your own learning by reading widely and expanding your own knowledge, understanding and critical ability.

Independent study will foster in you the ability to identify your own learning requirements and determine which areas you need to focus on to become proficient in your subject area. This is an important transferable skill and will help to prepare you for the transition to working life.


Assessment on each of the modules is through a variety of coursework assignments ranging from extended essays to book reviews. 


You will also complete a 15,000-word dissertation. You will be assigned an academic supervisor from the School of Geography. Your supervisor will provide guidance and advice on your dissertation research. You will meet with your supervisor at least six times from January through to June in order to ensure that your work is on track for completion.

Academic lead

The programme is led by Dr Kavita Datta, Reader in Geography.


Tuition fees

Fees are charged at a Home/EU rate for UK and EU nationals, and an overseas rate for International students - find out more about how your tuition fee status is assessed.


There are a number of sources of funding available for Masters students.

These include a significant package of competitive Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) bursaries and scholarships in a range of subject areas, as well as external sources of funding.

Queen Mary bursaries and scholarships

We offer a range of bursaries and scholarships for Masters students including competitive scholarships, bursaries and awards, some of which are for applicants studying specific subjects.

Find out more about QMUL bursaries and scholarships.

Alternative sources of funding

Home/EU students can apply for a range of other funding, such as Professional and Career Development Loans, and Employer Sponsorship, depending on their circumstances and the specific programme of study.

Overseas students may be eligible to apply for a range of external scholarships and we also provide information about relevant funding providers in your home country on our country web pages.

Download our Postgraduate Funding Guide [PDF] for detailed information about postgraduate funding options for Home/EU students.

Read more about alternative sources of funding for Home/EU students and for Overseas students.

Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 5079

Other financial help on offer at Queen Mary

We offer one to one specialist support on all financial and welfare issues through our Advice and Counselling Service, which you can access as soon as you have applied for a place at Queen Mary.

Our Advice and Counselling Service also has lots of Student Advice Guides on all aspects of finance including:

Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 8717

Graduate Employment


Name: Nick Owen

Studied: MA Geography, class of 2013

Currently: Research and Joint Programme Manager, Queen Mary University of London

Photo of Nick Owen

"I chose the programme for a number of reasons, not least the School's reputation for world-leading research and my enthusiasm for a number of the modules, such as 'Art, Performance and the City' and 'Cities, Culture and Power'. I liked that the MA Geography programme provided flexibility in the number and variety of optional modules and a choice in the prominence of the dissertation module, allowing me to tailor the programme towards my personal interests.

"My research interests led me to explore the relationship between artistic walking practices and private-public musical listening habits. The research project attempted to highlight alternative, playful and innovative ways of considering urban public space, drawing on the artistic walking practices of Francis Alÿs, and the urban audio walks of Janet Cardiff, Graeme Miller and Toby Butler.

"I'd recommend the programme to prospective students for the quality and variety of teaching. I felt seminars were inclusive yet challenging, with guest speakers from diverse fields leading classes and encouraging debate. Dissertation supervision was also excellent, my supervisor provided expert guidance throughout the process, and I felt able to discuss any issues I had with the research. The School values progressive and innovative thought, which undoubtedly contributes to its standing as one of the leading geography departments in the UK."


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