School of Geography

Postgraduate research fees and funding

A PhD is a significant financial investment, but it is one that we believe brings an invaluable personal experience and a wealth of professional opportunities on your graduation. 

There are a range of different sources of funding available for PhD students at QMUL. Finding funding is an important element of the application process and we recommend that you begin to explore your funding options as early as possible. 

As a result of the quality of our graduate training and supervision, the School of Geography has been awarded NERC DTP recognition, is part of the ESRC-funded London Interdisciplinary Social Science Doctoral Training Partnership (LISS DTP) and is an associate member of the AHRC-funded London Arts & Humanities Partnership.

We invite applications for fully funded PhD studentships commencing in September 2019. The studentships are for applicants wishing to undertake a PhD in Human Geography or Physical Geography/Environmental Science, in a research area agreed in consultation with the prospective supervisor. Studentships may be funded from one of the sources below, dependent upon eligibility and proposed topic. Candidates are strongly advised to make contact with the School and a potential supervisor to discuss these opportunities.

Funding your PhD

Current Projects

The following projects are being advertised in the School of Geography:

Project title: Rewilding and Natural Flood Management
Supervisor(s): Gemma Harvey ( QMUL Geography), Alex Henshaw (QMUL Geography), Stewart Clarke (National Trust)
CASE Partner: National Trust

Project title: Microplastic-sediment interactions (MiPSi)
Supervisor(s): Kate Spencer ( QMUL Geography), Geraldene Wharton (QMUL Geography)

Project Title: Quantification of the impact of changing vegetation on hillslope sediment transport
Supervisor(s): Stuart Grieve ( QMUL Geography, Emily Lines (QMUL Geography)

Project Title: Investigating the impacts of drought on Spanish forests using terrestrial laser scanning
Supervisor(s): Emily Lines ( QMUL Geography)

Project Title: Past intermediate and deep ocean circulation during sustained periods of warmth
Supervisors(s): Heather Ford ( QMUL Geography)

Project Title: Microbial life and activity on glaciers and in Arctic soils
Supervisors(s): James Bradley ( QMUL Geography)

Project Title: Microbial survival in the energy-limited deep biosphere
Supervisors(s): James Bradley ( QMUL Geography)

Please note: NERC funding is subject to candidates meeting RCUK eligibility criteria and we encourage eligible students from the EU to apply. For details of eligibility please click here

How to apply
Applicants should include a supporting statement, CV, transcripts and certificates, details of two referees, and indicate the relevant supervisor and project title in the application form. Shortlisted candidates will be invited to interview in March 2019.

To apply for a studentship being advertised by the School of Geography please click here

LAHP AHRC Collaborative Award

LAHP AHRC Collaborative PhD Studentship: PEROU (The Pole for Exploration of Urban Resources)

Hospitality as Intangible Cultural Heritage? Concept and Practice in La Chapelle, Paris
Through sustained fieldwork in the northern Paris district of La Chapelle, this PhD will consider the actions and practices of hospitality and will establish whether and how hospitality can be considered to constitute an ‘intangible cultural heritage’ under the UNESCO framework for safe-guarding. The practice of hospitality is commonly held to transcend cultural differences, being recognizable on encounter for those who come from afar. Yet hospitality, like all social forms, is subject to cultural variance. This doctoral project will study the variations in modes of hospitality as it is enacted in an area of super linguistic and cultural diversity, at the hub of contemporary migration to and within Europe. Drawing on practices that traverse generations as well as faith and language groups, it will develop a comparative analysis of cultural representations and practices of welcome, drawing on situations of shared sustenance, narration and shelter. The research will investigate the claim that hospitality is a common and potentially universalisable practice, which, across its linguistic variation, can inform an understanding of intangible cultural heritage. The student will work closely with the PEROU, contributing to their UNESCO-oriented project and learning from their methodology as an embedded and experimental research unit.

How to apply:

Applicants must meet the eligibility and residency criteria. LAHP studentships are open to UK and EU students who meet the residency requirements as detailed on page 12 of the RCUK Conditions of Research Council Training Grants.

For further information about the project and how to apply please see the LAHP website.
Closing deadline: Tuesday 23 April 2019

Queen Mary University of London Leverhulme Trust Doctoral Scholarships (QMUL-LDS)

Mobile People: Mobility as a way of life

QMUL-LDS is a research training programme ‘Mobile People: Mobility as a way of life’ supported by the Leverhulme Trust and is led by the School of Politics and International Relations. It draws strengths from both in the interdisciplinary approaches of QMUL in social science and humanities and its extraordinary location in London’s East End as a historical hub of people, languages and cultures from around the world. To find out more information about this studentship please see here. The deadline for this studentship is 5pm, 31 January 2019. Candidates are required to apply directly to their chosen school and indicate on the form they would like to be considered for QMUL-LDS.

LISS DTP 1+3 or +3 Studentships

The School invites applications for 1+3 and +3 studentships through the London Interdisciplinary Social Science Doctoral Training Partnership, for projects relating to: International Development, Conflict & Human Security, Health, Biopolitics and Social Inequality, and Urbanisation, Social Change & Transformation. Studentships may be either 1+3 (one year MRes followed by three year PhD), or +3 (three year PhD only, available for those with suitable masters-level social science research training). Eligibility is based on UK residency, although non-UK resident EU students may apply for a fees only award. See details on ESRC eligibility.

The deadline for submitting an application is 5pm, 31 January 2019. Please follow the instructions on how to apply.

LISS DTP ESRC Collaborative (CASE) Studentships (1+3 or +3)

Uncertainty under the arches: Network Rail's commercial property sell-off and the crisis of affordable workspace in London

Project Description
Network Rail has recently agreed to sell 200 railway arches as a single commercial portfolio. The sale represents the latest in a long line of public asset sell-offs in the UK through which rents are shifted from the public to the private realm. While the details of the sale are still being negotiated, there are grave concerns about the future of thousands of archway enterprises across the country. The potential impacts are particularly acute in East London, where a crisis of affordable workspace more broadly has seen small businesses contend with rent increases of up to 300%. Organised through the East End Trades Guild, local businesses have responded by developing an Affordable Workspace Manifesto, culminating in a campaign for London Working Rent. This campaign raises critical questions about the capacities for collective organisation among diverse enterprises, and the possibilities for applying principles derived from the movements of employees and residential tenants - such as Living Wage and Living Rent - to the commercial rental sector.

This project involves a collaboration between the East End Trades Guild (EETG), the New Economic Foundation (NEF) and the School of Geography at QMUL in order to generate much-needed insight on the possibilities for collective organisation and intervention to maintain affordable workspaces for small and medium enterprises. This research will advance theoretical understandings of socio-economic value and, specifically, inform emerging policy debates on affordable workspaces in the context of the transfer of rents from the public to the private sphere. In this regard, the research will contribute to emerging scholarship on the connections between social entrepreneurship and public life, bringing together research programmes on livelihoods and diverse economies and urban sociality and collective culture.
For more information please see EETG Case Award [PDF 148KB].
Applications must be made through the LISS DTP website.
Please do not hesitate to contact the academic lead or co-supervisor to discuss the details of the proposed project.


QMUL Principal's Postgraduate Research Studentships

The School invites applications for QMUL Principal’s Postgraduate Research Studentships for self-defined projects relating to any of the School’s human or physical geography research themes. Applications are also invited for projects that might involve collaboration with other Schools within QMUL. These studentships are open to UK, EU and international students and cover fees and maintenance at the Research Council rate for London (currently £16,777.

The deadline for submitting application is 5pm on 31 January 2019. See this page for details of the application process.

The current available projects for Physical Geography and Environmental Science can be found at QMUL PhD funding 2018 - Physical Geography projects [PDF 342KB]

AHRC LAHP studentship competition

The School invites applications for the London Arts and Humanities Partnership (LAHP) for students studying arts and humanities disciplines. The research areas covered by the Arts and the Humanities Research Council (AHRC) are listed here. Candidates are required to apply directly to the School by 18 January 2019 and directly to the LAHP by 28 January 2019. Further details and eligibility criteria can be found here.

Queen Mary Alumni Loyalty Award

Students who are graduates of QMUL and are not in receipt of a full scholarship, may be eligible for £1,000 off their postgraduate degree tuition fees. For eligibility criteria, how to apply and further information, visit the Queen Mary Alumni Loyalty Award web page.

Funding deadlines 

It is important to be aware that different funding bodies and organisations will have different deadlines: the majority of these will fall inbetween November and February prior to the commencement of your PhD project in September.

See above for details on deadlines and the application process.

Tuition fees and loans

QMUL's tuition fees vary depending on whether you are assessed as a Home/EU or overseas student

The home/EU tuition fees for 2018-19 entry are as folllows: 

  • £4,260 for full-time research degrees
  • £2,130 for part-time research degrees

These are fixed by the UK government and the 2019-20 fees are due to be announced in January 2019.

The international tuition fees for 2019-20 entry can be downloaded here: PGR fees 2019-20 [PDF 374KB]

The UK government has also announced plans to provide loans of up to £25,000 for English-resident UK nationals for 2019. Read more about our PhD loans.

More information

  • Further funding opportunities do come up throughout the year so please keep checking the website regularly for updates.
  • The School of Geography primarily accepts students on to our PhD programmes who have identified sources of funding; however, we will consider applications from self-funded students in exceptional circumstances, including applications from international self-funded students. Further information is available here.
  • Our Advice and Counselling Service have produced a detailed online funding guide for postgraduate students. This guide includes everything you need to know about money when applying for and planning your postgraduate studies.
  • For general enquiries, please contact: