Pathway Details

The Economic and Social Research Council’s recent International Benchmarking Review ranked UK Human Geography number one globally, and it was the first social science to be rated in this way. Human Geography is an agenda-setting discipline characterized by empirical and conceptual innovation, diversity, and vibrancy.

The Human Geography pathway is founded on longstanding institutional links between Aberystwyth’s Department of Geography and Earth Sciences, Cardiff’s School of Geography and Planning, and Swansea’s Department of Geography. All three units demonstrated outstanding quality in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework. As well as a clear collective vision, the pathway provides both depth and breadth of expertise. It incorporates strengths in:

  • cultural and social geography (with media geography and mobilities research specialisms);
  • economic geography;
  • historical geography;
  • political geography;
  • population geography and demography (with a migration studies specialism);
  • quantitative geography and GIS;
  • society and environment research; and
  • urban geography.

Further specialisms in rural geography, landscape studies, and environmental sustainability add to the world-leading expertise the pathway encompasses.

Students are attracted by the vibrancy and vitality of our research environment, which, in emphasizing co-produced research, involves collaborative partners such as Welsh Government, European Commission, United Nations, Ordnance Survey, Natural Resources Wales, Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales, Muslim Council of Wales, Welsh Refugee Council, etc., and connects with a broad social-science community through the Wales Institute of Social and Economic Research Data and Methods (WISERD) network and such facilities as the £8 million ESRC Administrative Data Research Centre for Wales.

For students on the ‘1+3’ route, subject-specific training modules follow a common syllabus which culminates in jointly taught residential courses. Subject-specific training and student development continues throughout the doctorate through a coordinated programme of standalone workshops. Topics include: using GIS; publishing and dissemination; achieving impact; policy-research opportunities; and preparing for an academic career.

Student Profiles