Pathway Details

An overview of the pathway
Human Geography is an agenda-setting discipline characterized by empirical and conceptual innovation, diversity, and vibrancy. The pathway is concerned with space, scale, and landscape as keys to understanding human activity and experience. It has core strengths in social and cultural, economic, historical, political, population, rural, and quantitative geography, as well as GIS.

The 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 departments collaborate extensively in funded research ventures, PhD supervision, and broader postgraduate training in cutting edge theories and methods of human geography. All three departments demonstrated outstanding quality in the 2021 Research Excellence Framework.

Students are attracted by the vibrancy and vitality of our research environment, which, in emphasizing co-produced research, involves external collaborations with partners including Welsh Government, European Commission, United Nations, Ordnance Survey, Natural Resources Wales, Cadw, Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales, Muslim Council of Wales, Welsh Refugee Council.

Environment for doctoral research and training
The pathway is important for the social-science community in Wales and beyond through the Wales Institute of Social and Economic Research Data and Methods (WISERD), the Centre for the Movement of People, the Centre for Welsh Politics and Society, the Public Space Observatory Centre, and facilities such as the £8 million ESRC Administrative Data Research Centre for Wales.

Pathway academics are recognized globally for leading debates 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; urban geography, rural geography, landscape studies, and environmental sustainability.

Training is provided through a coordinated programme of standalone workshops, a residential workshop dedicated to Human Geography Theory, and an annual cohort-building postgraduate conference. Training topics include: using GIS; publishing and dissemination; achieving impact; policy-research opportunities; and preparing for an academic career. The pathway also sponsors a PhD student led peer-reviewed journal, Agoriad.

Knowledge exchange and careers.
The pathways’ doctoral students undertake knowledge exchange activities with various non-academic partners. Many of our doctoral students have developed academic careers in UK Higher Education or taken up professional posts in organizations such as Office for National Statistics, Iaith – The Welsh Centre for Language and Planning, Welsh Government, and third sector organizations.

Aberystwyth University – Dr Gareth Hoskins – 
Cardiff University – Dr Julian Brigstocke –
Swansea University – Dr Chris Muellerleile – 

Student Profiles