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The University of Chester welcomes students who are interested in studying towards MPhil or PhD research degrees in the Department of Geography and Environment. The Department has a strong research culture, with almost 90% of unit outputs graded as internationally recognised or internationally excellent in the 2021 Research Excellence Framework. We offer research students high quality field and laboratory facilities and committed, experienced research supervisors.

Research Areas

Departmental research focuses on three themes:

  • Global environmental change and hazard management
  • Communities, culture and sustainability
  • Technology-enhanced learning and student partnerships

Specific staff research interests include:

  • Coastal/fluvial dynamics
  • Geoecology
  • Geographical information science
  • Physical and social impacts of flooding
  • Catchment and flood modelling
  • Natural hazards
  • Quaternary studies
  • Agroecological change
  • Digital geographies
  • Youth cultures and consumption
  • Migration, refuge and asylum
  • Sustainability
  • Geopolitics
  • Popular culture and the media
  • Military geography
  • Technology-enhanced learning
  • Student-staff partnership practice in higher education
  • Teaching ethics and ethical thinking

International research activity focuses on Europe (Spain, Greece, Norway, Montenegro, Iceland), and Australia. Staff research has attracted funding from a range of external bodies, including The Royal Society, European Union, the Natural Environment Research Council, British Academy, Royal Geographical Society UNESCO, public sector bodies and industry.

The Department

Graduate students work alongside academic staff in a stimulating and vibrant research environment that facilitates the interchange of ideas and helps to ensure an excellent record of successful completion. Current and completed PhD projects include: Rural justice within rural multi-functionality: does rural proofing work?; Rapid Holocene climate change events in the Balkans; Understanding societal flood vulnerability among rural communities along the River Severn; Land use/land cover change, climate variability and risk assessment in the Benue Trough, Nigeria; Sustainable development in the food sector; The role of anaerobic digestion in achieving soil conservation and sustainable agriculture for sustainable development; The quality of education in conflict: experiences from the West Bank (Palestine).

Entry Months

These Research Degrees usually commence annually in October, February and May.


The Department of Geography and Environment is keen to hear from students who would like to conduct research in any of the areas of staff expertise. Please contact Dr Philip Marren to discuss the availability of appropriate supervision before constructing a detailed application.