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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 International Development. The department has a strong research culture, with almost 30% of outputs graded at 3* (internationally excellent) or 4* (world leading) in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework. It offers 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
  • Natural hazards
  • Quaternary studies
  • Agroecological change
  • Civil confl ict and post-conflict reconstruction
  • Rural socio-economic change
  • Digital geographies
  • Young people’s consumption
  • Housing and regeneration
  • Migrants and refugees
  • Sustainability
  • Technology-enhanced learning
  • Student partnerships and the ethical student

International research activity focuses on Europe (Spain, Greece, Norway), West Africa (Senegal, Nigeria, Ghana), the Caribbean (Jamaica), Middle East (Egypt, Israel) and Australia. Staff research has attracted funding from a range of external bodies, including The Royal Society, European Union, NERC, British Academy, 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 recently completed PhD projects include: Rural justice within rural multi-functionality: does rural proofing work?; 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 International Development 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.