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Geography MPhil / PhD, or option of joint PhD with HKU/Humboldt/NUS



  • Research income: £2.28m (2007-8)
  • Current number of academic staff: 37
  • Current number of research students: Approximately 120
  • Current number of postdoctoral: 17
  • Recent publications:
    • The International Handbook of Environmental Sociology
    • Development of a Modelling Methodology for the Investigation of Riparian Hydrological Processes
    • Wind Fields & Turbulence Statistics in an Urban Street Canyon
    • Accessible Housing: Quality, Disability & Design
    • Measuring Vulnerability to Urban Natural Disaster Risk
    • Frontiers: Histories of Civil Society & Nature
  • Joint PhDs available: Exciting opportunities to gain a joint PhD with the National University of Singapore, Hong Kong University or Humboldt University (Berlin, Germany)

Key information

Duration Expected to be two years FT; three-four years PT for MPhil; three years FT; five years PT for PhD.

Study mode Full-time,Part-time

Awarding institution King's College London/King's and HKU/Humboldt/NUS for joint programme

Faculty Faculty of Social Science & Public Policy

Department Department of Geography


Entry requirements

Visit our admissions webpages to view our English language entry requirements.

Bachelor’s degree with 1st class or 2:1 honours (or overseas equivalent) and/or a good Master's degree. Those applying for one of the joint degree programs are encouraged to contact an academic at King's to develop research links with the partner institution.

Application procedure

Completed applications will be accepted at any time prior to the start of the degree programme. However, early applications are encouraged particularly as deadlines for outside funding can fall several months before entry.

Personal statement and supporting information

You should include a detailed outline of a proposed research project (500-1,000 words).

Course intake


Joint PhDs - Application advice

Applicants for the Joint PhD programme must contact the relevant departments at both universities before submitting an application in order to discuss the suitability of their topic for the joint programme and to locate potential supervisors. Applications should initially be submitted to the proposed home institution only, ie where the student will start and finish their programme. Students should note that acceptance onto the programme may take slightly longer than for single-institution PhDs because of the additional steps involved. Further details, including FAQs, can be found on the King’s Worldwide web pages.

Applicants who choose King’s as their home institution should apply through the online system, selecting the appropriate Joint PhD option from the drop-down list. In addition to the standard supporting documentation, applicants should submit a Travel Plan form indicating how they intend to divide their time between the two partner institutions. Students must spend a specified amount of time in each institution, details of which can be found in the ‘Notes’ section of the Travel Plan form.

It is recommended that students submit applications for the Joint PhD programme by the end of March to begin the following September.

Application closing date

For January 2016 entry the closing date is 31st October 2015 for overseas applicants and 1st December 2015 for Home/EU applicants.

For September 2016 entry the closing date is 29th July 2016 for overseas applicants and 2nd September 2016 for Home/EU applicants.

For January 2017 entry the closing date is 31st October 2016 for overseas applicants and 2nd December 2016 for Home/EU applicants.

 Please note decisions are considered on a rolling basis and programmes close once all places are filled which maybe before the deadline dates stated above.  Therefore we encourage you to submit your application as soon as possible. Please note that funding deadlines may be earlier.


Course detail


The Department of Geography has a vibrant community of scholars - most are members of one of four research groups: Cities; Environment, Politics & Development; Earth & Environmental Dynamics. Some members of each of these groups are also members of the multidisciplinary Hazards & Risk group. Staff research also ranges well beyond those groups and involves both individual scholarship and colleagues in other institutions as well as the department. 

These groups operate through staff-funded research and PhD student collaboration on research projects. The research themes provide the central focus of our international reputation centre on: cultural, political and social change in cities; urban governance and public policy in cities; urban sustainability; environment and development in low-income locations; monitoring and modelling of terrestrial environmental processes and investigations of the politics of environmental policy. In addition, we have thematic research specialisms in historical geography, geographies of disability, architecture and the built environment, rural development, and remote sensing of the environment.

Joint PhD programme 
Exciting opportunities are now available to undertake a joint PhD programme with Hong Kong University or, for topics specifically relating to comparative urbanism, Humboldt University (Berlin, Germany) or the National University of Singapore, bringing together expertise in urban (social and/or economic) geography, physical geography, political geography, political ecology, risks and hazards.

Course study environment

We believe that individualised tuition from a committee of supervisors who are themselves experts in your chosen research area is the foundation for PhD programme of study.

Accordingly you will meet regularly with a primary and secondary supervisor. In the first year you will have at least three formal meetings and a minimum of two each year thereafter to discuss the biannual student training and research progress reports. In addition you will usually have more informal meetings with your primary supervisor, fortnightly in the first year, and as often as necessary thereafter to discuss work.

Contact with part-time students is generally less frequent, depending on individual circumstances, although regular progress meetings are required.

Postgraduate training

To ensure that you develop the skills necessary to complete your research programme and fulfil your career goals, the Department will provide you with research training in accordance with the specific guidelines set out by ESRC for human geography and NERC for physical geography. During induction you will meet with your primary supervisor to assess your skills and training needs and design an individualised training programme for you, which is set out in a research plan that must be approved by the Departmental Postgraduate and Research Committee (PaRC). Although the specific training programmes provided for physical geography and human geography students differ somewhat, both use a variety of means, including lectures and practical classes, individual reading and study, and informally through discussion with other graduates.

Head of group/division

Dr Nicholas De Genova (PhD Tutor)

Contact for information

Postgraduate Admissions Team, Admissions Office
tel: +44 (0)20 7848 7429
fax: +44 (0)20 7848 7200 

Contact email

Course website

Career prospects

Career destinations

Students go on to become lecturers and research assistants, directors and senior managers of international consultancies, lawyers, consultants for environmental agencies, governments, charities and research organisations.


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Fees and funding

Full time tuition fees - Home/EU
£4,600 (2016)

Full time tuition fees - Overseas 
£20,000 (2016)

Part time tuition fees - Home/EU
£4,600 (2016)

Part time tuition fees - Overseas/EU
£10,500 (2016)

Please visit our web pages on fees and funding for more information.


Next steps

Upcoming events

Nov 26
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Nov 27
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