Geography - Research

Research in Geography focuses on better understanding complex relationships in the social and natural worlds, as well as between them, as they undergo significant transformation and adaptation. The School of Geography has an active research culture and agenda with the goal of delivering research excellence in human and physical geography by sustained specialisation, emergent international exploration, and interdisciplinary collaboration within and beyond UCD.

Research Masters and PhD Programmes
Our flagship research degree is our structured PhD programme. The structured PhD focuses on the completion of taught modules in conjunction with a research thesis. This has proven to be highly successful and enables our PhD students to achieve the best possible experience of graduate research and training. Making a substantial and original contribution to knowledge, normally leading to peer-reviewed publications is a core goal of doctoral studies in the UCD School of Geography. For a list of current research students, click here.

Doctoral students normally have two supervisors, a research advisory panel that consists of experts who support the students from cognate areas of research. A two stage process ensures that students have developed their research design and have achieved the high standards expected of doctoral degrees. Stage transfer offers students the opportunity to present their work and receive feedback from scholars outside of their research team and gives invaluable viva experience. The doctoral programme in the school is overseen by the Postgraduate Director who is a key point of contact for current students. For further details on UCD graduate programmes click here (link to graduate pages). In order to identify a suitable supervisor, please click staff pages here (link to staff pages).

The School of Geography offers two Research Masters Programmes (MLitt - Human Geography and MSc - Physical Geography). These degrees are suitable for students who want to carry out research either with the view to progressing towards a PhD degree in the future or simply gaining the skill set that accompanies investigative research. The normal duration for completion of a Master's degree is 1-2 years.

Entry requirements

Teaching in Irish Universities is through the medium of English; therefore all applicants are required to demonstrate a high level of competence in English language.

UCD's minimum English Language Requirements are approved by the University Programmes Board and apply to all applicants and all levels of study.

Further information about the University requirements can be found at:

Application dates

To apply to our taught masters courses, click the link below follow the instructions and submit key documentation. A broad idea project idea is sufficient and can be altered during your course.

Before applying for any of our PhD or Research Master Programmes, you are strongly recommended to prepare a research project to upload (4 or 5 pages written in academic style to detail your research proposal) and to contact a possible supervisor in the School of Geography to discuss your project and its possible funding. The name of your potential supervisor should be mentioned in your project.


Geography (W117) MLitt Research 2 Years FT / 4 years PT
Geography (W124) MSc Research 2 Years FT / 4 years PT
Geography (W137) PhD Research 3 Years FT / 6 Years PT


PhD and Research Masters (MLitt) for 2018/19:

EU: fee per year - €6,170 (full-time)
EU: fee per year - €4,080 (part-time)
non-EU: fee per year - €11,885 (full-time)

Fees are subject to change

Enrolment dates

Start date: To be agreed with School.

More details
  • Qualification letters

    MLitt / MSc / PhD

  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ),Degree - Doctoral (Level 10 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Part time,Daytime

  • Apply to

    Course provider