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MSc, MPhil and PhD Degrees

MSc, MPhil, MRes and PhD Degrees

The Department offers opportunities for students with a minimum upper level second class degree in Geography or related subject to register for a MPhil with the possibility of upgrading to PhD. Students should be able to demonstrate the motivation and ability to undertake independent study for a minimum of two years. Students are encouraged to make early contact with a member of staff whose areas of research expertise reflect their own interests.

  • Information on funding schemes for these degrees.

  • Research Projects currently available.

  • PhD Studentship Awards Information.

Masters degrees are developed primarily through research work, by submission of a major thesis/dissertation, generally after 2 years. Study of taught modules from geography, geology, earth science, environmental science, ecology and biology programmes may also form part of these degrees. Specialist work for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) is research and thesis based and is normally of 3 years duration. A qualification of a good primary degree (i.e. BA/BSc degree, or equivalent is required at Class 2: Division 1 or higher) is required.

MSc, MPhil, MRes and PhD studies in the Department of Geography exist in a range of areas, for which specialist training and facilities (e.g., laboratories, computing, field equipment) are available.

Major research themes:

Human/social geography:

  • Historical geography of Irish regions and localities

  • Identity, place and society

  • Race, ethnicity and migration

  • Sustainable development in theory and practice

  • Globalisation and local economic transformations

  • Rural development: rural landscape management; communities; planning

  • Food systems; sustainable agriculture; alternative food networks

  • European regional development

Physical /Environmental Geography

Research in Physical /Environmental Geography Postgraduate work at Masters (MA/MSc) and Doctorate (PhD) levels can be undertaken in the Department of Geography and also as linked to the Earth Science and Environmental Science degree programmes.


Research in Geoinformatics spans both human and physical applications of Geography, as well as theoretical and technological developments. Building on a taught MSc, the department has expertise in the development and applications of both Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and Remote Sensing (RS). Other areas of interest include spatial statistical analysis, computer cartography and the technical and operational contexts that support these (for example developments of  spatial information infrastructures and policy). Current projects being undertaken by UCC research students in GIS and RS are in the fields of coastal change and adaptation, detection of changes in vegetation phenological stages, and the use of satellite imagery for supporting understanding of atmospheric changes.

The MRes (CKV31) is a one-year, stand-alone graduate degree based on coursework and generic training, and a major research project.  The degree provides the opportunity for students to develop a deeper understanding of their subject by engaging in a sustained research project, while acquiring skills that will serve them in their career development or in continuing with their fourth-level studies.
Students interested in the MRes in Geography please call to Dr Kieran Hickey, Geography Department, on the 1st Floor.

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Department of Geography


University College Cork, Cork