School of Geography

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Postgraduate research fees and funding

A PhD is a significant financial investment, but it is one that we believe brings an invaluable personal experience and a wealth of professional opportunities on your graduation. 

There are a range of different sources of funding available for PhD students at QMUL. Finding funding is an important element of the application process and we recommend that you begin to explore your funding options as early as possible. 

As a result of the quality of our graduate training and supervision, the School of Geography has been awarded NERC recognition, is part of the ESRC-funded London Interdisciplinary Social Science Doctoral Training Partnership (LISS DTP) and is an associate member of the AHRC-funded London Arts & Humanities Partnership.

We invite applications for fully funded PhD studentships commencing in September 2018. The studentships are for applicants wishing to undertake a PhD in Human Geography or Physical Geography/Environmental Science, in a research area agreed in consultation with the prospective supervisor. Studentships may be funded from one of the sources below, dependent upon eligibility and proposed topic. Candidates are strongly advised to make contact with the School and a potential supervisor to discuss these opportunities.

Funding your PhD

Mobile People: Mobility as a way of life

Queen Mary’s new major PhD programme ‘Mobile People: Mobility as a way of life’ is supported by the Leverhulme Trust and is led by the School of Politics and International Relations.

QMUL-LTDS is a research training programme that draws strength from both the interdisciplinary approaches of QMUL in social sciences and humanities and its extraordinary location in London’s East End as a historical hub of peoples, languages, and cultures from around the world. QMUL-LTDS projects will address the transformative effects of mobile people on the social and political institutions they inhabit and construct. How mobile people are creating new worlds, not solely as host versus guest, mobile versus immobile relations, but in ways which fundamentally challenge social and political institutions of citizenship, democracy, nationality and security is the innovative focus of this programme. 

As QMUL-LTDS is designed as an interdisciplinary programme, we encourage applicants to identify two potential supervisors from two different Schools (disciplines) including the School of Geography. An indicative list of potential supervisors participating in the programme is available via the following link: Supervisor and Expertise 2018 [PDF 50KB]

For details of potential supervisors and broad topics offered by the School of Geography, please see below: 
  • Alison Blunt is Professor of Geography at QMUL. Her research interests include home, migration and the city (including Leverhulme Trust funded research on ‘Diaspora Cities: imagining Calcutta in London, Toronto and Jerusalem’ and current research with Casper Laing Ebbensgaard and Olivia Sheringham on urban dwelling and mobility in east London), mobility and home-making for refugees, particularly refugee children (funded by the QMUL CritiQues Fund), creative practice, migration and mobility (including the ‘Globe’ project with artist Janetka Platun, Olivia Sheringham and Caoimhe MacAvinchey), and mobility, migration, heritage and home (including collaborative work with the Geffrye Museum and Eastside Community Heritage on these themes). Alison is co-director of the Centre for Studies of Home (a partnership between QMUL and the Geffrye Museum of the Home) and has led a range of research and public engagement projects on these themes.
  • Kavita Datta is Professor in Development Geography and Director of the Centre for the Study of Migration. She also serves on the Steering Committee of the QMUL-LDS programme. With research interests in transnational migration, finance, gender and the digital, she is keen to supervise projects exploring migrants’ financial practices relating to remittances, debt, philanthropy and inheritances; the shift to mobile money and digital payment systems and the financialisation and professionalization of key intermediaries including Money Transfer Agencies. She is also exploring the intersections between masculinities, displacement and the performing arts. Kavita’s current projects are funded by the Leverhulme Tust, ESRC and AHRC. 
  • William Monteith is Lecturer of Human Geography and has interest in displacement economies. According to UNHCR, the number of forcibly displaced persons in the world is the highest it has been since World War II. Will’s interest is in the livelihood activities pursued by displaced populations in urban areas, and their relationship with host states and societies. He would be interested in supervising projects at the nexus of migration and work, including but not limited to issues of displacement and (urban) livelihoods.
  • Alastair Owens is Professor of Historical Geography at QMUL and is interested in the historical geographies of mobility in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and thus in projects that might move us beyond the ‘presentist’ focus of much current mobilities scholarship. He would be interested in supervising projects that explore everyday past mobilities at a range of different geographical and temporal scales, using novel and innovative approaches. In previous work he has examined the everyday mobilities of poor and marginal groups in the nineteenth century, the material culture of mobile lives, and experiences of those whose childhoods have been marked by transience, uncertainty and frequent movement. He would be interested in supervising projects that develop or extend these and related themes.
  • Simon Reid-Henry is Reader in Geography and his research covers geographies of development, security, humanitarianism, global health and biomedical science. He has written about the geopolitics of the EU border and, more recently, on issues of citizenship and welfare in liberal democratic polities. Many of these interests come together under the rubric of ‘vital geographies’. He would be interested in supervising projects that are open to examining the historical and political dynamics of mobile personhood, particularly where these are focused in one of his core areas of research, and where the emphasis is on developing innovative empirical and theoretical approaches. Recent work has been funded by the Leverhulme Trust and the Research Council of Norway. 
To apply, please visit the ‘How to apply’ page, and also consult this page for specific requirements for the QMUL-LTDS scheme. Deadline for applications is 5pm on 9 March 2018. We may accept applications after this date. Only candidates who have Home/EU residency status will be considered.

Please note: when applying, you will need to specifically address the following questions in your research proposal:

  • outline the research questions in reference to QMUL-LTDS research framework, and theories, methods, and data relevant to the research question. Applicants are required to identify a thematic area that their proposed research roughly corresponds and an institutional dimension to which it speaks;
  • indicate two potential supervisors from two different Schools (disciplines) including the School of Geography. Applicants are encouraged to contact their potential supervisors in advance of making a formal application.

The School is a member of the London Interdisciplinary Social Science Doctoral Training Partnership (LISS-DTP), which is an interdisciplinary doctoral training partnership involving QMUL, King's College London and Imperial College London. As a member of LISS-DTP we are able to offer 1+3 (one year MRes followed by three year PhD) and +3 (three year PhD) studentships, for projects relating to three thematic pathways which align with the research expertise of our academic staff: Health, Biopolitics and Social Inequality, International Development, Conflict & Human Security, and Urbanisation, Social Change & Transformation. Successful applicants will be hosted within the School of Geography and will have access to training opportunities across the LISS-DTP. Eligibility is based on UK residency, although non-UK resident EU students may apply for a fees only award. 

Applications for an ESRC studentship must be made to the LISS-DTP by 5pm on 31 January 2018. Please follow the instructions on how to apply.

Transmitting In/equality Across Borders: Shifting Inheritance Practices and Outcomes among Indian Migrants in London

  • Academic leadProfessor Kavita Datta, QMUL
  • Co-supervisorProfessor Alastair Owens, QMUL 
  • Partner: Dr Omar Khan, Runnymede Trust
  • Funding: LISS-DTP ESRC Collaborative Studentship, 1+3 (MRes Global Development Futures and 3-year PhD) OR 3-year PhD (if the candidate has relevant masters degree)
  • Application deadline: 27 April 2018

Project description:

Investigations of migrants’ inheritance practices and outcomes are limited in multi-disciplinary migration and inheritance studies. This omission is surprising given that more than a billion people are migrants, 244 million of whom are international migrants. Situated within conceptual and empirical lacunae, this project aims to interrogate the migration-development nexus. At its core is a concern to make visible the extent and patterns of transnational inheritance among migrant men and women, and examine how these are mediated by gender and class; interrogate the formal and informal mechanisms through which migrants’ inheritance rights are negotiated, maintained and translated and assess the extent to which inherited assets translate into economic security and productivity. Focusing on skilled and semi-skilled Indian migrants living in London, a mixed method research strategy will be deployed, entailing a questionnaire survey with migrants; qualitative interviews with migrant men and women as well as wealth and asset managers, solicitors and other financial advisors who mediate migrant inheritance, as well as an analysis of migrants’ wills. Collaborative outputs beyond the thesis will include Briefing Reports and a workshop bringing together academics, policy makers and industry practitioners.

For further details on the project please see: ESRC CASE Transmitting In/Equality Across Borders project - full details [PDF 255KB]. Applications must be made through the LISS DTP website. Please do not hesitate to contact the academic lead Professor Kavita Datta to discuss the details of the proposed project. 

To be considered, all applications must include:

These materials should be sent BOTH to and the academic lead indicated for the project.

Students applying for CASE studentships must meet the ESRC eligibility guidelines in terms of UK/EU residency status and academic qualifications, specifically core social science research methods training that must already have been undertaken (for +3 awards) or will be undertaken at Masters level (for 1+3 awards).

Please see the LISS DTP website for further details.

The School invites applications for QMUL Principal’s Postgraduate Research Studentships for self-defined projects relating to any of the School’s human or physical geography research themes. Applications are also invited for projects that might involve collaboration with other Schools within QMUL. These studentships are open to UK, EU and international students and cover fees and maintenance at the Research Council rate for London (currently £16,553).

The deadline for submitting application is 5pm on 31 January 2018. See this page for details of the application process.

The School invites applications for Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) PhD studentships through the London NERC Doctoral Training Partnership, for projects relating to the School’s Earth Surface Science research theme. A collaboration between QMUL and other world-leading research centres in London, the DTP is offering four-year studentships across a suite of research areas. See details on NERC eligibility. For more information, including examples of projects available, see Please do not hesitate to contact the named QMUL supervisor to discuss the details of the proposed projects. 

Applications must be made through the DTP website by 11am on Monday 8 January 2018.

Students who are graduates of QMUL and are not in receipt of a full scholarship, may be eligible for £1,000 off their postgraduate degree tuition fees. For eligibility criteria, how to apply and further information, visit the Queen Mary Alumni Loyalty Award web page.

Funding deadlines 

It is important to be aware that different funding bodies and organisations will have different deadlines: the majority of these will fall inbetween November and February prior to the commencement of your PhD project in September.

See above for details on deadlines and the application process.

Tuition fees and loans

QMUL's tuition fees vary depending on whether you are assessed as a Home/EU or overseas student

The home/EU tuition fees for 2018-19 entry are as folllows: 

  • £4,260 for full-time research degrees
  • £2,130 for part-time research degrees

The international tuition fees for 2018-19 entry can be downloaded here: PhD Tuition Fees 2018-9 [PDF 361KB] 

The UK government has also announced plans to provide loans of up to £25,000 for English-resident UK nationals for 2018. Read more about our PhD loans.

More information

  • Further funding opportunities do come up throughout the year so please keep checking the website regularly for updates.
  • The School of Geography primarily accepts students on to our PhD programmes who have identified sources of funding; however, we will consider applications from self-funded students in exceptional circumstances, including applications from international self-funded students. Further information is available here.
  • Our Advice and Counselling Service have produced a detailed online funding guide for postgraduate students. This guide includes everything you need to know about money when applying for and planning your postgraduate studies.
  • For general enquiries, please contact:
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