Human Geography MSc

The University of Nottingham - Faculty of Social Sciences

Program Description

Human Geography MSc

The University of Nottingham - Faculty of Social Sciences

Human Geography MSc

The MSc Human Geography is an ESRC-recognised Masters course that covers current themes in critical human geography and research methods for social scientists.

It is targeted at students contemplating pursuing PhD research or a research-related career.

As such, the course fulfils the requirements of year one in the ESRC's 1+3 postgraduate training model.

This programme offers training in a range of research techniques and methods as well as transferable, employment-related skills. The objective is to provide you with the necessary skills to begin doctoral research while also preparing you for a career beyond higher education.

As a student in the School of Geography, you will become part of a lively research culture, which will expose you to work taking place at the cutting edge of human geography.

You will be encouraged to attend school research seminars at which you will be exposed to advanced research by external speakers, while the school's research workshop series will allow you to engage with research-in-progress presented by staff within the school, and by current research postgraduates.

Key facts

  • This course is recognised by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) as providing 1+3 Research Training leading on to PhD study.
  • The School of Geography is one of the strongest both nationally and internationally – this is reflected in its position in the UK's top five geography departments in The Times Good University Guide.
  • 73% of our research was rated as 'world leading' or 'internationally excellent' in the Research Excellence Framework 2014 and we were rated 'excellent' in the Higher Education Funding Council for England assessment of teaching provision.

Course details

The MSc Human Geography balances research training in human geography with formal research training in generic social science provided by a number of Schools in the Faculty of Business, Law and Social Sciences.

The combination of modules in Semester 1 provide an introduction to key issues of theory and practice in human geography, together with a general grounding in research methods in the social sciences, with particular reference to quantitative and qualitative research methods.

The modules in Semester 2 broaden the philosophical and conceptual themes addressed in Semester 1 into a wider social science remit, while applying quantitative and qualitative social scientific research techniques to the specific human geographical context.

You will also attend a variety of generic research training courses provided by the University's Graduate School, which will equip you with basic research skills.

The third semester is devoted to the preparation of a 15,000-word dissertation, based on original research.

You will have a specialist dissertation supervisor who will be an active researcher in their field and who can engage you in terms of your specialist research question.

The MSc Human Geography can be completed during one year of full-time study or two years part-time.

The first part of the MSc course is structured around eight formal modules consisting of lectures, seminars and practical demonstrations.

Four modules are taken in the first semester and four in the second. Part-time students take eight modules over a two-year period - normally two modules per semester.

You will complete your 60-credit dissertation over the summer period towards the end of the course.

The dissertation is an extensive piece of independent research in a subject of your choice. You will benefit from the support of a dedicated project supervisor, as well as the generic research skills training offered by the University’s Graduate School.


In Semester 1 you will take the following core modules:

  • Critical Human Geography
  • Research Methods
  • Philosophy of Research - Social Science

In Semester 2 you will take core modules in:

  • Research Design B
  • Research Methods

In addition, you will be able to take optional modules worth up to 30 credits. The modules should normally be taken in Semester 2.

Please note that all module details are subject to change.


As this course is recognised by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) as providing 1+3 Research Training, it is particularly relevant if you wish to pursue research at PhD level and provides an excellent stepping stone into a research career.

Our postgraduate students also move into an extraordinarily wide range of careers following their time in the School.

Conducting postgraduate work in the School of Geography fosters many vital skills and may give you a head start in the job market. Studying at this level allows you to develop qualities of self-discipline and self-motivation that are essential to employment in a wide range of different fields.

A postgraduate qualification from an institution like The University of Nottingham shows potential employers that you are an intelligent, hard-working individual who is bright and flexible enough to undertake any form of specific career training.

Entry requirements:2.1(Upper 2nd class hons degree or international equivalent)

Including:Any Social Science subject

Excluding:Science subjects

IELTS:6.5 (no less than 6.0 in any element)

Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic:62 (minimum 55)

This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated August 14, 2015
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Aug. 2016
1 - 2 years
Part time
Full time
Start date Aug. 2016
United Kingdom Nottingham, England
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Duration 1 - 2 years
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