With over 200 graduate students from a range of nationalities, professional and disciplinary backgrounds we are one of the largest, most diverse and vibrant graduate schools in the world offering advanced degrees in Geography and the Environment. The inter-disciplinary nature of research and teaching, the interplay between theory and practice, the calibre and enthusiasm of the students and the School's leading position within the University of Oxford combine to produce an intellectually exciting environment. Students without previous experience of geography are encouraged to apply.
Doctor of Philosophy (DPhil) in Geography and the Environment
The Doctor of Philosophy (DPhil, or PhD as it is known in most other universities) in Geography and the Environment is our premier research degree, awarded to candidates who have successfully completed a major piece of original research. The course provides support and an intellectual environment to pursue your own independent research. The DPhil in Geography and the Environment is offered as either a full time 3-4 year degree, or a part-time 6-8 year degree.
We also offer five taught graduate degree programmes:
Biodiversity, Conservation and Management (MSc/MPhil)
To respond to the challenges of conservation in the Anthropocence, there is a need for researchers and practitioners trained in the biological, social and political dimensions of conservation and with the ability to think flexibly and innovatively at the intersection of theory, policy and action.
BCM is one of the leading multi-disciplinary conservation post-graduate degree programmes, exploring the dynamic landscape of environmental, scientific, social, technological and economic drivers of conservation. Through study of case-studies and using a forward-thinking approach, students will be equipped with the conceptual knowledge to think critically about past, present and future biodiversity conservation and management.
Environmental Change and Management (MSc/MPhil)
This degree programme aims to produce students with a broad appreciation of all aspects of the management of people and institutions in relation to environmental change, who are analytical in their approach, and are competent and aware decision makers. Based in the Environmental Change Institute (ECI), the programme emphasises cross-cutting, interdisciplinary approaches to the critical environmental problems of our time.
Nature, Society and Environmental Governance (MSc)
Responding to profound political and environmental challenges requires a new generation of researchers and policy professionals who are able to think in innovative, rigorous and flexible ways across disciplinary and sectoral boundaries. This degree programme equips students with a theoretically sophisticated and empirically grounded understanding of the dynamic relations between environment, society and policy.
Sustainability, Enterprise and the Environment (MSc)
Based in the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment (SSEE), this degree programme aims to address two fundamental challenges of our time: making the transition to a zero-carbon and environmentally sustainable economic model, and simultaneously enabling sustainable development for everyone, poor and rich alike.
Water Science, Policy and Management (MSc/MPhil)
Sustainable water management is an increasingly complex challenge and policy priority facing global society. This degree programme aims to equip the next generation of water professionals with the blend of skills necessary to make a significant contribution to sustainable water management pathways across competing priorities of water for ecosystems, food, energy, economic growth and human consumption.
Oxford 1+1 MBA Programme
Our five MSc programmes are part of the Oxford 1+1 MBA Programme which enables exceptional and motivated students to combine their MSc with the Oxford MBA. The MSc will provide you with the in depth understanding of the complex dynamic between environment, society and markets based on theory and empirical evidence. You will then apply this to your enhanced management skills. There is growing evidence that this 'depth + breadth' is what the world needs, and what employers seek.
Successful candidates for the Oxford 1+1 MBA Programme will need to meet the admissions requirements for both programmes and be admitted separately to both. For further information on the MBA programme and how to apply please see the Saïd Business School website. If you are submitting an application for the Oxford 1+1 MBA Programme you should notify us at firstname.lastname@example.org as well as submitting an application for the relevant MSc course. The MSc application process is explained on the relevant MSc pages of this website.
Geography at Oxford
Geography at Oxford has a long tradition and, we believe, an exciting future in a top-rated department, where new research initiatives and key contributions to scholarship are valued. The origins of the School of Geography as a university department lie in the establishment of the Halford Mackinder Readership in Geography in 1886: the first university position in a British university. Since that date geography has been taught continuously in Oxford, although in the earlier years, the main emphasis was on undergraduate teaching. Graduate studies are now a much more significant part of the School.
Graduate students and academic staff are working within and across the discipline. Research in key areas of environmental, human and physical geography is supported, from studies on migration, through pensions policies, biogeography, climate change, flood risk, desertification, biological and cultural diversity, and many other areas. Research is currently organised into several distinct research clusters, which also build synergies between themes by addressing common, cross-cutting themes such as governance, measurement and mobilities. For more details please see our research webpages and our staff profiles.
Our Teaching Approach
The emphasis in Oxford is on independent learning accomplished through research, writing and discussion. Students are expected to take responsibility for planning their own time and study programme and to ensure that the requisite work is accomplished. MSc courses offer a framework of core lectures, field courses, electives, and workshops and symposia for learning. Our courses are not standardised; individual classes reflect the research interests of individual faculty and often mix seminar-style teaching with discussions or practical exercises. We make every effort to treat each student as an individual and to help students customise their own learning. A common comment of students is that to get the most from studying in Oxford you need to be a self-starter and willing to explore opportunities in the wider University, which are exceedingly rich. This is particularly so for DPhil and MPhil students.
Oxford is famous for its small group tutorials. This is a characteristic of undergraduate teaching. Postgraduate teaching is provided on a one-to-one basis for DPhil and MPhil students (in the form of supervisory meetings) and in classes for MSc teaching. Electives are taught in smaller groups of normally no more than eight. Most of the rest of the MSc teaching is in class sizes of 20-30 (depending on the programme). Integrated classes (e.g. research skills) are taught in larger groups across the four MSc programmes.
For more information on studying in Oxford please visit the University of Oxford's Graduate Admissions website.