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MPhil & PhD Degrees in Geography

This programme provides high quality research training in multi-disciplinary geographical research methods, to facilitate candidates to conduct research in areas of regional importance and international significance, and to produce graduates capable of developing and leading their own research projects, either in academia or industry. The programme allows for study in areas of Geography staff interests and expertise. The MPhil/PhD programme aims to improve the research potential of both the individual candidate and that of the Department. Candidates admitted to the MPhil/PhD programme in Geography will join a rapidly expanding and dynamic, interdisciplinary research community. The programme is used in the investigation of regional problems of geographic nature to the benefit of the region.



Holders of undergraduate degrees in Geography or other related disciplines will be eligible for admission. Normally, the minimum requirement for admission to the MPhil programme is at least an Upper Second Class Honours degree (minimum GPA of 3.0 or equivalent). For entry to the PhD programme, candidates with any of the following qualifications will  normally be eligible for admission:


  1. Holders of MPhil degrees awarded from recognised Institutions in Geography or related disciplines;
  2. Applicants with taught MSc degrees in Geography or related disciplines with GPA of B+ from recognised Institutions, provided that the MSc programme included a research project worth at least 6 credit hours;
  3. Students registered in MPhil programmes of the UWI in Geography who have met the requirements for upgrade in accordance with stipulated guidelines by the Board for Graduate Studies and Research;
  4. Applicants possessing such other qualifications and experience as the Board for Graduate Studies and Research may deem acceptable.


NOTE: Acceptance of applicants DIRECTLY INTO THE PHD PROGRAMME must be approved by the Board for Graduate Studies and Research in accordance with Regulations for Graduate Diplomas and Degrees.


Previous experience in research (e.g. through an undergraduate or MSc project) will be given special consideration in assessing a candidate's suitability for admission. Candidates are expected to develop a research proposal as part of their application, in conjunction with academic staff members in Geography. Applicants with weak undergraduate qualifications or limited exposure to the subject matter in the area of interest for specialisation, may, under exceptional circumstances, be required to pursue and complete qualifying courses recommended by Head of Department as a pre-requisite to admission.


Admission to the Geography MPhil/PhD programme may be subject to an interview by a panel to include the potential supervisor(s) and Head of Department. Only candidates with both the academic ability and appropriate aptitude will be admitted to the programme. Where there is more than one suitable applicant for a particular project, admission will be granted on a competitive basis to the best candidate only.



MPhil students are required to complete a total of at least 6 credits, whereas PhD students should complete at least 9 credits of courses. Appropriate courses for the intended area of research will be assigned by the Head of Department in liaison with the supervisory team. All students are normally required to complete the following course during their first year of study:





GEOG 6000

Philosophy and Practice of Research in Geography



PLUS at least 3 additional approved credits for MPhil students OR 6 additional approved credits for PhD students. Candidates must pass the appropriate examinations for assigned courses before being allowed to submit a thesis.



In addition, as per Faculty regulations, all postgraduate research students are required to present at least two seminars at the MPhil level and three seminars at the PhD level. These seminars are assessed components of the programme, and candidates are required to formally register. The course codes for such courses are as follows:





GRSM 7000

Graduate Seminar – MPhil

GRSM 7001

Graduate Research Seminar I (mandatory – no credit)

GSRM 7002

Graduate Research Seminar II (mandatory – no credit)






GRSM 8000

Graduate Seminar – PhD

GRSM 8001

Graduate Research Seminar I (mandatory – no credit)

GSRM 8002

Graduate Research Seminar II (mandatory – no credit)

GSRM 8003

Graduate Research Seminar III (mandatory – no credit)





MPhil candidates may be upgraded to PhD under certain conditions. Before being permitted to progress from MPhil to PhD, candidates will be required to submit a report of their research to date which includes a detailed literature review and a plan of research for the PhD. This report will be reviewed and the candidate examined in accordance with relevant University regulations by a panel comprising of one internal examiner and the candidate’s supervisor(s). Those candidates who do not meet the requirements for progression to PhD will be invited to submit an MPhil thesis for examination.



Both the MPhil and PhD degrees are examined by thesis and in the case of the PhD also by public oral examination (thesis defence) as per the University regulations. MPhil and PhD candidates must register for and complete either GEOG 7010 (MPhil Thesis – Geography) or GEOG 8010 (PhD Thesis – Geography), respectively. The appropriate degree will be awarded upon completion of the programme which includes the successful completion of all the required courses, seminars and the submission and successful defence of the MPhil/ PhD thesis.


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