Course Overview

Geography boasts a vibrant graduate community of PhD and M.Litt students.  It offers an exceptional academic environment for graduate research in a highly supportive setting.  Our students hold a range of scholarships and are researching across a diverse array of topics.  Students are provided with high-quality dedicated workspace and access to a choice of facilities and expertise to assist in their research. As part of the doctoral training available on the Structured PhD programme, students avail themselves of a range of interdisciplinary taught modules. The wide menu of available options include modules that:

  • are discipline-specific in that they augment the student’s existing knowledge in their specialist area, for example, in the area of climate change; biogeography; rural, population, or political geography
  • are dissertation-specific in that they supply core skills which are essential to completion of the research project e.g. core research skills and techniques relating to specific data collection and interpretation requirements
  • acknowledge a student’s professional development, e.g., presentation of papers at international conferences
  • enhance a student’s employability through generic training e.g. careers workshops, computer literacy.

Each student will be assigned a primary Supervisor(s) and a Graduate Research Committee made up of experienced researchers to plan their programme of study and to provide on-going support to their research.

Programmes Available

  • Structured PhD (Geography)—full-time 
  • Structured PhD (Geography)—part-time

Applications are made online via the University of Galway Postgraduate Applications System


Learning Outcomes

Entry Requirements

For admission to the PhD, an upper Second Class Honours, Grade 1 minimum (or equivalent international qualification), is required. [Click here to find out how to apply for a PhD]

Who’s Suited to This Course

Current research projects

Visit the Discipline of Geography website for information on projects. 



Current funded research opportunity

Work Placement

Related Student Organisations

Career Opportunities

Find a Supervisor / PhD Project

If you are still looking for a potential supervisor or PhD project or would like to identify the key research interests of our academic staff and researchers, you can use our online portal to help in that search

Research Areas

Visit the Discipline of Geography website for information on projects.

Find a Supervisor / PhD Project

If you are still looking for a potential supervisor or PhD project or would like to identify the key research interests of our academic staff and researchers, you can use our online portal to help in that search.

Researcher Profiles

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€5,750 p.a. (€5,890 including levy) 2024/25

Fees: Non EU

€14,500 p.a. (€14,640 including levy) 2024/25

Extra Information

EU Part time: Year 1 €4,250 p.a. (€4,390 including levy) 2024/25

All students, irrespective of funding, must pay the student levy of €140.

Contact Us

Dr Gordon Bromley,
Director of Graduate,
Studies School of Geography and Archaeology,
University of Galway.
T: + 353 91 492 128

What Our Students Say

Mary Jo

Mary Jo Lavelle |   PhD, Geography

Undertaking a Ph.D. in Geography at NUI, Galway has been an extremely positive and enriching experience. Under the guidance and direction of my supervisor, I have developed and enhanced a broad range of independent research skills and academic competencies. Conducting research in Geography, with its highly supportive academic learning environment and dedicated postgraduate workspaces, has also provided me with numerous exciting opportunities to present my research at international conferences and colloquiums, as well as giving me the opportunity to teach. I would highly recommend a postgraduate research position in Geography for any student aspiring to gain essential skills and competencies for copious career prospects.

Brídín Carroll |   Structured PhD Candidate

The four-year duration of the programme sets out a realistic timeframe in which to complete this work and training, resulting in a less stressful academic research experience. The formalized programme of learning, as part of the Structured PhD, allows for gaps in my own knowledge and skills to be filled, thus giving a better grounding to my research. My experience of NUI Galway’s approach to this programme is that it’s quite flexible, something that I feel is not only necessary but beneficial to students in conducting postgraduate research. Class based modules have resulted in the formation of a community of new social science researchers within the University, providing not only a peer group for feedback but also a ready-made social network. Consistent academic support is ensured through interactions with module conveners, supervisors and the Postgraduate Research Committee, with regular consultation and feedback ensuring students remain focused and on track.