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Geography and Environmental Sciences

This department encompasses all of our work in cold and paleo environments, social and cultural geographies, disasters, development and resilience, geochemistry, ecology, climate and conservation, the Centre for International Development, and the Northumbrian Environmental Training and Research Centre.

Our undergraduate degrees in Geography and Environmental Sciences foster a strong foundation, coupling theoretical insights with practical applications. For those aiming to delve deeper, our postgraduate degrees in Geography and Environmental Sciences provide specialized expertise, enabling advanced research and impactful contributions. With a commitment to excellence, industry connections, and state-of-the-art resources, Northumbria University empowers students to excel in these crucial fields and make a meaningful difference in the world.

Department of Geography and Environmental Sciences on Vimeo

  • We are 2nd in the UK for research power in Geography and Environmental Studies, with over 90% of our research outputs, and 100% of our research impact rated as world-leading or internationally excellent (UK Research Excellence Framework, 2021)
  • 100% of students studying Human Geography at Northumbria believed that their course had the right balance of direct and indirect study, felt free to express their ideas, opinions, and beliefs and believed their course challenged them to achieve their best work (NSS, 2023).
  • We are ranked 30th in the UK for Geography and 12th for Environmental Science Departments (The Guardian Universities Rankings, 2024)
  • Over 75% of our students go onto graduate careers or further study, placing us 21st in the UK for positive destinations (Times Higher University Subject Rankings, 2022)
  • Our Geography and Environmental Sciences programmes were amongst the first in the country to be accredited by the Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers). Our professional body accreditations include the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM), and Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH).
  • We undertake international cutting-edge research, with global projects funded by, or in collaboration with, the UK Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF), Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC), the European Union (EU), the Leverhulme Trust, Environment Canada, British Antarctic Survey (BAS), Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and US National Science Foundation (NSF). Our research has improved community health following disasters, supported the mainstreaming of green infrastructure in the UK, and has helped improve social justice for asylum seekers in North-East England. Our staff have presented their research findings before both the UK and EU Parliaments.
  • We have collaborative links with over 50 world-leading global institutions, including Max Planck Institute (Germany), ETH-Zurich (Switzerland), NASA (USA), Delft and Utrecht Universities and University of Cambridge (UK). We are involved in large international consortia, such as the £20 million research collaboration between the UK and USA to gather data on the Thwaites Glacier, the NERC funded Super-Warm Early Eocene Temperatures (SWEET) research consortium, the International Ocean Drilling Programme (IODP, involving 25 nations), NSF (USA) POLARIS Project, International Network for Alpine Research Catchment Hydrology (INARCH) and the European Space Agency (ESA) Dragon 4 Consortium.
  • We have very strong collaborative links with universities and institutions in global south. Some of our research projects deal with pressing issues of international development, environment and sustainability, environmental justice and public health.
  • We provide training on a range of specialist laboratory and field equipment, such as isotope ratio mass spectrometer (one of only ~20 such facilities in the world), C/N analyser, ICP-OES Spectrometer, HF- palynology lab and microscopes suite (including Fluorescence and SEM), ground-penetrating radar, eddy covariance systems, and terrestrial laser scanning (TLS). Our High-Performance Computing (HPC) facility supports Earth system modelling and ‘big data’ analysis. Facilities also include recording and transcription facilities for social science research, and social spaces for our student community.
  • We are a leading provider of National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health (NEBOSH) training in health and safety and the Institute for Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA) Foundation Certificate in Environmental Management and Climate Change and Carbon Footprinting CPD courses.
  • Our Cold and Paleo Environment group carries out ground-breaking and internationally leading research in the areas of ‘Ice, Snow and Permafrost’ and ‘Past Climate and Environment’, with work recently carried out in Antarctica, Ecuador, Canada, Chile, the Himalayas and the European Alps.
  • Launched the Disaster and Development Network (DDN) in 2004, alongside our MSc in Disaster Management and Sustainable Development – the first programme of its type anywhere in the world. Postgraduate students have gone on to roles in government and local authorities in countries across the world, as elected MPs, heads of government departments and with non-governmental organisations such as Oxfam, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and World Vision.


Geography and Environmental Sciences Courses

With a wide range of undergraduate, postgraduate and distance learning Geography and Environmental Sciences courses, whatever you want to get out of university, let us show you why you want Northumbria University, Newcastle!


Geography and Environmental Sciences Staff

Our Geography and Environmental Sciences students learn from the best – inspirational academic staff with a genuine passion for their subject. Our courses are at the forefront of current knowledge and practice and are shaped by world-leading and internationally excellent research.

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Undergraduate Open Day Events

Looking to study in with us in September? Our Undergraduate Open Day Events are the perfect opportunity for you to find out as much as you can about our wide range of courses and world-class facilities.

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