Rated second in the UK and 17th in the world for the impact of our research, the Environment department at the University of York offers an outstanding, dynamic and multidisciplinary environment in which to carry out research. Our range of flexible research programmes are targeted at individuals with a background in environmental science or a related field wishing to pursue a senior research post in the public or private sectors, or a career in academia.
Our research expertise spans the whole spectrum of environmental science and is aligned to three main themes
Applications are invited from candidates wishing to work in all the major areas of interest covered by these broad themes. Research interests of individual staff members are outlined in the dedicated section of the website, as well as on their faculty profiles, many of which also list recently supervised research degree topics.
Prospective students are encouraged to contact potential advisors early on. They will be happy to give you advice on the feasibility of your research ideas and offer feedback on a draft proposal. For each academic year, we also offer a number of funded studentships to exceptional applicants. Please see the funding section for more information.
The Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI), a leading global environmental policy institute, has one of its largest centres embedded within the Environment Department. This unique arrangement allows postgraduate researchers to gain a research degree from the department, whilst simultaneously benefiting from SEI’s strong links to global policy makers such as UNEP and the World Health Organisation, and international connections with other SEI centres in Stockholm, Boston, Bangkok, Dar es Salaam and Oxford.
We offer the following research options
The Environment Department also offers an MSc by Research degree, where students follow an approved programme of research supervised by a member of academic staff. The thesis is assessed solely on the basis of that research by two individually appointed examiners. An MSc by Research normally takes 1 year to complete.
The PhD is a higher degree awarded for a thesis presenting original research that makes a publishable contribution to knowledge or understanding. A student will be working on their own research project, working closely with their academic supervisor and with the support of other postgraduate students, postdoctoral researchers and staff in their research group.
The PhD requires a dissertation of up to 80,000 words, to be submitted by full-time students after a period of three years' study (or six years for part-time students), with a further maximum of one year allowable for writing up.
The MPhil is a research degree in its own right, and requires a dissertation of up to 60,000 words to be submitted by full-time students after a period of two years' study (by part-time students after four years).
MPhil/PhD in Environmental Economics and Environmental Management
The MPhil and PhD programmes in Environmental Economics and Environmental Management offer interdisciplinary research across economic and ecological sciences, concentrated in the following key areas:
MPhil/PhD in Environmental Science
Research in this programme is focussed on:
MPhil/PhD in Environmental Geography
Research in this programme is focussed on:
Before applying to one of our postgraduate degrees, you are encouraged to peruse our faculty profiles, research interests and list of current PhD projects to identify the areas you are most interested and specific members of staff with whom you would like to work. Please feel free to contact any potential supervisors directly before making your application.
To apply for admission as a graduate student (PhD, MPhil or MSc by research) you will need to complete the online application form. Although applications are accepted at any stage of the year, you are encouraged to apply in January/February of the year in which you wish to gain admission if you are seeking a Research Council-funded place. Overseas candidates should apply as early as possible before the start of the academic year in which they wish to gain admission. You should also be aware of any deadlines for other funding for which you may be applying.
For all applications please remember to include:
If you do not have all the necessary documentation, for example you may be waiting for your degree certificate, you can still submit your application and then upload further documents later.
The Environment Department and the University of York offer several studentships to support research leading to a PhD. Your nationality and residency will determine your specific eligibility. Please see the funding section for more information.
We prefer applicants to MPhil/PhD programme to have a relevant Masters degree. Those without should consider first taking one of the Department’s taught MScs, a pass in any of which would satisfy minimum entry requirements.
Applicants whose first language is not English will need to ensure that they meet the University’s minimum language requirements, which are
Pre-sessional English language programmes
Applicants may already have an IELTS result of 6.0 but require 6.5 overall, or have met the overall language requirement but not one of the skill components (where these are specified, e.g. Writing 6.0 or 6.5). In this situation, applicants can take a pre-sessional programme with the Centre for English Language Teaching (CELT). These programmes provide a route into a postgraduate course without the need for an IELTS/TOEFL/Pearson exam retake. Please note that places are limited and the English pre-sessional programmes offered by CELT are extremely popular. Applications can be made via your Application Tracker. Please apply early to avoid disappointment.
Please see the university’s English language requirements pages for more information.
As a research student in the Environment department, you can expect
The Environment Department and the University have several studentships available to support research leading to a PhD. We are part of the White Rose Social Science Doctoral Training Centre (WR DTC) funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), which provides both studentships and a range of research and training-related activities in the field of social sciences. For more information on departmental scholarships and other postgraduate funding opportunities, please see the following pages