Practising Human Geography

The MA in Practicing Human Geography provides advanced training in research practices and cutting-edge theories and methodologies that will equip students for careers in government agencies, public bodies, research institutes, private consultancies, or further doctoral-level research. Students will train alongside other social science postgraduates at Aberystwyth University in qualitative and quantitative methods, take range of specialist modules in Geography, and participate in residential and day workshops on theory and method in human geography. Students can expect to be part of an energetic postgraduate community and participate in the Department’s active and inclusive research culture.

Typical Entry Requirements

Entry Requirements 2:2 Bachelors (Honours) degree in a relevant subject area, or equivalent.  Non-graduates will be considered individually based on relevant work experience.

English Language Requirements IELTS 7.0 with minimum 6.0 in each component, or equivalent

Other Requirements Applicants are encouraged to submit an up-to-date CV as part of their application.

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Key Facts

We invite applications from students from a range of related disciplinary backgrounds including geologists, geographers and environmental Earth scientists.

Applications can be made online by visiting our Postgraduate Application Portal, or can be made offline (by post or email). Please see our How to Apply page for more detail. 


One year full-time. The academic year is divided into three semesters, but this course is administered in two parts: Part One runs from October to May; Part Two runs from June to September. 

Contact Time:

Approximately 10-14 hours a week in the first two semesters. During semester three you will arrange your level of contact time with your assigned supervisor.

Assessment: Part 1 of the course is delivered and assessed through lectures, tutorials and essay projects. In Part 2, the successful acceptance of your dissertation (between 13,000 and 15,000 words) leads to the award of an MA.

Course Fees:

Please see the tuition fee pages for current tuition fees. Please note that all fees are subject to an annual increase.


Funding opportunities may be available, please check our funding calculator for details.


For more information on the course, please contact Dr Gareth Hoskins at or +44 (0) 1970 622630.

For more information on the application process or entrance requirements, please contact the Postgraduate Admissions Office at or +44 (0) 1970 622023. 

Course Overview

Why study MA Practising Human Geography at Aberystwyth University?

  • Study at a research-led institution and in a multi-national community
  •  The Department of Geography and Earth Science is top in Wales, with 78% of its research classified as either ‘world leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ -  REF 2014
  •  Aberystwyth DGES is in the top ten of UK Geography departments with regards to research power, which provides a measure of the quality of research, as well as of the number of staff undertaking research within the department
  • Our Human Geography receives funding from the Economic and Social Science and Arts and Humanities Research Councils, as well as the Leverhulme Trust and the European Research Council
  •  This course functions as an ESRC-recognised pathway within the Wales Doctoral Training Partnership giving eligibility for ESRC PhD funding
  •  Opportunity to attend two major research groups (the Cultural and Historical Geography Research Group and the New Political Geographies Research Group) which are comprised of experts who regularly contribute to international debates
  •  This course provides innovative and unique cross-institution training with a Theory School and Methods School delivered jointly with the Geography departments at Cardiff and Swansea University
  •  Opportunity to network and increase your professional exposure through the department’s regular guest seminars and the residential theory school (held in conjunction with Cardiff and Swansea Universities)


Please note: The modules listed below are those currently intended for delivery during the next academic year and may be subject to change. They are included here to give an indication of how the course is structured.

* Also available partially or entirely through the medium of Welsh



Students graduating from this course will be highly competent contributors to any work relating to:

  • policy and governance
  • territory
  • landscape
  • sustainability
  • research design
  • data handling

DGES graduates have taken a wide variety of career pathways:

  • Environmental consultancy
  •  Oil and gas exploration and development
  • Research work alongside prominent institutions/initiatives - REDD+ initiative, Norwegian Space Centre
  • Policy advocacy work in the energy sector
  •  Management
  • Commercial & Quality Assurance
  •  Strategic Research Consultancy
  • Marketing and Strategy Development
  •  Planning roles across various market sectors
  • Local and national government
  •  Civil Service
  • International, investment, and private banking
  • Education


Throughout this programme you will enhance your:

  • Presentation and communication skills
  •  Research and study skills
  • Critical analysis and evaluation
  •  Project management and problem solving skills
  • Subject-specific knowledge, skills and competencies 
  • Ability to structure and communicate complex ideas efficiently
  • Ability to work independently and in a team setting
  • Professional work ethic 

Course Content

How will I learn?

This course can be studied either one year full-time or two years part-time. The academic year is divided into three semesters. When studied full time, in the first two semesters, students will complete the taught part of the course, which is delivered through a combination of seminars, lecture-seminars and tutorials. Students undertaking this course will also attend a residential theory school, the DGES seminar series Dialogues in Human Geography, and guest lectures offered in the Department.  

During the final semester, students will arrange their level of contact time with their assigned dissertation supervisor.

What will I learn?

In the first two semesters, you will undertake a number of core and optional modules, totalling 120 credits. Through these modules you will develop an awareness of key themes and policy debates in Human Geography, the ethical, moral and legal perspectives on the subject, and the practical, philosophical, epistemological and theoretical approaches to Human Geography. You will also develop research skills by undertaking research training modules.

In the final semester, you will apply your learning in the individual dissertation worth an additional 60 credits.

How will I be assessed?

Depending on the modules chosen, assessment is via a combination of essays, reports, presentations, research proposals, reflective journals, research critiques, literature reviews, policy recommendations, and seminar discussion. The optional Postgraduate Work Experience module is assessed by a reflective essay, a project report and a journal. 

Successful submission of the master’s dissertation at the end of the academic year leads to the award of an MA.