In May 2014 we hosted the first gathering of Co-Chairs and authors from all three IPCC working groups with over 500 climate scientists, policy makers, industry professionals, students, and members of the public participated in this exciting event. View full size.

South West shops support repair research - Photo © Steven Bond

Steven Bond

Dr Caitlin DeSilvey's Small is Beautiful project is investigating the material cultures associated with the making and mending of everyday objects in the South West of England.

Our research

Ranked in the top 25 in the world1, Geography at the University of Exeter is one of the UK's largest and most dynamic Geography departments. With a base on the University's campuses in both Exeter and Cornwall, we are recognised worldwide for the excellence of our research. In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), the latest assessment of the research quality of universities in the UK, we rank 7th for research2 and 3rd for research power3 in Geography and Environmental Studies, and 4th for research in Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences2. Over 80% of our research was rated as world-leading or internationally excellent4.

Our lively and modern environment encourages fundamental and applied research which influences the very latest studies, understanding and advances in both human and physical geography and environmental studies. We are committed to continuing to pursue world class research across the Geography discipline and to providing outstanding research-informed teaching. This ambition has been underpinned by a programme of continued investment, both in academic and research staff, and in our research environment. Our research environment – that is the quality of the strategy, resources and infrastructure which support research and underpin the academic and student experience – was evaluated in the 2014 REF and 100% of our submission met the standard of world-leading or internationally excellent. Our ambition and continued investment is contributing to a strong, dynamic and thriving research community.

Inter-disciplinary research initiatives

Geography has been at the fore-front of developing two major cross University research initiatives:

  • Climate Change and Sustainable Futures (CCSF): CCSF research has three main themes: predicting climate change and its effects on ecosystems and human and animal health; developing technologies to mitigate these effects; and public attitudes and government policy to climate change.
  • Humanities and Social Science (HASS): the HASS strategy is a focus for Exeter’s world-leading research across the humanities and social sciences, and Geography leads two core themes in Science, Technology and Culture, and Environment and Sustainability.

Geography also contributes to the Environment and Sustainability Institute (ESI) on our Cornwall which has allowed us to expand our expertise in environmental and social change into areas focused explicitly on ecosystem services.

Research groups

Our world-leading research spans the breadth of geography, addressing key global issues and shaping the future. Our inspirational and energetic research groups not only reflect our knowledge and expertise, but also provide a flexible and adaptable environment in which our academic community of staff and students flourish, whether that be on our Cornwall Campus near Falmouth or the Streatham Campus in Exeter. Our research groups are:

Our research degree and facilities

We are committed to providing the very best environment and teaching for students undertaking research degree programmes. By creating a vibrant and sustainable community in which to carry out ground-breaking research, we have tripled the number of postgraduate students in recent years. This commitment to investing in people, as well as facilities, is being strengthened over the coming years – and we want you to be a part of it. Read about our extensive facilities and find out more about opportunities for PhD study on our campuses in Cornwall and Exeter, and our Masters by Research.

Research seminars

Throughout the course of the year we run a series of research seminars in human and physical geography across both the Cornwall and Streatham campuses. These seminars provide students and academics from across the University with a platform to meet and discuss the latest topics in geography from experts from across the country.

You can find out more information about the research seminars which run each term, including the variety of topics, recent and forthcoming speakers.

1 QS World University Rankings by Subject 2014 – Geography and Area Studies
2 Based on intensity-adjusted Grade Point Average
3 Times Higher Education research power ranking
4 Based on a weighted average of research in Geography and Environmental Studies, and Earth Systems and Environmental Science, classified as 4* and 3*