Department of Geography
Welcome to the Department of Geography
The Department of Geography is extremely proud of the work that underpins our REF 2021 result from across our whole community, including technicians, postgraduates, professional support staff, researchers and academics.
The results show consistently excellent performance across outputs, impact and environment. The Department was ranked equal top nationally in Geography and Environmental Studies by overall GPA, reaffirming and further strengthening its place as a global node for geographical research.
Inspiring cities to respond to climate change
We’re playing a pioneering role in helping cities respond to the challenges of climate change.
- More than 54% of our outputs submitted to the REF 2021 assessment have been classed as ‘world leading’, and more than 92% as ‘world leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’
- All of the Department of Geography’s Impact Case Studies were classed as either ‘internationally excellent’ or ‘world-leading’, reflecting the breadth and relevance of our cutting-edge geographical research to policy and practice
- The Department of Geography’s Research Environment received the maximum possible score, reflecting our ambitious, flexible and adventurous research culture.
About the Department
Durham Geography is a global node for geographical research – a destination and conduit for outstanding researchers from various countries and backgrounds. We provide an attractive, supportive, and innovative research environment within which to work, in order to enable our staff to follow their academic interests and passions, challenge existing approaches and understandings, and be experimental and take risks. This environment is enabled by a set of guiding principles:
- To foster a research culture that is welcoming, ambitious, flexible, and adventurous, generating innovation and transformation in our practices, approaches, and outputs;
- To ensure that we maximise our collective research strengths, by enabling individuals at all career stages to realise their potential while also contributing to a culture of collective endeavour;
- To generate high-quality outputs that advance scholarship in and across a range of fields and address societal challenges at multiple scales, nationally and internationally;
- To maximise the societal relevance and impact of our research through engagement with non-academic communities, nationally and internationally; and
- To maximise access to our research through effective communication and the provision of open access to our outputs and data.
Geography REF Impact Case Studies
Geography submitted impact case studies demonstrating a wide range of impact.
Click below to read more about our case studies
Vegetation analytics and management along power line corridors
Building resilience to earthquake and landslide hazard in Nepal
Evidence-based catchment management with SCIMAP
Cities and climate change: UN-Habitat guiding principles
From waste to resource productivity
Our research activity is organised into seven clusters incorporating human and physical geography: Economy & Culture, Geographies of Life, Politics-State-Space, Urban Worlds, Catchments and Rivers, Hazards and Surface Change, and Sea Level, Ice and Climate.
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Beyond the department, our research also extends across the University’s network of research institutes, primarily the Institute of Hazard, Risk, and Resilience, the Durham Energy Institute, and the Institute for Medical Humanities.
Durham Energy InstituteDurham Energy Institute delivers understanding, leadership and solutions for energy decarbonisation and the transition to net-zero.
Institute of Hazard, Risk and ResilienceWe support innovative research and training for use in policy and practice, collaborating directly with communities, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and governments.