The Department of Geography and Geology is a dynamic hub of interdisciplinary research and teaching encompassing the scientific study of the natural world and the concerns of the humanities and social sciences. It provides students with a broad-based, research-led education. It is one of the few academic Departments that synthesize ideas and information from the geosciences, environment, economics, politics, society, and culture. Our research and teaching adopt a holistic approach to understanding our complex and diverse planet in a world characterized by rapid environmental change.
Geography is an important and dynamic discipline that encompasses the concerns of the humanities and social sciences and the scientific study of the natural world. It provides those who study it with a broad-based education about the world and is one of the few academic subjects to synthesize ideas and information from the environment, economics, politics, society, and culture. In a world increasingly characterized by global change (climate warming and other environmental changes, and economic and cultural globalization), the importance of a solid, broad-based geographical education to an understanding of our complex, interrelated planet has never been greater.
Our undergraduate programmes encompass the study of the earth, the earth’s places and environments, with a particular focus on the relationships between people and their environments. They span the humanities and social sciences, which seek to understand the dynamics of societies, cultures and human behaviour, and geoscientific disciplines, which seek to explain the origin and development of physical landscapes as well as the dynamics of environmental processes. The Caribbean region is particularly sensitive to environmental and climatic change and an increasing population density is straining available natural resources.
Our undergraduate programmes aim to address these complex interactions by adopting an interdisciplinary approach, designed with an emphasis on balancing societies’ needs to explore and exploit natural resources with the need for sustainable development and sound environmental management.
The Department offers programmes leading to the award of M.Phil. and Ph.D. degrees in Geography and Geology. Candidates are required to have either a First or Second Class Honours degree in Geography or Geology from the University of the West Indies or a similar approved institution. Candidates will be required to pass several taught courses which will be determined by the Department.
M.Phil. and Ph.D. degrees are awarded by thesis. Unless a candidate already possesses a Master's Degree, registration for an M.Phil. is normal in the first instance. Upgrade to a Ph.D. programme can take place within 3 years.
The minimum period of registration for the M.Phil. is two years full-time, and the maximum is three years full-time. It consists largely of work on a research topic which is examined by a thesis. One or more Supervisors for the proposed research must be available and adequate facilities for the particular work must exist.
The minimum period for the Ph.D. is three years full-time, and the maximum is five years full-time and is examined by thesis and viva. A Ph.D. thesis should make a distinct contribution to the content and advancement of its subject and show evidence of originality, either through the discovery of new facts or by the exercise of independent critical power. It should meet the professional standards of the discipline, be satisfactory as regards literary presentation and should be suitable for publication.
Graduate Students are also required to:
Give at least two seminars (three for the Ph.D. programme) in the department during their research. Assist in tutorials, practical classes and field classes.
Candidates should obtain application forms from the School of Graduate Studies, bearing in mind that there is a strict deadline for applications.
Candidates should also approach suitable supervisors for their potential research topic. A candidate should select a suitable supervisor and agree to a written research project, before submitting their application.
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