Welcome to MSc/MA Geographical and Environmental Research at Keele

Alix Cage I hope you are looking forward to starting your MSc/MA degree in Geographical and Environmental Research at Keele University. We have worked hard to put this course together and I am convinced that it will provide a stimulating environment for your research, whether you carry out your project at Keele, with an external partner in the UK or at one of our partner institutions overseas. During the course you will be integrated into the research group of your project supervisor at Keele and, where applicable, of our collaborators abroad, allowing you to gain valuable experience and establish lasting professional relationships. In addition, there will be plenty of opportunities to widen your knowledge and to network with experts. I hope you will make most of these opportunities.

The MSc/MA Geographical and Environmental Research programme is based in the William Smith Building, home to the School of Geography, Geology and the Environment, where access to a range of essential resources and facilities are provided. For those of you who are new to Keele, the William Smith Building is easy to find in the heart of campus, just up the hill from the shops and the University library.

These web pages will help you prepare for your arrival and give you information about your first few days at Keele. If you have any queries about the course in the meantime please do not hesitate to contact me directly  or get in touch with the course administrator, Mrs Stef Everill.

I look forward to welcoming you to Keele and to the MSc/MA Geographical and Environmental Research programme in September.

Dr Alix Cage

Programme Director MSc/MA Geographical and Environmental Research


It is not necessary that you carry out any specific preparation for your MSc/MA degree studies in Geographical and Environmental Research before the start of the course, unless you have already been in contact with your project supervisor at Keele over the summer and discussed any preliminary work for your specialist research project. However, you may already want to start thinking about your 15-credit option module, which you will have to take as part of the course. Depending on whether you are a UK or an international student, and whether you will carry out your research project at Keele, at one of our UK-based external partners or at a partner institution overseas, this will either be a modern language module, academic English for postgraduate students or a Geography/Environmental related option module. Details are provided in the MSc/MA Geographical and Environmental Research course handbook, which is available online (see under ‘Additional information’).

Please contact the programme director (Dr Alix Cage) or your project supervisor (if known), if you have any questions about your options.

If you are keen to get started with some general reading then I would recommend checking out one or more of the following books:

  • Bassot, B. The reflective journal. ISBN-10: 1137324716
  • Biggam, J. (2015). Succeeding with your master's dissertation; a step-by-step handbook [electronic resource]. Open University Press.
  • Bolton, G. (2014). Reflective practice: writing and professional development. 4th Ed. Sage. ISBN: 9781848602120
  • Bond, A.J. (2006). Your master's thesis: how to plan, draft, write and revise. Studymates.
  • Cort, L., van Eynden, V., Bishop, I. & Woolard, M. (2014). Managing and sharing research data: a guide to good practice. SAGE.
  • Cottrell, S. (2011) Critical Thinking Skills: Developing Effective Analysis and Argument (Palgrave Study Skills). ISBN-10: 0230285295.
  • Kumar, R. (2014). Research Methodology. Sage. ISBN: 9781446269978.
  • Ridley, D. (2012). The Literature Review: A Step-by-Step Guide for Students (SAGE Study Skills Series) (2nd edition). SAGE Publications Ltd.
  • Swetnam, D. (2000). Writing your dissertation; how to plan, prepare and present successful work (3rd edition) [electronic resource]. How To Books.
  • Wheater, C. P. & Cook, P. (2000). Using statistics to understand the environment. Routledge.

You do not have to buy these books as they (along with a number of other relevant texts) will be available in the university library. You will be directed to further reading throughout the course when you arrive at Keele.

Week 1 of the autumn semester is ‘Welcome Week’ during which you will complete your official enrolment with the university alongside attending an introductory session for the MSc/MA Geographical and Environmental Research. Please make sure that you attend the course introductory session, as important information will be provided on all aspects of the MSc/MA course.

The 2020 'Welcome Week' will be published here shortly. Keep checking back.

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*Accreditation is dependent on the degree route and modules taken