Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
The University of Southampton
Geography and Environmental Science

Southampton ranked in global top 50 geography departments

Published: 22 March 2016
Our diverse academic team, industry
Our top 50 status cements our position as a world-leading department

Southampton’s Geography and Environment is named in the global elite in Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings released today.

The internationally recognised rankings show Southampton moving up to 41st position (15th in the UK) to takes its place among the top geography departments in the world.

The QS World University Rankings are published annually and are one of only a few globally recognised indicators of excellence in teaching; research; citations of research; industry and academic reputation; and the international mix of students and staff.

Data linked to the rankings indicates that Southampton’s rise is largely due to the department’s increased reputation amongst fellow academics and employers around the world, with the department maintaining outstanding citation scores year-on-year.

Professor Steve Darby, Head of Geography and Environment at Southampton, said: “We pride ourselves on our global outlook and reputation. Our recent recruitment campaigns have enabled us to attract an international complement of staff that now hail from five continents, while we have long had a remarkable track record of high citation impact for our published works.

“I am delighted that this ranking now confirms our position amongst the world’s leading centres of excellence for geographical research and learning and this recognition is reward for the excellent work of all our staff and students.”

Geography and Environment’s success in the QS rankings builds on the recent improvements in the department’s position in the UK National Student Survey, as well as an outstanding result in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, in which it was ranked sixth in the UK for Research Intensity.

The department’s research has a major impact globally. For example, geography academic Dr Jim Wright, Associate Professor in Geographical Information Systems, was recently named among a team of researchers whose paper exploring the safety of drinking water worldwide was recognised as being one of the Best UNICEF Research projects in 2015.

Southampton researchers have also been using mobile phone data to monitor the movement of people affected by the earthquake in Nepal to help with the continuing relief effort in the country.

Geography and Environment students get the opportunity to focus on issues outside the UK by exploring many of the key challenges affecting our world today. The MSc in Applied Geographical Information Systems and Remote Sensing (AGISRS) and the new MSc in Sustainability address the big issues facing society and the environment.

The MSc in AGISRS develops the understanding and technical skills required to analyse geospatial data to tackle real world problems, while the MSc in Sustainability explores sustainability problems in developed and developing societies.

Additionally, the department is looking forward to welcoming international students from overseas institutions for a semester or up to a year with a new, bespoke Studyabroad@Southampton programme which includes pathways in ‘Geography’ and ‘Protecting the Global Environment’.

For more information on the QS World University Rankings visit:


Privacy Settings