University of St Andrews


The School of Geography and Sustainable Development aims to be world-leading in all aspects of our research. Our research specialisms are represented by the School’s research themes consisting of:

  • Population and Health (contact: Nissa Finney)
  • Environmental Change (contact: Doug Benn)
  • Environmental Economics and Environmental Policy 
  • Geographies of Sustainability, Society, Inequalities & Possibilities (contact: Nina Laurie)  

We are privileged to host or co-host a number of externally funded research centres (UK Centre for Collaborative Housing Evidence (CaCHE)Centre for Housing Research, Centre for Population Change, the Arctic Research Centre and the Census and Administrative data Longitudinal Studies hub); and ESRC Centre on Dynamics of Ethnicity

In the most recent evaluation of our research quality (REF 2014) we were delighted to be ranked 5th in the UK of 74 units assessed by the Geography, Environmental Studies and Archaeology panel. Being ranked 5th overall on the Grade Point Average represents not only the high proportion of our publications that were judged world-leading or internationally excellent, but also the high impact of our work and the excellent quality of our research environment. We were ranked 1st in the UK for the excellence of our impact case studies and our impact strategy. In terms of research environment we were pleased to be judged the 3rd best in the UK, with 87.5 per cent of our environment graded as world-leading, reflecting among other features the strength and diversity of our national and international research collaborations. We have ambitious research plans for the next five years. 

Further Information

If you would like to learn more about the department's research activities, please select our Annual Research Report (PDF, 6,524 KB)

or contact Dan Clayton (Director of Research).

Institute for Population, Wellbeing and Environment Research (I-POWER)

Established in 2012, the Institute for Population, Wellbeing and Environment Research (I-POWER) brings together all staff and research students across the Department to ensure that we communicate effectively with each other, and externally, on our research successes, interests and activities.  [more]