Ph.D in Geography

1.0 Philosophy of the Programme

Geography explores the relationship between the earth and its people through the study of space, place and environment. The study of place seeks to describe and understand not only the location of physical and human features of the earth, but also processes, systems and interrelationships that create and influence those features. The study of space seeks to explore the relationships between places and patterns of activity arising from the use people make of physical settings where they live and work. The study of Geography embraces both earths’ physical and human dimensions. Thus it addresses the resources sometimes scarce and fragile, that the earth provides and on which all life depends; the impact of those resources on human activity; and the wider social, economic consequences of the interrelationship between the two.

The discipline of geography can be split into many sub-branches. Since no one individual can hope to cover all the branches of geography, the doctoral programme at Egerton University allows students to specialize in one subfield of either human or physical geography. During the programme, an individual will study a field that interest which he or she has a fair amount of background knowledge from masters-level training. Elective Courses are offered in the different sub-fields of geography in the second semester of the programme. In situations where the applicant did not cover adequate subject matter at masters’ level, the department may recommend students to audit additional graduate courses offered within the university as need arises.

2.0 Rationale

Over time, scientists and philosophers have sought to make sense to forces and processes of the natural world and humanity’s place within them. Over 7 billion humans alive today are collectively exploiting the Earth’s resources at accelerated rates and intensities that surpass the capacity of its system to absorb wastes and neutralize the adverse effects on the environment. The most readily recognized global environmental changes with profound development impacts include: rise in global temperatures and sea levels; ocean acidification; and extensive deforestation and land clearance for agriculture and urbanization. The above challenges notwithstanding, people need clean air to breath, safe water to drink, healthy food to eat, energy to produce and transport goods, and natural resources that provide raw materials for all these services. To meet the above challenges, the scientific community and policy makers are increasingly working closely and collaboratively in research and extension. In Kenya, bridging the science-policy interface remains a challenge due to inadequate trained human resource and equally aware policy makers. There is growing need for scientists who can ably conduct research on nature, impacts and determinants of global and regional environmental change and come up with policy briefs for sustainable development. The PhD programme in Geography at Egerton University is designed to train human resource who can positively respond to the current global research, academic and job market.

3.0 Goal of the Programme

To inculcate geographical knowledge, skills and competences to address spatial-temporal environmental and societal challenges for sustainable national and international development.

4.0 Programme Learning Outcomes

Graduates of PhD in geography are expected to:

i. Demonstrate strong theoretical grounding in geography;

ii. Demonstrate competency in identifying researchable problems/issues in their immediate societies;

iii. Demonstrate an understanding of techniques used in geographic analysis;

iv. Apply the skills acquired in the programme to undertake independent research projects in areas of specialization;

v. Use effective communication skills to offer consultancy, disseminate research findings, knowledge and influence policy for the benefit of society.

4.0 Mode of Delivery

PhD in geography programme shall be delivered on full-time/part-time, e-learning/blended, or open/distance learning.

6.0 Academic Regulations for the Programme

6.1 Admission Requirements

For admission into a PhD in Geography, Egerton University Statute 40 (3) shall apply. In addition candidates for the PhD in geography programme must have an MA/MSc in geography or its equivalent in a related field from a recognized university or institution of higher learning.

6.2 Regulation on Credit Transfer

i. A student may be exempted from taking some course units and be allowed to transfer credit unit up to a maximum of one third (1/3) of the taught units provided that they were taken at equivalent level of education from institutions recognized by the senate of Egerton University.

ii. A student seeking transfer of credit shall send a formal application to the Board of Postgraduate Studies through the Chairman Department of Geography, and Faculty of Environment and Resources Development, justifying the request with relevant supporting documents.

iii. Transfer of credit shall be processed only after payment of the prescribed non-refundable fees.

6.3 Course Requirements

Students taking a PhD in Geography shall be required to go through the teaching and examination process as stipulated in Egerton University Statute 40 (2b). The duration of study for a PhD in Geography shall be in accordance to Egerton University Statute 40 (4) of 2013.

6.4 Student Assessment Policy /Criteria

Student assessment for a PhD in Geography shall be conducted in accordance with the assessment criteria as stipulated in Egerton University Statute 40 (5) of 2013.

6.5 Grading System

The grading of examination for a PhD in Geography shall be in accordance with Egerton University Statute 40 (5) of 2013.

6.6 Examination Regulations

All examinations for the PhD in Geography shall be conducted in accordance with examination regulations as stipulated in Egerton University Statute 40(9) of 2013.

6.7 Moderation of Examination

Moderation of examinations shall be conducted in accordance with examination regulations as stipulated in Egerton University Statute 40 (9) of 2013

6.8 Graduation Requirements

In order to be awarded a PhD in Geography, a student must take and successfully complete a minimum of 54 Credit Factors (CFs.). Further, a student shall be required to take and pass all required courses within the stipulated time period.

6.9 Classification of Degree

The a PhD in Geography is not classified

7.0 Course Evaluation

All courses will be evaluated in accordance with the Teaching Effectiveness Evaluation Procedure (EU/VC/OP/04).

8.0 Management and Administration of the Programme

8.1 Host Department and Programme Academic Leader

The Programme shall be hosted in the Department of Geography, Faculty of Environment and Resources Development. The Programme Academic Leader shall be appointed according to University Standards and Guidelines (2014).

8.2 Programme Evaluation

A PhD in Geography programme shall undergo an internal program evaluation (self-assessment) and review at the end of each programme’s academic cycle after a cohort.

8.3 Course Coding

The programme course coding is based on the senate approved Course Coding Policy of 2012. The letters in the code GEOG reflect Geography followed by a three digit figure: The first digit, 8, represents PhD. The second digit represents the nature of the course within the department as follows:

1 – Applied

2 – Management

9 – Research

The third digit represents the serial number of the course.

9.0 Courses/ Units Offered for the Programme

9.1 Schedule of Courses

a) University Common Core Courses


b) Schedule of Courses on Semester Basis