Programme overview

The Department’s highly regarded PhD programme gives students the opportunity to pursue interdisciplinary research over a 3 or occasionally 4 year period.

Research projects

Research topics vary significantly among PhD candidates; themes in recent years have included carbon capture and storage, climate change finance, closed-loop business models and water scarcity. Study is self-directed, and students explore their chosen topic under the supervision of one or two members of the Department’s academic supervisors. Further support is provided through periodic meetings with an academic review panel composed of the student’s supervisor and two other faculty members. 

CEP's interdisciplinary approach to the study of environmental problems allows PhD candidates to develop familiarity with ideas from a diverse range of academic disciplines, including the economic, social and natural sciences, law, and management theory. The Department’s expertise in interdisciplinary research assists PhD students in integrating these ideas and in developing methodologies to explore them.

Funding opportunities

Funding has been secured from the London Interdisciplinary Social Science Doctoral Training Programme (LISS DTP) for a three and a half year PhD studentship investigating the cultural ecosystem services of urban water bodies and their use in environmental and land use planning.  The PhD will be supervised by Dr Alexandra Collins at the Centre for Environmental Policy, Imperial College London and will be in collaboration with the Environment Agency and the environmental non-governmental organisation Thames 21.  Applications are invited for this position from candidates who meet the eligibility criteria outlined on the LISS DTP website  For more information about the project and how to apply please see or contact to discuss the opportunity. 

Teaching opportunities

The MSc in Environmental Technology provides PhD students with exciting teaching opportunities. PhD candidates are able to assist academic staff with small group seminars and statistics courses, as well as occasionally co-supervising MSc theses during the summer months.


In addition to collaboration with the teaching faculty and professional training provided by the Graduate School, the PhD programme places strong emphasis on learning the 'craft' of research.

Monthly informal seminars allow students to present and explore research ideas – at any stage of development – amongst themselves. A more formal seminar summarising their research to date is required at the half way stage of the PhD, and supervisors, department staff and MSc candidates may all attend these seminars.