Human Geography

Geography studies the relationships between physical environments and human societies. Many of the most complex global challenges facing humanity – including migration, urbanisation, ageing, socio-economic inequality, and climate change – result from changing human-environment relations, but Geography is the only core academic discipline that treats them in an integrated, interdisciplinary way.

Human Geographers study how humans organise socially, culturally, economically and politically across space and interact with their environments to create distinctive places. We examine how places differ in the culture and demography of their human populations, in their patterns of social and economic development, and in how humans interact with their physical environments.

Teaching Program

In this program, students receive training in fundamental geographical concepts and literatures, in core geographical research methods such as field-based research and geographical information systems, and in general academic skills such as critical thinking, data analysis, and writing essays and reports.

Because Human Geography integrates such a broad range of approaches to understanding places, a degree in the subject prepares students for an exceptionally broad range of careers, in fields such as urban planning, environmental management, migration policy, international development, and geospatial analysis, to name a few.

Since the inception of Human Geography at Monash 50 years ago, it has produced some of Australia’s leading researchers and policy makers in climate and environmental change, land and water management, urban and regional economic development, and political ecology and international development.

Our staff and students are engaged in teaching, research, analysis and actions that promote the sustainable use and management of natural resources, landscapes and built environments across Australia and around the world.

Human Geography students can tailor their degree to include electives from Geographical Science to grapple with some of the most complex global challenges that face society today. Find out more here.


Undergraduate studies

Graduate studies

Human Geography graduate research is part of the Social and Political Sciences Graduate Research program.

To see the full list of undergraduate and graduate (coursework and research) courses within the School of Social Sciences, see our course page.


Human Geographers at Monash are engaged in empirical and conceptual research in the fields of environmental population geography, environmental geography, and development geography. The interdisciplinary nature of Geography helps foster strong working relationships not only with colleagues across the Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities, but also with the Earth, Atmosphere and Environmental Sciences – involving collaborations with engineers, climate scientists, economists, biological scientists, and demographers, among others. Monash Geographers are also committed to community engagement and applying research to make a positive impact beyond the university, and to this end we foster strong connections with leading centres of research excellence, public sector agencies and non-governmental organisations locally, nationally and internationally.

Our current research activities focus on:

  • human migration and population diversity
  • migration policy, politics and global migration governance
  • environmental governance and sustainability transitions
  • political ecology of development
  • sustainable business models and
  • corporate sustainability.

We lead and participate in research teams and supervise postgraduate students in all of these areas. To learn more about our research strengths, visit our detailed individual staff profiles at the link below, and visit our Graduate Research page.

Key Research Programs:

Research Students

Students undertaking PhD research in Geography at Monash University have the opportunity to apply for the Richard John Bryant Estate Award.


Monash Human Geographers are among the top researchers and educators in their fields both nationally and internationally.  View all staff.

Visiting Scholars

Monash Human Geography welcomes leading scholars and researchers from around the world to visit and collaborate with us. Typically our visiting scholars are self-funded unless linked to a specific Monash-led project. Monash offers world class facilities and a vibrant campus, and Melbourne is consistently ranked as the most liveable city in the world. To inquire about visiting Monash Human Geography, contact a member of staff working in your area of research.

Contact us