Undergraduate Dissertation Prize

Call for nominations

The HPGRG annually awards an Undergraduate Dissertation Prize of £50 for outstanding original work in the history and/or philosophy of human geography, physical geography or associated fields. In addition, SAGE will provide the prize-winner with a year’s free personal journal subscription – either Progress in Human Geography or Progress in Physical Geography.

We welcome nominations that examine geographical knowledge, discourses and practices in academia, but also within schools and the public sphere. Nominations are requested from Dissertation Supervisors or Heads of Department. The dissertation should have been completed within the past two years and be written in English. We welcome nominations not only from the UK but also from other countries. Depending on the number and quality of submissions, the prize may not be awarded every year.

Please direct all questions and submit an (unmarked) electronic copy of the dissertation with your letter of recommendation to Dr Emily Hayes. You can find the Assessment Matrix that is used to evaluate the submissions here.

Deadline: 15 July

Prize history

The new HPGRG Undergraduate Dissertation Prize was first awarded in 2008. The current Prize Coordinator is Dr Emily Hayes (Oxford Brookes University). The following awards have been made:


Chiara Ruggieri-Mitchell (Royal Holloway University) “The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same: Trends in Conservation Focus, 2010-2019”


Daisy Nichols (University of Bristol) “The Micropolitics of Filmmaking Otherwise: The Karrabing Collective


Two prizes:

Olivia Russell (University of Edinburgh) “Geography, Cartography and Military Intelligence: Gertrude Campbell’s Cartographic Work for the Royal Geographical Society in 1913 to 1918.

Mitchell Wilson (University of Bristol): “Expanding the Empirical Repertoire of Non-Representational Theory Through a Methodological Reflection on Creating a Documentary Film.


Prize: Sophie Buckle (University of Bristol) “Writing Between Worlds: An Audiencing of Leanne Simpson’s Stories as Theory for Decolonising Academic Writing Practices” [PDF 1.7MB]


Prize: Hope Steadman (University of Birmingham) “The Neoliberalisation and Responsibilisation of Flood Risk Management in Swindon, UK.” [PDF 3.3MB]


Prize: Mirjami Lantto (University of Glasgow) “Experiencing River Landscapes: the Affective Capacity of Landscapes and its Potential in Environmental Management” [PDF, 5.5MB]

Commendation: Samuel Nutt (Durham University) “The Anxieties of Empire in Byron’s Turkish Tales: Exploring the Fiction in Postcolonial Geography”


Prize: Kirsty Matthews (Durham University) “Mattering the Mind: Subjectivity and Not Knowing Within Obsessive Compulsive Disorder”


Prize: Sebastian Koa (University of Oxford) “Propositions for a radically empirical geomorphology”

Commendation: Max Kirchner (University of Bristol) “Speaking truth to power: Theorising Edward Snowden’s Whistleblowing through Michel Foucault’s concepts of parrhesia and the event”


Prize: Emily Nash (Queen Mary, University of London) “‘On the Wild Side’: The Geography Collective, public geographies and exploration”


Two Prizes:

Emily Foulger (University of Nottingham) “A Woman’s Eye: Isabella Bird Bishop’s travels in the RGS-IBG archives”

Matthew Jones (University of Oxford) “Ordering mysteries? An historical geography of the Routledge expedition to Easter Island, 1913-16”


Prize: Frances Rylands (University of Nottingham) “Flying with ‘only one wing’: rethinking mobility and place in contemporary theatre”


Prize: Alexander Bello (University of Bristol) “Sensing the ‘non-representational’: a bodily exploration of the with the immaterialities of ‘playing pan’ using a ‘research-in-practice’ approach to creatively intervene in the folding of the world”


Two Prizes:

Mark Hardwick (University of Edinburgh) “The Hottentot and the Discursive Impact of the Linnaean Watershed”

James Macadam (University of Oxford) “A maritime philosopher’s stone; Arthur Dobbs and the Northwest Passage during the Enlightenment”


Prize: Tom Croll-Knight (University of Sheffield) “Every word that’s understood is a transaction: spacing citation and sampling in US rap music”

Two Commendations:

Thomas Lowish (King’s College London) “The 1882 British Married Women’s Property Act and the Property Holdings of Women in Victorian Society”

James Riley (University of Bristol) “Students’ perceptions of the relevance of the secondary school geography curriculum”

This is the website for the History and Philosophy of Geography Research Group (HPGRG) of the Royal Geographical Society with the Institute of British Geographers (RGS-IBG)

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