Research in the Department of Geographical and Historical Studies is focused on the mutual impacts of space, time and the environment. We conduct research into a variety of topics; including: a) borders and peripheries, b) environment and sustainability, and c) well-being of society. We have a strong interdisciplinary approach.

Some of our research areas are linked to the UEF top-level international research area "Borders, Mobilities and Cultural Encounters (BOMOCULT)". We conduct research also in "Sustainable governance of natural resource (SGNR)" which is one of the UEF advanced-level strong research areas. Societal mining research is carried out in Research Center for Socially and Environmentally Responsible Mining (SERM) which constitutes one of the research teams of SGNR.  Another vital part of the SGNR is Social Scientific Circular Bioeconomy Research Network  (SOBIO). The broad network of LYY Institute combines social and cultural research expertise for application in the analysis of the environment and natural resource uses.

In the field of history, the development of European societies is studied, together with the use of cultural and natural resources, from the shores of the Arctic Ocean to the Mediterranean. Particularly strong research areas are:
  • Borders and peripheries
  • State-building in Europe
  • History of education
  • Health and well-being.

In geography our research is characterized by the combination of natural and social geography, by a strong interdisciplinary and international approach, and by the attention for the interaction between the local and global levels. Central research interests are:

  • Human geography
  • Socio-ecological resource geography
  • Environmental geography
  • Border and boundary research.

Within environmental policy we explore the sustainable governance of natural resources and the interconnection and resilience of human societies and natural systems, by focusing on the following specific topics:

  • Societal mining research
  • Social forestry research
  • Rural community research
  • Climate change and local resiliency studies.

The Department’s Geography Programme has been ranked within the world’s top 200 geography courses for 2012-15 in the QS World University Rankings publication.