Project code



Economics and Finance

Start dates

February and October

Application deadline

Applications accepted all year round

Applications are invited for a self-funded, 3 year full-time or 6 year part-time PhD project, to commence in October or February.

The PhD will be based in the Economics and Finance Subject area and will be supervised by Professor Shabbar Jaffry (first supervisor), Professor Giampaolo Viglia (second supervisor) and Dr Alexandros Apostolakis ( Hellenic Mediterranean University · Department of Business Administration and Tourism, third supervisor)

The Faculty of Business and Law offers funding to attend conferences (currently £550), training (currently £450), and a work-based placement (currently a maximum of £3,000 tied up to the period of 12 weeks).

The work on this project will:

  • contribute towards the economic sustainability of the destination/area. Focusing upon active ageing provisions within a tourism context implies the development of a series of economic benefits. In terms of tourism, the consideration of alternative forms of tourism activity (in the form of active ageing policies) could further stimulate entrepreneurial activity and at the same time facilitate efforts to enrich the tourism product on offer. In essence, facilitating the growth of active ageing policies in a tourism setting would improve the competitiveness of the local/regional tourism offering (through the provision of new and innovative service offerings). The proposed research methodology facilitates the collection of willingness to pay estimates, so researchers would be able to assign a monetary estimate next to every policy initiative and business case proposed in the research proposal.
  • actively contribute towards one of the major aspirations for young and older people in the European Union. That of a longer, healthier and more active life. Considering the fact that life expectancy in the EU is among the highest worldwide, this aspiration has become a policy priority. When coupled with extremely high proportions of ageing population within almost all EU societies, the need to create and design sustainable policy initiatives at a national level becomes even more imperative. The dramatic increase in the number of older people in the EU as a whole implies that the proposed research programme is quite opportune. Hence, policies to focus on active ageing at a national level have to cater also for the well – being of individuals, higher levels of activity (at both younger and older stages of one’s life-cycle), as well as improved health status (both mentally and physically).
  • allow researchers to introduce heterogeneity among respondents’ preferences. So far, similar approaches that capture heterogeneity in preferences among respondents in this context are rather hard to come by. Existing work has concentrated mostly upon segmentation issues, motivating and constraining factors in undertaking tourism activity during one’s older age, but hardly anyone has focused upon individual preferences. The incorporation and hopefully capturing of heterogeneity in preferences among respondents could facilitate a more targeted provision of policy making in the future.
  • lay the fundamentals that underline social policy passing from a “needs – based” model (passive form of policy making) to a “rights – based” model, which requires a change in social perception of older people, in a way that it recognises that it is necessary to provide all people with the opportunity to live in the most independent and stable manner possible. What is more, the proposed research programme adopts a holistic approach in its mandate, covering the period during one’s holidays, the period after the conclusion of one’s holidays and their return to their daily routine, and more importantly, the period before one’s holidays begin

Population ageing is a well-known phenomenon in most of developed economies in the Western world. In addition to that, research has shown that older individuals are becoming particularly vulnerable. In order to overcome this vulnerability, social policy has moved from a passive or re-active model of policy making, into a more proactive stance, based on equality of opportunity and treatment as people grow older. Within this realm of proactive (as opposed to reactive) policy initiatives, there is a stream of research that associate tourism as a tool to promote active ageing in the population.

Aims and Objectives

The principal research question being dealt within this proposal delves around the impact of active tourism as a policy tool to slow down the adverse effects of an ageing society. The question therefore is what novel policy responses can be put forward (within the realms of the tourism and hospitality paradigm) to facilitate the mitigation of such problems? Correspondingly, the main purpose of the proposed research programme is to evaluate societal preferences towards a new form of policy and managerial intervention, namely the application of tourism and hospitality resources in achieving the goal of active ageing for the population.

The main research aim is to provide support towards evidence based policy making, utilizing tourism as a novel policy making initiative. The proposal calls for a re-orientation of social policy, away from passive, reactive and end-of-the line policy actions that seems to target the adverse effects of an ageing society at later stages of individuals’ lives.

Concurrently, the research objectives are set as follows: First, to examine whether or not individuals would be willing to pay (to finance) policy initiatives like the one identified through the active ageing and tourism concepts. The facilitation of active ageing concept within a tourism context is a new form of service provision, and thus, there is no recorded evidence in terms of what the society would prefer to see implemented and how much it would be willing to pay to support such policy and managerial initiatives. Second, to examine the extent to which individuals’ preferences vary over the population with respect to the provision of active forms of tourism activity. Using an appropriate research methodology, the proposed research programme intends to introduce heterogeneity of preferences within individuals’ responses (as opposed to considering them all the same across the board).

Fees and funding

Visit the research subject area page for fees and funding information for this project.

Funding availability: Self-funded PhD students only. 

PhD full-time and part-time courses are eligible for the UK Government Doctoral Loan (UK and EU students only – eligibility criteria apply).

Bench fees

Some PhD projects may include additional fees – known as bench fees – for equipment and other consumables, and these will be added to your standard tuition fee. Speak to the supervisory team during your interview about any additional fees you may have to pay. Please note, bench fees are not eligible for discounts and are non-refundable.

Entry Requirements

You'll need a good first degree from an internationally recognised university (minimum upper second class or equivalent, depending on your chosen course) or a Master’s degree in Economics, Tourism, Economics, Public Policy or a related area. In exceptional cases, we may consider equivalent professional experience and/or Qualifications. English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.

How to apply

We’d encourage you to contact Prof. Shabbar Jaffry ( to discuss your interest before you apply, quoting the project code.

When you are ready to apply, please follow the 'Apply now' link on the Economics PhD subject area page and select the link for the relevant intake. Make sure you submit a personal statement, proof of your degrees and grades, details of two referees, proof of your English language proficiency and an up-to-date CV. Our ‘How to Apply’ page offers further guidance on the PhD application process. 

Please also include a research proposal of 1,000 words outlining the main features of your proposed research design – including how it meets the stated objectives, the challenges this project may present, and how the work will build on or challenge existing research in the above field.  

When applying please quote project code: ECFN4741020