Self-funded PhD students only

Project code



School of the Environment, Geography and Geosciences

Start dates


Closing date

Applications accepted all year round

Some places and sectors in the economy have grown in more inclusive ways than others. On this PhD programme, you'll work to identify contextual and institutional factors between growth and inclusion, and make recommendations on how policy can meet economic and social goals.

This PhD is supervised by Dr Donald Houston and Dr Carol Ekinsmyth, and the scope and methods you'll use will depend on your interests and skills.

On this project, you'll explore why the disparities between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots’ are lesser in some economically buoyant places/industries than others. You'll also identify the contextual and institutional factors conducive to a symbiotic relationship between growth and inclusion.

And on the basis of your results, the project will also make recommendations as to how local and regional economic development policy can better meet economic and social goals.

The work will involve:

  • identifying the contextual and institutional factors conducive to a symbiotic relationship between growth and inclusion
  • making recommendations on how local and regional economic development policy can meet both economic and social goals

Income inequality has risen sharply in both the global ‘north’ and the global ‘south’. Less-skilled workers and weaker local economies have often been left behind by new rounds of investment.

In most developed nations, non-standard and often precarious employment is on the rise (casual and temporary employment, contract work, etc). Many feel alienated from a neo-liberal model of economic growth that is perceived to play into the hands of big business. Most nations are richer than ever, yet income and wealth generation is not benefiting everyone.

Government policies to promote inclusion and equality are often feared to compromise economic growth and competitiveness. In contrast, others argue that ‘growth’ and ‘inclusion’ can be complementary goals.

In response to these concerns, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has developed the notion of ‘inclusive growth’. But still remarkably little is known about the circumstances in which economic growth either enhances or damages social inclusion.

It is to this question that the proposed studentship is addressed.

Candidates will have a background in human geography, sociology, economics, business and management or a related discipline. The precise nature of the project, its scope and methods (balance between quantitative and qualitative, extensive research or case-study, will depend on the interests and skills of the successful candidate.

Fees and funding

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).

2021/2022 fees (applicable for October 2021 and February 2022 start)

PhD and MPhil

Home/EU/CI full-time students: £4,500 p/a**

Home/EU/CI part-time students: £2,250 p/a**

International full-time students: £17,600 p/a*

International part-time students: £8,800 p/a*

PhD by Publication 

External candidates: £4,407*

Members of staff: £1,720 

All fees are subject to annual increase. If you are an EU student starting a programme in 2021/22 please visit this page.

*This is the 2020/21 UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) maximum studentship fee; this fee will increase to the 2021/22 UKRI maximum studentship fee when UKRI announces this rate in Spring 2021.

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

Entry Requirements

  • A good first degree from an internationally recognised university (depending on the course, minimum second class or equivalent) or a Master’s degree in an appropriate subject
  • Exceptionally, equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications will be considered
  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0
  • All applicants are subject to interview

You'll need a background in human geography, sociology, economics, business and management or a related discipline.

How to Apply

To make an enquiry or to discuss this project informally, get in touch with:

Quote the project code GEOG2930217 and the project title.

When you are ready to apply, you can use our online application form. 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.

You can also visit our How to Apply pages to get a better understanding of how the PhD application process works.

October start

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February start

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