Project code



School of the Environment, Geography and Geosciences

Start dates

October, February and April

Closing date

Applications accepted all year round

Applications are invited for a self-funded, 3 year full-time or 6 year part-time PhD project.

The PhD will be based in the School of the Environment, Geography and Geosciences and will be supervised by Professor Donald Houston and Dr Caroline Day


The work on this project will:   

  • Identify varieties of capitalism and welfare regimes that are the most resilient to the Covid-19 economic crisis.   
  • Identify the local and regional economic and labour market pre-Covid conditions that are associated with greater resistance to the economic and employment impacts of Covid.   
  • Understand why some local and regional economies display stronger and/or faster recovery following the Covid-19 economic crisis than others.
  • Explore the positive and negative economic transformations that have occurred following the Covid-19 economic crisis, e.g. expansion of home-working and flexible work practices, diversification of economies.


Geographical unevenness in the strength of economies within and between countries leave some localities and countries more vulnerable to economic ‘shocks’, and less able to recover and adapt, than others. Restrictions to control the Covid-19 pandemic have had substantial economic consequences in many of the worst affected countries, particularly in North and South America, Europe, the Russian Federation, the Middle East and India. This PhD will explore international and/or sub-national patterns in the economic impact, subsequent recovery and long-term impact on growth trajectory within a country or countries and/or between countries, including political and policy responses. This topic could be explored using quantitative economic or qualitative political-economy frameworks.


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).

2020/2021 entry (for October 2020 and February 2021 entries)

Home/EU/CI full-time students: £4,407 p/a

Home/EU/CI part-time students: £2,204 p/a

International full-time students: £16,400 p/a

International part-time students: £8,200 p/a

2021/2022 entry (for October 2021 and February 2022 entries)

Home/EU/CI full-time students: £4,407 p/a*

Home/EU/CI part-time students: £2,204 p/a*

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

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

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

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 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.

We’d encourage you to contact Professor Donald Houston ( to discuss your interest before you apply, quoting the project code.

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. Our ‘How to Apply’ page offers further guidance on the PhD application process. 

When applying please quote project code: SEGG5021021