Self-funded PhD students only

Project code



School of Civil Engineering and Surveying

Start dates

February and October

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 on International Investment in Land in Sub-Saharan Africa and its Impact on Rural Life, to commence in February 2019 or October 2019. This project is supervised by Dr Cletus Moobela.

Many governments in sub-Saharan Africa have enacted legislation and policy instruments to encourage international investment in land.

In some cases, this has led to displacements of local people, who give away their land entitlements without knowing the true value of their land in the market place (market value) or the value to their livelihoods (worth).

These sellers may not seek relevant professional advice, or be able to afford such services.
As a result, there are fears that large-scale international investment in land in developing countries is damaging the food security and livelihoods of local people.

Many sub-Saharan nations have embraced liberal economic policies that have led to an influx of such foreign investors in land, especially with the rise of China and other emerging economies.

The study will involve critically evaluating the impact of international land investment on local rural communities.

Central to the study will be the establishment and development of a framework for determining an ‘appropriate balance’ in land investment in developing countries, with sub-Saharan countries given particular focus.

The study will also help to combat the assumption that international investments in land in developing countries yields positive outcomes, whether in the form of economic development or improved quality of life for the host communities.

The proposal is to use a case study approach involving at least one sub-Saharan African country.


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).

2019/2020 entry

Home/EU/CI full-time students: £4,327 p/a*

Home/EU/CI part-time students: £2,164 p/a*

International full-time students: £15,900 p/a*

International part-time students: £7,950 p/a*

By Publication Fees 2019/2020

Members of staff: £1,610 p/a*

External candidates: £4,327 p/a*

*All fees are subject to annual increase

2020/2021 entry

Home/EU/CI full-time students: £4,327 p/a**

Home/EU/CI part-time students: £2,164 p/a**

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

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

By Publication Fees 2020/2021

Members of staff: £1,680 p/a**

External candidates: £4,327 p/a*

*All fees are subject to annual increase
**This is the 2019/20 UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) maximum studentship fee; this fee will increase to the 2020/21 UKRI maximum studentship fee when UKRI announces this rate in Spring 2020.  

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

The project requires a candidate with at least good first degree (minimum 2.1 or equivalent) in real estate, geography, or other social science-related subjects

This project is suitable for both home/EU and/or International students

You’ll need a good first degree from an internationally recognised university (depending upon chosen 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.

How to apply

Informal enquiries are encouraged and can be made to Dr Cletus Moobela ( (+44 (0)23 9284 2143), quoting both the project code ACES4731020 and the project title.

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

October start

Apply now

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