Urban and Regional Studies PhD

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The Centre for Urban and Regional Studies (CURS) offers a PhD in Urban and Regional Studies. The PhD degree may include a coursework element and can be taken on a full- or part-time basis. Prospective applicants are invited to apply, outlining their research interests. We have ESRC recognition for our research training programmes.

Course fact file

Duration: PhD: 3 years full-time equivalent

Start date: September


Degrees may include a coursework element and can be taken on a full- or part-time basis. Prospective applicants are invited to apply, outlining their research interests.

Fees and funding

Standard fees apply - This programme is in fee band D for international students

  • Home/EU students £3,996 FT (£1,998 PT)
  • International students £12,565 FT only

Learn more about fees and funding

Scholarships and studentships

We are eligible to receive studentships from ESRC ('1+3'. ‘+3’ and CASE/ESRC) and AHRC. We also offer a number of our own postgraduate studentships, available to both home and overseas students. 

International students can often gain funding through overseas research scholarships, Commonwealth scholarships or their home government.

For further information contact the School directly or get in touch with the Student Funding Office via the online enquiries system.

Entry requirements

Applicants for a degree by research should have at least a good Honours degree (minimum: upper second-class or equivalent). Students are not normally admitted to an MPhil or PhD degree without first having completed a taught Masters degree. The University requires all PhD students to register initially for MPhil/PhD.

Learn more about entry requirements

International students

Academic requirements

We accept a range of qualifications, our country pages show you what qualifications we accept from your country.

English language requirements

You can satisfy our English language requirements in two ways:

How to apply

When clicking on the Apply Now button you will be directed to an application specifically designed for the programme you wish to apply for where you will create an account with the University application system and submit your application and supporting documents online. Further information regarding how to apply online can be found on the How to apply pages

Apply now

Learning and teaching

Research students normally have a lead supervisor and a co-supervisor who meet regularly with the student to review and guide their work.

Each research student agrees with their supervisor(s) a programme of training tailor-made to their needs and previous experience. A programme may include:

  • Research methods modules offered by the University, which students are expected to attend unless they have previously received equivalent training
  • Any module offered by CURS related to their research
  • Modules and programmes in other departments
  • Personal development and skills training provided through the University's Graduate School on subjects including computing, time management, thesis writing, writing for publication, and teaching

All research students give an annual presentation on their work in progress. These take place in research student workshops. These occasions are also opportunities to hear presentations and share views and experiences with other research students and academics and practitioners from the ‘outside world’. In addition, students present their work to a research supervisory panel as another means of gauging progress.

Research interests of staff

Urban and brownfield regeneration policies; Culture-led regeneration; Planning and sustainable development; Comparative planning in Europe (especially France, Great Britain and Switzerland).
Contact: Dr Lauren Andres
Tel: +44 (0)121 414 5021
Email: l.andres@bham.ac.uk  

City centre regeneration; City living and gentrification; Inter-city competition and co-operation; Comparative urban development in Britain, Europe and North America.
Contact: Dr Austin Barber
Tel: +44 (0)121 414 2984
Email: a.r.g.barber@bham.ac.uk 

Urban geography; Spatial planning; Urban regeneration and management; Sport and cultural-led development; The politics of mega-events; Planning for risk and resilience; National security and counter-terrorism; Post-conflict reconstruction
Contact: Professor Jon Coaffee (Director of CURS)
Tel: +44(0)121 414 7421
Email: j.coaffee@bham.ac.uk

The political economy of post-socialist cities; Critical urban geographies - urban and housing policies under neoliberalism, world city entrepreneurialism, gentrification; Urban and regional resilience, social and economic vulnerabilities and adaptive and transformative strategies; Energy and the built environment, energy efficiency, low carbon urbanism.
Contact; Dr Oleg Golubchikov
Tel: +44 (0)121 414 8143
Email: o.golubchikov@bham.ac.uk

Housing markets and neighbourhood change; Housing and social exclusion; Issues related to concentrations of deprivation, segregation and excluded communities; Development of models of affordability at local and regional level for the purpose of housing strategy development.
Contact: Dr Peter Lee
Tel: +44 (0)121 414 3645
Email: p.w.lee@bham.ac.uk

Cities; Critical political economy; Local government; Post-communism; fiscal federalism, industrial restructuring, and territorial cohesion; the 'knowledge-based economy', manufacturing, and neo-liberalism; public health outcomes of economic and fiscal crises. 
Contact: Dr Vlad Mykhnenko 
Tel: +44 (0)121 414 9129 
Email: v.mykhnenko@bham.ac.uk

Urban and rural policy; Community planning; Social inclusion; Urban regeneration management; State spatiality and the geography of state power; Policies and politics of managed migration.
Contact: Dr Simon Pemberton
Tel: +44 (0)121 414 2680
Email: s.pemberton@bham.ac.uk

Planning, developing and managing sustainable communities; Community and neighbourhood governance; Delivering affordable housing options; Housing co-operatives and co-ownership housing; Regeneration of public housing estates.
Contact: Rob Rowlands
Tel: +44 (0)121 414 2243
Email: r.o.rowlands@bham.ac.uk

Transnationalism and population migration; Transnational families; International education; Mobility and education 
Contact: Dr Johanna Waters 
Tel: +44 (0)121 41 45527 
Email: j.l.waters@bham.ac.uk


We help research students to produce publications arising from their work and encourage them to publish as single authors when appropriate. Many research students are aiming for academic careers and we recognise the importance of providing opportunities for them to be involved in teaching and tutorial work, without compromising their obligations as research students.