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Centre for Environment and Society Research

Research degree opportunities

A broad range of interdisciplinary research is being undertaken within the Research Centre which has growing international recognition. Its composition is multidisciplinary, which allows it to undertake work at conventional disciplinary boundaries. The Centre has a supportive and dynamic research environment and good associations with industry and practice (locally, nationally and internationally) providing sources of research data as well as opportunities to make the research have impact.

We welcome applications from outstanding, self-motivated individuals who are keen to pursue research within the broad areas of:

  • Spatial planning and development practice
  • Historical studies in planning and development
  • Urban conservation, urban design and urban form (urban morphology)
  • Rural planning and landscape management (including rural-urban fringes)
  • Finance and property development
  • Organisational relationships in construction
  • Knowledge management in professional practice
  • Building operations and management including BIM (Building Information Management)

You must have, or expect to obtain, a Masters degree, or a first or upper second class honours degree and demonstrate an understanding of research and an ability to write clearly and fluently.

At present we do not have any studentships available. We always advertise studentships on jobs.ac.uk.

To discuss these opportunities please contact Professor David Boyd or Professor Peter Larkham.

Peter Larkham also acts as the Director of Research for the Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment, with responsibility for managing the Faculty's research students. He is well placed to advise CESR students and prospective students.

Student feedback

What our students say:

"The PhD journey here is unique: research students are given the freedom to pursue their chosen area and use the supervisory term when necessary. PhD students are fully integrated with school activities and have the chance to teach, attend conferences, work on external research projects and publish papers with the support of staff. A research network exists which interlinks research students across the university, organising events and trips for those undertaking a PhD to communicate across faculties." Mike Hardman

"My research journey came to an end in August 2014. It's amazing how one day it felt as if I would never finish it, and then the next I was actually facing my Viva. It was an unforgettable experience both in terms of its high points and its low and I appreciate them both. The support I received from the research staff was very good indeed and (they) always had the time of day to address concerns even though (they were) dealing with many other students as well. The quality of supervision I received was reflected in the very good viva that I had, which made all the previous hard work worthwhile!" Ben Onyido

Our supervision:

"Your unique way of supervision has been fantastic and I have really enjoyed myself" Mike Hardman

"... immense support, inspiration and a reassuring presence relating to all aspects of my time and supervision at Birmingham City University... just the kind of academic and mentor I prefer working with in terms of your professionalism, writing skills, healthy work ethic and positive attitude" Erica von Essen

"My research supervisors had been very supportive throughout this research period, without which completing a PhD degree in part-time mode would have been next to impossible ... The support given by my two supervisors was exemplary. I would be more than happy to spend six years again to pursue another research under their supervision." Ashok Subbiah

Current students and recent successes