Geography and Environment

The Geography and Environment pathway welcomes applications that reflect the breadth and interdisciplinarity of contemporary human geography and environmental studies. This includes social and political geographical research that might consider inequalities and social justice at and across a range of scales, from embodied politics to global issues; population and economic geographies that seek to understand questions relating to family structure, health, illness and wellbeing, migration, economic performance and measures across spaces including the household, workplace, region and international relations; cultural geography, increasingly intersecting with geo- and environmental humanities. In relation to environmental research, the pathway’s remit covers work in environmental planning, policy and politics, political ecology, investigating topics such as energy, water and food politics, climate change, environmental activism.

In all of these areas, the pathway welcomes applications with a contemporary and/or historical focus, along with future-oriented projects. A range of epistemological and methodological approaches are welcome, including conventional qualitative and quantitative methods (e.g. ethnography, interviews and focus groups, spatial analysis), participatory and action research, and innovative creative and digital methods (e.g. arts-based methods, social media and big data analysis). The pathway also welcomes interdisciplinary studentships which may overlap with AHRC, NERC, MRC remits. What ties together these disparate research agendas and approaches is a focus on the interconnections of space, time and relations, as an empirical and conceptual project.

Programmes eligible for NWSSDTP funding

N.B. Master’s programmes can only be funded as part of a 1+3/2+2 Studentship

Keele University

Lancaster University

University of Liverpool

University of Manchester

For information on how to apply for funding, please visit our How to Apply page.

Pathway Representatives

Contact details for Geography and Environment Pathway Representatives at each institution can be found here

Current Geography and Environment NWSSDTP students

byronCameron Byron (2018 Cohort)

Moving on in Merseyside and Cheshire: Mobilising Geographies of Deathscapes

This project seeks to examine the geographies of burial and cremation by tracing the mobilities of deathscapes. It aims to follow the closure, repurposing and movement of municipal cemeteries on the Wirral, Merseyside, alongside demographic, socio-cultural and political changes in order to explore how tensions regarding the consecration, demarcation and volume of space work to mobilise geographies of death.

OllyOlly McDowell (2018 Cohort)

          • University of Liverpool
          • Email Adress:
          • MethodsX Stream: Ethnography

Food, people and places: The contribution of urban food initiatives to community empowerment in times of crisis

This project explores the role of community-based food economies in empowering communities in post-industrial, austere urban environments. Reading from a diverse economies perspective, it looks towards locating a ‘politics of possibility’ (Gibson-Graham, 2008), where sustainable and just food futures can be imagined by urban communities.

IMG-20200202-WA0006Alison Briggs (2018 Cohort)

The Last Resort? Exploring family life, social relations and forms of support in a context of food insecurity

Previous research into food insecurity has indicated that people experiencing it often depend on family members and friends for support but understanding of the ways in which food insecurity can reconfigure family life and relationships is currently limited.

My research involves conducting an ethnography with families, using participant diaries, participant photography and emotion maps to facilitate exploration of lived experience.

Olivia Fletcher (2020 Cohort)

Healthy lifestyles or ‘dangerous competition’? – self-tracking and the geographies of surveillance in the lives of young people.

This research examines how understandings of ‘health’ and the ‘healthy self’ are being (re)formulated through the everyday personal use of online data and its associated surveillance for young people. These technologies will be examined geographically with a focus on how bodies traverse online and offline spaces in performances of ‘health’. This research uses semi-structured interviews, netnography and content analysis.

Ella Bytheway-Jackson (2019 Cohort)

Unlocking carceral geographies of care: The legacies of Wirral workhouse-hospitals

Developed alongside the Wirral Archives Service, this project uses historic material to understand approaches to (health)care in the carceral settings of Victorian workhouses on the Wirral. This project aims to develop a valuable historic context from the pre-NHS period, when access to care was confined by personal financial status.

Poppy Budworth (2020 Cohort)

Lived experiences of young ‘ostomates’: negotiations with space, stigma and identity

This project is a CASE partnership, co-supervised by GetYourBellyOut and The University of Manchester. Through participant-led qualitative methods, my research explores the multiple everyday experiences of young people living with ostomies; with a focus on how ‘ostomates’ negotiate with, and encounter space, stigma and identity. In addition, the project aims to challenge taken-for-granted, binary assumptions such as inside/outside, public/private and visible/invisible.

Hannah Charles (2021 Cohort)

Social housing challenges in the low-carbon transformation towards Net Zero

This project is looking into the implementation of low carbon energy technologies into social housing. The technologies examined are heat pumps, and the social housing properties are based in Manchester, working alongside housing provider One Manchester. This project will look into the opportunities that residents have for accessing energy justice and participation in decision making for implementing the heat pumps.

Geography and Environment NWSSDTP Alumni


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