The Environmental Planning (‘Envplan’) Training Pathway, consisting of Newcastle University and Queen’s University Belfast, offers world-leading PhD opportunities in environmental planning research, very broadly conceived. The pathway encompasses three of the most important planning-related research centres in Europe. It emphasises the need to inform urban and rural planning and policy with high-level and cutting-edge PhD research which draws on the latest critical and theoretical traditions in the environmental, social and policy sciences.
At Newcastle University, the Environmental Planning pathway is divided between two centres. The first, the Global Urban Research Unit (GURU), is based in in the University’s School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape (APL). GURU is one of Europe’s largest urban research centres and is internationally recognised for its theoretical contributions to planning, governance and urban studies, and for its engagement in societal challenges, public policy, community development and professional practices. GURU is the hub of a diverse PhD researcher community with 67 PhD researchers from 27 nations (as of November 2017). It particularly encourages Envplan PhD applications that connect with its long-standing research strengths in urban governance and regeneration, urban security and resilience, urban infrastructure, digital urbanism, community and urban governance, urban design and urban and planning theory.
The second Newcastle Envplan Centre, the Centre for Rural Economy (CRE), is a research centre specialising in interdisciplinary social science and applied policy research oriented towards the achievement of sustainable development in rural areas. Drawing on a team of over 30 social scientists from diverse academic backgrounds (e.g. economists, geographers, sociologists, food marketers, political scientists and psychologists), it is one of the most significant groupings of rural social scientists in the UK. The Centre particularly encourages Envplan PhD applications which connect with its established strengths in the social science of food, rural development, rural sociology and environmental policy planning.
The third centre for the Envplan pathway, at Queen’s University, Belfast, is based in the Planning group which is located in University’s School of Natural and Built Environment. The School has world-leading strengths, and a diverse and lively PhD community, focusing on the themes of ‘Place, Well-being and Healthy Environments’ and ‘Cities, Communities and Contested Urbanism.’’ Envplan applications are particularly encouraged on themes related to these two broad research strengths. Research in these themes draws on our close links across the University and with our international partners, with supervisors joining from a range of disciplines including, planning, architecture, geography, law, politics, sociology, public health and the Global Research Institute in Conflict, Security and Territory.
Envplan PhD researchers in GURU, CRE and Queens without a Research Masters will each take the full Research Masters course in each Centre. Each of these offers a full ESRC-accredited suite of research training modules, plus opportunities to chose from a very wide range of specialist postgraduate modules that connect to and support the proposed theme of the PhD.