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School of Environment, Education and Development

Arthur Lewis and Humanities Bridgeford Street Buildings
PhD Planning and Environmental Management
Choose your doctoral focus from a range of specialisms in planning, development and sustainability.

PhD Planning and Environmental Management / Programme details

Year of entry: 2018

Programme description

The Department of Planning and Environmental Management provides a vibrant and nurturing research environment for those who are interested in pursuing research in urban and regional planning; future cities and data analysis; environmental planning and management; environmental impact assessment; green infrastructure, urban design and regeneration; and housing and property development. In the UK 2014 Research Excellent Framework assessment exercise, 99% of our research activities were considered as internationally recognised, with an exceptionally high proportion (75%) judged to be internationally excellent or world leading. Staff members and research students are also active in engaging with the Manchester Urban Institute , particularly via the Spatial Policy and Analysis Laboratory and the Global Urbanism Research Group .

Our research focuses on research in the UK, Europe and other international arena such as China and Latin America. Our current funded research projects include:

  • ESRC-NSFC Newton Fund Collaborative Research project entitled Eco-Urbanisation: Promoting Sustainable Development in Metropolitan Regions of China
  • Transportation and the socio-spatial dimensions of travel to work flows funded by the ESRC
  • RESIN - Climate Resilient Cities and Infrastructures funded by the European Commission's Horizon 2020 Programme.
  • Green Growth: Increasing the Resilience of Cities throughthe Delivery of Green Infrastructure Based Solutions was funded by the Natural Environment Research Council
  • Green Infrastructure and the Health and Wellbeing Influences on an Ageing Population (GHIA) funded by NERC
  • Migration, Urbanisation and Governance in China, funded by the University of Manchester's Hallsworth Research Fund in Chinese Political Economy
  • Infrastructure development and sustainable spatial growth: the case of HSR development in the Yangtze River Delta, China, funded by the University of Manchester's Hallsworth Research Fund in Chinese Political Economy
  • Planning for Sustainable Urban Neighbourhood Change, funded from the CUHK-UoM Research Fund

Our research students received funding from a wide range of sources including the Economic and Social Research Council, Engineering and Physical Science Council, China Scholarship Council, Ford Foundation, other international government and bodies funding, as well as University of Manchester's own studentships.  Some of the recent examples of the ESRC funded collaborative doctoral studentship topics:

  • Alternative models and future scenarios of sustainable spatial rebalancing for Northern England: with IPPR North
  • Re-using brownfield land in a context of weak property market conditions and dwindling public resources: the role of 'meanwhile land': with MERCi
  • The role of the private sector in heritage-led regeneration in England: with Urban Splash
  • The role that social housing providers can play in creating healthy places: with Trafford Housing Trust
  • Can Rewilding Work for Everyone? Targeted Rewilding to Enhance Ecosystem Service Delivery in the English Uplands: with Moors for the Future Partnership

We provide excellent doctoral research training on research methodology and substantive content. Based on an individual skills audit, research students may take course units on planning theory, research design process, quantitative and qualitative methodologies, together with course units that support their specific research specialism that are chosen from the suite of graduate programme course units available within the Department of Planning and Environmental Management. Our students are proactive in interdisciplinary forum where PhD students share their work, and hosting their own PhD seminar series as well as participating in the Department's own  academic seminars.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: