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Newcastle University: Rural Studies

Institution Newcastle University View institution profile
Department School of Natural and Environmental Sciences
Web Visit Newcastle University website
Study type Research


MPhil and PhD supervision covers a number of research topics supported by research active academic staff. Our broad range of research areas relate to land use, natural resources and environmental change; rural planning, community governance and resilience; rural change, culture and wellbeing; and rural economy, enterprise and innovation.

Areas of research include: •impact and implications of ‘local-global’ processes and relationships for rural areas •characteristics and performance of rural businesses and households •rural governance •demographic ageing and social change •living with environmental change.

Opportunities are available for postgraduate research in the following areas:

Land use, natural resources and environmental change •multifunctional land use and the evolving role of small farms •land use and food security •the management and governance of natural resources •agri-environment policy •environmental valuation and choice modelling •access to land for outdoor recreation and leisure •protected areas management.

Rural planning, community governance and resilience •relationship between rural development policy and communities in a changing political landscape •rural policies and the role of communities in policy development •neo-endogenous or networked rural development •rural housing and trends in counter-urbanisation •community asset management •rural partnerships and stakeholder relationships •community resilience.

Rural change, culture and wellbeing •perceptions of rurality •rural social change •the role of rural women •the needs of a changing rural community •wellbeing and quality of life •rural social capital •social exclusion and rural poverty •changing perceptions of farming.

Rural economy, enterprise and innovation •rural enterprise and its economic contribution •innovation and entrepreneurialism •networks and knowledge exchange •the nature and needs of rural enterprise •technological adoption and innovation in agriculture •linkages between urban and rural economies •business collaboration and networking •expertise and knowledge exchange •social and community enterprise •the green economy.


We offer a number of different routes to a research degree qualification, including full-time and part-time supervised research projects. We attract postgraduates via non-traditional routes, including mature students and part-time postgraduates undertaking study as part of their continuing professional development. Off-campus (split) research is also offered, which enables you to conduct trials in conditions appropriate to your research programme.


Centre for Rural Economy:

The Centre for Rural Economy is a Newcastle University Research Centre specialising in interdisciplinary social science, researching rural development and policy, food and society, and the wellbeing of rural communities.

Doctor of Philosophy - PhD

Master of Philosophy - MPhil

Newcastle University







About us
A Global Top 125 university (QS World University Rankings 2023), Newcastle University is dedicated to excellence, creativity and innovation, pioneering solutions that can change our world.

Through world-class research it tackles some of the biggest challenges facing society globally, leading in its key strengths of ageing and health, data, energy, cities, culture and creative arts. The UK’s Research Excellence Framework 2021 assessed its research as world-leading with outstanding impact.

Through high quality teaching it …

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