PhD Planning and Environmental Management

Year of entry: 2023

Overview

Degree awarded
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Duration
3 years
Entry requirements
  • A First or Upper Second Class Bachelor's degree (or its international equivalent).
  • A relevant master's degree, with Merit and a minimum average grade of 65% in both the taught course units and your dissertation (or international equivalent of 65%).

Full entry requirements

How to apply

Apply online

Please ensure you include all required supporting documents at the time of submission, as incomplete applications may not be considered.

Application Deadlines

Most funding opportunities (internal and external partners – list here ) require you to have submitted a PhD application by 1 st February 2023, at the latest. However, we recommend that you apply in advance of this date as it can be advantageous to have a PhD offer already in place prior to application for funding.   

If you are applying for, or have secured, external funding (for example, from a government or employer) or intend to self-fund then you will need to have submitted an application by 30 th June 2023, at the latest. Unfortunately, you will not be able to apply to the PhD programme after this deadline has passed.

Programme options

Full-time Part-time Full-time distance learning Part-time distance learning
PhD Y Y N N

Programme overview

  • Become part of a large and long-established research community with an array of specialisms.
  • Work alongside a diverse cohort of doctoral researchers from all over the world.
  • Undertake research in a vibrant and nurturing environment, with regular talks and seminars.

Open days

The University holds regular open days, where you will have the opportunity to tour the campus and find out more about our facilities and programmes.

On this day, you will find out more about the School of Environment, Education and Development (SEED) and meet academic and admissions staff who will be able to answer any questions you have.

For more information, see Open days .

Fees

Fees for entry in 2023 have not yet been set. For reference, the fees for the academic year beginning September 2022 were as follows:

  • PhD (full-time)
    UK students (per annum): £6,000
    International, including EU, students (per annum): £20,000
  • PhD (part-time)
    UK students (per annum): £3,000
    International, including EU, students (per annum): £10,000

Further information for EU students can be found on our dedicated EU page.

Your fees will cover the cost of your study at the University, as well as charges for registration, tuition, supervision, examinations and graduation (excluding graduation robe hire).

Payment of tuition fees will also entitle you to membership of The University of Manchester library, the Students' Union and the Athletic Union.

Scholarships/sponsorships

We receive financial resources from a range of sources to help you fund your research and have a variety of awards on offer, covering tuition fees and a generous stipend.

Within the University we offer many school and departmental studentships.

Many research students receive funding externally from places such as research councils, foundations, and international government funding bodies.

Planning and Environmental Management has many links to professional practice.

Therefore, case studentships are a popular form of funding involving partners from private, public and third sector.

Application deadlines for internal funding opportunities are often at the beginning of February for programmes starting the following September, and many external funders have earlier application deadlines.

If you're planning to apply for a scholarship or award that is not attached to a particular project, you'll normally need to hold an offer of a place before applying.

Search for current funding opportunities by country and research programme using our funding database search tool .

Contact details

School/Faculty
School of Environment, Education and Development
Contact name
Christopher Kitchen
Telephone
+44(0)161 275 0807
Email
Website
http://www.seed.manchester.ac.uk/subjects/planning/postgraduateresearch
School/Faculty
See: The School .

Programmes in related subject areas

Use the links below to view lists of programmes in related subject areas.

Entry requirements

Academic entry qualification overview

  • A First or Upper Second Class Bachelor's degree (or its international equivalent).
  • A relevant master's degree, with Merit and a minimum average grade of 65% in both the taught course units and your dissertation (or international equivalent of 65%).

English language

Candidates whose first language is not English require one of the following certificates:

  • IELTS test minimum scores - 7 overall, 7 writing, 6 other sections;
  • TOEFL (internet based) test minimum scores - 100 overall, 25 writing, 22 other sections;
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE) minimum scores - 66 overall, 66 writing, 59 other sections;
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) - overall score of 185 or above, with writing 185 and no other sub-section below 169, or Grade C if taken before 2015;
  • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE) - overall score of 185 or above, with writing 185 and no other sub-section below 169, or Grade B if taken before 2015.

English language test validity

Some English Language test results are only valid for two years.

Your English Language test report must be valid on the start date of the programme.

Application and selection

How to apply

Apply online

Please ensure you include all required supporting documents at the time of submission, as incomplete applications may not be considered.

Application Deadlines

Most funding opportunities (internal and external partners – list here ) require you to have submitted a PhD application by 1 st February 2023, at the latest. However, we recommend that you apply in advance of this date as it can be advantageous to have a PhD offer already in place prior to application for funding.   

If you are applying for, or have secured, external funding (for example, from a government or employer) or intend to self-fund then you will need to have submitted an application by 30 th June 2023, at the latest. Unfortunately, you will not be able to apply to the PhD programme after this deadline has passed.

Advice to applicants

Your completed application should include:

  • two references, one of which should be familiar with your academic work, on headed paper from the institution, signed, dated and stamped;
  • a degree certificate and transcript for your bachelor's and master's degrees;
  • a research proposal;
  • evidence of your English language proficiency;
  • a detailed CV.

Admission to studying for a PhD or a Professional Doctorate is highly competitive, so please allow as much time as possible to prepare your application, browse our research pages and academics' profiles, and familiarise yourself with the application process and any important deadlines.

Your supervisor will be an important part of your PhD programme. It's a close relationship over many years, through which you develop your ideas, skills, thinking and research. Your supervisor's research interests should therefore closely align to yours.

If you aren't applying for a specific project, you'll need to find potential supervisors who will support your research. Details on recent publications, ongoing projects and particular research interests are all available on our academics' profiles.

Most potential supervisors will be happy to provide pre-submission feedback on a well-developed draft proposal that closely matches their research expertise. For more guidance, see how to write a research proposal .

If you identify an academic who is interested in supervising your work, you may be able to receive advice and critical feedback that helps you to make your proposal stronger and more competitive. This is particularly beneficial if you are considering applying for funding. Please send your proposal to one potential supervisor at a time only, copying in pgr-planning@manchester.ac.uk .

If you are not sure who would make the most suitable supervisor for your research, feel free to contact the email address above. Your draft proposal will then be passed on to suitable colleagues, if appropriate.

Alternatively, apply directly here .

How your application is considered

In reaching a decision on applications, we review a number of criteria, including:
  • the availability of two appropriate supervisors;
  • the relevance and strength of your research proposal;
  • your academic standing and relevant professional experience.

When you submit an application, you will receive notification that it has been received. Our admissions team will contact you to let you know if we require any further information.

We aim to process all applications within six weeks and will contact you with our decision as soon as possible.

Interview requirements

You may be required to attend an interview.

Programme details

Programme description

PhD 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;
  • housing and property development.

Our planning and environmental management research focuses primarily around the making of future cities - embracing issues such as spatial analysis, urban governance and sustainability.

We aspire to create better cities by critically analysing and helping shape better policies for promoting equitable and sustainable cities for future generations.

Our research focuses on the UK, Europe and other international arenas such as China and Latin America.

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 .

Postgraduate research students are regarded as an integral part of our research culture, and we recruit high-calibre students from all over the world to join our diverse, multidisciplinary, and international team.

Special features

Manchester is a city where planning has been taught and researched for more than 50 years, and urban development and environmental impacts are right on your doorstep.

We have one of the longest established and largest professionally recognised planning departments in the UK.

Our research addresses the urgent challenges that cities face.

Over recent years we have broadened our work beyond planning and environmental management, towards the themes of real estate and urban design.

Planning and Environmental Management is part of the School of Environment, Education and Development (SEED), a unique interdisciplinary collaboration between the disciplines of Architecture, Education, Geography, International Development, and Planning and Environmental Management.

What unites us is a shared commitment to highlight and address the uneven relationships between societies, economies and the environment.

We want to understand better the world in which we live, and to offer solutions to the problems within it.

We acknowledge that a complex and interconnected world presents many challenges for analysts, but researchers in SEED are pioneering new evidence, measures, concepts and theories in order to address these challenges in practice.

SEED's world-leading research is rooted in everyday life but international in relevance and scope, addressing social, economic and environmental concerns across the globe.

Our PhD and professional doctorate research community, grouped around a range of dynamic centres and themes, is central to the SEED research agenda across all our disciplines.

Teaching and learning

We provide excellent doctoral research training on research methodology and substantive content.

Based on an individual skills audit, you may take course units on planning theory, research design process, and quantitative and qualitative methodologies, together with course units that support your specific research specialism.

Our students are proactive in an 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.

PhD students also can work as Teaching Assistants, following a training session accredited by the Higher Education Academy.

When you become a postgraduate researcher, you'll join a diverse and vibrant community of doctoral students from nearly 100 different countries, all studying within the Faculty of Humanities.

You'll be assigned to a specific research grouping that complements your research interests and have access to a variety of interdisciplinary research institutes.

Our working environments are often spacious and open plan, giving you plenty of opportunities to communicate with colleagues and staff within the School, and you will have your own desk space as well as access to our fantastic range of libraries on campus.

All our academic supervisors are research active and will support you to work on challenging research problems and develop rigorous, creative and original research.

You can expect to meet with your supervisor at least once a month to discuss progress on your project.

You will have access to a large and diverse community of internationally recognised academic experts offering an environment that will stimulate intellectual debate and development. We provide additional financial support for several activities related to your PhD, including:

  • presenting at international conferences;
  • attending workshops that provide relevant professional opportunities;
  • conducting fieldwork in the UK and overseas.

What our students say

Discover what it's really like to conduct postgraduate research at The University of Manchester on our student spotlights page.

Facilities

You can develop your practical skills in our project studio, model-making workshop, and computer suites with specialist design and spatial analysis software.

For more information, see Facilities

Disability support

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

For more information, email  dass@manchester.ac.uk

Careers

Career opportunities

As a postgraduate researcher, you will have access to a dedicated Researcher Development Team who will support your professional development throughout your PhD journey and beyond.

Our researcher development programme will enable you to become more aware of your developing researcher identity, equipping you with the skills you need during your PhD and prepare you to integrate into the researcher community.

At every stage of your career, you will receive relevant, effective and comprehensive professional development opportunities.

We offer training sessions to build your skills and confidence in writing and presenting, with specific sessions on viva preparation, thesis submission and preparing for your Review Panel. You'll also have access to a range of workshops, covering areas such as:

  • increasing research impact through blog posts;
  • making the most of social media;
  • publishing in journals;
  • applying for fellowships;
  • designing academic posters;
  • improving time and self-management.

In addition, our Humanities training hub - ProGRess@humanities - gives you additional training opportunities within the University.

You can choose courses in public engagement, wellbeing, language training and teaching, alongside more specialist courses in tools and software such as Python, R and Nvivo.

methods@manchester , meanwhile, is an initiative that gives you the chance to learn from the very best in research methods expertise at Manchester and beyond.

Regular talks, workshops and other methods-related events are organised throughout the academic year, bringing in experts from across the University and externally.

Finally, taking a placement provides a great opportunity to engage in knowledge exchange and to develop professional networking opportunities for your future career development.

We have established Postgraduate Researcher Exchange programmes with a small number of institutions around the world, offering you the opportunity to visit another institution, access research resources and experience another academic culture as well as build professional networks.

Successful applicants will receive some funding towards travel expenses, accommodation, subsistence, education materials and/or other education-related costs for anything from two weeks to a three-month visit.

For more information, see Careers and employability.

Careers support

The University has its own dedicated Careers Service that you would have full access to as a student and for two years after you graduate.

At Manchester you will have access to a number of opportunities to help boost your employability .