Postgraduate Research Case Studies
DIRE academics in the School of Geography are delighted to collaborate with postgraduate students to investigate some of the biggest challenges facing societies today. We are extremely proud of the ambitious projects our students have developed and actively work towards co-producing high-quality research outputs with them.
Postgraduate research with DIRE academics can set students along the path to academia as well as preparing students for careers including environmental management, big data analysis, and working with NGOs. We highly value the ethos of ‘student as producer’ and aspire to support our students to develop their own independent line of enquiry that captures their interests and upholds the values of our research group: the situation is DIRE. Our postgraduate students are actively working to address issues related to development, inequalities, building resilience, and sustainable environments.
A tale of two cities: understanding the perceptions and barriers to tackling the UK Housing Crisis in Lincoln and Doncaster
For the best part of two decades, the UK has underdelivered on building new housing. The UK now needs an additional 345,000 new homes each year, to accommodate its growing population. Consequently, house prices have increased by 44% since the 2008 Global Financial Crisis and are continuing to rise. Housing is a fundamental component of social mobility and economic security, yet the UK has persistently struggled to develop the required amount to new housing to support population growth.
NIMBYism (Not-In-My-Back-Yard-ism) is believed to have influenced political resistance to develop new housing in the regions that need it most. This research aims to identify the underlying factors that influence NIMBY attitudes in the UK, and how factors vary between groups by age, gender, education, income, and region.
Understanding NIMBY attitudes will allow planning specialists, urban developers, and government to address barriers to building new housing to help ease the national Housing Crisis. The research considers how attitudes might vary between two cities in both Lincoln, in the East Midlands and Doncaster, South Yorkshire, with the aim to identify factors that might vary spatially. Easing this crisis is necessary to improve social mobility, economic conditions and help lift a generation of young people out of the renting framework and into home ownership.
Evaluating the relationship between urbanisation and dengue fever in Malaysia - Grace Atkin
Without thorough understanding, the distribution and control of infectious diseases can be hard to manage. One of particular importance is dengue fever which affects millions of people annually. Although dengue fever is not life-threatening, it can potentially turn into a severe, fatal form known as dengue haemorrhagic fever which highlights the requirement to raise awareness to mitigate transmission.
The disease has become further distributed across the globe with increased connectivity through transport and technology, particularly in subtropical and tropical regions such as South East Asia. Furthermore, in developing countries such as Malaysia, an increase in urbanisation processes has provided ideal conditions for the vectors to thrive. This study aims to shed light on the relationship between dengue incidence and the role of urban and semi-urban areas in Malaysia. However, the study also considers other contributing factors such as climate influences and the role of governance and how these further impact management interventions. Although previous studies have examined the relationship between urbanisation and the prevalence of disease, there is an absence of country-specific, case study accounts which include an analysis of management strategies. This research involves a qualitative analysis of research literature, official government documents and semi-structured interviews alongside quantitative methods examining case numbers, demographic characteristics, and environmental statistics. This combination provides a thorough insight into the reality of Malaysia’s experiences with dengue fever throughout the past two decades.
Supervisory team: Dr Matthew Hannaford
Evaluating the Effectiveness of Formal and Non-Formal Environmental Stewardship - Soseala Tinilau
Tuvalu and other Pacific island nations rely on biodiversity and ecosystem services, both of which are threatened by climate change. A critical impediment to strengthening national resilient development has been identified as a lack of capacity and competence as a result of the lack of sustainable approved and quality-assured formal training programs at the vocational level. As a result of the aforementioned roadblocks, this study focuses on evaluating the effectiveness of formal and non-formal environmental stewardship training and developing and testing an acceptable approach for examining educational interventions on environmental stewardship.
The research seeks to use a number of mixed methodologies. Questionnaires, interviews, and focus groups will be used in the research. A range of qualitative and quantitative analytic techniques will be used in conjunction with the three core research methods, including descriptive statistical analysis of closed-ended questions and grounded theory analysis of interviews and focus groups. Workshops may be employed toward the project's conclusion.
Tuvalu’s climate change resilience and environmental stewardship education are expected to increase as a result of the study. Donors and assistance agencies will benefit from the study’s recommendations for adequate training and accreditation to improve environmental stewardship. The study will also provide fresh theoretical insights into how developing country climate pedagogy is managed.
Supervisory team: Dr Andrew Kythreotis and Dr Theresa Mercer
Examining the Public Response to the Covid-19 Pandemic in the UK - Olivia Whyte
The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), and the global spread of the 2019 novel Coronavirus disease (Covid-19) has arguably impacted people across the globe like no other event of the 21st Century. While efforts to curb the rise of cases and deaths have been implemented, such as the rollout of vaccinations, the actions of individuals are also significant in limiting the risk and spread of the virus.
This research aims to explore individual behaviour during the Covid-19 pandemic and explore factors that influence the behaviours of the UK public. The behaviours being investigated include the use of face coverings and abidance to social distancing, household mixing, and self-isolation rules imposed by the government across different time periods of the pandemic.
Additionally, there are a number of competing factors/theories which may motivate behaviours during a pandemic, including cognitive factors, such as psychological closeness, moral responsibility, social norms, risk, knowledge and trust, as well as practical considerations, including legal compliance and policy. Therefore, this research aims to identify the main factors and associated theories which explain the behaviours of the UK public. The methodology of this research takes a mixed-methods approach, and the data was collected through an online survey that gained 203 participants over the course of three months. The results of this research will be derived from statistical and thematic analysis.
We welcome applications at any time from prospective MSc by Research, MA by Research, MPhil, and PhD students wishing to join our thriving postgraduate research community.