PhD studentship: geographical inequalities in higher education

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences Graduate School

University of Bath

Apply for a full-time studentship as part of the ESRC Spatial and Social (Im)Mobilities project at the University of Bath.

This PhD project represents an outstanding opportunity to join an interdisciplinary team of academics carrying out cutting-edge research addressing geographies of education and social mobility.

The wider projectthis studentship is attached to commenced in 2016 and draws on the disciplines of geography, sociology and education to examine how geographical location impacts on social inequalities at the point of university entry.

Working as part of the project team, the successful candidate will specifically contribute to the stream of work that looks at how geographic locality can come to shape young people’s educational and occupational horizons.

The wider programme of research is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). This studentship is supported by additional funding from the Office for Fair Access (OFFA).

The project

In spatially divided countries like the UK, the area where young people grow up can be a key factor in the shaping of young people’s educational and career orientations. Yet, little is known about the extent to which geographical location makes a difference and the processes driving this, in terms of the ways in which any place-based inequalities are subjectively experienced.

This studentship will contribute to this growing area of work by examining patterns of higher education participation across different localities, taking a mixed methods approach and drawing on both quantitative and qualitative data. It will explore whether, after taking into account achievement at school and social background, there remain geographical differences in access to higher education.

After investigating the characteristics of those localities where fewer young people go to university than might be expected, in-depth qualitative work will be carried out in two locations to explore what might account for low rates of participation. In doing so, the work will consider how the experience of growing up in particular localities shapes young people’s sense of self and educational trajectories.

It offers the chance to develop a high level of quantitative and qualitative research skills as well as contribute to a growing and important interdisciplinary body of work and develop

Award funding

If successful, you will be supported for three years. Funding includes:

- £14,296 (2016/17 rate) per year stipend
- Home/EU tuition fees
- an annual Training Support Grant

Terms and conditions and details of other awards can be found on the Graduate School website.

Funding requirements

To be considered for this funding you must:

- meet the entrance requirements for a Department of Education PhD
- demonstrate a good level of knowledge and experience of statistical methods of analysis, including the use of appropriate software packages

Having some experience and knowledge of qualitative research approaches and an appreciation of mixed methods research would be an advantage.

Funding information

Funding applies to:
EU applicants (including UK)

Contacts and how to apply

Administrative contact and how to apply:

1. Apply to study
You must apply online for a full-time Department of Education PhD.

You must quote the project title (geographical inequalities in higher education) in your application.

There is no need to write a full formal research proposal (2,000-3,000 words) in your application to study as this studentship is for a specific project.

2. Provide a personal statement
As part of your application please provide a personal statement of 500-1,000 words with your initial thoughts on the research topic.

The closing date for the receipt of applications is 12.00 noon (GMT) on Tuesday 28 February 2017.

Interviews are preliminarily scheduled for 16 March 2017.

The studentship will begin either by 1 June 2017 or in October 2017. Please indicate on your application whether you are able to start by the 1 June 2017. Preference may be given to a suitable candidate able to start this academic year.

Informal enquiries

Project enquiries
Dr Michael Donnelly

01225 38 5458

Application enquiries

01225 38 5233

Application deadline:

28 February 2017