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Rural Studies, PhD, MPhil

  • Anytime
    Application Deadline
  • 36 months
University rank #152 (QS) Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
The supervision of the Rural Studies from Newcastle University 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. 
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Areas of research of the Rural Studies from Newcastle University 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

Detailed Programme Facts

  • More details:

    The course starts in September, but we consider January and April start dates on an individual basis. 

  • Programme intensity

    You can choose to do this programme part-time or full-time.

    • Full-time duration 36 months
    • Average part-time duration 72 months
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

Programme Structure

Course Overview:

Our Science, Agriculture and Engineering Postgraduate Researcher Development Programme aims to help you develop the skills and experience that the UK Research Councils expect you to have, or to develop, during your research degree.

Our programme will help you to:

  • complete a training needs analysis, so that you know what your current skills are and where you need help and development
  • use your training needs analysis to create your personal development plan
  • identify appropriate workshops or other events that will help you most and best address your development needs
  • gain the personal and professional key skills development for the successful completion of your research degree

English Language Requirements

  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL iBT ® measures your English-language abilities in an academic setting. The test has four sections (reading, listening, speaking, and writing), each with a score range of 0-30, for a total score range of 0-120. Read more about TOEFL iBT ®.

    Schedule TOEFL®
  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

Academic Requirements

You need the following GPA score:

Required score: Upper Second Class

Applicants for graduate programs must have the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree with a minimum GPA equivalent to Upper Second Class on the UK Honour scale. Admitted applicants typically have an undergraduate GPA of or better on the UK Honour scale. No exam grade should be lower than 4.5 (European grade scale) or D (American grade scale).

Your GPA (Grade Point Average) is calculated using the grades that you received in each course, and is determined by the points assigned to each grade (e.g. for the US grading scale from A-F).

General Requirements

  • A 2:1 honours degree, or international equivalent, in a relevant subject.
  • We usually expect research experience and/or a postgraduate qualification, such as a MRes or MSc, for PhD study. 

Tuition Fee

Living costs for Newcastle upon Tyne

  • 560 - 1000 GBP/month
    Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.


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