The Institute of Spatial and Environmental Planning (ISEP) is one of the fastest growing and dynamic planning research environments in the UK.
Planning at Queen's is now rated ninth in Russell Group submissions.
Our research programme is based on the concept of spatial planning and whilst our empirical work is partly grounded in the region, it is built on strong international, interdisciplinary and theoretical references. Our particular strength is the staff team who have built a track record in scholarly and applied research and a wide-ranging portfolio of publications, research grants and Doctoral studentships. The Institute has built an international reputation and attracted a stream of major research funding linked to our main areas. The Institute values the connection between our research and teaching programmes and the application of our empirical work in a learning environment and continues to innovate and develop teaching programmes to reflect a rapidly changing market place, problem and policy context and changes in professional standards.
Mode of study/duration
Registration is on a full-time or part-time basis, under the direction of a supervisory team appointed by the University. You will be expected to submit your thesis at the end of three years of full-time registration for PhD, or two years for MPhil (or part-time equivalent).
ISEP has built a strong postgraduate group which is effectively integrated into our research projects, teaching and School activities. We offer dedicated support and mentoring within the School to complement training available from the wider University. Moreover, we have the staff expertise within ISEP and our School to offer comprehensive support to postgraduate students across a range of projects in spatial planning. Our research strengths centre on two objective areas:
Interpreting the spatial planning implications of ethnic territoriality and community cohesion, connecting our analysis of contested places within the UK with international scholarship; and developing critical insights into the sustainable creation of place and the role of participatory governance in regulating the shaping of social and environmental space.
Current projects involve a range of studies on contested spaces that build on our strong international research partnerships in North America, South Africa, Europe and the Middle East. The global challenge of development is also reflected in projects on climate change, marine spatial planning and urban design.
We encourage and support fieldwork in international settings and current students have conducted their empirical studies in Bangladesh, Australia and the USA.
For further information on career opportunities at PhD level please contact the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences Student Recruitment Team on askEPS@qub.ac.uk.
Our advisors - in consultation with the School - will be happy to provide further information on your research area, possible career prospects and your research application.
The minimum academic requirement for admission to a research degree programme is normally an Upper Second Class Honours degree from a UK or ROI HE provider, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University. Further information can be obtained by contacting the School.
For information on international qualification equivalents, please check the specific information for your country.
English Language Requirements
Evidence of an IELTS* score of 6.5, with not less than 5.5 in any component is required. *taken within the last 2 years
International students wishing to apply to Queen's University Belfast (and for whom English is not their first language), must be able to demonstrate their proficiency in English in order to benefit fully from their course of study or research. Non-EEA nationals must also satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) immigration requirements for the English language for visa purposes.
If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this degree programme, INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for admission to this degree.
- Academic English: an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level.
- Pre-sessional English: a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English.