Swansea University Human Geography: ESRC Wales DTP- Collaborative Studentship DEFINE

  • Phd
  • Full cost of tuition fees and stipend
  • 4 February 2022

Human Geography: ESRC Wales Doctoral Training Partnership (PhD) – Collaborative Studentship: ‘DEFINE: unDerstanding Experiences of deaF unIversity studeNts in WalEs – A Case Study’ – in collaboration with Health Care Research Wales and the National Deaf Children’s Society.

Begin your postgraduate research journey at Swansea University: a top 30 research university (REF 2014) producing internationally recognised research that makes a real difference to society. We provide a welcoming environment for PhD researchers with specialist training, advice and development opportunities. As an ESRC Wales DTP researcher, you will also benefit from cohort-based networking events and dedicated ESRC Wales DTP student representatives at each campus.

Swansea University values diversity and equality at all levels and encourages applications from all sections of the community.

Funding providers: ESRC (50%); Health Care Research Wales (50%)

Subject areas: Human Geography, Human and Health Sciences

Project start dates:

  • +3 Course - 1 October 2022 (enrolment open from mid-September)
  • 1+3 Course - 26 September 2022 (enrolment open from mid-September)


This studentship is a ‘collaborative’ award. Applicants should carefully consider the working title and description of the project and may wish to contact the named supervisor and/or the Swansea pathway contact for a discussion prior to applying. They are:

  • Main Supervisors: Dr Julia Terry and Dr Angharad Closs Stephens
  • Pathway contact: Dr Chris Muellerleile

Aligned programme of study: PhD in Human Geography

Mode of study: Full or part-time study is possible. We welcome applications for both full- and part-time study.

Please note that full-time ESRC studentship award holders cannot hold either a full-time job or a permanent part-time job during the period of their award. Part-time ESRC studentship award holders cannot hold a full-time job.

Project description:

Context: Deaf people have lower educational qualifications and lower employment than hearing people, reporting isolation and exclusion which impact their development, engagement and mental health. Many d/Deaf people report lonely and challenging university experiences. 46% of d/Deaf students start university without support, lack targeted resources, with equality issues unmet.

Rationale: There is a lack of grounded, experiential research focusing on lived experiences of d/Deaf people as they navigate challenging HE environments. This interdisciplinary project seeks to tackle exclusion through people-powered change by exploring intersectional identities, and everyday experiences of society and space, to advance knowledge of how being d/Deaf is understood and contested.


Probable aims: To identify experiences of d/Deaf students in Welsh universities exploring isolation, spatial and societal exclusion, and what facilitates positive experiences opening future possibilities.


  1. To explore the intersectional needs of students with multiple identities;
  2. To understand d/Deaf students’ everyday experiences of space and society;
  3. To develop a framework to support d/Deaf students in Welsh universities to better meet their educational, social and identity needs.

Research questions:

  • What are the unique, everyday life experiences of d/Deaf university students in Wales?
  • What then, are the barriers and enablers to a positive university experience for d/Deaf university students in Wales?


ESRC studentships are highly competitive. Candidates should have an excellent background in the social sciences, holding a first- or strong upper-second-class degree, or equivalent recognised by Swansea University (please consult https://www.swansea.ac.uk/postgraduate/apply/entry-requirements/); applications from those also holding a relevant research training master’s degree (or an equivalent background in research training) will be considered for a ‘+3’ /PhD award.

English language requirements: if applicable, a minimum overall IELTS score of 6.5 (with a score of no less than 6.5 in any individual component) or Swansea University-recognised equivalent is required.

A fully-funded Wales DTP studentship is available to both UK and international (including EU and EEA) students. All applicants will be eligible for a full award consisting of a maintenance stipend and payment of tuition fees at the UK research organisation rate. Applicants must satisfy studentship eligibility requirements.

For further details, please see the UKRI website. Successful international student applicants will receive a fully-funded Wales DTP studentship and will not be charged the fees difference between the UK and international rate.

Pending qualification study: to meet Swansea University's concurrent study regulations, current study is required to be awarded/completed (as appropriate) prior to the course/scholarship start date. Please note that this date supersedes any current course of study schedule/submission deadlines.

NB: If you hold a non-UK degree, please see Swansea University degree comparisons to find out if you meet the eligibility criteria.

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The studentship provides the full cost of tuition fees and an annual stipend.

There will be additional funds available for research expenses.

Studentship awards commence in October 2022 and will cover your tuition fees as well as a maintenance grant (currently £15,609 per annum for 2021/22 for full-time students, updated each year) and include access to an additional Research Training Support Grant (RTSG).

A ‘1+3’ studentship provides funding for four years (or part-time equivalent), completing a research training master’s in the first year, followed by 3 years’ research funding for a PhD. A ‘+3’ studentship provides funding for the three years of PhD research study only (or part-time equivalent).

There are other opportunities and benefits available to studentship holders, including an overseas fieldwork allowance (if applicable), internship opportunities, overseas institutional visits and other small grants.


Please see our website for more information.

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