The School of Geography, Politics and Sociology

Staff Profile

Professor Peter Hopkins

Professor of Social Geography


I am currently Professor of Social Geography in the School of Geography, Politics and Sociology where I supervise a group of PhD students and undertake research. My research and teaching interests centre upon the challenges and complexities of inequality and justice, and how these interrelate with debates about equality and diversity. More specifically, my work draws attention to the exclusionary ways in which various forms of discrimination and marginalisation – such as racism, sexism, Islamophobia, sizism and ageism – shape people’s everyday lives, structure the resources available to them and influence their political and social mobility. This work is built upon a commitment to empirical research that is informed both by current debates in academic literatures and theoretical understandings about intersectionality, society and space, as well as – where appropriate – concerns of relevance to policy makers and practitioners.

My work tends to draw upon urban social, feminist and anti-racist research and falls within the following three themes:

Young people, place and identity
- Young people, social identities and political inequalities
- Youth transitions and intergenerational relations
- Young migrants, asylum seekers, refugees and ethnic minority groups

Religion, faith and spirituality
- The everyday lives and spatialities of religious young people
- Gender and generational relations in religious communities
- Experiences of faith and spirituality across the lifecourse

Masculinities, ethnicities and place
- Religious, racialised and ethnicised masculinities
- Constructions of hegemonic and marginalised masculine identities
- Gendered identities, social exclusion and spatial justice

I am also interested in exploring issues connected with the use of various qualitative methods including participatory action research approaches, focus groups as well as research ethics. 

Please feel free to contact me if you are interested in pursuing PhD or postdoctoral research (such as a Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowship) on topics related to the research areas noted above. 

I am a member of the Geographies of Social Change research cluster (which I convened during 2014-2015), the Power, Space, Politics research cluster - both in Geography - as well as the Youth Research Group in the School of Geography, Politics and Sociology.

I have previously served as the Academic Director of the ESRC North East Doctoral Training Centre (2015-2017), the Postgraduate Director for the School (2010 - 2013), and as the Director of Postgraduate Research for Geography (2008-2012). I was promoted to a Personal Chair in 2012 after earlier promotions to Reader and Senior Lecturer following my arrival in Newcastle in 2007. Before this, I worked at Lancaster University as a Lecturer in Human Geography (in what was the Department of Geography) where I also completed a PGCert in Academic Practice. Previous to this, I spent short periods as a Research Fellow at Glasgow University and a Lecturer in Human Geography at the University of Edinburgh. I have a PhD from the University of Edinburgh and an MRes and BA(Hons) from the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow. 


Research roles

Managing Editor of Gender, Place and Culture from March 2013 until December 2016 (served as an Editor during 2012 and Book Review Editor from 2009-2011)

Editorial board member of:
- Gender, Place and Culture (2009-)
- Children's Geographies (2009-)
- Contemporary Islam (2008-2016)

Founding Chair of the RGS-IBG Geographies of Justice Research Group (2011-2016).

Member of the AHRC peer review college, 2010 - 2018 and invited to join AHRC Strategic Reviewer's Group in 2016.

Member of the ESRC's Capability Committee, Sept 2016-2018.

External Associate, Centre for Education for Racial Equality in Scotland (CERES), University of Edinburgh.

Co-editor (with Rachel Pain (Durham)) of a series of books on Gender, Space and Society with Ashgate up until 2016.

I have previously served as the joint Secretary/Treasurer, Chair and Past Co-Chair (with Elizabeth Olson (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)) of the Geography of Religions and Belief Systems Speciality Group of the Association of American Geographers (2007-2013).

Convenor of the Geographies of Social Change research cluster (2014-2015).

Esteem Indicators

2012 Royal Scottish Geographical Society President's Medal and Honorary Fellowship 
2011 Royal Geographical Society Gill Memorial Award for contributions to geographies of religion, youth and race
2011 Vice Chancellor's Distinguished Teacher Award

Visiting Scholar, Religion Research Cluster, National University of Singapore (Jul-Aug 2008)
Visiting Scholar, School of Political and Social Inquiry, Monash University (Feb 2011)
Visiting Scholar, School of Social Sciences, University of Western Sydney (Feb-Apr 2011)
Visiting Scholar, School of Political and Social Inquiry, Monash University (Dec 2011)
Visting Scholar, Royal Melbourne Institute for Technology (Dec 2011)


Postgraduate Supervision

Current students include:
Alessando Boussalem
is exploring the experiences of LGBT Muslims in Brussels (ESRC +3.5 collaborative studentship with Merhaba, 2016 onwards) (with Raksha Pande and Klaartje Van Kerckem)
Kevin Brice is exploring the experiences of white British Muslims (self-funded, 2011 onwards) (with Anoop Nayak and Alastair Bonnett)
Quan Gao is researching the emotional geographies of Uyghur migrants in Beijing (Research Excellence Academy, 2016 onwards) (with Raksha Pande)
Sean Gill is studying young Poles' transitions to adulthood in Northumberland (ESRC +3 collaborative studentship with Northumberland County Council, 2013 onwards)(with Alison Stenning and Jane Walker)
Nathar Iqbal is exploring the experiences of non-heterosexual Muslims (ESRC 1+3 studentship, 2014 onwards) (with Mark Casey)
Aliraza Javaid is researching male rape, masculinities and sexualities (self-funded, 2016 onwards) (with Elaine Campbell)
Naomi Maynard (Durham) is researching young people's experiences of participation: identity, citizenship and transition' (ESRC + 3 collaborative studentship with Investing in Children, 2012 onwards) (with Rachel Pain (Durham))
Sertanya Reddy (UNC Chapel Hill) is researching issues of youth, multiculturalism and intercultural understanding (committee chair, Elizabeth Olson (UNC Chapel Hill))
Ged Ridley is undertaking research about transgender experiences of public bathrooms (ESRC 1+3 collaborative studentship with Yorkshire Trans Support Network, 2015 onwards) (with Michael Richardson)
Jenny Smith is researching the multicultural interactions of refugees in Newcastle upon Tyne (ESRC +3 collaborative studentship with West End Refugee Service, 2014 onwards) (with Anoop Nayak and Lindsay Cross)
Carl Thompson's 
project is researching performances of gay masculinities in online environments (ESRC 1+3 studentship, 2013 onwards) (with Mark Casey)

Recently completed students include:
Joanna Wiseman is studying the integration and identities of young asylum seekers in Scotland (ESRC +3 collaborative studentship with Scottish Refugee Council, completed 2016) (with Anoop Nayak, Clare Tudor and Gareth Mulvey).
Jennifer Lloyd's thesis is about expatriate women's embodied experiences of migration (ESRC 1+3 studentship, completed 2015) (with Alastair Bonnett).
Michael Richardson's thesis is about masculinities and intergenerational relations amongst men of Irish heritage on Tyneside (ESRC +3 studentship, completed 2014) (with Anoop Nayak)
Erin Pritchard's thesis is about how people with restricted growth are socially and spatially marginalised in society (ESRC + studentship, completed 2014) (with Janice McLaughlin)
Rachel Clements' 
thesis is about 'The life transitions of Polish migrant parents in the North East of England (ESRC +3 studentship, completed 2014) (with Alison Stenning)
Rahielah Ali's thesis is about 'Gender, faith and locality: Muslim women in Scotland’ (ESRC Scottish Governmental Collaborative +3 studentship, completed 2013) (with Anoop Nayak)
Alex Tan's thesis is about 'British Chinese youth transitions: cultural identity and youth formations in Newcastle upon Tyne' (ESRC +3 studentship, completed 2013) (with Anoop Nayak)
Thomas Burgoine's study is 'Predisposed to Obesity? A Study into Environmental Equity and the possible Obesogenic Environment of North East England' (ESRC 1+3, completed 2012) (with Seraphim Alvanides (Northumbria University) and Amelia Lake (Durham University))

External examining of PhD theses in geography (Aberystwyth, Cork, Durham, Hull, Leeds, Reading, St Andrews and National University of Singapore), religious studies (Chester), social work (Durham), sociology (Edinburgh and Monash) and cultural studies (University of Western Sydney).


Association of American Geographers
Royal Scottish Geographical Society
Royal Geographical Society with the Institute of British Geographers
Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
Muslims in Britain Research Network


Undergraduate Teaching 

In previous years, I have contributed to the following modules:
Geo2043 Key Methods in Human Geography  
Geo2100 Contested Geographies of New York City (module leader)
Geo2110 Social Geographies 
Geo2111 Doing Geographical Research: Theory and Practice
Geo3105 Young People, Place and Identity (module leader)
Geo3099 Dissertation

Postgraduate Teaching

I make a small contribution to these postgraduate modules and workshops:
HSS8006 Managing a PhD
HSS8104 Qualitative Methodology in the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Research in the Wider Context

In 2011, I was awarded a Vice Chancellor's Distinguished Teacher Award. More recently, I was nominated and shortlisted for a Newcastle Teaching Excellence Award in 2013 for Innovative Teaching Methods and I was nominated for a Newcastle Teaching Excellence Research Supervisor of the Year Award in 2014.

From 2010-2013, I was the external examiner for Geography at Dundee University.