Centre for Urban and Regional Development Studies

Study With Us

Study With Us


The vibrant research culture in CURDS encompasses our postgraduate community. Postgraduates are an integral part of the centre’s work.


The CURDS staff has long-standing experience in delivering postgraduate programmes and supervising postgraduate research.

Nearly 60 PhDs and more than 100 MA degrees were awarded by CURDS since its establishment.


Postgraduates are the key resource in renewing the outlook and focus of our research.

Many of the current staff are former postgraduates who completed their studies in CURDS.

Study options

We offer the following forms of postgraduate study:

Professor Andy Pike gives an introduction to studying with CURDS.


CURDS welcomes inquiries and proposals from prospective PhD students to undertake research on the topics listed below.


Our expert staff supervise these degrees.  This often happens in collaboration with the School of Geography, Politics and Sociology.

Degrees link in with the Humanities, Arts and Social Science Postgraduate Research Training Programme.

We would encourage students who are considering applying for Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) funding through The Northern Ireland and North East (NINE) Doctoral Training Partnership to contact the relevant member of staff in CURDS as soon as possible. The deadline for applications to be received by the School of Geography, Politics & Sociology, Newcastle University is 18th January 2019, 4 pm.

Potential PhD Topics

  • Financialisation of the local state
  • Economies of debt, household and local government
  • Regional banking beyond major financial centres
  • Automation, the changing nature of work and regional development
  • Global production networks, strategic coupling and regional development
  • Path creation, institutions and regional adaptation
  • Renewable energy, sustainability transitions and regional development
  • Beyond agglomeration and city-centrism:  new models of spatially inclusive development
  • Devolution, metro-mayors and local industrial strategies
  • Urban analytics: utilising big and open data
  • Demographic change, migration and mobility
  • Alternative financial institutions

See https://www.ncl.ac.uk/curds/study/#research for further information and / or contact:

Professor Andy Pike
Tel: +44 (0)191 208 8011
E-mail: andy.pike@ncl.ac.uk

Participatory planning in the Madrid region of Spain is one of the research projects embarked on by CURDS students.
Participatory planning in the Madrid region of Spain is one of the research projects embarked on by CURDS students.

Careers & Alumni

CURDS postgraduates have a strong record in going on to further study or gaining employment.

PhD postgraduates

Our successful PhD postgraduates have gone on to further post-doctoral study. 

Some work at the Universities of Amsterdam and Kiel, and the European Commission Joint Research Centre in Seville. 

Others have gone into employment in a variety of places, including:

  • the North East Local Enterprise Partnership
  • higher education in Costa Rica
  • local government in South Korea

MA, diploma and certificate postgraduates

Our successful MA, diploma and certificate postgraduates have advanced to PhD studies within CURDS. 

Some have gone further afield to the Universities of Oslo, Pisa Potsdam and Tokyo.

Others have secured jobs in public, private and voluntary sectors in the UK and abroad. They work for organisations including: 

  • Durham County Council
  • Homes and Communities Agency
  • National Audit Office
  • Victoria State Government, Australia.

Contacts developed through CURDS research often support work placement, shadowing and internships. 

Such links are integral to enhancing the employability of postgraduates beyond their degrees.


We keep an active relationship with our alumni and welcome their ongoing contact.

The University Careers Service hold a variety of recruitment fairs throughout the academic year.
The University Careers Service hold a variety of recruitment fairs throughout the academic year.


UK and EU students applying to the MA Research programmes may also be eligible to apply to the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) for funding.

You'll find details of how to apply for ESRC funding on their website.

The School of Geography, Politics and Sociology offers a range of studentships. These cover fees and partial living expenses for MA students.

We have more funding for international students and for Newcastle alumni.

Current postgraduate studentships

We advertise current studentships and also have information for international students on University scholarships.

You might find our funding database useful for potential sources of funding for study.

Further information requests

For more information, contact the School Postgraduate Secretary, Jenny Dawley. 

Tel: +44 (0)191 208 5200
Email: jenny.dawley@ncl.ac.uk


Teaching & Support

Our teaching is seminar-based, combining sessions led by full-time staff and students.


Teaching is interactive and student-focused and includes:

  • discussion of taught and read material
  • individual and/or group projects
  • case study analyses
  • practical projects
  • external practitioner speakers
  • field study visits

Course staff support study and Blackboard provides online access to course materials. Private study is required on top of the scheduled teaching hours.

Assessment is on both individual and group written projects and presentations for taught modules. There is also a research dissertation.

CURDS staff supervise the Master's research dissertation. Potential research topics can link course material with practitioner-related concerns.

Student support

We arrange seminars to help support postgraduate, post-doctoral research and academics. We work with the Regional Studies Association and the Institute for Economic Development.

University support

At Newcastle we provide excellent support services for our students. Our Student Advice Centre, Student Counselling Service and other central services provide help on a range of topics.

Personal tutor system

The University runs a personal tutor system to give you help and advice. Your tutor is a member of our academic staff, and acts as a personal link between you and the University.

We have further support information available for:

Financial support

We have a great deal of general information on student finance to help you.


When you choose a university you are also choosing your home for the next few years. We have a range of accommodation available for all students. Find out more on our postgraduate accommodation pages.

Student life

Student life at Newcastle is dynamic and exciting. Find out more about the social aspect of studying and living at Newcastle University.

The Regional Studies Association helps support CURDS with seminars for postgraduates and academics.
The Regional Studies Association helps support CURDS with seminars for postgraduates and academics.