Centre for Urban and Regional Development Studies

Rebecca Richardson

Rebecca Richardson

Your postgraduate research

My PhD was a collaborative project. I worked with the NewcastleGateshead Initiative, the destination marketing agency for NewcastleGateshead. As places compete for: 

  • investment
  • jobs
  • residents
  • students
  • visitors

place branding activities are used to promote places in this competitive environment. The research investigated the relationship between place branding and urban development. 

NewcastleGateshead was my core case study. I studied four other case study cities. This helped me develop a comparative approach and provided learning for my partner agency.

Choosing CURDS

I was attracted to CURDS due to the possibility of working on a project with a non-academic partner. It meant my research would have impact through its use by that organisation. 

CURDS' good links to organisations in the region means it is successful in providing collaborative projects.

Academic and career history

Before starting the project, I worked as a policy officer in town planning for a local authority. 

Before that I studied for my undergraduate degree at Durham University. I have undertaken postgraduate studies at both Durham and Newcastle University.

I found both my previous study and work experience useful as I undertook this project. The change back to a university setting was easy as the nature of PhD research means you make the project your own.

Studying with CURDS

The best thing about studying in CURDS was the expert advice and support offered by supervisors. 

It's fantastic and allows you to develop your research project with confidence. 

The links they have to people working in practice and to academics around the world were great for my work.

Student life at Newcastle University

I found the University to be a friendly place. It supports its postgraduates well by providing office space and other facilities. 

There is also a training programme for postgraduate researchers. This was a good way to meet people in different disciplines in the early stages. 

There are lots of things to get involved in should you want to.

Living in Newcastle

Newcastle is an attractive city with great shopping, nightlife and culture. It’s a friendly city where there is always something going on. 

The university is in the heart of the city, meaning you are able to make the most of what it has to offer. 

I didn’t live in Newcastle itself but the transport links are good, meaning it was easy to commute in every day.