Centre for Urban and Regional Development Studies

Tom Strickland

Tom Strickland

Your postgraduate research

My research focused on the “financialisation” of urban development funding. It investigated the changing nature of the interaction between cities and financial markets.

New financial mechanisms local governments used to fund regeneration are central to this. These mechanisms are important in the current climate of public sector austerity.

In particular, my research looked at “financialisation” of urban development across UK cities, including:

  • Newcastle
  • Manchester
  • London

and in the US, including:

  • Chicago
  • LA
  • Pittsburgh

Besides the international dimension, the research was collaborative with Newcastle City Council.

Choosing CURDS

CURDS is a dynamic research centre that produces high quality academic research. Its position between academic, policy and commercial worlds, made it exciting to work in.

Undertaking my PhD here provided an opportunity to be part of a world-renowned department. It has connections with academic and policy organisations across the globe. It also has a strong position in Newcastle and the North East.

There are excellent facilities available at Newcastle University. Advice and guidance is available from friendly, interactive and personable members of CURDS.

Collaborating with Newcastle City Council gave me a chance to develop new skills and knowledges. It helped me foster links with key policymakers and practitioners.

Academic background

Before starting my PhD in CURDS, I had undertaken a BA in Geography at Newcastle University. I also did the CURDS MA in Regional Development (Research).

The Masters' enabled me to design assignments and tailor the course to my interests. These included economic geography and geographies of finance and money. I had learned of these as an undergraduate.

My degrees provided key foundations and skills to move forward to the level required in a PhD. I have also worked in consultancy research in CURDS over the course of my degrees.

Studying with CURDS

Studying for a PhD within CURDS provides a fantastic opportunity. You learn from renowned experts in economic geography and local and regional development.

The influential academic publications and policy contributions speak for themselves. Whether in the form of: 

  • one-to-one meetings with supervisors
  • group seminars
  • large conferences
  • conversations over a coffee

there is always the opportunity to learn from other people in CURDS. High profile guests that visit the department on a regular basis also help with learning.

CURDS has given me the skills and knowledge to develop as a researcher and set me up for a fulfilling career.

Student life at Newcastle University

There is a vibrant postgraduate community at Newcastle University. Diversity and inter-disciplinarity are encouraged and new ideas can thrive. 

The facilities available to postgraduates are exemplary. They range from the excellent Robinson Library to new laptops for 1st year PhD students. 

The campus offers all the facilities to have an enjoyable and rewarding postgraduate experience. There is a student union, modern sports centre and societies to fit all interests. 

I also benefited from the bespoke careers service provided by the university. It helped me past some difficult obstacles to finding my desired area of research and career path.

Living in Newcastle

Newcastle can’t be bettered as a place to study in, whether as an undergraduate or a postgraduate. The iconic Monument, historic Grey Street and fashionable quayside give you a feel for the city’s character. 

The vibrant city centre, Jesmond and Heaton are great places to live, packed full of bustling cafés and bars.

There's scenic Northumberland countryside nearby and you're a short metro ride from Tynemouth beach. The fish and chips are amazing.