About the Project

The School of Geography and Planning at Cardiff University, supported by Wales Graduate School for the Social Sciences (WGSSS) (ESRC DTP) and Shelter Cymru, invites applications for PhD study for the following PhD project for October 2024 entry.

The supervisors are Dr Peter Mackie and Dr Ian Thomas.

Working collaboratively with leading Welsh housing and homelessness charity Shelter Cymru, this study will examine the role of independent housing legal advice in enabling access to housing justice for people at risk of homelessness in Wales. This project will employ a mixed methodological approach, integrating innovative linkage and analysis of Shelter Cymru’s administrative data with exploratory qualitative methods.

Duration of study:

Durations of study/studentship awards may vary from 3.5 (PhD) to 1+3.5 (MSc + PhD) years full time (or part time equivalent). This is dependent on prior research experience and training needs which will be assessed by completing an Initial Development Needs Analysis (Initial DNA) at the application stage and a Full DNA prior to award if successful.

Entry Criteria:

Studentships are highly competitive. Candidates should have an excellent academic background in the social sciences, holding a 1st or strong upper 2nd class degree, or a relevant research training master’s degree. We welcome applications for both full and part-time study.


WGSSS studentships are available to home and international students. Up to 30% of our cohort can comprise international students. International students will not be charged the fee difference between the UK and international rate. Applicants should satisfy the UKRI eligibility requirements.

Cardiff University and WGSSS are committed to supporting and promoting equality and diversity and creating an inclusive environment for all. We welcome applications from all members of the global community irrespective of age, disability, sex, gender identity, gender reassignment, marital or civil partnership status, pregnancy or maternity, race, religion or belief and sexual orientation.


The closing deadline for applications is 12.00 noon (GMT) on Friday, 19 April 2024. Short-listed applicants will be invited to interview, which are expected to take place before 2 May 2024. After interview, a final short-list of applicants will be put forward to a Panel convened by the ESRC WGSSS Management Group at which final decisions with regard to studentship awards will be made. Successful applicants can expect to hear by mid-May 2024.

How to apply:

All applications should be submitted via https://www.cardiff.ac.uk/study/postgradutate/research/programmes/programme/geography-and-planning submitted by the deadline of 12.00 noon, 19 April 2024. Incomplete applications or applications received after this specified time will not be accepted. The application must contain (this also applies to Fast Track applicants):

1) Cover letter (two pages maximum). It must include the following bullet points as subheadings:

• Set out your reasons and motivation for applying to study at Cardiff University, and your pathway.

• Detail your understanding, and expectations of doctoral study.

• Detail of your academic interests generally, and particularly of those relating to your proposed research.

• Drawing on your own background provide a summary of why you are ready to undertake a PhD now and how you will flourish as a result of PhD funding. Challenges could include, but are not limited to, protected characteristics, socio-economic status and of being a prospective first-generation student or care- experienced.

• Reflecting on your own background and/or proposed approach to PhD study and the opportunities which it will present, how will you support diversity and inclusion in the PhD community?

2) Academic CV (two pages maximum)

3) Research proposal : the proposal should build directly on the outline description that has been supplied. The proposal should be up to a maximum of 1000 words, not including bibliographic references. Please use the following headings to construct your proposal:

• Title, aims and purpose of the research;

• Brief overview of the academic literature relevant to your field;

• Proposed design/methods;

• Academic contributions of your research.

• Bibliographic References

4) Two references (academic or professional): applications must be supported by references. Candidates must approach referees themselves and include references with their application.

5) Degree certificates and transcripts (including translations if applicable). International applicants must also include proof of English Language competency (7.0 IELTS minimum).

This program is available in English only. To request information in Welsh, contact the Postgraduate Recruitment Team ().