Student profile: Niamh

Niamh is studying on the Human Geography Pathway with the ESRC Midlands Graduate School. Read more about her experiences of studying at Leicester below.

PhD topic
Rural gentrification and transformations in the rural real estate complex.

Portrait of Niamh

Where did you study for your undergraduate/masters?
I studied at Loughborough University for both my BSc (Geography) and MSc (International Financial and Political Relations).

Why have you chosen Leicester for your PhD?
The University of Leicester is widely recognised for its research culture especially in the department of geography. This reputation for high quality research combined with the fact that this studentship is joined with Loughborough University, which from my own personal experience is an excellent department for academic research, were the main reasons for my decision.

Why have you chosen the Midlands Graduate School?
I have chosen the Midlands Graduate School as it provided a unique opportunity to be a part of a cohort of PhD students across a number of universities. Also, the fact that my PhD is a joint studentship with two universities within the Midlands Graduate School created the opportunity to work with both Martin Phillips and Darren Smith within this field of research. This is a unique opportunity primarily because of their extensive knowledge of the subject area and the fact that they are both leading researchers in this field.

Why did you decide to do a PhD?
Following my undergraduate and subsequent postgraduate studies I decided I would like to continue my academic career by undertaking a PhD. This was because a PhD will enable me to extend my theoretical and conceptual understanding of geographical phenomena as well as providing me with the means to further develop my geographical knowledge and also my career in higher education. 

How did you find out about Leicester/MGS?
I found out about this fellowship through my lecturers at Loughborough University, who highlighted that the university was a part of this Midlands Graduate School. Also, researching the subject of rural gentrification led me to discover that a key figure, Martin Phillips, was a member of the geography department at the University of Leicester.

What do you think will be most enjoyable about your PhD?
I think that the most enjoyable aspect of my PhD will be the opportunity to contribute a new piece of research to the academic community. Also, the dedication of the three years to a specific area of research and also the opportunity to travel and collect data is another aspect of the PhD which I am looking forward to.

What do you think will be most challenging about your PhD?
I think that time management will be a challenging aspect of my PhD, in terms of knowing when to take a break and switch off from research, knowing that it is ok to take time away from my studies.

Do you have any plans for after your PhD?
I would like to continue my research into this field and I would also like to gain a lecturing position at a university.