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Investigating the impact of urban and natural environments on health and wellbeing through social media analysis

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About This PhD Project

Project Description

The places central to our daily lives play an important role in our health and wellbeing. Typically, built and natural environments are compared for their effects on these outcomes using traditional experimental methods. However, growing evidence indicates people use social media to communicate how these locations impact them. Grounded in Environmental Psychology, the project will focus on how social media content can be used to understand the impact of built and natural environments on physical health and wellbeing, with a preference for proposals focused on urban green and blue space.


The project aims are to use social media analysis to investigate how built and natural environments influence health and wellbeing and to develop analysis methods integrated with person-place and psychological wellbeing frameworks.

Potential Applications

The research findings have potential to impact a range of fields including psychology, public health, urban planning and landscape architecture.

Entry Requirements

Proposals are invited from self-funded applicants. The normal entry requirement for a research degree in psychology is a UK honours degree in Psychology (first or 2:1) or a UK Master’s degree in Psychology (or an international qualification that is regarded as equivalent). Overseas applicant must supply IELTS (British Council) Test: Minimum score level 6 in each of the four areas of reading, writing, listening and speaking with overall minimum score 6.5 issued within the last 2 years or degree certificate from UK or other English-language university awarded in last 2 years.

Information on PhD study, university fees, and making an application can be found at Start dates are 1 October, 1 February, and 1 May.

All international students studying at postgraduate level are awarded a £1,500 scholarship in each year of study. You do not have to apply for this scholarship; it is automatically applied to reduce your total annual tuition fee. The University of Sunderland is an eligible institution for U.S. (Federal School Code: G35073) and Canadian (EI Code: PUFL) Student Finance Programmes.


Dr. Stephanie Wilkie
Senior Lecturer in Psychology
School of Psychology
University of Sunderland
City Campus
T: 011 44 191 515 2601

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