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Investigating the role of identity and place characteristics on health and wellbeing

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  • Full or part time
    Dr S Wilkie
  • 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, urban and natural environments are compared for their effects on cognition and aspects of subjective and psychological wellbeing, with studies suggesting that urban locations have a negative impact. However, there is growing evidence to indicate that urban green space can have a positive impact on health and wellbeing; and that place identity, or the aspect of self that is associated with place, can impact environmental perception when seeking health and wellbeing benefits associated with different environments. Grounded in Environmental Psychology, the project will focus on the interplay between characteristics of urban/natural environments, location choice, and sense of self/identity in affecting cognition, health, and wellbeing.


The project aim is to investigate how people choose locations to benefit to their health and wellbeing; and how choice varies by environmental characteristics and individual differences.

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 full time 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.

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