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PhD in Business and Management - Managing multiple pressures on national parks: conservation, recreation, and local community wellbeing

   Cardiff Business School

About the Project

Managing multiple pressures on national parks: conservation, recreation, and local community wellbeing

Proposals are invited to examine how and why administrators of national parks based at individual park and other administrative levels attempt to manage multiple pressures imposed by different stakeholder groups, including the country’s national government. Significant considerations include the impact of specific contextual factors on the management strategies adopted, how the strategies operate in practice, and how particular stakeholder groups do or do not benefit. This area of enquiry is under-researched, but of increasing economic and social importance. National governments of almost a hundred industrialised and developing countries have now designated diverse tracts of land or marine areas as ‘national parks’.

Most designations combine two core purposes that often coexist in some tension: conservation of the natural environment where human impact has been relatively limited (plants, wildlife, and the consequent landscape or seascape), or of the cultural heritage that people have left (artifacts, rural landscape, biological diversity, language and traditions); and recreation, enabling public enjoyment of the natural environment or cultural heritage through visitation and outdoor activities (sightseeing, walking, hunting) and their promotion (international or local tourism, including ecotourism). Such designations frequently have economic and social implications for local community wellbeing – for people who live or seek employment in the designated area, or for indigenous groups inhabiting the area before its designation as a national park, and maybe their descendants. Recreation may undermine conservation and both purposes may conflict with the interests of local communities, together imposing multiple pressures for national park administrators to manage.

Consequently, there is wide scope for proposals employing qualitative methods to investigate, in the context of one or more national parks within a particular country, how such pressures are manifested, what tensions they may generate, how and why national park administrators attempt to manage them, and to what effect for different stakeholder groups.


  • Previous experience with and/or willingness to carry out Qualitative Research


Applications are invited from exceptional candidates with a first class or strong upper second class honours degree, or appropriate Master’s degree. The University values diversity and equality at all levels and we encourage applications from all sections of the community, irrespective of age, disability, sex, gender identity, marital or civil partnership status, pregnancy or maternity, race, religion or belief and sexual orientation. In line with our commitment to supporting and promoting equality, diversity and inclusion, and to increase recruitment of currently underrepresented groups, applications from Black British, Asian British, minority ethnicity British and mixed race British candidates are particularly encouraged and welcomed. Study is available as either ‘1+3’ (i.e. one full time year of research training Masters followed by three years of full-time Doctoral study), or ‘+3’ (i.e. three years of full-time doctoral study), depending on the needs of the applicant.

Please visit here for further information about the PhD Programme at Cardiff Business School.

Please see references section for further details on how to apply. Applications should be made online, please visit the Business School website and click "apply now" Business Studies - Study - Cardiff University

Funding Notes

This project is not funded, applications from self-funded home and international students are welcome. Outstanding applicants from ANY country may be considered for one of the available University scholarships. The start date is 1st October 2023.
Applications are open until 31st March 2023, however if sufficient applications are received we reserve the right to close the application early.
For more information about scholarships, entry requirements and application process please visit our website


When applying, please specify the project title and supervisor of this project and whether you are self-funded or are applying for funding (within or external to the University).
The application must contain the following documents:
1. Covering letter: The covering letter must name the project being applied for and should be addressed to the supervisor. It must set out your reasons and motivation for applying to study at Cardiff University; your understanding, and expectations of doctoral study; and your academic interests generally, and particularly how these relate to the description of the project supplied. The covering letter should be no more than two pages.
2. Academic / Professional Qualifications: Where appropriate, this should also include proof of English Language Competency (6.5 IELTS minimum).
3. References: All applications require two academic references to be submitted in support. Candidates must approach referees themselves and include the references with their application.
4. Curriculum Vitae: This should be no longer than two pages.
5. Research Proposal: The proposal should build directly on the project description that has been supplied. The proposal should be up to a maximum of 1000 words, not including bibliographic references. We suggest that you use the following five headings in your research proposal:
• Your reflections on the title, aims and purpose of the research;
• An overview of some key research literature relevant to the study;
• Your proposals for developing the design and methods of the study;
• A description of potential outcomes of the project for understanding, knowledge, policy and practice (as appropriate to the topic);
• Bibliographic references
This program is available in English only. To request information in Welsh, please contact the Postgraduate Recruitment Team (

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