Geographies of the Post-military city

Project title: Geographies of the Post-military city

Director of Studies: Dr Matthew F. Rech

2nd Supervisor: Professor Richard Yarwood 

Applications are invited for a three-year PhD studentship. The studentship will start on 1 October 2018.

Project description

This PhD will explore the concept of post-military space in light of recent changes to the UK Armed Forces estate, specifically those related to military base transitions. Advancing Martin Shaw’s work on post-military society, the concept of post-military space focuses on how transition in armed forces institutions, including in their presences and activities, impact on people and places.

 A geography of the UK’s post-military spaces is important for two reasons. First, there has been a significant restructuring of the UK’s Armed Forces in recent years in terms of mission, personnel numbers and their use and occupation of a variety of spaces. In general, this has followed a pattern of decline, with the planned closure of 56 MoD sites before 2040. There is pressing need therefore to trace these changes as they shape human geographies at a range of scales.

Second, a key feature of contemporary militarized societies is the dissolved distinction between spaces/practices/effects of ‘civilian’ social and economic activity (i.e. business, education, politics) and state-sanctioned, military activities. Post military spaces and transitions are useful opportunities, therefore, to explore the interdependence of ‘civilian’ society, economy and culture and the UK defence estate. This will demonstrate that, far from being distinct from them, military bases transition with and alongside their wider communities.

The project reflects the strategic goals of the Centre for Research in Environment and Society (CeRES), and in particular its focus on Society, Culture and Mobility, which has a growing record of research into issues of militarism, space and society.


Applicants should have (at least) a first or upper second class honours degree in an appropriate subject and preferably a relevant MSc or MRes qualification.

The studentship is supported for 3 years and includes full Home/EU tuition fees plus a stipend of £14,553 per annum. The studentship will only fully fund those applicants who are eligible for Home/EU fees with relevant qualifications. Applicants normally required to cover overseas fees will have to cover the difference between the Home/EU and the overseas tuition fee rates (approximately £10,350 per annum).

If you wish to discuss this project further informally, please contact Dr Matthew Rech.  However, applications must be made in accordance with the details shown below.

General information about applying for a research degree at Plymouth University is available at: 

Please apply via the online application form which can be found at: and select 'Apply'.

Please mark it FAO Sharon Healy, clearly stating that you are applying for a PhD studentship within the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Science. Please attach a covering letter detailing your suitability for the studentship, a CV and 2 academic references.

For more information on the admissions process please contact Sharon Healy.

The closing date for applications is 12 noon, 28 February, 2018. 

Shortlisted candidates will be invited for interview week beginning 19 March. We regret that we may not be able to respond to all applications. Applicants who have not received an offer by 30 March should consider their application has been unsuccessful.