PhD Studentship: The sustainability of cultural tourism and its effects on communities: the case of Orkney

University of the Highlands and Islands - Orkney College UHI (Centre for Nordic Studies)

Funding amount: UK/EU fees & stipend (RCUK rate) for 42 months
Closes: 8th May 2017, 12pm (UK time)

This PhD thesis will examine Cultural Tourism from an economic, political and environmental perspective with an overall focus on the sustainability of the industry and its effects on the local community. The research will focus on Orkney, but will be placed in a wider, global, context and will therefore be transferrable to other geographical areas. The investigation will involve aspects such as the income generated by tourism, the level of investment, national and local tourism policies and local council development plans, and the preservation and management of archaeological sites.

The theoretical parts of this thesis will draw on the large body of existing global research into tourism and sustainability. Qualitative research will be carried out in order to collect material about Orkney. It is expected that the student will carry out in-depth interviews with select parties of the Orcadian tourism industry as well as members of the general public. In addition, archaeological sites and monuments in Orkney will be visited in order to examine how tourists use them and how their presence affects the sites. Particular attention will be paid to Viking Age and Late Norse sites, which are currently underutilised within the Orkney tourism industry.

The thesis will also be significant for other geographical areas, as the method and theoretical approach used will be directly transferable. Some aspects will be particularly useful for other small islands and coastal communities, for which cruise ships form (or could form) an important part of the local economy. Any area with a potentially strong cultural heritage could, however, benefit in real terms by applying the strategies presented in this PhD thesis.

Supervisory Team

This project will be supervised by Dr Alexandra Sanmark, Institute for Northern Studies in Orkney, University of the Highlands and Islands, Dr Colleen Batey, Department of Archaeology, University of Glasgow and Dr Piotr Niewiadomski, Department of Geography & Environment, University of Aberdeen.

Research Facilities and Environment

The student will be based in the Centre for Nordic Studies, University of the Highlands and Islands and will contribute to high-impact research. The Centre has expertise in a wide range of areas, including archaeology, history, languages, literature and tourism. In the last Research Excellent Framework (REF) the Centre was listed as first in Scotland for research impact and fifth in the UK for research environment within Area Studies.

To apply:

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Funding notes:

This studentship is funded by the European Social Fund and Scottish Funding Council as part of Developing Scotland’s Workforce in the Scotland 2014-2020 European Structural and Investment Fund Programme.

The studentship covers fees at the Home/EU rate only, plus a stipend at the RCUK level, for a total of 42 months (including writing-up).

PLEASE NOTE: Funding is available for students worldwide, however non UK/EU students will be liable for the difference between home/EU and international fees.

Students must be domiciled in the Highlands and Islands transition region during the course of their study to be eligible for funding.
Applicants must possess a minimum of an Honours degree at 2:1 and/or a Masters Degree (or International equivalent) in a relevant subject.

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