Poverty, Homelessness and Social Justice

The course

Full-time, Part-time
Course type
Entry date


  • Contact

    Research and Knowledge Exchange Support Team (EGIS)

  • Telephone

    +44 (0)131 451 3130

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This research is offered at PhD level and the programme is PhD Urban Studies.

This theme explores the experiences, needs and perspectives of the most vulnerable and excluded groups in the housing market (such as homeless people, those fleeing domestic violence, new migrants, young people, ex-offenders, people with substance misuse problems, and those at risk of losing their home through anti-social behaviour).

An extensive course of work has focused on ‘street culture’ activities, for example, rough sleeping, begging, street drinking, street prostitution, and 'survival' crimes (such as shoplifting). The ethical basis for ‘interventionist’ service approaches which seek to change homeless people's lifestyles has been a key research focus, as well as the use of social control mechanisms (such as ASBOs) to 'manage' street populations. A parallel stream of work focuses on the statutory homelessness framework in the UK, and ‘rights-based’ approaches to housing and homelessness more broadly across Europe and elsewhere in the developed world. Other topics on which I-SPHERE researchers are playing a key role in international collaborations include homelessness prevention and 'Housing First' approaches to provide help to homeless people with complex needs (such as substance misuse). I-SPHERE researchers have extensive experience of institutional and policy analysis in this field, including international comparative research on approaches to tackling the needs of homeless families, single people, rough sleepers, young people, and migrants. A recent and growing area of interest is the role of faith-based organisations in addressing homelessness and housing need.

These studies of poverty, homelessness and social exclusion have encompassed a range of methodologies including quantitative surveys, focus groups, in-depth interviews and longitudinal techniques. Much of our recent work in this area has been funded by the ESRC and AHRC, but other funders have included the European Commission, DCLG, Scottish Government and a range of leading charities such as the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Crisis and Centrepoint.


Additional information

Staff contributing to this research area include:

Entry requirements

We welcome applications from suitably qualified candidates. Please visit our How to apply page.


Tuition fees for entry
Status Full-time Part-time
Overseas £ 19056 £ 9528


  1. Your residency 'status' is usually defined as the country where you have been ordinarily resident for the three years before the start of your course. Find out more about tuition fees.
  2. Overseas includes applications from European Union countries who do not hold Pre-Settled or Settled status in the UK. Read more about the application process for EU nationals.

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