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Research Degrees at UWS

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University of the West of Scotland

Funded PhD Programme (UWS)

Job Type






Fully funded + £18,622 stipend

Posted Date

23 May 2023

University of the West of Scotland

Closing Date

30 June 2023

New Scots or Scots Exceptionalism? Using Narrative Analysis to Explore the Lived Experience of Everyday Bordering in Scotland.

Postgraduate Research degrees from University of the West of Scotland enable you to work at the cutting-edge of your industry or sector and contribute to the advancement of knowledge.

To be a successful research student you must be passionate about your subject area, with enthusiasm for research and analysis, and the motivation to manage a personal learning programme. You will have already demonstrated research aptitude in undergraduate or masters-level studies.

As a career-focused university we work with international businesses, regional enterprises, local and international education partners to ensure that UWS research drives innovation and supports the future needs of society, industry and government. This focus increases your employability and career prospects, whether you seek a career in an academic or commercial environment.

Under the UWS Vice-Chancellor’s Studentship Scheme 2023, 21 funded PhD studentships are offered for October 2023 start. These highly selective studentships span the University’s four academic schools: Business & Creative Industries; Computing, Engineering & Physical Sciences; Education & Social Sciences; and Health & Life Sciences.

The studentship themes are aligned with the ambitions of UWS Strategy 2025 which sets out the University’s commitment to distinctive research and innovation, and addressing the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

Successful applicants will be aligned to their relevant UWS academic School and also become part of the UWS Doctoral College, providing an outstanding quality experience, supporting your student journey and focusing on investment and development in training, resources and facilities.


Sitting at the interplay of sociology and criminology, this scholarship will explore asylum-seekers and refugees (AS&R) narratives of ‘everyday bordering’ alongside dominant political and media discourses on migration within Scotland. Experiences of everyday bordering either coerce ordinary people into being border guards or create suspected ‘illegal border crossers’ (Yuval-Davies et al 2018). The everyday segregation and criminalisation of racially minoritized groups can be seen in the proliferation of ‘cr-immigration’ discourses that frame AS&R as a ‘security risk’, and the racialised police practices enacted in response (Wonders and Jones, 2018; Brouwer et al., 2017; Kubal, 2014). In this sense, practices such as police stops, identity checks and everyday police contact become increasingly implicated in the ‘politics of belonging’ (Weber, 2022). Yuval-Wemyss et al (2018) argue that ‘everyday bordering’ has become a major technology of control’ in contemporary societies which accompanies the ‘criminalisation of everyday life’ for migrant populations.

Hostile bordering practices sit in contrast to the dominant narratives about migration within post-devolution Scotland, where there has been a proliferation of discursive practices foregrounding a vision of a ‘modern’, ‘tolerant’ and ‘welcoming’ Scotland (McCollum, Nowok and Tindal, 2014). There is, however, some evidence of a growing hostility towards migration that has emerged in recent years (ibid). In much of ‘official’ policy-and-political discourse, Scotland is positioned as a welcoming environment for migrant populations generally, AS+Rs more specifically. Print and social media are still continually used to attack and demonise AS+R by politicians to further their political agenda and popularity (Cooper et al., 2020; KhosraviNik, 2010 Brouwer et al., 2017b). These broad narratives or discourses within society are important as they draw on wider social and cultural narratives regarding how Scotland, as a collective view AS+Rs. These shared narratives inform policy development and resource allocation within society. Yet, they do not tell the full story as larger and smaller narratives that pull on the lived experience of often underrepresented groups within society can have competing stories which must also be explored.

This studentship, via narrative inquiry, will explore the discursive tension between political-and-media discourses which frame Scotland as a welcoming refuge with the narratives of AS+Rs within the confines of a devolution settlement that ties Scotland to an increasingly reactionary and hostile political climate within the UK.

Project Aims:

1. Explore how migration and asylum-seeking are represented in Scottish political and media discourses

2. Explore the narratives of everyday bordering with AS&R populations within post-devolution Scotland.

3. Compare the narrative experiences of asylum-seeking populations and refugees in Scotland to the discursive accounts of Scottish political and media discourse

The successful applicant will be based in a rich research culture within the School of Education and Social Sciences at the University of the West of Scotland. In addition, they will be supported by the Migration, Diaspora, Citizenship and Identity (MDCI) research group within the school.

Candidate Specification.

The successful applicant should hold a minimum of a 2:1 (hons) degree in a relevant social science discipline. Successful completion of a master’s degree is preferable but not essential. Previous research experience and knowledge and understanding of research philosophies and methods is desired. An interest in creative methodologies, a particular interest in narrative analysis would be advantageous. Relevant practitioner experience would also be beneficial.

English Language Requirement.

UWS requires an IELTS score of 6.5 or above (with no component below 6.0). IELTS tests should normally be taken no more than two years before applying to UWS.

Informal enquires can be made to Dr Conor Wilson at Formal applications should be made via through the University of the West of Scotland online application portal. Please use reference VC23042 to apply for this studentship.

Formal applications should contain both a personal statement and a short research proposal (approx. 1000 words) in response to the above project brief.

Application Deadline - 30/06/2023

Start Date - 01/10/2023

Funding Notes.

Fully funded. Payment of tuition fees for 3 years and £18,622 stipend.

The University of the West of Scotland (UWS) is seeking to attract a PhD candidate of outstanding ability and commitment to join its vibrant and growing programme of internationally excellent research. This is a fully funded PhD Studentship and includes payment of tuition fees for 3 years at the home/UK rate and an annual maintenance stipend equivalent to UKRI minimum stipend rate (£18,622 from 01/10/2023).
The successful candidate must meet the following criteria: be a UK National (meeting residency requirements), or have settled status, or have pre-settled status (meeting residency requirements), or have indefinite leave to remain.


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Job documents

Project Description

Research Degrees at UWS

Funded Studentships at UWS

Research Degrees at UWS

Funded Studentships at UWS

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Research Degrees at UWS

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