Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Phil runs a 'Playful Methods' Lab bringing together the activity of his PhD students, visiting fellows and postdoctoral researchers. He is keen to supervise students with an interest in qualitative methods exploring topics such as: embodiment (particularly around walking and cycling); urban development and regeneration; cultural and arts activity.

Dr Jones welcomes formal and informal enquiries from prospective doctoral researchers in his areas of interest.


Research activity per year

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Personal profile

Research interests

Phil is a cultural geographer whose work focuses on developing novel qualitative methods.  He runs the Playful Methods Lab and has developed techniques drawing upon virtual and augmented reality, videogames, qualitative GIS, wearables, biosensing, eyetracking, touchtables, smartphone apps, video and action research.  Much of his work is empirically embedded within cities and covers topics around embodiment (especially walking and cycling), art, creativity and urban regeneration. 


Phil grew up on the Wirral before moving to St Andrews in 1994 to undertake an MA in Modern History.  An MA in Urban History from the University of Leicester followed in 1999.  He started his PhD in Geography at Birmingham in 2000 and has lived in the city ever since.  He has worked for the University of Birmingham since 2003 and has served in a number of different roles including leader for the Human Geography Research Theme and REF lead for Unit of Assessment 14.  He is now the GEES Head of Education and Research Development.


MA Modern History, 1st Class Honours, University of St Andrews, 1994-1998

MA Urban History (ESRC funded), Distinction, University of Leicester, 1998-1999

PhD Geography passed without corrections (ESRC funded), University of Birmingham, 2000-2003

PGCert Learning and Teaching in Higher Education, University of Birmingham, 2004-2006

Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (no. 844065)

Member of the Association of American Geographers.  

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (no. 31134)

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


  • G Geography (General)
  • embodiment
  • methodology
  • mobilities
  • Urban Regeneration
  • creativity
  • wearables


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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