PhD Studentship in Developing geodemographic classification methods for the 2021 UK Censuses of Population University of Southampton, Social Statistics & Demography United Kingdom

PhD Studentship (South Coast DTP / Office for National Statistics) - Developing geodemographic classification methods for the 2021 UK Censuses of Population


Social Statistics & Demography


Location: Highfield Campus

Salary: £14553

Annual stipend of £14553 plus payment of programme fees

Closing Date: Sunday 31 December 2017

Reference: 901417CC

This advertisement may be withdrawn prior to the specified closing date should a suitable candidate be identified.


Developing geodemographic classification methods for the 2021 UK Censuses of Population


A fully funded studentship awarded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) South Coast Doctoral Training Partnership (SCDTP) in partnership with the Office for National Statistics (ONS)


Potential supervisors


Professor David Martin (University of Southampton)(, Dr Samantha Cockings (University of Southampton), Dr Chris Gale (Office for National Statistics)


Geodemographic classifications provide summary indicators of the social, economic, demographic, and built characteristics of areas. In the UK open geodemographic classifications have traditionally been built following the release of decennial census data. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) will be responsible for creating new classifications following the upcoming 2021 census. Prior to this a PhD student will be addressing a vital part of the development process by undertaking a detailed analysis of potential methodological improvements that can be implemented when creating the new classifications. This will include, but not be limited to, identifying new clustering methods and proposing detailed methodological approaches that can be used to create a suite of geodemographic classifications across multiple census geographies which could utilise 2021 census data when available, and also administrative data.


Skills required of the PhD student


Essential: Background in social statistics and demography and/or Geographical Information Science (GIS), aptitude to develop advanced skills in classification methods and programming


Desirable: Experience in programming, ideally using R or Python




South Coast DTP Funding provides an annual maintenance grant (tax free) of £14553, plus payment of all programme fees. Other funding available for SCDTP funded students can be found on the SCDTP website (


Funding is provided for 3 years full-time PhD study (pro-rata for part-time students). Applications for 1+3 funding for students completing a Master's year prior to the commencement of PhD study are also welcome (details available at


Application Procedure


The full application procedure, the funding application form, and more information on the South Coast Doctoral Training Partnership can be found at:


For further information about this project, please contact the lead supervisor detailsed above. For questions relating to the application procedure, or for more information about the SCDTP, please visit the SCDTP website or contact us at

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