Accepting Applications
September 2019 – June 2020

PhD Research at the University of Gibraltar

Do you want to take your learning to the next level? Progress in your career? Become an expert in your field?
Come and join our vibrant, ambitious and growing research community. Choose to study your PhD at our university and immediately benefit from a bespoke and immersive experience. Profit from our unique geographical location, our new dedicated facilities and our established connections with experienced supervisors locally and abroad. Get ready to take your next steps into academia.

PhD by Research

PhD by Publication

At the top of your game

Research Themes

You may propose any Gibraltar and/or Mediterranean-related subject as your research area, but a number of research themes have been identified and will be given priority in the selection process (see below). You are free to develop your specific research proposal within these areas. If you wish to discuss your potential research, before preparing your proposal, please contact
For details on our priority themes for the academic year 2019/2020, please see links below:
(We will consider other suitable proposals that do not strictly fall within these themes, based on our existing expertise.)

Gibraltar And Brexit: Challenges and Opportunities

The proximity of Britain’s exit from Europe and the complex negotiations that follow the triggering of Article 50 of the Treaty of Lisbon by the UK have significant implications for the future of Gibraltar.

The effects that Brexit will have on Gibraltar are as yet unclear, but given Gibraltar’s unique situation, they are likely to be very far-reaching politically, economically, socially, environmentally and legally. Proposals within this theme will relate to research that will analyse the consequences and ramifications of Brexit for Gibraltar and identify methods by which these challenges and opportunities can be best addressed.

Cultures and Identities of the Mediterranean

This theme focuses on the historical backdrop to the above, and could include proposals on any of the following:

  • Cultural and linguistic transferrals that have come about as a consequence of historic migrations.
  • Present-day migrations and borders.
  • The historic convergence of the three Abrahamic religions and cultures in Gibraltar to include the study of Sephardic history and culture in Gibraltar and the Iberian Peninsula.
  • The Mediterranean in relation to the maritime to include seafaring commercial or military activity (trade/Royal Navy/ piracy and privateering / Gibraltar at the choke-point between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic).
  • Colonialism and Post-colonialism (can refer to theoretical engagements, society, culture, literature and the geopolitical) with a view to interrogate received notions of both colonialism and post-colonialism to provide new readings on these.
  • The materialisation of identity and power; the socio-economic development of Gibraltar; the diachronic development of the fortress and city; among others.

In addition, we support novel approaches to archaeological fieldwork and material culture studies.

Business Development and Service Marketing

Proposals using Gibraltar as a test market for contributing to the success of business and service organizations by improving the quality of their services, increasing their profitability, and stimulating innovations, which could have global significance and application are of particular interest.

Possible research areas include managing technology and innovation, service innovation, social entrepreneurship, strengthening the customer-firm relationship through customer experience, use and impact of information technologies on the interaction between customers and service providers, micro-entrepreneurs, myopic marketing, corporate responsibility, ethics and accountability, service failure and post-recovery consequences, and understanding vulnerable consumers in service settings.

New Technologies including Blockchain and Fintech

Possible topics for research include areas where Gibraltar could lead global thinking in fintech and e-business such as National and global fintech governance and legal frameworks, balancing the needs of fintech firms and the interests of consumers through a Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) regulatory framework, block-chains and privacy protection, challenges and opportunities for fintech in small nations, using a regulatory framework to manage risk perception in fintech.

Prehistory and Archaeology

This theme focuses on the significant body of research that has been carried out in Gibraltar and its environs with regard to its prehistory, especially, but not restricted to, Neanderthals and their eventual extinction.

Proposals can be based on any of a number of research areas to include prehistoric cultures and environments, human evolution as well as the development and application of new techniques to investigate Quaternary climatic and ecological settings. It also includes proposals based on the development of specialisms that can shed light on these areas, such as the taxonomy of then-extant fauna and flora.

Marine Protected Species and Conservation

Applications in this category will ideally relate to the effects upon marine protected species, their conservation and management, of the following:

  • Climate change on marine coastal ecosystems.
  • Coastal zone management/marine spatial planning.
  • Marine disaster/climate resilient development.
  • We are particularly interested in proposals which focus on developing methodologies for prediction of and strategies for protection against the effects of future climate change scenarios in marine coastal environments and the challenges and opportunities faced by small nations with large coastlines (relative to their size).

Climate Change and Conservation

Proposals within this theme should ideally focus on the impact of climate change upon species distributions and the challenges of conservation and management of these species and habitats in small territories.

Proposals may be based on selected species or habitats, or on wider policy and management frameworks, and should involve elements of modelling and mapping future scenarios and critical consideration of the multi-stakeholder issues raised by these.  Proposals that focus on species or habitats that are special to Gibraltar would be welcomed.

Urban-Adapted Wildlife Species in Gibraltar

Gibraltar has an extensive network of protected areas and is densely populated. In such an environment, wildlife and humans inevitably come into contact with each other regularly. In particular, Barbary Macaques (Macaca sylvanus) and Yellow-legged Gulls (Larus michahellis) constantly penetrate the urban environment and often come into conflict with humans, due to factors such as noise, damage to property and stealing of food.

Given the ease with which these species can be studied, they make ideal subjects for studies on human-wildlife interaction/conflict, management and conflict resolution. Such studies will focus on humans – including their behaviour as well as the other species, and can be extended to embrace historico-cultural elements, such as the well-known relationship between the macaques’ presence and continued British possession of the Rock. Proposals in this theme should ideally involve research into innovative strategies and approaches to tackle such problems in a small community.

Environmental Education and Community Engagement

Proposals within this theme will relate to research covering the potential within Gibraltar for generating novel approaches to compulsory education and their wider impact on society, particularly in small communities, using Gibraltar as a microcosmic environment for promoting innovation which could have global significance and application.

Possible research areas include innovative practice in teaching and learning, policy and practice in education, development of innovative pedagogies and materials, strategies for teacher professional development and the effects of new approaches and technologies such as e-learning, amongst others.

Higher Education and Pedagogy

Proposals within this theme will relate to research covering the potential for generating novel approaches to Higher Education, Education and Pedagogy and their wider impact within society, particularly in small communities.

Proposals using Gibraltar as a microcosmic environment for promoting innovation which could have global significance and application are of particular interest. Possible research areas include innovative practice in teaching and learning, policy and practice in education, development of innovative pedagogies and materials, novel strategies for educator professional development and the effects of new approaches and technologies.

Tourism and Hospitality

Tourism and Hospitality-related activities underpin a significant portion of the local economy, with Gibraltar attracting millions of visitors annually. Proposals in this area will focus on studies that would explore fresh and practical approaches to improve and develop this sector, using Gibraltar as a test-bed for promoting innovation that would generate globally-relevant original contributions in this dynamic field.

Possible research areas include the development of novel methods in tourism entrepreneurship, development of tourist and hospitality markets, strategies for improving service quality and the tourist experience, amongst others.

Our Institutes

The Institute for Gibraltar and Mediterranean Studies and the Institute of Life and Earth Sciences are vital branches to our research community, providing support and expert knowledge at a number of our associate campuses, including the Garrison Library, the Gibraltar Museum, and the Gibraltar Botanic Gardens. For further information on our institutes please click on the links below: