2020 applicants
Postgraduate Research Opportunity

Enhancing recovery from domestic abuse using Wilderness Therapy and Care Farming


Title: SCH10: Enhancing recovery from domestic abuse using Wilderness Therapy and Care Farming

Funding: Full time Home/EU fees and a stipend of £15,009 p.a. (terms & conditions)

Application deadline: 7 May 2019

Start date: October 2019

Duration: 3 years (full time)

Location: Colchester Campus

Based in: School of Sport, Rehabilitation and Exercise Sciences (in collaboration with the Department of Psychology, and the School of Health and Social Care)


This studentship is now closed to applicants. View our latest opportunities.


This project will be an examination of using the green exercise activities of wilderness therapy and care farming for improving the health, wellbeing and resilience of survivors of domestic abuse (umbrella term).

Such activities are expected to be particularly efficacious, as we know both that nature environments enhance the positive psychological outcomes of exercise per se, and that green exercise activities are salutogenic through their affordance of opportunities for psychological, physical and social behaviours and experiences that fulfil basic psychological needs and enable self-reflection and the psychotherapeutic process of cognitive restructuring.

This PhD will generate understanding of (i) how well, and (ii) how wilderness therapy and care farming can ameliorate poor health, wellbeing and resilience in cohorts of domestic abuse survivors.

This will include quantitative and qualitative methods. It will also examine how these green exercise activities can work within existing support systems in order to improve the efficacy of the entire ‘offer’, and will assess the economic case for GE interventions of this kind for this group.


The award consists of a full Home/EU fee waiver or equivalent fee discount for overseas students (further fee details), a doctoral stipend equivalent to the Research Councils UK National Minimum Doctoral Stipend (£15,009 in 2019-20), plus £2,500 training bursary via Proficio funding, which may be used to cover the cost of advanced skills training including conference attendance and travel.

How to apply

You can apply for this postgraduate research opportunity online.

Applications MUST include the following documents to be uploaded:

  • Research proposal of no more than 600 words, outlining suggested research focus(es), approach(es) and/or studies that applicants would be interested to include within their PhD.
  • CV 
  • Covering letter
  • Transcripts of any undergraduate or masters programmes. 

Instruction to applicants

When you apply online you will be prompted to fill out several boxes in the form:

  • For "Course title" please put "PhD Health and Physical Activity"
  • For "Proposed research topic or area of research" please put the title of this studentship (SCH10: Enhancing recovery from domestic abuse using Wilderness Therapy and Care Farming)
  • For "If you have contacted a potential supervisor..." please put the name of the lead supervisor (Dr Mike Rogerson)

If you have any informal queries about this opportunity please email the lead supervisor, Dr Mike Rogerson (mike.rogerson@essex.ac.uk).

You can find the terms and conditions of this studentship here (PDF).