Sport volunteer tourism

Exploring The Benefits and Costs to Volunteers, Organisations and The Host Communities

Project reference number: GSBS-S2018-015-Reid

This PhD will focus on the complex interactions between volunteers, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and host communities in sport for development projects outside the UK. Typically sport volunteers from the more developed world spend 2 weeks to a year volunteering in sport projects in the less developed world. Aims of the projects can vary tremendously from bringing peace to war-torn communities, female empowerment, developing performance sport programmes to HIV and AIDS education. Previous research by Reid & Tattersall (2014, 2017) has found that sport volunteer tourism largely benefits the volunteers themselves as they undergo transformative learning, gain valuable real-world experience and become more employable as a result of their involvement (Houldsworth 2013). The host communities have been much less studied and there is evidence of an implicit understanding of a power relationship where those in the “Global North” give to those in the “Global South”. A much more critical analysis of this phenomenon is required.

Application deadline

The application deadline for October 2018 start is 1st of July 2018.

Research supervisors

Candidates are encouraged to contact the following researchers for further details:

Mode of study

This project is available as a:

  • PhD: 3 years full-time or 4.5 years part-time;
  • 1 + 3 route to PhD: Undertaking MRes 1 year full-time or 2 years part-time + PhD as above


Applicants will normally hold a UK honours degree 2:1 (or equivalent); or a Masters degree in a subject relevant to the research project. Equivalent professional qualifications and any appropriate research experience may be considered. A minimum English language level of IELTS score of 6.5 (or equivalent) with no element below 6.0 is required. Some research disciplines may require higher levels.

Specific requirements of the project

The successful applicant will hold the minimum of a first degree (2:1 or above). Previous experience of qualitative research methodology is desirable.