The UK Centre for Events Management (UKCEM) and the International Centre for Research in Events, Tourism and Hospitality (ICRETH) have a thriving community of international postgraduate research students undertaking various inter- and multi-disciplinary research projects. These include topics as diverse as marketing Korean festivals via the internet, the politics of Liverpool’s European Capital of Culture programme, sports events and tourism in Malaysia and the application of fuzzy logic to understanding the impact of events targeted at employees. The Centre also welcomes visiting PhD students who spend some of their time studying in the UK. Funding arrangements vary.  PhDs have been funded by University’s Centenary PhD Bursary Scheme, the UK’s Research Assessment Exercise, bursaries from the public and private sectors and fee-paying individuals. UKCEM supports student development by encouraging regular contact with supervisors, engaging in monthly reporting of progress and by encouraging PhD candidates to participate fully in the academic life of the University.

For further details about PhD and other postgraduate research opportunities, please contact:

Dr Emma H Wood
Reader in Festivals and Events Marketing
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Current PhD projects students supervised by UKCEM staff:

  • The politics of tourism events: the case of Liverpool, European Capital of Culture 2008
  • Tourism, culture and diaspora festivals
  • Customer satisfaction, quality and quality costing in the events
  • Small firms and sustainable tourism
  • Tourism SMEs in Crete
  • SME development in South African townships
  • Online information sharing behaviour of Korean festival attendees
  • Service quality in exhibitions in Taiwan
  • Sports events tourism in Malaysia

Recently completed PhDs supervised by UKCEM staff:

  • Public sector community events: an impact evaluation framework
  • Tourism and sustainability
  • Web site usability and hotel brand loyalty
  • The effective management of visitor attractions
  • Placement experience and graduate employment in tourism SMEs
  • Young people’s interpretation of alcohol advertisements

Current student profiles:






Title: The Politics of Participation in Liverpool, European Capital of Culture 2008

Name: Anna Richter (Centenary PhD bursary holder)



My project looks at the ‘politics of participation’ in the context of Liverpool’s year as European Capital of Culture, 2008 (ECoC). Liverpool’s bid centrally draws on participation discourses, resulting in the vision ‘to build community enthusiasm, creativity and participation’. Whilst the nature of this involvement remains unclear, participation on the part of those who live in the city clearly plays a crucial role in the (discursively constructed) organisation of the event, thereby echoing wider debates on local governance and civil society.


Concerned with social problems that are typically approached with a view to finding a ‘solution’ through policy intervention, Critical Discourse Analysis allows problematising the discursive production of problems and their projected solutions. Throughout the bidding process and during the year, the ECoC has served as a discursive strategy in the policy process that allowed reformulating problematic social realities as potentials and opportunities. Precisely because it is presented as a solution to contemporary social and urban problems, the call for participation leads to a shift in responsibility for their existence onto each and everyone. Actively taking part in cultural programmes such as the ECoC conveniently moves attention away from asking more critical questions as to why social inequality prevails.


Director of Studies: Prof. Rhodri Thomas

Supervisor: Dr. Phil Long (CTCC)



anna richter 1









Title: Social Relations of Chinese Diaspora Community Reflected by Chinese New Year Celebrations


Name: Yi Fu




The aim of the PhD is to explore the social relations of the subgroups of the Chinese diaspora community in Britain via an examination of Chinese New Year festivals.  Generally, there are two types of Chinese New Year festivals, in-door staged shows and out-door celebrations in Chinatown cities.  Through the observation of the production and representation of Chinese New Year celebrations in Sheffield, Manchester, Liverpool, York and Newcastle in 2008 and 2009, the researcher has found most of the celebrations are co-organized or co-produced by different groups of Chinese diaspora, with the help of local government and associations, and transnational organizations.


In the context of the globalization and international migration, the current Chinese community is characterized mainly as the Cantonese-speaking group whose members are mostly permanent residents and a Mandarin-speaking group with more newcomers who have come to Britain for study and work, probably non-permanently. This project aims to reveal the relationship between these two groups, through their partnership and collaboration in the organizing process, and the symbolic structure and material culture of the Chinese New Year celebrations.


Director of Studies: Dr Philip Long (CTCC)


Supervisor: Prof. Rhodri Thomas



yi fu



Title: Sport Tourism Policy in Malaysia

Name: Ataillah Abd. Rahman


In the light of Malaysia’s successful hosting of many sport events such as the 16th Commonwealth Games, the Formula 1, the Monsoon Cup and the Iron Man Triathlon, I am interested in examining the public policy aspects of this approach to tourism.  What made the ruling government decide on sport tourism?  What was (and is) the policy discourse? Does the private sector help to define Malaysian tourism in its quest to find a tourism niche? My research will consider issues of power - probably via discourse analysis - in an attempt to understand more about events and tourism policy formation in Malaysia. 


Director of Study: Prof. Rhodri Thomas

Supervisor: Glenn Bowdin


 ataillah abd. rahman



Title: An investigation of the perspectives of service quality in the exhibition industry in Taiwan                                       

Name: Ms Pei-Ying Wu


Wu Pei-Ying’s research interest is in measuring service quality in business events. Particularly, she is examining the exhibition sector and the perceptions and expectations of service quality between several main stakeholders, such as venue providers, organisers, exhibitors, and attendees, in Taiwanese exhibitions. The aim of the research is to identify service quality factors and compare stakeholders’ expectations and perceptions in exhibitions in Taiwan. Both qualitative and quantitative methods will be employed at different stages of her research.


Director of Studies: Ivor Church

Supervisor: Glenn Bowdin