Rachel Parker

Rachel Parker


I have had a variety of experiences that have led me to the PhD research I am currently undertaking. These include completing a Mathematical Studies undergraduate degree at the University of Leeds which enabled me to also study modules in International Development. This choice of degree was a result of spending a year teaching Mathematics at a government secondary school in Moshi, Tanzania. In addition, this experience also led to the opportunity of working as a team leader for a charity that facilitated First Aid training in Tanzanian Secondary schools and community centres. The role involved the organisation of placements and the supporting of volunteers in Tanzania, I later worked as a trustee for this charity.  

After completing my Mathematical studies degree, I studied a PGCE in Secondary Mathematics and worked in both a Secondary School and a Further Education College teaching Mathematics. In 2017 I began a part-time MSc in International Development through the University of Birmingham. This led to a particular interest in the power dynamics between citizens and those who hold power within societies, thus, who influences decision making at government level and how this is achieved. Within this I considered a variety of different global contexts. 

On completion of this MSc, I have begun a 1+3 programme supported by the White Rose Doctorial Training Partnership. This involves being part of a larger network with other PhD students, academics, and charities, researching ‘Urban citizenship and Informality: New dynamics in the context of global urbanisation’.

As part of this programme, I have completed a Research Methods MA and I am now working towards a PhD that is focused on investigating practices, incentives, and challenges of stakeholders and powerful actors in processes of urban development, with a particular focus on real estate development. Within this research I am interested in taking a global comparative perspective through drawing on case studies situated within both London and Dar es Salaam.

Research interests

  • Housing
  • Governance
  • Power Dynamics
  • Urban Elite
  • Informality
  • Urbanisation
  • Comparative Methods


  • BSc Mathematical Studies (Hons 2.1)
  • PGCE Secondary Mathematics (Merit)
  • MSc International Development: Poverty, Inequality and Development (Distinction)
  • MA Research Methods (Distinction)