Rachel Parker

Rachel Parker


I have had a variety of experiences that have led be 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 now completed a Research Methods MA and I am now working towards a PhD that is focused on the ‘Urban Elite, Informality, and Inequality’. Within this research I am interested in taking a global comparative perspective, focusing on London and Dar es Salaam. This will be done through exploring formal and informal practices used by the Urban elite in relation to housing and the impact these practices have on wider society.

Research interests

  • Urban Elite
  • Inequality
  • Housing
  • Governance
  • Informality
  • Urbanisation


  • BSc Mathematical Studies
  • PGCE Secondary Mathematics
  • MSc International Development (Poverty, Inequality and Development)
  • MA Research Methods