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Dr Rachel Kirk

Senior Lecturer

Department: Architecture and Built Environment

I am a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Architecture and the Built Environment. I joined Northumbria University following the completion of my DPhil at the University of York examining the privatisation of local authority housing. My interest in housing policy and practice has developed across a range of research and teaching activities in this varied and evolving subject area. Research funded projects have included looking at youth homelessness, housing-led regeneration, and most recently strategic decision making and diversification into the private rented sector amongst housing associations. Over the years, I have contributed to a range of programmes, including undergraduate and postgraduate Housing courses. I deliver dissertation/research study and research methods modules to postgraduate Surveying students – something which highlights the breadth and dynamic nature of Built Environment research. My interest in the online learning experiences of students has grown out of my involvement with the Distance Learning MSc Surveying programme

Rachel Kirk

Campus Address

Sutherland Building (SUB 104a)

Research Themes and Scholarly Interests

While at Northumbria University I have carried out applied research in a variety of housing policy and practice areas, including youth homelessness, tenant involvement, housing-led area regeneration, the housing and support needs of teenage parents, and housing association’s strategic decision making in relation to diversification into market renting activity in Northern England. I have been involved with research that has been funded by a range of organizations, including a Government Department, Crisis, local housing organizations and RICS Research Trust.

I have also carried out pedagogical research examining the changing nature of housing management and housing education, the student experience of distance learning, and making the links between the Surveying dissertation process and employability.

My current research interests are around the following:

  • Housing associations as evolving hybrid organizations in a rapidly changing policy context and shifting housing system – most recently exploring this in relation to diversification into market renting and the dynamics of competing/complementary social and commercial drivers within strategic decision-making processes. This epitomizes a wider interest in organizational strategic direction and decision making amongst social landlords as they operate in a radically altered policy and financial context within the wider restructuring of welfare and local governance.
  • Pedagogical research exploring stakeholders’ perceptions about the value of research skills and application of the research process in relation to professionally oriented higher education provision

Key Publications

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • Housing Associations diversifying into market renting: local contexts and (re)interpretation shaping strategic decision-making, Clarke, J., Kirk, R. 1 Mar 2020, In: Voluntary Sector Review
  • Making the links between the dissertation process and employability: Harnessing the voice of alumni, Kirk, R., McGuinness, D. 4 Jul 2019, Advance HE Teaching & Learning Conference 2019
  • Third sector responses to a changing market and policy context: Housing Associations and Market Renting in the UK, Clarke, J., Kirk, R. 21 Apr 2017, 17th International Conference on Knowledge, Culture and Change in Organisations
  • Regional Responses in a Changing Context: Housing Associations and Market Renting in the North East and North West of England, Clarke, J., Grainger, P., Hatcher, C., Kirk, R., Lilley, S. 2016
  • Regional responses to a changing context: Housing Associations and Market Renting, Clarke, J., Kirk, R. 7 Apr 2016, Housing Studies Association Conference
  • Regeneration, Kirk, R., Clarke, J., Furness, H., Greenhalgh, P., McGuinness, D. Jul 2014, Real Estate Concepts: A handbook, London, Taylor & Francis
  • Residential Property, Kirk, R., Clarke, J., Maudsley, C. Jul 2014, Real Estate Concepts: A handbook, London, Taylor & Francis
  • Social housing: a new era on the frontline, Clarke, J., Grainger, P., Kirk, R. 15 May 2013, Northumbria Research Conference
  • Social housing management in a time of change, Clarke, J., Grainger, P., Kirk, R. 8 Apr 2013, Housing Studies Association Conference 2013
  • Communicating learning: evaluating the learning experience of distance learning students, Kirk, R., Clarke, J., Willett, A. 2008, Higher Education Academy Conference


  • Teaching & Learning PGCert June 30 1998
  • DPhil June 30 1995
  • Fellow (FHEA) Higher Education Academy (HEA) 2014

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