27 April 2021

Student presents her research virtually at British Conference

Abigail Upton, now on our MSc Urban and Regional Planning course, had been due to deliver a presentation at last year’s British Conference for Undergraduate Research (BCUR).

Abigail Upton outside on a building in a harness

Abigail Upton is a student on our MSc Urban and Regional Planning course, having previously studied BA Geography at the University of Sheffield. Last year she had been due to present some of her undergraduate research at the BCUR, which was scheduled to be held in Leeds. Delayed due to the pandemic, the conference was finally held virtually last week, and Abigail was invited back to deliver her findings.

Her research was on alternative housing and stemmed from a research project Abigail had done with Dr Jenny Preece and Professor David Robinson as part of the Sheffield Undergraduate Research Project (SURE) scheme in her second year of study.

“I was proud to present my research at the BCUR and to have my abstract accepted,” Abigail said. “I was both nervous and excited to present, especially nervous about any technical problems with it being virtual!”

Abigail’s research concluded that alternative housing was a subjective term not adequately covered in policy. “Town planners in the public sector were constrained by policy as it did not recognise alternative provisions of housing,” she said. It also found through stakeholder interviews that agency and control over the dwelling type made the housing more adequate.

Abigail is currently working part time as a graduate planner and will go full time in September, after she completes her MSc Urban and Regional Planning, and is enjoying her work so far.

“It’s very rewarding and enjoyable,” Abigail said. “I was drawn to planning after completing work experience in my first year of undergraduate in both councils and the private sector. I went to the Department of Urban Studies and Planning as they offered a fully accredited course and Sheffield is a good planning school."

A world-class university – a unique student experience

Sheffield is a research university with a global reputation for excellence. We're a member of the Russell Group: one of the 24 leading UK universities for research and teaching.