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Terry Marsden

Professor Terry Marsden

Emeritus Professor

School of Geography and Planning


Terry Marsden currently holds the established chair of Environmental Policy and Planning in the School of Geography and Planning at Cardiff University.


I research the interdisciplinary social science and applied policy fields of rural geography, rural sociology, environmental sociology, geography and planning. I have published over 150 international journal articles, book chapters or books. This includes 20 research monographs and edited collections. This body of work ranges from original theoretical work in the field, through to empirical analysis and emerging policy impacts and analysis. It includes wide ranging work on: the socio-economic restructuring of agriculture; theorisations and empirical investigations of rural development; analysis of agri-food chains and networks; and critical commentaries in the emerging fields of environmental sociology and environmental planning. The empirical work has extended from the UK, Europe, Brazil, the Caribbean and now China.


Over the past 20 years I have been awarded a series of almost continuous UK ESRC research grants which have been associated either with individual or joint standard grants, special research initiatives, or research centre grants. Total research council grants for which I have been a Principal Investigator constitute £11 million since 1989. I have also been in receipt of a series of EU grants, totalling 500K; and research grants from policy making bodies, totalling 500K. I have acted as an external examiner for 30 PhDs in the UK, the Netherlands and Australasia.

  • ESRC Project Occupancy Change and the Farmed Landscape (1985-88).
  • The Countryside Change Initiative, ESRC, £315,000 (1989-93).
  • Retailing, regulation and food quality, ESRC, £110,000, Nations Diet Programme (1994-97).
  • Global Environmental Change Programme (phase III), ESRC, £87,000 (1994-95).
  • Local Government Programme, ESRC, £45000 (1994-95).
  • Organic Food Supply Chains in Wales, Welsh Office, WDA, DBRW and West Wales TEC, £15,000 (1997-98).
  • Food chains in Wales, DBRW, Food Centre Wales, £30,000 (1998).
  • Sectoral Policies in Rural Scotland, Scottish Office, 1998, £15,000 (1998).
  • Land Policies and rural Scotland, Scottish Executive, £18,000 (1999-2000).
  • The Impact of Rural Development Policies, European Commission, £120,000 (1999-2002).
  • Forestry and Community in the South Wales Valleys, Forestry Commission, 2000-3, £120,000 (with P Milbourne) (2000-03).
  • ESRC Centre for Business Relationships, Accountability, Sustainability and Society, ESRC, £3 million, second phase 2007-12, £12 million (2001-present).
  • Rural Governance and Forestry in Wales, Forestry Commission, £108,000 (with P Milbourne) (2003-06).
  • Forestry, Community and Social Research in Wales, Forestry Commission, £135,000 (with P Milbourne) (2003-06).
  • Going local: regional innovation strategies and the new agri-food paradigm, ESRC £101,817 (2003-05).
  • Delivering Sustainability: Towards the Creative Procurement of School Meals (with M Miele and K Morgan), ESRC, £120,000 (2005-07).
  • Welfare Quality. EU Sixth Framework Integrated Project, Retailing Work Package (2005-08).
  • ESRC Sustainable Communities Project, £100,000 (2007-08).
  • EU 6thFramework Project: Enlarging the theoretical understanding of rural development processes, £150,000
  • EU 6thFramework grant: Entrepreneurial Skills of Farmers, £150,000 (2004-070.
  • ESRC Sustainable Communities Programme grant , £100,000 (2009-10).


Key Appointments

  • Director of the Sustainable Places Research Institute, Cardiff University (2010-2020)
  • Dean of Graduate Studies and the Graduate College, Cardiff University (2008-)
  • Deputy Pro Vice Chancellor (Research), Cardiff University (2005-10)
  • Head of School of City and Regional Planning (1999-2009)
  • Professor of Environmental Policy and Planning (1995-)
  • Co-director of the Economic and Social Research Council's Research Centre for Business Relationships, Accountability, Sustainability and Society (2002-2012)
  • Director of the Research and Graduate School in the Social Sciences, Cardiff University (2001-02)
  • Member of the Board of The Regeneration Institute, Cardiff University (2002-)
  • Reader in Human Geography, University of Hull (1993)
  • Co-Director of the Rural Studies Research Centre and the ESRC Countryside Change Centre, University College London (1988-1993)
  • Senior and Principal Lecturer in Planning, South Bank Polytechnic (1983-91)
  • Tutor and Temporary Lecturer in Human Geography and Social Policy, University College, Swansea (1979-83)

Main Qualifications

  • 1976:  BA (Hons), First class, University of Hull - Geography and Sociology
  • 1980:  PhD, University of Hull
  • 1980:  Member of the Royal Town Planning Institute (MRTPI)
  • 2008:  Academician of the Academy of Social Sciences (AcSS)
  • 2008:  Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA)
  • 2010:  Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales (FLSW)
  • 2012:  Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (FRICS)

External Advisory Activities

A key aspect of my scholarly work involves critical engagement with aspects of environmental and rural policy-making and related research advisory boards and evaluation committees. This has involved influencing emerging policy developments at the EU, UK and devolved administrative levels (both Wales and Scotland). For example, I have recently contributed and completed policy and advisory reports for the EU, UK Govt Strategy Unit; UK Sustainable Development Commission, Scottish Executive, and the National Assembly of Wales and Welsh Government. I have held appointed advisory roles with the National Assembly Rural Affairs Committee, and Sustainability Committees and the House of Commons Welsh Affairs Committee. I have been cited in Who's Who from 2003.

  • Rural Adviser to the Welsh Local Government Association
  • Member of DETR Planning Research Advisory Group
  • Member of ESRC Planning Research Training Panel
  • 1990 Visiting Professor, Department of Rural Sociology, University of Wisconsin-Madison (1990)
  • Co-editor of the Journal of Environmental Policy and Planning (Taylor and Francis)
  • 1993, 1995, 2003 Visiting Professor, Economics and Sociology, University of Pernambuco, Recife, Brazil
  • Special Adviser on the Welsh Affairs Select Committee (1997-98, 2001-02, 2008)
  • Special Adviser on rural affairs for the National Assembly of Wales (2000-1, 2008)
  • Visiting International Readership in European rural development, Swedish School of Social Sciences, University of Helsinki, Finland (2001-)
  • Member of the Wales Rural Partnership
  • Member of the ESRC's Sustainable Technologies Research Programme Commissioning Panel (2002-4)
  • Chair of ESRC's Postgraduate Training Panel for Planning, Housing and Environmental Studies 2004, 2007
  • Member of the Prime Minister's Strategy Unit advisory team working on the commercialisation of GM crops
  • Member of the ESRC'/NERC/BBSRC Strategic Advisory Committee for the Land Use and Rural Economy Research Programme
  • Co-Director of the Welsh Government, Wales Rural Observatory
  • Member of RAE sub panel (2008) Geography and Environmental Studies
  • Member of National Assembly for Wales Food, Farming and Countryside Strategy Group (2008-)
  • Special Advisor for the National Assembly of Wales, Sustainable Development Committee, 2012.
  • Member of the HEFCE Research Excellence Framework 2011- Sub panel: Geography, Environmental Studies and Archaeology.
  • Member UK National Environmental Assessment Expert Panel. 2012-