Centre for Research in Communication and Culture

About us

Professor Darren Smith

Photo of Professor Darren Smith

Associate Dean (Enterprise)

Professor of Geography

Academic career

2013: Professor of Geography, Loughborough University
2012: Associate Dean Enterprise, Loughborough University
2010: Reader in Geography, Loughborough University
2001: Lecturer in Geography, University of Brighton
1998-2001: ESRC Research Fellow, University of Leeds

Professional responsibilities

2015 - Editorial Board Member, Population, Space and Place
2012 - Committee Member, Steering Group of Population Commission, IGU
2012 - Editorial Board Member, Journal of Rural Studies 
2010 - Chair of Organising Committee of International Population Geographies Conference
2008-2013: Chair of Population Geography Research Group, RGS-IBG.

As a Social Population Geographer, I am fascinated by the ways in which places and neighbourhoods are transformed by contemporary processes of migration and population change, and how new social relations and conflicts are created.   Examining these connections, my research is focussed on social and population change in a range of urban, rural, and coastal places to advance theoretical, conceptual and empirical understandings of the formation of more exclusive, segregated, marginalised, and transient societies.  Since the late 1990s, my research has investigated the links between higher education, student populations, and urban change; and I coined the term studentification to conceptualise these processes of change within university towns and cities.  To date, I have researched studentification in UK, Ireland, North America, Australia and China.  In the rural context, my work has investigated processes of rural gentrification.  I am currently part of an international research team (iRGENT), funded by ESRC, NSF and ANR, that is studying international rural gentrification in UK, USA and France.  Other current research interests focus on the impact of Housing in Multiple Occupation (HMO) in coastal towns.

My teaching explores how places are transformed by contemporary processes of migration and population change, examining the new social geographies which are created.

Current postgraduate research students

Andreas Culora: The Diverse Geographies of Housing in Multiple Occupation within Charnwood
Charlotte Bolton: 'Language Schools and Studentification in Brighton and Hove’

Recent postgraduate research students

Alexis Alamel (2015): Sustainable student housing and negotiating socio-economic and environmental tensions.
Stacey Balsdon (2015): Studentification and intra-student relations: the importance of geography and residence.
Hao Gu (2015): Studentification in China: a comparative international perspective.
Catherine Waite (2014): The Temporary, Seasonal Migration of Elite Cricket professionals: Career Progression and International Migration.
Chloe Kinton (2013): Processes of destudentification and studentification.
Agnieska Szewczyk (2013): Stepping Stone Migration Polish Graduates in England.
Preena Shah (2012): The coastification of St Leonards-on-sea: Gentrification and/or regeneration.
Lucia Paul (2013): Transylvanian saxons migration from Romania to Germany: The formation of a Return diaspora.

Smith, D.P., Finney, N., Halfacree, K.H. and Walford, N. (2015) Internal Migration: Geographic Perspectives and Processes. Ashgate International Population Studies Series, Farnham.

Smith, D.P., Sage, J. and Balsdon, S. (2014) The geographies of studentification: ‘here, there and everywhere’Geography 99(3): 116-127.

Smith, D.P. & Hubbard, P. (2014) The segregation of educated youth and the dynamic geographies of studentificationArea 46(1): 92-100.

Smith, D.P. & Sage, J. (2014) The regional migration of young adults in England and Wales (2002-2008): A 'conveyor-belt' of population redistribution?Children's Geographies, 12(1): 102-117.