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Luke Desforges

Dr Luke Desforges PhD, FHEA

Head of Department of the Natural and Built Environment


Luke Desforges has been Head of Department in Natural & Built Environment since June 2017. He is responsible for leadership and management across a large and diverse Department which includes Geography, Environment, Planning, Architecture and Built Environment. The Department’s teaching includes not only Undergraduate courses but significant work-based Part Time provision, as well as Degree Apprenticeships in the construction industries. Postgraduate provision serves the needs of the construction industry, planning and Geographical Information systems. Courses are taught in partnership with Higher Education Institutions across the world, and particularly in China and Malaysia.


Luke was formerly Head of Learning, Teaching and Assessment for the College of Social Sciences and Arts, and has a strong interest in education. He has published research on social identity and learning in Human Geography. He has developed the Faculty Student Experience Project scheme, which funds and organises small scale research projects across numerous disciplines.

Previously at the Universities of Sheffield and Aberystwyth he was course leader for the Higher Education Academy accredited PG Certs in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, and continues to deliver professional development workshops on learning and teaching. He has facilitated professional development in educational evaluation and teaching development as a consultant in institutions in the UK, as well as Mwenge Catholic University in Tanzania. He is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.


Luke teaches on the BA Human Geography and BSc Geography courses, including dissertation supervision and research methods, and is an Academic Advisor to Undergraduate students as well as a PhD supervisor.


Luke’s academic background is in Geography. He has published research on the relationship between UK society and culture in terms of its impacts upon developing world countries. His research includes projects on the tourist cultures of long haul travel to Peru, the representation of global mobility at Ellis Island Museum of Migration in New York City, and the changing organisational reach of development charities in the UK. His research methods include qualitative data, ethnography and historical archive research. 

Rossiter, J.A., Gray, L., Raina, A., Morley, M. and Desforges, L. (2008) Making the Most of Intro Week. In: Arlett, C. and Dales, R. (eds.), EE2008: International Conference on Innovation, Good Practice and Research in Engineering Education Conference Proceedings. 54-66. 14-16 July, Loughborough, UK.

Desforges, L, Jones, R, and Woods, M, (2005) New Geographies of Citizenship. Citizenship Studies 9(5):439-451. 

Desforges, L, (2004) The Formation of Global Citizenship: International Development Non-Governmental Organisations in Britain. Political Geography 23: 549-569. 

Desforges, L, & Maddern, J, (2004) Front Door to Freedom, Portal to the Past: History at the Ellis Island Immigration Museum, New York. Social and Cultural Geography 5(3): 437-457.

Desforges, L, & Jones, R, (2004) Learning Geography Bilingually, Journal of Geography in Higher Education. 28(3), 411-424. 

Crouch, D, & Desforges, L, (2003) The Sensuous in the Tourist Encounter: Introduction to the Power of the Body in Tourist Studies. Tourist Studies 3(1), pp 5-22. 

Jones, R, & Desforges, L, (2003) Localities and the reproduction of Welsh nationalism. Political Geography 22, pp 271-292. 

Desforges, L, (2001) Tourism consumption and the imagination of money. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 26(3), pp 353-364. 

Desforges, L, & Jones, R, (2001) Introduction: The geography of languages/The languages of geography. Social and Cultural Geography 2, pp 261-264. 

Desforges, L, & Jones, R, (2001) Bilingualism and geographical knowledge : a case study of students at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth. Social and Cultural Geography 2, pp 333-346 (2001). 

Desforges, L, (2000) Travelling the World : Identity and Travel Biography. Annals of Tourism Research 27(4), pp 926-945 (2000). 

Desforges, L, (2000) State tourism institutions and neo-liberal development: a case study of Peru. Tourism Geographies 2(2), pp 177-192. 

Desforges, L, and Jones, R, (2000) The production of national identity in Wales: higher education and the Welsh language. Contemporary Wales 13, pp 27-45. 

Desforges, L. (2003) Bananas and Citizens. In: Exchange Values (ed. S Sacks), pp 13-18. Oxford Brookes, Oxford. 

Desforges, L, (1999) Introduction to Travel and Tourism, in P. Cloke, P. Crang and M. Goodwin (Eds) Introducing Human Geographies. London: Arnold. 

Desforges, L, (1998) 'Checking Out the Planet': Global representations / local identities and youth travel, in T. Skelton and G. Valentine (Eds) Cool Places: Geographies of Youth Culture. London: Routledge.

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