The School of Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice operates a Structured PhD programme which is the standard across the College of Social Sciences and Law. This has proven to be highly successful and enables our PhD students to achieve the best possible experience of graduate research and training. Making a substantial and original contribution to knowledge, normally leading to peer-reviewed publications, remains the core objective of doctoral studies in the School. We offer structured PhDs that can focus on any of the three subject areas of the school. 

Admissions Requirements:

The course has commencement dates in January and September annually. Applications for entry in September 2018 are now open can be made online

Prospective applicants for the PhD in Social Justice should email Dr Karen Smith for further guidance on the process: 

Students who want to undertake a PhD in Social Policy or in Social Work should have achieved a minimum 2.1 honours or international equivalent in a Masters degree cognate to their proposed thesis topic. Students are also required to complete a research proposal of between 4000-5000 words in length. The proposal should contain the following components: Introduction, Literature Review, Research Objectives, Methodology, References.

Enquiries can be directed to the School Manager and administrator for Research Degrees, Elizabeth Hassell ( Students who have specific research topics in mind may email individual members of staff whose research is in a complementary area of interest. Please check our staff and research pages for work complementary to your potential research area and/or topic.

For information on fees for PhD Degrees, please refer to:

Language Requirements:

Students whose education prior to university level has not been carried out through the medium of English must satisfy English language requirements of a minimum score of 6.5 IELTS (minimum of 6.0 in each band). Other English as a foreign language qualifications may be considered, please contact the School for details. Please also note that in all cases the test results must be less than 2 years old.

Research and Professional Development Plan:

The ongoing maintainance of a Research and Professional Development Plan (RPDP) is the responsibility of every PhD student in the School. You can find more information about this here.

Funding Opportunities

The School has one Scholarship available for students researching in the area of Social Justice. Full details can be found here.

There is also one scholarship available for students researching in the area of Social Policy. Full details can be found here.