PhD Sociology and Social Policy

The University of Nottingham - Faculty of Social Sciences

Program Description

PhD Sociology and Social Policy

The University of Nottingham - Faculty of Social Sciences

PhD Sociology and Social Policy

A PhD is the most advanced form of postgraduate study. It is awarded on the successful completion of a programme of supervised research and is assessed by a verbal examination and final thesis.

The school offers PhDs in:

  • criminology
  • public policy
  • sociology
  • social policy and administration
  • social work
  • science, technology and society

The school has a strong and vibrant community of postgraduate research students. We are proud of being a site for creativity and innovation in and across our areas of research expertise and are dedicated to developing our students' research skills, expertise and career in a supportive and collegial environment.

Our research students are encouraged to participate in the school's academic life and to work with the research centres that reflect their research area. The school also supports the postgraduate journal and conference ENQUIRE.

This programme combines advanced research training, high-quality supervision and feedback, and a vibrant and active research community. A PhD is an opportunity for you to conduct an extensive, original piece of research of your own choosing, with feedback and support from two academic supervisors.

The school's academic staff have a wide range of research interests and expertise within and beyond the disciplines of sociology, social policy and administration, social work, criminology, science and technology and public policy. Many of our students undertake interdisciplinary research projects.

Our PhD programme is recognised by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) through the Doctoral Training Centre, offering both one-plus-three degrees and three year degrees. For the one-plus-three route, students undertake an initial year of Research Methods training, leading to an MA, prior to progressing to develop their main research focus.


School facilities

The school provides PhD students with well-equipped work bases, with access to telephone, fax, email and online bibliographic facilities along with access to up to date computing facilities.

Library facilities

The Hallward Library stocks a large number of sociology and social policy related publications and journals. Our library facilities open long hours and include areas for group work, individual and silent study.

The Graduate School

The Graduate School is a unique facility that focuses on postgraduate education and represent the needs of postgraduate students within the University. It provides a world class research training and development environment for postgraduates and early career researchers.

The Social Sciences and Arts Graduate Centre is a space exclusively for postgraduate students and research staff in the faculties of Arts and Social Sciences. It offers networked computer stations and Wi-Fi access for laptops, a study area, a social area with comfortable seating, a quiet study zone, and kitchen facilities.

Midlands Graduate School

Nottingham is part of the Midlands Graduate School ESRC Doctoral Training Partnership, which offers funding opportunities for postgraduate students each year. For more information, visit the Midlands Graduate School website.

Research support

Student Services

Student Services provide a range of support, information and specialist services to enhance your student experience and form part of a comprehensive network of services at the University designed to support you throughout your studies, including academic and disability support, counselling, financial support, and childcare services.

International Office

Our International Office is dedicated to the needs of our international and EU students. The International Office will ensure you have all the information you need to live and study at Nottingham and offers a Welcome Programme just before the start of the academic year.

Centre for English Language Education

The University's Centre for English Language Education (CELE) provides high-quality preparation and English language support before and during your studies, as well as providing a social programme for its students.

Students' Union

The Students' Union is an important source of support with their own Student Advice Centre.

Researcher Development Programme

Working closely with academic schools, the Graduate School's dedicated training team contribute to faculty specific and doctoral training programmes. They also deliver core training in line with the standards set out by the UK's major research funders through their Researcher Development Programme. This means that as well as helping you to develop your research skills, you will have opportunities spanning communication skills, careers, time management, and entrepreneurship - and the chance to meet and work alongside researchers from other disciplines.


Average starting salary and career progression

In 2015, 100% of postgraduates in the School of Sociology and Social Policy who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The average starting salary was £27,031 with the highest being £40,800.*

Recent graduates have been successful in securing a diverse range of occupations in both the public and private sector. These include housing, research, marketing, support work, human resources, and journalism.

*Known destinations of full-time home higher degree postgraduates 2014/15. Salaries are calculated based on those in full-time paid employment within the UK.

Career prospects and employability

Our award-winning Careers and Employability Service will help you to plan your career throughout your time at the University and beyond. Services available include:

  • presentations and drop-in sessions with employers
  • one-to-one careers guidance and CV sessions with our advisers
  • careers events held each academic year
  • a specialist careers adviser for research postgraduates

Once you are a student with us, and even after you graduate, you will have access to our service for life.

Flexible paid placements

Postgraduate Placements Nottingham offers flexible paid placements with a range of employers from small local businesses to multinational organisations. These placements are open to all postgraduates and are designed to fit in with your studies and give you the opportunity to learn transferable skills, improve your CV and enhance your employment prospects during your postgraduate studies.

The University of Nottingham is the best university in the UK for graduate employment, according to The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017.

Entry requirements

  • Masters degree with an average mark of 60% or above, plus a 2:1 (or international equivalent) in any discipline
  • IELTS: 7.0 (no less than 6.0 in any element); if these grades are not met, English preparatory courses are available
This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated September 6, 2017
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Sept. 2017
Jan. 2018
3 - 6 years
Part time
Full time
4,183 GBP
United Kingdom - Nottingham, England
Start date: Sept. 2017
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Start date: Jan. 2018
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Sept. 2017
United Kingdom - Nottingham, England
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Jan. 2018
United Kingdom - Nottingham, England
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
International fees: 15,570 GBP (HEU fees: 4,183 GBP)