Sociology and Social Policy MPhil/PhD

Major code: SCMR/SCPR


Sociology and Social Policy has a thriving, expanding postgraduate research culture, with activities in three broad areas:-

Urban space, culture and regeneration:- The social, cultural and economic impact of Liverpool’s designation as European Capital of Culture 2008 is of particular interest, as is the impact of culture-led regeneration on aspects of social inclusion.

Crime, regulation and social control:- Staff have particular strengths in:

  • Crime
  • Communities and cities
  • The State and social order
  • Risk, regulation and surveillance
  • The criminalisation of urban spaces
  • Youth crime, penal policy and social control.

Critical social policy:-this addresses particular questions of welfare, health, state social work, poverty, inequality and social justice. Age, generation and life course analysis, childhood, youth and older age, are other strengths.

Subject Overview

We value our research students highly, provide excellent support and encourage them to take part in our various projects.

Your proposal will be particularly welcome if you’re interested in research that has a comparative or international element.

We’re happy to consider research proposals and applications from students in other areas where these can be supported by staff research and supervision interests as indicated below.

For further information please contact the Postgraduate Research Administrator Leah Linton (

For specific academic enquiries please contact the Departmental Director of Postgraduate Research Dr Ross McGarry (

Subject Outline

For your PhD you can complete two research modules which are

SOCI501 Introduction to Research

SOCI504 Philosophy of Social Science

Your programme then concludes with a thesis.


Key Facts

RAE rating
30% of research activity deemed world leading or internationally excellent and a further 35% internationally recognised.

Why Sociology, Social Policy and Criminology?

Research culture

Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Liverpool encourages a dynamic and critically-focused approach to research. We work primarily on the following themes:- - social justice - health and wellbeing - the life-course and welfare inclusion - exclusion and urban life crime - criminal justice and social control. You’ll be able to work closely with staff to develop your own interests within these themes.

Postgraduate experience

Whether you’re a taught or research postgraduate you’ll be a valued member of our community, encouraged to take part in our research activities and intellectual / social life. We organise regular postgraduate events and conferences, and there are the unique benefits of taking part in our engage@liverpool and Interchange initiatives. These initiatives are both part of our MA research methods training.