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.
Why study with us?
Studying at Liverpool has allowed me to frequently interact with colleagues who are leaders in this field and gain widely recognised postgraduate qualifications to take forward into my future career. The diversity of the city opens up a field for research and engagement across a variety of disciplines. The University of Liverpool is a fantastic place to study.Sarah Greenhow - Sociology and Social Policy PhD student
in the sector for research outputs classified as 'world leading' (4*) in the latest Research Excellence Framework (2021)
one of the world's first social science departments is established by the University of Liverpool
awarded the prestigious status of ESRC Doctoral Training College
Staff have particular strengths in 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.
Our department's Research Clusters cover areas such as social justice, crime, health, welfare, housing, inequality and the operation of political power at local, national and global levels.
- Access to Methods NorthWest , a cross-institutional initiative that promotes methodological innovation, excellence and an interdisciplinary approach
- Prestigious events such as the Eleanor Rathbone Lecture Series and the engage@liverpool 'how to' talk series where lectures and lively debates focus on innovative research methods and practice.
- Opportunities to experience and conduct ‘real life’ research with voluntary groups and organisations across Merseyside through Interchange, our registered charity
- Unique, flexible opportunities for in-house Research and Development Departments to upgrade their employees’ research skills through part-time study.
- Charity Law and Policy Unit
- Critical Approaches International Criminal Law
- EU Law@Liverpool
- European Children’s Rights Unit
- Health Law and Regulation Unit
- International Criminological Research Unit
- International Law and Human Rights Unit
- Liverpool Economic Governance Unit
- Publics & Practices
Study options and fees
|MPhil / PhD||Duration||UK students||International Students|
|Full time||2-4 years||£4,712||
|Part time||4-6 years||£2,356||
The fees stated in the table above exclude potential research support fees also known as ‘bench fees’. You will be notified of any fee which may apply in your offer letter.
* Please note that if you are undertaking a PhD within the Faculty of Science and Engineering the fee you pay, Band A or Band B, will reflect the nature of your research project. Some research projects incur a higher fee than others e.g. if you are required to undertake laboratory work. You will be informed of the fee for your programme in your offer letter.
^ Self-funded, full-time international students studying a PhD programme classified as Band A will receive a £2,000 reduction in their fees for the first year only.
For research degrees we expect candidates to normally hold a UK first degree in the first or upper second class, or a second class degree plus a Masters degree or equivalent, preferably in the Social Sciences.
English language requirements
|IELTS Academic requirement - SELT and non-SELT||Overall 6.5 no band below 6.0|
|TOEFL iBT requirement||Minimum 88 overall with L 19 W 19 R 19 and S 20|
|C1 Advanced CAE requirement||Overall 176 with no less than 169 in any paper|
|Trinity College London, Integrated Skills in English (ISE II)||ISE II with an overall pass with merit in components|
|Cambridge IGCSE as a First Language||Grade C|
|Cambridge IGCSE as a Second Language||Grade B|
|Cambridge English Level 3 Certificate in ESOL International (Proficiency)||Overall 176 with 169 in components|
|Cambridge English Level 3 Certificate in ESOL International (Advanced)||Overall 176 with 169 in components|
|Cambridge English Level 2 Certificate in ESOL International (Advanced)||Overall 176 with 169 in components|
Postgraduate research training expectations
If you are considering undertaking our PhD programme, you should equip yourself with a good standard of literacy in social research methods across a range of data collection, analysis and management techniques. We recommend that all postgraduate research students take modules in both qualitative and quantitative methods including, for example, SOCI508 Understanding Society Using Quantitative Methods (Semester 1);or equivalent training made available elsewhere in the university or across the MethodsNorthWest initiative.
Applying for ESRC PhD funding via the NWSSDTP
The University is a member of the ESRC North West Social Science Doctoral Training Partnership, and as such, if you are considering any ESRC PhD funding route via the Department of Sociology, Social Policy and Criminology, you will be expected to undertake modules in both qualitative and quantitative methods in order to be compliant with ESRC Postgraduate Training and Development Guidelines These modules would include SOCI508 Understanding Society Using Quantitative Methods (semester 1) and additional modules where available/relevant, and/or equivalent requisite training made available in the university or across the MethodsNorthWest initiative.
Those applying for ESRC PhD funding who have already gained a postgraduate qualification, this requirement may have been fulfilled during your prior Masters training. However, if it has not and you are successfully awarded ESRC PhD funding to undertake a 1+3 programme, this training requirement should preferably be fulfilled during your MA or MRes programme with us, or during the first year of your (+3) PhD award at the latest.
How to apply
Research degree applications can be made online. You'll also need to ensure that you have funding to cover all fees.
Applications are open all year round.
Before you apply, we recommend that you identify a supervisor and develop a research proposal
Find a supervisor
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- Phone: +44 (0)151 794 3450
Related studentships: self-funded and funded PhD projects
Related Doctoral Training Partnerships
Doctoral Training Partnerships support future researchers with funding and a rewarding learning environment where you can collaborate with leading researchers.