Sociology and Social Policy PhD / MPhil

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
  • 30%

    of our research activity is deemed 'world leading' or 'internationally excellent' REF (2014).

  • 1905

    one of the world's first social science departments is established by the University of Liverpool.

  • 2010

    awarded the prestigious status of ESRC Doctoral Training College.

Overview

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.  

Research themes

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.

International Criminological Research Unit

Publics & Practices

Facilities

  • 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.

Research groups

  • 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 Home/EU Students International Students
Full time 2-4 years £4,327* (2019) £23,650* ^ (lab based programmes)
£18,000* (non Lab based programmes) (2020).
Part time 4-6 years £2,163.50* (2019) £11,825* (lab based programmes) £9,000* (non Lab based programmes) (2020)

*This fees excludes potential research support fees also known as ‘bench fees. You will be notified of any fee which may apply in your offer letter.

^Self funded full time international students studying a lab based programme will receive a £2,000 reduction in their fees for the first year only.

Entry requirements

Applications are welcomed from well qualified graduates who would typically hold a UK first degree or equivalent in the first or 2:1 class, or a 2:2 class degree plus a Masters degree, in a relevant subject.

We welcome applications from within the EU and around the world. You should ensure that your qualifications are equivalent to those required to study for this research degree. See our guidance on international qualifications.

You must also have reached a minimum standard of English and be able to provide evidence of this. See our English language requirements for international students.

Additional requirements

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.  Before you apply, we recommend that you identify a supervisor and develop a research proposal.  You'll also need to ensure that you have funding to cover all fees.

Applications are open all year round.

More about applying for research degrees

Apply online

Find a supervisor

Your supervisor is your main source of academic support and mentoring. You'll need to find a supervisor before you start your research degree. It's helpful to identify a supervisor and discuss your research proposal before you apply.

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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.

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