Our postgraduate research routes

Discover a wide range of opportunities to expand your research knowledge in the Faculty of Social Sciences. In the Research Excellence Framework 2021 – a UK-wide assessment of universities’ research output – we ranked 3rd in Scotland and top 25 in the UK in the Social Work and Social Policy unit of assessment – with 100% of our research environment and 88% of our research deemed world leading or internationally excellent.

PhD study

We currently offer PhD supervision across a range of disciplines, including Sociology, Social Policy, Criminology, Social Work, Housing, Dementia Studies, Education and other related disciplines.

We are able to support postgraduate study on and off campus. While many students are based on campus in the Faculty, a number of students study at a distance, taking advantage of online supervisory support, digital library and learning resources and occasional on campus skills development sessions and conferences.

If you're interested in applying for a traditional PhD by research or by publication, please click ‘Apply for a PhD’ below. For other Doctorates that invole both taught modules and research – such as TESOL, Education and Applied Social Research – click on the specific course links below.

PhD by research

You’ll be able to research a topic in depth with the support of an expert supervisor, leading to a thesis. We offer you the opportunity to conduct research in a world-class and interdisciplinary school with strong links to theoretical, empirical, policy and practice developments.

PhD by publication

This varies from the traditional PhD. For a PhD by publication, your final thesis will comprise three to six published research papers linked by a contextualised narrative. You’ll still receive the same support as with a PhD by research, in terms of supervision, involvement, length, cost and support.

PhD in TESOL Research

Our PhD in TESOL Research (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) is a ground-breaking and unique course. If you’re interested in investigating language use, teaching and/or learning, this PhD programme is ideal for you. You’ll be taught by tutors with extensive expertise in TESOL, research methods and educational theories. 

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Our Doctor of Education (EdD) is an ideal development opportunity if you’re a senior education professional seeking to enhance and utilise your research expertise. Whatever your area of education – from schools, colleges and universities to professional, work-based and lifelong learning, or policy development – earning an EdD will position you as a leader in your field.

Doctor of Applied Social Research

Our Doctor of Applied Social Research is designed to transform the way you think as a professional and ensure you can make a powerful impact in your field. If you’re an experienced professional who wants to advance your expertise and broaden your career opportunities, this course is an ideal match.

Our research training Masters degrees (MRes)