The University of Southampton
Social Sciences: Social Statistics & DemographyPart of Social SciencesPostgraduate study

Research Degrees

The Division of Social Statistics and Demography is a world-leading location for research on a wide range of topics, including methodology, social statistics and aspects of demography. We are heavily involved in a wide range of research projects and have large research contracts with the UK and EU government statistical agencies. Applications from students or professionals with a relevant Masters degree are welcomed throughout the year.

For your postgraduate research there are a wide range of distinguished academics who can support you. These include Jane Falkingham, Nyovani Madise, Patrick Sturgis, Sabu Padmadas, Ann Berrington, Danny Pfeffermann, Li-Chun Zhang and Peter Smith. Details of all the academics in the Division who may be able to supervise your research are on the staff profile pages. All academics in the division are research active, both in their own projects and funded by a wide range of institutions.

There are a number of core areas where supervision is offered, although projects that span these topics and with other subject areas are welcomed. The following are the main themes, but supervision can be offered in a range of other areas.

Global Health and Health Systems

Cutting-edge research is being conducted throughout the Division in studying health inequalities and measuring health in lower income settings, HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa and the influence of family structure on health. Links between health outcomes and health systems is also studied alongside reproductive health outcomes, especially maternal health (see Sabu Padmadas, Jane Falkingham, Nyovani Madise, Vicky Hosegood, Allan Hill, Zoe Matthews, Amos Channon and Fiifi Amoako Johnson).

Families and Fertility

A major area for research is fertility, both in high and lower income settings, including the drivers of fertility change. This links to research on families, such as re-partnering patterns and family life events. A separate strand of research studies social mobility. The research here is closely linked to the ESRC Centre for Population Change (see Jane Falkingham, Ann Berrington, Nyovani Madise, Patrick Sturgis, Andy Hinde, Brienna Pirelli-Harris, Agnese Vitali and David Clifford).

Statistical Methodology

The results from research conducted at Southampton into statistical methodology have been influencing the field of study for a number of years. These include survey sampling, survey design and methodology, small area estimation, paradata and imputation techniques, data linkage (see Patrick Sturgis, Yves Berger, Peter Smith, Danny Pfeffermann, Li-Chun Zhang, Nikos Tzavidis, Dave Holmes, Gabi Durrant, Paul Smith, Michael Wild and Sylke Schnepf).


Improving ways to measuring migration is an area where we have been advising the UK and the EU authorities for a number of years. Research also looks at the impact of migration (both immigration and emigration) on those remaining and migrating, as well as studying the patterns of migration (see Jakub Bijak and Agnese Vitali).

Other Research Areas

There is a range of other areas where expertise is located in the Division. These include:


Funded PhD Studentships in Social Statistics, Demography and Global Health

We are looking for new candidates to study for a PhD in Social Statistics and Demography starting in academic year 2017/2018 as part of the ESRC funded South Coast Doctoral Training Partnership (SCDTP). For further information and eligibility please follow link




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A PhD at Southampton offers a wide range of opportunities and support while studying under experts in the field.

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