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The University of Southampton
Sociology, Social Policy and CriminologyPart of Economic, Social and Political SciencePostgraduate study

PhD Sociology, Social Policy and Criminology

The University of Southampton welcomes applications from students who are interested in pursuing postgraduate research in either sociology, social policy or criminology. We welcome applications from students pursuing quantitative as well as qualitative research agendas in the areas that are directly associated with staff research interests: digital technologies/digital economies, migration, national & ethnic identities, religion, integration policies and experiences, work, employment, pensions, social movements, work & organisations in a variety of settings, families and communities, environmental problems and behaviours, criminology, prisons, cyber -crime, relationship between criminology & psychology, and methodological innovations.

All research students are registered for a PhD, and progress is conditional on successful completion of the programme of advanced courses and satisfactory progress in your research, assessed by annual review.

Years one and two
At the beginning of your PhD, a research training programme will be drawn up by you and your supervisor(s) in consultation with the supervisory team and the postgraduate research coordinator.

During years one and two of the programme, you will combine supervised research with further development through our Postgraduate Research Forum. The Forum is designed to foster and develop a range of professional skills, including writing, bibliographic, library, research, computing, IT and presentation skills. There may also be an opportunity to develop your teaching skills by undertaking some small-group teaching and class tutoring on the undergraduate programmes.

Year three
The third year of study is devoted to full-time research and preparation of your doctoral thesis. In your final year as a research student, you will be expected to participate fully in our programme of research workshops and seminars.

Research training
Your research training programme plays a vital part in ensuring you develop your research training skills in the appropriate areas to enable you to successfully complete your PhD.

If you have not studied an ESRC-recognised research training masters programme, you will be able to take the necessary modules from our MSc programmes. If you have studied an ESRC-recognised research training masters programme, you will be able to continue your training by attending activities organised by us.

Our Postgraduate Research Forum is devoted entirely to discussing substantive and methodological topics and problems which research students face. Regular seminars also provide an opportunity for you to discuss your own plans and to develop your ideas with other research students in a supportive environment. As a research student, you will find it extremely beneficial to attend the regular staff–postgraduate student seminars, where speakers present papers based on their current research, and also our annual postgraduate research days and research awaydays.

View the programme specification for this course for 2019/20 entrants

Typical entry requirements

Masters degree in a relevant subject, or equivalent (a good honours degree will be considered)

Selection process

Please see our How to Apply page for details on the selection process.

This page contains specific entry requirements for this course. Find out about equivalent entry requirements and qualifications for your country.

Typical course content

Tuition fees

List of tuition fees for this course and it's variations
Course TitleAwardYear of entryMode of studyUK/EUInternational
Sociology, Social Policy and CriminologyMPhil/PhD2020Full-timetbc by UKR&I March 2020£17,064
Sociology, Social Policy and CriminologyMPhil/PhD2020Part-timetbc by UKR&I March 2020£8,532
Sociology, Social Policy and CriminologyPhD2021Full-timetbc March 2021£17,592
Sociology, Social Policy and CriminologyPhD2021Part-timetbc March 2021£8,796
Sociology, Social Policy and CriminologyPhD2022Full-timetbc by RCUK Spring 2022£18,000
Sociology, Social Policy and CriminologyPhD2022Part-timetbc by RCUK Spring 2022£9,000
View the full list of course fees


Scholarships, bursaries, sponsorships or grants may be available to support you through your course. Funding opportunities available to you are linked to your subject area and/or your country of origin. These can be from the University of Southampton or other sources.

Explore funding opportunities

Study locations

Hartley Library

Highfield campus

Economic, Social and Political Science is based on the main campus of ...Find out more

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