Nottingham ESRC Doctoral Training Programmes

The ESRC DTP Training Programme

Conceptual, general and specialist training underpins all aspects of the Midlands Graduate School (MGS) Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) vision.

The personal, professional and academic training needs of all MGS students are assessed by a Development Needs Analysis which will take place each year.

Research Methods Training

Regardless of the methods students are planning to use in their PhD, the ESRC’s training requirements state that all students should reach a certain standard of research methods training.

Conceptual Training

As a result of their training in research methods the ESRC expects all DTP researchers to be trained in the following areas:

  • Research Design, Practice and Ethics
  • Quantitative Research Methods
  • Qualitative Research Methods

All eight institutions in the MGS DTP offer a Masters in Social Science Research designed to meet the ESRC’s compulsory conceptual training requirements for ESRC-funded students.

Although students follow different, discipline specific pathways through these Masters programmes, three core modules are common to all pathway.


Determining which scheme to apply for

The MGS DTP and ESRC has a number of schemes and award lengths available, based on the extent to which the student/applicant has met the ESRC’s training requirements (outlined above).

  • Masters + PhD funding: For those applying direct from undergraduate studies, or those returning to education following a period in non-research employment and do not already hold a social science Masters degree, or those who are ‘discipline-hopping’ and hold a Masters degree from a non-social science discipline, e.g. Computer Science
  • PhD funding: For those who already hold a Masters degree in a Social Science dsicipline. There are a number of different award lengths available which depend on the amount of conceptual research methods covered during the previously studied Masters degree.

It should be noted that the standard award length is 3.5 years. This encompasses 3 months for training activities and 3 months for students to undertake a 3-month Research in Practice placement. If a placement is not undertaken, funding will be reduced by 3 months. 

Masters in Social Science Research (MSSR)

All eight partner institutions of the MGS each deliver a Masters in Social Science Research (MSSR) as the '1' element of a 1+3.5 award.

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Specialist Training

 MGS partner institutions offer a portfolio of training courses available to MGS students to take throughout thier studies. 

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External Training

The ESRC funds a range of data and methods services to support research and study. It provides resources needed to access high quality socio-economic data and to develop research skills.

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Nottingham ESRC Doctoral Training Programmes

University Park

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 4708