A PhD is the most advanced form of postgraduate study. It is awarded on the successful completion of supervised research, verbal examination and final thesis.
This programme combines advanced research training with high-quality supervision and feedback. You will study within a vibrant and active research community, and will be supported by two academic supervisors.
We offer PhDs in:
- public policy
- public management
- social policy
- social work
- science, technology and society
The school provides PhD students with well-equipped work bases, with access to telephone, email and online bibliographic facilities along with access to up to date computing facilities.
The Hallward Library stocks a large number of sociology and social policy related publications and journals. Our library facilities open long hours and include areas for group work, individual, and silent study.
The Graduate School supports all postgraduates and early career researchers at the University, with dedicated study spaces, training courses and placement opportunities.
The University provides a range of support and information to enhance your student experience.
You will have access to:
- academic and disability support
- childcare services
- counselling service
- financial support
- visa and immigration advice
- welfare support
English language courses
Our Centre for English Language Education offers presessional English courses to help develop your English and study skills.
The centre is accredited by the British Council for the teaching of English in the UK, so you can be sure that the teaching and facilities are high-quality. You can also access free English language support alongside your academic course.
University of Nottingham Students’ Union represents all students. You can join the Postgraduate Students’ Network or speak to the dedicated Postgraduate Officer.
There are also a range of support networks, including groups for:
- international students
- black and minority ethnic students
- students with disabilities
- LGBT+ students
SU Advice provides free, independent and confidential advice on issues such as accommodation, financial and academic difficulties.
Researcher training and development
The Graduate School training and development programme empowers postgraduate students and early career research staff to develop the skills required in their research and future careers.
You will be assigned two supervisors appropriate to your field. Please make sure that we have a supervisor who shares an interest in your proposed area of research before applying, though you do not need to approach them personally.
The school offers supervision in a wide range of subject areas, within and beyond the disciplines of criminology, public policy, sociology, social policy and administration, social work, and science, technology and society.
Careers and professional development
Recent graduates have pursued careers in a diverse range of fields across the public and private sector, including housing, research, marketing, support work, human resources and journalism.
Average starting salary and career progression
96.3% of postgraduates from the School of Sociology and Social Policy secured work or further study within six months of graduation. £27,900 was the average starting salary, with the highest being £31,000.*
* Known destinations of full-time home postgraduates who were available for employment, 2016/17. Salaries are calculated based on the median of those in full-time paid employment within the UK.
Careers support and advice
Whether you are considering a career within or outside academia, we’re here to support you every step of the way.
You can access our Careers and Employability Service during your studies and after you graduate.
Expert staff will work with you to explore PhD career options and apply for vacancies, develop your interview skills and meet employers. You can book a one-to-one appointment, take an online course or attend a workshop.
Fees and funding
As a student on this course, you should factor some additional costs into your budget, alongside your tuition fees and living expenses.
You should be able to access most of the books you'll need through our libraries, though you may wish to purchase your own copies or more specific titles.
See information on how to fund your studies, including our step-by-step guide. Further information is available on the school website.
Midlands Graduate School
Nottingham is part of the Midlands Graduate School ESRC Doctoral Training Partnership, which offers funding opportunities for postgraduate students each year.
Government loans for masters courses
Masters student loans of up to £10,906 are available for taught and research masters courses. Applicants must ordinarily live in the UK or EU.
International and EU students
Masters scholarships are available for international and EU students from a wide variety of countries and areas of study. You must already have an offer to study at Nottingham to apply. Please note closing dates to ensure you apply for your course with enough time.
We provide guidance on funding your degree, living costs and working while you study. You can also access specific funding opportunities, entry requirements and other resources for students from specific countries.