Social Science Research Methodology PhD

Qualification name
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Qualification
PhD Social Science Research Methodology
Duration
3 years full-time, 6 years part-time
Entry requirements
Masters (or international equivalent) in a relevant discipline, with an average of 63% or above, and 2:1 at undergraduate level (or international equivalent)
IELTS
7.0 (no less than 6.0 in any element) If these grades are not met, English preparatory courses are available
Start date
September
Other requirements

 

Research overview

Offering you the opportunity to acquire first-class methodological expertise, this course includes substantive research on a topic of your choice.

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.

You will normally need to take four intensive clinics with the Methods and Data Institute in your first two years, which teach the theory and practice of a particular research method.

Students without sufficient background in research methods may also be required to take additional taught modules in their first year. These will typically cover research design, philosophy of social sciences, qualitative methods and quantitative methods.

Methods and data research areas include:

  • methodological research, focusing on studies of measurement and operationalisation, complex data structures, research design, multivariate analysis and textual analysis
  • comparative social research, in the context of a number of large scale, EU-wide collaborative research projects about citizens, political parties, media, social movements and political institutions
  • political and social attitudes and behaviour, based on work collecting data about parties and voters in various contexts
  • systematic analysis of text, developing and applying automated methods of content analysis to political text such as speeches and manifestos to determine topic, content, and the ideological positions of actors

All applicants will be expected to pass an interview, to be conducted in person, via Skype or on the phone.

How to apply

Key facts

  • Top 100 worldwide for politics and international relations in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2018
  • Committed to excellence in teaching, having won 13 Higher Education Academy awards
  • Expert academics who contribute to public debate through national and international media, including appearing on BBC TV, BBC Radio 4, the BBC World Service and in such publications as The Guardian, The New York Times and Le Monde
 

Facilities

School facilities

In addition to IT facilities provided by the University, the school offers all full-time postgraduate research students their own workspace in dedicated offices. You will be provided with a computer, printing and photocopying facilities, and a generous printing/photocopying allowance.

Library facilities

The Hallward Library stocks a large number of politics and international relations related publications and journals. Our library facilities open long hours and include areas for group work, individual and silent study.

Graduate School

Representing the needs of postgraduate students across the University, the Graduate School provides research training and development for postgraduates and early career researchers.

You will have access to a dedicated space on University Park, which includes computer stations, Wi-Fi, study and social areas, and kitchen facilities.

 

Research support

Colloquium

The school runs a weekly colloquium for postgraduate research students, giving you the opportunity to present your work in front of other research students and staff with similar research interests.

Organised by students and facilitated by the Director of Postgraduate Research, it acts as a supportive forum for presenting your work, testing your arguments, ideas and approaches, and developing your research design.

Research seminars

We offer research seminars for staff and postgraduate research students through our research centres and institutes. Each centre runs a full programme of workshops, reading groups, talks and conferences.

Teaching experience

Suitably trained second and third-year research students can acquire paid teaching experience by delivering undergraduate tutorials. Free courses on teaching methods are on offer, though teaching is subject to availability and cannot be guaranteed.

Student Services

Student Services provide a range of support and information to enhance your student experience. They are part of a comprehensive network of University services that includes academic and disability support, counselling, financial support and childcare services.

Centre for English Language Education

Accredited by the British Council for the teaching of English in the UK, the University's Centre for English Language Education provides high-quality preparation and English language support, as well as a social programme for its students.

Students' Union

The Students' Union is an important source of support with their own Student Advice Centre and dedicated Postgraduate Officer.

Researcher Development Programme

Working closely with academic schools, the Graduate School's dedicated training team contribute to faculty specific and doctoral training programmes. They deliver core training in line with the standards set out by the UK's major research funders through their researcher development programme.

 

Find a supervisor

You will be assigned two supervisors You must ensure that we have at least one supervisor who has expertise in your proposed area of research before applying and name that person in your application. Failure to do so will result in your proposal being rejected. Details of research supervisors at the University can also be found on our research A to Z. Ideally you should contact your proposed supervisor before applying.

One of your supervisors will typically be from the Methods and Data Institute, while the other will be appropriate to your specific research area.

 

Funding

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 doctoral study

The Government recently introduced doctoral student loans of up to £25,000 for PhDs and equivalent research programmes. Applicants must ordinarily live in England.

Doctoral training programmes

Linked to research councils, doctoral training programmes offer funding opportunities connected to our research priorities.

International and EU students

Research scholarships are available for outstanding international and EU students. You must already have an offer to study at Nottingham to apply. Please note closing dates to ensure your course application is submitted in good time.

Information and advice on funding your degree, living costs and working while you study is available on our website, as well as country-specific resources.

 
 

Careers

Career destinations for our graduates include economists, management consultants, researchers, statisticians and university lecturers. Companies and organisations our graduates have gone to work for include the BBC, Channel 4, the European Union, GCHQ, Reuters, and the Thailand National Police Department.

Employability and average starting salary

95.2% of postgraduates from the School of Politics and International Relations who were available for employment secured work or further study within six months of graduation. £25,000 was the average starting salary, with the highest being £42,000.*

* Known destinations of full-time home postgraduates 2016/17. Salaries are calculated based on the median of those in full-time paid employment within the UK.

Career and professional development

Whether you are looking to enhance your career prospects or develop your knowledge, a postgraduate degree from the University of Nottingham can help take you where you want to be.

The University's award-winning Careers and Employability Service offers specialist support and guidance while you study and for life after you graduate. They will help you explore and plan your next career move, through regular events, employer-led skills sessions, placement opportunities and one-to-one discussions.

 
 
 
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Get in touch

+44 (0)115 951 5559 
 
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Disclaimer
This online prospectus has been drafted in advance of the academic year to which it applies. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content) are likely to occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for the course where there has been an interval between you reading this website and applying.

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The University of Nottingham
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Nottingham
NG7 2RD
 

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