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North West is largest centre for social science PhD training

10 Feb 2011

The largest centre in England for social science postgraduate training has been established at the Universities of Manchester, Lancaster and Liverpool.

The North West Doctoral Training Centre (NWDTC) is one of 21 in the UK, created by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), and will provide PhD students with access to quality research training in social science disciplines.

The Universities are now guaranteed a total of 63 new postgraduate studentships per year to support research and training at doctoral level.  This will amount to more than £15 million of investment over the next five years.

Studentships will be available across the full range of social science disciplines, including areas such as Geography, Economics and Psychology.

The ESRC has also identified particular areas of study that would benefit from further development across the UK including subjects such as Language Based Area Studies, Economics, and Management and Business Studies.

A number of studentships will be set aside for these particular areas to help ensure that social sciences continue to contribute to the development of society and the economy.

Students will have access to research expertise across the three Universities, allowing them to take advantage of a variety of study in social sciences, as well as in subjects where scientists are collaborating with colleagues from other disciplines such as medicine and the arts.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Liverpool University, Professor Jon Saunders, said: “The new Centre is an acknowledgement of the quality of social sciences research and expertise at Liverpool, Manchester and Lancaster.  The partnership will provide a vibrant and exciting research environment for postgraduate students who want access to world class training provision.  With this Centre we aim to support the next generation of social scientists, allowing them to contribute knowledge that will further develop UK society and the economy.”

Professor Bertrand Taithe is Associate Dean for Postgraduate Research at The University of Manchester’s Faculty of Humanities. He said: “The North West Doctoral Training Centre is the largest in England, and thanks to the success of this bid we have actually increased the numbers of our studentships across the three Universities. This bid reflects the great strengths of the three universities and Manchester's exceptional research results in the Government’s last Research Assessment Exercise. Our doctoral students will now be able to use our excellent research facilities in each of the DTC’s 19 social science research areas. This a great success for Faculty of Humanities at The University of Manchester and a more generally for social research in the North West of England.”

Professor Geraint Johnes, Lancaster University’s Dean of Graduate Studies, said: “The studentships that the Centre will make available are wide-ranging and will fund research across social sciences disciplines at each of the partner institutions. Doctoral students at Lancaster will now be able to enjoy not only the fantastic research facilities that we have, but also the best offerings at Liverpool and Manchester.”

Notes for editors

The DTC studentships are available to postgraduate students living in the UK and European Union, but there are also opportunities for international students to apply for study in economic and social statistics. 

Courses included in the new scheme are:

Accounting and Finance; Business and Management; Development and Humanitarianism; Economic and Social History; Economics’ Geography and Environment; Language Based Area Studies; Learning and Technology in Educational Research; Linguistics; Planning and Environment; Politics in a Global World; Psychology; Security, Conflict and Justice; Social Anthropology; Social Statistics; Social Work; Sociology; Health and Wellbeing; Science, Technology and Innovation.

For media enquiries contact:

Mike Addelman
Press Officer
Faculty of Humanities
The University of Manchester
0161 275 0790
07717 881567