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Social Work PhD

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Fact file

Degree awarded
PhD
Duration
Typically 36 months FT, 72 months PT
Entry requirements

For the PhD, either:

  • An honours degree (minimum 2:1) degree, or the overseas equivalent in a relevant subject, OR
  • An MPhil/MRes degree from a recognised institution
  • Satisfactory work at postgraduate level (which must include some research training) undertaken for the equivalent of at least one year full time

Full entry requirements

How to apply

Apply online

The deadline for complete applications for September 2014 entry: 27 June 2014. Early application is advisable.

Programme options

Full-timePart-timeFull-time distance learningPart-time distance learning
PhDYYYY

Programme description

Social Work is part of the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work. The School was placed top of the table for nursing and midwifery research in the 2008 UK Research Assessment Exercise making this the ideal place to study for a Postgraduate research award.

The postgraduate research programme provides students with transferable skills in research and serves as the foundation for a career as an investigator and scholar. It also gives students the opportunity to work with internationally renowned scholars engaged in innovative research that will make a difference in people's lives and in health and social care.

We particularly welcome students from all health and social care disciplines who have an interest in exploring areas related to the School¿s research programme.

Social Work staff are active in a range of research areas, see Social work for further information

The PhD programme of study consists of:

  • Supervision by two members of staff
  • Research training and support
  • Taught course units
  • Independent study

High-quality supervision is an integral part of the programme, and students are allocated two supervisors with appropriate expertise from among the academic staff. Students are also assigned an advisor for further support.

The supervisory team will assist the PhD applicant throughout the study ensuring academic objectives are met and suitable training is provided in core skills fundamental to the research.

Transferable skills training is provided by a dedicated Graduate Training Programme offered by the Faculty of Medical and Human Sciences which provides training in aspects such as research methodology, critical writing skills, intellectual property, research ethics.

Open days

For more details, see: Open days

Fees

For entry in the academic year beginning September 2014, the tuition fees are as follows:

  • PhD (full-time)
    UK/EU students (per annum): £4,480
    International students (per annum): £14,000
  • PhD (part-time)
    UK/EU students (per annum): £2,240
    International students (per annum): £7,000

Please note for the majority of projects where experimentation requires further resource: higher fee bands (where quoted) will be charged rather than the base rate for supervision, administration and computational costs. The fees quoted above will be fully inclusive and, therefore, you will not be required to pay any additional bench fees or administration costs.

All fees for entry will be subject to yearly review and incremental rises per annum are also likely over the duration of the course for UK/EU students (fees are typically fixed for International students, for the course duration at the year of entry). For general fees information please visit: postgraduate fees. Always contact the department if you are unsure which fee applies to your project.

Contact details

Academic department
School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work
Telephone
+44 (0)161 306 0270
Email
Website
www.nursing.manchester.ac.uk

Academic department overview

See: About the School.

Related subject areas

Entry requirements

Academic entry qualification overview

For the PhD, either:

  • An honours degree (minimum 2:1) degree, or the overseas equivalent in a relevant subject, OR
  • An MPhil/MRes degree from a recognised institution
  • Satisfactory work at postgraduate level (which must include some research training) undertaken for the equivalent of at least one year full time

English language

Students whose first language is not English are required to hold one of the following:

  • IELTS 6.5, with a score of 6.0 or above in each component
  • TOEFL 600 paper based (with a minimum score on Test of Written English of 6.0)
  • TOEFL 250 computer based
  • GCSE English grade C

English language requirements for our distance learning programme are:

  • IELTS 7.0, with a score of 6.5 or above in each component
  • TOEFL 623 paper based
  • TOEFL 106 internet based (with a minimum score of 20 in each component)

English language test validity

Some English language test results are only valid for two years. Your English language test report must be valid on the start date of the course.

Other international entry requirements

We accept a range of qualifications from different countries. For these, and general requirements including English language, see entry requirements from your country.

Other entry requirements

Additional requirements for distance learning students

Although the DL PhD maximises flexibility and decreases the need for travel and actual presence on campus (apart from the annual intensive study week), it does not decrease the time and commitment required for serious and successful PhD study. As well as the academic entry requirements distance learning students must also prove that they have the time, commitment and language ability and facilities available needed to work remotely. Students should confirm that they have:

  • Two days per week minimum study time (part-time students); Full-time hours availability (Full-time students)
  • Access to study sites and research participants
  • If seconded from employment to undertake the programme - approval and support from employer for study time
  • Adherence to University and home environment ethics and research governance procedures
  • Consistent computer and IT access
  • Broadband connection: minimum downstream 2 Mb, upstream 256k
  • Software: up to date windows software
  • Webcam and Microphone

Students must maintain expected virtual presence and communication in order to remain registered on the DL PhD programme.

Please note: When applying, distributed learning students should clearly indicate their interest in the distance learning PhD on the application form.

How to apply

Apply online

The deadline for complete applications for September 2014 entry: 27 June 2014. Early application is advisable.

Advice to applicants

  • Two academic references on official headed paper
  • A research proposal. It should be 2,500 words (+/- 10%) long and include the following sections:
  1. Title
  2. Background (previous research in the area and own interest in the topic)
  3. Research problem and study aims/research questions
  4. Relevance of the proposed study to the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work's research priorities and strengths (see our research website )
  5. Proposed study design, with justification for choice
  6. Overview of proposed data collection methods and analysis techniques, with justification for choice
  7. Unique contribution of the study to knowledge (what new knowledge might your study provide)
  8. Brief consideration of practical and ethical issues
  9. References (these are not included in the word limit)
  • A document (approx. 1000 words) providing details on:
  1. What has been your career development to date and why do you wish to apply for MPhil study?
  2. What has been your research experience (emphasis on best project)?
  3. What are your research interests (area and methods)?
  4. Other supporting information: recent publications if any (indicate best publication), other research training and experience
  • Evidence of assurances about study leave where appropriate
  • Formal confirmation of funding status, eg a letter from your sponsor or documentary evidence of your ability to meet all fees and living costs
  • A current CV

Candidates may be required to attend an interview.

We are not able to process applications until we receive the required documentation.

The deadline for complete applications for September 2014 entry: 27 June 2014. Early application is advisable.

Re-applications

If you applied in the previous year and your application was not successful you may apply again. Your application will be considered against the standard course entry criteria for that year of entry.

In your new application you should demonstrate how your application has improved. We may draw upon all information from your previous applications or any previous registrations at the University as a student when assessing your suitability for your chosen course.

Programme description

Social Work is part of the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work. The School was placed top of the table for nursing and midwifery research in the 2008 UK Research Assessment Exercise making this the ideal place to study for a Postgraduate research award.

The postgraduate research programme provides students with transferable skills in research and serves as the foundation for a career as an investigator and scholar. It also gives students the opportunity to work with internationally renowned scholars engaged in innovative research that will make a difference in people's lives and in health and social care.

We particularly welcome students from all health and social care disciplines who have an interest in exploring areas related to the School¿s research programme.

Social Work staff are active in a range of research areas, see Social work for further information

The PhD programme of study consists of:

  • Supervision by two members of staff
  • Research training and support
  • Taught course units
  • Independent study

High-quality supervision is an integral part of the programme, and students are allocated two supervisors with appropriate expertise from among the academic staff. Students are also assigned an advisor for further support.

The supervisory team will assist the PhD applicant throughout the study ensuring academic objectives are met and suitable training is provided in core skills fundamental to the research.

Transferable skills training is provided by a dedicated Graduate Training Programme offered by the Faculty of Medical and Human Sciences which provides training in aspects such as research methodology, critical writing skills, intellectual property, research ethics.

Special features

PhD students have the option of studying using a distance learning (DL) route. For more information, please see: Online support for MPhil/PhD study.

This innovative option is aimed at students who are generally unable to be present on The University of Manchester campus, but have the desire, potential and time to undertake a PhD. This option does include attendance at an annual, on-campus, intensive study week, where they meet supervisors and fellow students.

Coursework and assessment

  • Discussing students' progress in a wider research context
  • Providing a forum for staff and students to present research findings and ideas in a supportive atmosphere
  • Discussing and giving advice on conference presentations and broadening awareness of student's research
  • Facilitating career development opportunities beyond their PhD

There is a detailed system to monitor the progress of PhD students. Students must submit work at specific stages and meet with their supervisors throughout their course. Some meetings are informal, while others are formal and documented.

All students must submit a continuation report at the end of 11 months (23 months if part time) which must be of the quality and style of a Master¿s thesis and which is accompanied by a viva examination.

Programme unit details

All research degree candidates in the School are normally required to undertake postgraduate taught course units and these are usually completed in the first year of the programme. PhD students require 60 credits.

Research Design and two other research course units (a range is available, all online) are compulsory for all students, unless exemption is granted on the basis of prior learning of appropriate materials at an equivalent level. Students also earn 15 credits for the Transferable Skills Training and Research Support course unit.

Course units are taught online. Each 15-credit online course unit requires approximately 50 hours engagement with online learning materials.

For the main research part of the programme, students are normally under the supervision of two members of the academic staff of the School, allocated by the the Postgraduate Research Programme Director. Supervision is arranged taking account of the research interests and expertise of the staff and the candidate's proposed project.

On occasion, joint supervision with a member of staff from another School within the University may be arranged, depending on the research method or topic to be studied. Preference will be given to students whose research will complement the current research themes of the School.

Facilities

The School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work is based in a state of the art building housing seminar rooms, IT facilities, interpersonal skills laboratories and lecture theatres. The wider facilities of the university are of an excellent standard, with one of the best library collections and resources in Europe.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Support Office.

Please email: disability@manchester.ac.uk

Career opportunities

A PhD in social work provides individuals with a competitive edge in a number of diverse fields, such as community care, mental health, child and family social care and social policy.

Students graduating from the School are in very high demand, with many assuming high profile leadership roles in academia, management, health and social care research, policy and practice and other areas.