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Social Change PhD

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Programme description

The Institute for Social Change is an inter-disciplinary research centre in the Faculty of Humanties.  PhD topics within the broad area of comparative social change can be developed by individual applicants.  The Institute's staff are collaborating on research on Social Change with members of Harvard University, led by Professor Robert Putnam.

For informal enquiries, please contact the Programme Director, Professor Yaojun Li, email;  

Telephone; is 00-44-161-2750274

Additional programme information

The School of Social Sciences is now based in a brand new purpose-built building which allows 24/7 access.

There is shared workspace available for research students within the Discipline Area and also a dedicated area in the atrium with computer terminals

Programme unit details

While you study for the PhD/MPhil you will be trained in generic skills as well as quantitative research skills.  You may also take course units in Sociology or Politics.  The PhD may take three years, or four years including a one year MSc in Social Change

We encourage you to develop a proposal on a topic in one of the areas below:

  • Civic Engagement Across Countries
  • Immigration and Ethnicity
  • Social Mobility across Time and Space
  • Religion and Society
  • Inequalities or Trends in Social Capital
  • Social and Political Aspects of Changing Values or Behaviour
  • New Media and Political Change
  • Other topics in comparative social and political change

Please note that we do not work in development studies and will not in general supervise research on Latin America, Africa or South Asia.

Further information is available via the Programme Handbook .

Scholarships and bursaries

Disability support

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