PhD/MPhil Social Work / Programme details
Year of entry: 2021
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Our PhD/MPhil Social Work programme enables you to undertake a research project that will improve understanding of Social Work.
This postgraduate research programme in social work 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 related subject areas.
3-year PhD (FT, PT, FT Distance Learning, PT Distance Learning options)
The PhD programme of study consists of:
- high-quality supervision by two members of staff with appropriate expertise to guide the PhD applicant throughout the study ensuring academic objectives are met and suitable training is provided;
- research and transferable skills training and support;
- taught course units in core research methods;
- independent study;
- an advisor to offer pastoral support.
In addition to the support and guidance of the supervision team, students will have access to a comprehensive, tailored training programme.
Students will meet with their supervisors during induction week (and the beginning of each subsequent year) to undertake a skills audit to identify their learning needs and devise an individualised training programme.
A mandatory transferable skills unit is offered that includes:
- managing literature and searching;
- project management;
- research governance;
- involving patients and the public in research;
- ethics and academic writing.
There is also the option of additional training in research methods, completing taught master's-level units.
This option does include attendance at an annual on-campus, intensive study week where you meet supervisors and fellow students.
If you meet the additional entry requirements (see the Entry requirements section), and wish to apply to study via distance learning, please ensure that this is clearly indicated on the application form.
The three-year PhD and MPhil programmes can be completed on a full time or part-time basis.
Training and development
All of our postgraduate research students attend the Doctoral Academy Training Programme delivered by the Centre for Academic and Researcher Development (CARD).
The programme provides key transferable skills in areas such as commercial awareness, academic writing and public engagement. This training equips our postgraduates with the tools to progress beyond their research degree into influential positions within academia, industry and consultancy.
The emphasis is on enhancing skills critical to developing early-stage researchers and professionals, whether they relate to effective communication, disseminating research findings and project management skills.
See the training and development page for more information.
Teaching and learning
Applicants are specifically matched with a Primary Supervisor and individual project based on their research interests and background.
Coursework and assessment
Students must submit work at specific stages, review their progress, identify their learning and development needs, and meet with their supervisors throughout their course. Some meetings and evaluations are informal, while others are formal and documented.
You will submit a continuation report at the end of 11 months (23 months if part-time). This will summarise your knowledge and skills in your topic of study and your ability to apply this to produce a robust research plan to complete your study.
It is examined by two external examiners by a viva examination, and must be passed to progress to Year 2. Any taught units that are taken in full must also be passed to progress to Year 2.At the end of Year 2, you will submit a progress report via eProg for assessment by the supervisors and postgraduate research tutor. At the end of Year 3, the PhD thesis will be examined by an internal and external examiner.
Scholarships and bursaries
Funded programmes and projects are promoted throughout the year. Funding is available through UK Research Councils, charities and industry. We also have other internal awards and scholarships for the most outstanding applicants from within the UK and overseas (including EU nationals).For more information on available the types of funding we have available, please visit the funded programmes and funding opportunities pages.
What our students say
You will have access to Jean McFarlane Building which houses student study space, 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.