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School of Social Sciences

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PhD Sociology
Examine a societal challenge of your choice under experts in a range of sociological methods.

PhD Sociology

Year of entry: 2018

Overview

Degree awarded
PhD
Duration
36 months full-time
Entry requirements

Candidates MUST normally have;

Bachelors (Honours) degree (or overseas equivalent) at 2:1 level or above in a cognate subject, and

  • Normally a Masters degree at 65% overall average with minimum 65% in dissertation and with no mark below 55% (or overseas equivalent) from social science backgrounds (eg sociology, social anthropology, and political science) and with preferably one with a substantial research methods component. Transcripts will be carefully scrutinised to ensure that applicants have the required background.
  • Note; due to the volume of applications received each year, and limited spaces, regrettably offers cannot be made to all applicants who satisfy the academic entry criteria.
  • All applicants who pass the initial assessment stage will be interviewed before any offer is confirmed.

Tier 4 Student Visa -  International applicants who will require a visa to study in the UK can obtain up-to-date information on the student visa advice and guidance.

Full entry requirements

How to apply

Apply online

Useful information:

  • There is NO application fee.
  • Supporting documents which MUST be provided along with an on-line application are: two academic reference letters, Degree transcripts and certificates, CV, Research Proposal, English language evidence (eg IELTS) if candidate is not from a majority English language speaking country. Please note that the English language evidence may be submitted after application.

Non UK/EU applicants are strongly advised to submit their application by July to ensure sufficient time for applying for a Visa.

Having an expert supervisor is extremely important for success in Research degree programmes and it is part of the application process that we seek suitable supervision for candidates. We cannot provide supervision across all areas and we are therefore sometimes unable to offer admission to excellent applicants. We strongly advise candidates to read the webpages of the staff or group in whose discipline they intend to specialise and to read some of their publications BEFORE applying. You may conduct a keyword search via the Social Sciences home page to identify potential supervisors/research areas.

Feel free to make direct contact with any academics to discuss your proposed research topic. Please note that such contact can only be informal and no decision can be made on your application until it is submitted and processed through the Postgraduate Admissions Office. If you make a positive contact with an academic, please make sure to include their name on your application form when you submit it.

When submitting a research proposal with your application please follow the guidelines carefully

Programme options

Full-time Part-time Full-time distance learning Part-time distance learning
PhD Y Y N N

Programme description

PhD students are supervised by a member of staff who is an expert in their area of research or co-supervised with another supervisor if other areas of expertise are required. Our staff are experts, often internationally renowned, in a wide range of key areas of sociology, and centres such as the Cathie Marsh Institute for Social Research (CMIST) and Methods@Manchester, provide a wealth of opportunities for postgraduate researchers. Some of our main research themes include: sociological theory, research methods, cultural and media studies, sociology of gender, feminist movements, sociology of consumption, sociology of language and discourse, sociology of economic life, labour markets and educational attainment. Recent PhDs have included topics as diverse as internet use in Iran, branding in AIDs awareness advertising, and how class differences affect access to higher education.

Open days

For details of the next University Postgraduate open day, visit open days and visits

Fees

For entry in the academic year beginning September 2018, the tuition fees are as follows:

  • PhD (full-time)
    UK/EU students (per annum): TBA
    International students (per annum): £18,000
  • PhD (part-time)
    UK/EU students (per annum): TBA
    International students (per annum): £9,000

Scholarships/sponsorships

Funding application deadline  - for those who wish to be considered for funding, either from the School or the ESRC, you must have submitted a complete on-line programme application form by 1 December 2017.   Further changes to your proposal may be allowed after this date if your application is shortlisted.  

Please see the School's funding page for further information (please note that the School's funding web page is not fully updated yet.  Any queries, please email vicky.barnes@manchester.ac.uk )

Contact details

Academic department
School of Social Sciences
Contact name
Vicky Barnes
Telephone
+44 (0)161 275 4743
Facsimile
+44 (0)161 275 2450
Email
Website
http://www.manchester.ac.uk/sociology
Academic department overview

Entry requirements

Academic entry qualification overview

Candidates MUST normally have;

Bachelors (Honours) degree (or overseas equivalent) at 2:1 level or above in a cognate subject, and

  • Normally a Masters degree at 65% overall average with minimum 65% in dissertation and with no mark below 55% (or overseas equivalent) from social science backgrounds (eg sociology, social anthropology, and political science) and with preferably one with a substantial research methods component. Transcripts will be carefully scrutinised to ensure that applicants have the required background.
  • Note; due to the volume of applications received each year, and limited spaces, regrettably offers cannot be made to all applicants who satisfy the academic entry criteria.
  • All applicants who pass the initial assessment stage will be interviewed before any offer is confirmed.

Tier 4 Student Visa -  International applicants who will require a visa to study in the UK can obtain up-to-date information on the student visa advice and guidance.

English language

  • IELTS 7, including 7 in writing and with no further score below 6.5
  • TOEFL IBT 103 with 28 in writing and no further score below 25 in each section.
  • ALL non-native English speaking students are required to do the English language assessment when they register in September.
  • Any non-native English speaking student going away for fieldwork in an overseas, non-English speaking country required to re-take the English assessment when they come back to Manchester.
  • All non UK/EU, non-native English speaking applicants must have obtained the minimum IELTS or TOEFL score in order to obtain a CAS for their visa.

Scores are valid for 2 years.

For students who require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK, your test score is valid for 2 years preceding the course start date.

For example;

Test taken on or after 17 September 2016 - CAS issued June 2018 = Score is VALID

Test taken before 17 September 2016 = Score is INVALID

Please note that CAS statements are issued only when all conditions of the offer have been satisfied, PDF copy of passport received and the offer accepted.

Applicants from certain countries MAY be exempt from having to provide an IELTS or TOEFL score.  For further advice please email pg-soss@manchester.ac.uk

Pre-Sessional English Courses:

If you eligible to do a pre-sessional English course (either 6 weeks or 10 weeks, depending on your English score), you will be required to successfully complete the course at the required level before you are permitted to register on your academic course).

The dates and fees for next summer (2018) are now available on the English Language Centre's website.

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 .

Application and selection

How to apply

Apply online

Useful information:

  • There is NO application fee.
  • Supporting documents which MUST be provided along with an on-line application are: two academic reference letters, Degree transcripts and certificates, CV, Research Proposal, English language evidence (eg IELTS) if candidate is not from a majority English language speaking country. Please note that the English language evidence may be submitted after application.

Non UK/EU applicants are strongly advised to submit their application by July to ensure sufficient time for applying for a Visa.

Having an expert supervisor is extremely important for success in Research degree programmes and it is part of the application process that we seek suitable supervision for candidates. We cannot provide supervision across all areas and we are therefore sometimes unable to offer admission to excellent applicants. We strongly advise candidates to read the webpages of the staff or group in whose discipline they intend to specialise and to read some of their publications BEFORE applying. You may conduct a keyword search via the Social Sciences home page to identify potential supervisors/research areas.

Feel free to make direct contact with any academics to discuss your proposed research topic. Please note that such contact can only be informal and no decision can be made on your application until it is submitted and processed through the Postgraduate Admissions Office. If you make a positive contact with an academic, please make sure to include their name on your application form when you submit it.

When submitting a research proposal with your application please follow the guidelines carefully

Advice to applicants

For students who require a Tier 4 student visa to study in the UK please refer to our specialist advice pages.

Interview requirements

As part of the offer making process applicants will be required to undertake an interview assessment.  This may be in the form of a face-to-face interview, Skype or telephone. 

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 details

Programme description

PhD students are supervised by a member of staff who is an expert in their area of research or co-supervised with another supervisor if other areas of expertise are required. Our staff are experts, often internationally renowned, in a wide range of key areas of sociology, and centres such as the Cathie Marsh Institute for Social Research (CMIST) and Methods@Manchester, provide a wealth of opportunities for postgraduate researchers. Some of our main research themes include: sociological theory, research methods, cultural and media studies, sociology of gender, feminist movements, sociology of consumption, sociology of language and discourse, sociology of economic life, labour markets and educational attainment. Recent PhDs have included topics as diverse as internet use in Iran, branding in AIDs awareness advertising, and how class differences affect access to higher education.

Special features

Some of our staff members are situated in the Cathie Marsh Institute for Social Change (CMIST) where there is a PhD programme on Applied Social Research (ASR) and our staff act as ASR PhD supervisors. Prospective students who wish to conduct theses on important substantive issues based on large-scale and complex social surveys and using advanced statistical methods should apply to the ASR programme directly.

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

Teaching and learning

Students are guided and supported by at least one supervisor who is expert in their area. Research students registered in the Faculty of Humanities participate in the Faculty's skills training audit, skills training and personal development planning.

There is a fortnightly research seminar for all students, which includes help with personal and development planning (PDP) as well as research issues, and is an opportunity to meet with other PhD students.

Graduate Teaching Assistants in the School of Social Sciences are considered to be valued members of the teaching team. As such, we take pride in the opportunities provided for the professional development of graduate teaching assistants. Our training includes preparation for application to the Associate Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy. This brings a range of benefits as follows:

  • consolidates your personal development and emphasises your professional practice in HE
  • entitlement to use post-nominal letters - AFHEA
  • provides a valuable measure of success and is increasingly sought by employers across the education sector as a condition of appointment and promotion
  • recognised and valued by a growing number of international institutions

More information on the Associate Fellowship HEA

Or, contact Gillian Evans (Gillian.Evans@manchester.ac.uk), our School of Social Sciences Graduate Teaching Assistant Coordinator. 

Details on how to apply for a TA position will be available here in due course.

Coursework and assessment

Student progression is monitored through 6-monthly and annual review boards. The former involve the supervisory team, including co-supervisors and the objective is to ensure that work is proceeding satisfactorily and to set deadlines. The annual review board also involves an `external' academic not otherwise involved in the project. Review boards approve students' work and establish agreed parameters for the progression of each project.

Programme unit list

The programme unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this programme of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Sociology Postgraduate Research Workshop SOCY60510 0 Mandatory

What our students say

See the profiles of our current cohort of PhD students in Sociology.

Facilities

 Sociology PhD students have desk space with computing facilities, shelf space and lockers on the 3 rd floor of the Arthur Lewis Building.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: dass@manchester.ac.uk

Careers

Career opportunities

MPhil candidates often progress to PhD. Typical first destinations at the end of the programme include lectureships, research posts, senior administrative positions in local government, NHS and educational institutions, homeworking and trade union and union linked positions. There is increasing need for well trained social scientists who are able to apply advanced methods of analysis to complex data. These skills are in short supply and graduates of the Social Research Methods and Statistics programme, in particular, leave in a good position to obtain jobs in the academic sector, in central government, including the Office for National Statistics, in local government and within the commercial research sector.  Many of our PhDs continue their research at post-doctoral level and in recent years several have become academics at Manchester and in other universities around the world.