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School of Social Sciences

Arthur Lewis Building in teal tint
PhD Sociology
Examine a societal challenge of your choice under experts in a range of sociological methods.

PhD Sociology / Programme details

Year of entry: 2018

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 (, 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.


 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: