Sociology (including Criminology & Media Studies) PhD / MPhil
The Department of Sociology has a vibrant research culture and welcomes suitably qualified applicants with original research topics for its PhD programme. We are one of the leading sociology departments in London and we have an impressive track record of seeing our students through to successful completion. Our PhD programme attracts students from a variety of geographical locations, meaning that you are part of a cosmopolitan research community.
The programme is intended to produce scholars who have the analytical and methodological skills to design independent research projects, generate publications that advance substantive and theoretical knowledge and understanding and who are able to teach at university level. The substantive and methodological nature of the PhD programme, the diverse research interests of staff members and our London location have resulted in the completion of a range of innovative disciplinary and inter-disciplinary doctoral dissertations.
We are particularly interested in applications from students who wish to carry out research in the areas of: new media and the digital society; trends and developments in global news-media; media, campaigning and social change; crime and criminality; crime and popular culture; policing, criminal justice and crime prevention; victimology; contemporary social theory; gender, sexualities and social change; work, employment and socio-economic change; youth studies and cultural studies.
The current research interests of our staff can be found on our staff profile pages.
Applicants should, at a minimum, have an Upper Second Class undergraduate degree plus a merit in a Masters degree in an academic discipline related to the proposed research topic. We will also accept the overseas equivalent of UK qualifications. In exceptional cases, professional qualifications and experience in the proposed research area may compensate for the lack of a Master's degree, or a grade below that specified above.
For students whose first language is not English, the following qualifications will meet the English language requirement for entry to the course of study:
- A first degree from a UK university or from the CNAA.
- A first degree from an overseas institution recognised by the University as providing adequate evidence of proficiency in the English language, for example, from institutions in Australia, Canada or the USA.
- GCE O-level/GCSE English language or English literature, grade C minimum.
- For students whose first language is not English, we require an overall IELTS score of 7.0, including 7.0 in writing, with no component score below 6.0. (Please note, IELTS test scores are valid for a maximum period of 2 years from the time at which the test was taken).
- Other evidence of proficiency in the English language which satisfies the Board of Studies concerned.
Please note that TOEFL and Cambridge Advanced/ Preliminary tests are no longer accepted.
If you are not from the European Economic Area / Switzerland and you are coming to study in the UK, you may need to apply for a visa or entry clearance to come to the UK to study.
The way that you apply may vary depending on the length of your course. There are different rules for:
- Students on courses of more than six months
- Students on courses of less than six months
- Students on a pre-sessional English language course.
If you require a Tier 4 student visa to study in the UK, you cannot undertake any City courses on a part-time basis.
For more information see our main Visa page.
Duration of Studies
The minimum period of registration is two years for full-time students. The maximum period of registration is four years for full-time students.
As a student on our graduate research programme, you are initially registered for an MPhil award. Progression to PhD registration is not automatic, but contingent on the satisfactory outcome of a review process. This takes place towards the end of the first year of your registration for full-time candidates. You will submit a substantial formally constructed upgrade or transfer document for assessment to an academic panel and present at the annual research colloquium.
Subject to demonstrating, both in writing and presentation, the intellectual and methodological ability and motivation to complete a PhD and providing a viable timetabled plan for timely completion of the research, you will be upgraded to PhD. Your progress is periodically assessed during years two and three of research. This also ensures that you are receiving appropriate levels of supervision, training, and practical support. Your doctoral studies will conclude with submission of your completed research in the form of a PhD thesis or dissertation and attendance at a viva voce examination in front of at least two examiners, at least one of whom will be external to the University. For full details about the City PhD programme structure, please see the Guide for Research Students
- Full-time EU: £4,500
- Part-time EU: £2,250 per year
- Full-time Non EU: £12,000
- Part-time Non EU: £6,000 per year
Fees for doctoral candidates are charged annually and cover registration, supervision and examination. Fees are subject to review each year and may vary during your period of registration.
The School of Arts and Social Sciences is delighted to offer a PhD Studentship for this programme. The Studentship will comprise a full tuition fee waiver and a maintenance grant of £16,057 per annum for three years, starting in October 2016.
Full applications received by Thursday 31st March 2016 will be automatically considered for the Studentship and successful candidates will be informed in May 2016.
When considering potential applicants, we attach great importance both to the applicant's academic profile and record of achievement, and to the fit between the proposed research and the interests of the supervisor. It is therefore essential that potential applicants identify staff with relevant research expertise, and then contact an individual member of staff to discuss their willingness to offer supervision for their particular topic before submitting a formal application to undertake a research degree. Please consult individual staff webpages for our specialist research profiles and interests.
Please note that we will not consider applications unless the applicant has initially discussed their proposal with a member of staff.
How to Apply
We accept applications for full-time study for entry in September each year. To apply, you should submit the following documents after submitting a research proposal to your preferred supervisor:
- one copy of the Online Research Degree Application Form (full-time)
- your research proposal
- testimonials from at least two academic referees sent by email from an official work (not private) email account
- copies of your degree transcripts and certificates (originals or certified copies)
- proof of your English language proficiency (if English is not your first language)
- a non-technical summary of the proposed research of no more than 400 words.
PhD/MPhil in Sociology (including Criminology & Media Studies) (full-time) starting in September 2016.
Writing Your Research Proposal
Your Research Proposal should be no more than 2,000 words in length and be set out as follows: Working title; Review of existing research literature; Research questions; Research methodology; Research timeline or workplan; References or short bibliography.
Research students are appointed a supervisory team consisting of at least two supervisors. One of these will be designated as the primary point of contact with personal responsibility for ensuring that effective supervision is provided. Supervisors offer expert guidance on appropriate theoretical and conceptual frameworks, methodologies, ethical issues, conducting the research, writing the thesis and publications.
Specialist theoretical, empirical and research training is provided both by the department and across the School of Arts and Social Sciences and the University. Throughout the research process students also discuss individual training needs with their supervisors in order to identify subject or topic specific training. Teaching skills are developed through seminar teaching with undergraduate students in your subject area and/or working with your supervisors on curriculum development. The university runs a training programme covering the transferable and generic skills required for postgraduate study and career development.
Find out further details about research degree training provision in our City graduate school area.
Our students constitute an important part of an innovative empirical and theoretical research culture. Students play an active role in the department's high-profile research centres, often helping with seminar, workshop and conference organisation as well as presenting progress papers at their own seminar. As appropriate to their research interests and needs, throughout the study period, students are encouraged to attend specialist seminars, conferences and graduate summer schools. Our location ensures that students also have the opportunity to participate in the numerous research events organised by London's world class universities and public and private institutions.