On the Mphil/PhD, you will join the vibrant research culture in our leading sociology department and work closely with our expert supervisors, advancing your understanding and knowledge of sociology.
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Sociology Postgraduate research degrees PhD/MPhil course Overview
You will be joining a dynamic and cosmopolitan research community in a leading sociology department.
We will work with you to help you become a scholar with the skills to design an independent research project, generate publications that advance substantive and theoretical knowledge and understanding, and who can teach at university level.
We are particularly keen to hear from you, if you have an original research proposal in one (or several) of the following areas:
- 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
- contemporary social theory (including critical theory)
- contemporary cultural theory
- gender, sexualities, and social change
- work, employment, and socio-economic change
- youth studies
- cultural studies.
As a Sociology 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 status.
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 City. For full details about the City PhD programme structure, please see the Guide for Research Students.
Our Staff profiles and their current research interests can be found here.
Research student profiles can be found here.
Applicants should, at a minimum, have an Upper-Second-Class undergraduate degree, plus a Merit in a master's 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 City 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 7.0. (Please note that 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 that satisfies the Board of Studies concerned.
For more information see our main entry requirements page.
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.
For more information see our main Visa page.
Fees and funding
Full-time UK:£4,770 per year
Part-time UK:£2,390 per year
Full-time Overseas/EU:£12,730 per year
Part-time Overseas/EU:£6,360 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.
Support for PhD study
Prospective students are encouraged to explore doctoral Grants and funding opportunities such as:
- Research Council studentship awards, if available.
Our bursaries are non-repayable sums of money granted by the University, usually based on need.
Our loans are repayable sums of money granted by the University or other body.
Our scholarships are when the University pays towards your Study fees. You may also be eligible for further funding.
Postgraduate Doctoral Loans
The Government has introduced a new Postgraduate Doctoral Loans scheme which can provide a loan of up to £25,000.
This will be over three years to support study for a doctoral degree.
A Postgraduate Doctoral Loan can help with course fees and living costs while you study. It can be used alongside any other forms of support you may be able to receive.
For more information, please see our Postgraduate Doctoral Loans page.
Some of our degrees may involve additional expenses which are not covered by your tuition fees. Find out more about additional expenses.
City has a well-established structure and processes to support your research.
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 Policy & Global Affairs at City. 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. City runs a training programme covering the transferable and generic skills required for postgraduate study and career development.
Further details about research degree training provision can be found at the City Doctoral College 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 seminars.
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 have the opportunity to participate in the numerous research events organised by London's world-class universities as well as many public and private institutions.
How to apply
When considering potential applicants, we attach great importance to the applicant's academic profile and record of achievement. Also the fit between the proposed research and the research interests of the supervisor.
It is therefore essential that potential applicants identify staff with relevant research expertise. They can 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, and received an expression of interest from, at least one member of staff.
We accept applications for full-time study for entry in October 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.
For further guidance please see how to prepare your research proposal.
Potential PhD projects
Find a supervisor
See our full list of academic staff and potential supervisors in Department of Sociology and Criminology.