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We have 13 Disability Studies PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships






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Disability Studies PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships

We have 13 Disability Studies PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships

PhD in Disability Studies

Disability Studies is a relatively young field that explores the nature and consequences of disability. It studies disability within its social, cultural, and political context, alongside the lived experiences of the disabled community. PhD candidates in the field will conduct an independent research project with the aim of contributing to our understanding of disability and positivity impacting the lives of disabled people.

What’s it like to study a PhD in Disability Studies?

Under the guidance of one or more specialist supervisors with an expertise in your chosen topic, you’ll conduct independent research eventually culminating in an extended dissertation, which should make a substantial contribution to the field of Disability Studies.

Disability studies is an interdisciplinary field, based in the humanities and social sciences. You research may involve cutting across many other subject areas, from politics and social sciences to arts and humanities, to explore how disability is experienced in a broad range of contexts.

Possible topics could include:

  • Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Adaptive and assistive technologies
  • Intersectionality and Disability
  • Disability equality
  • The experiences of the disabled community within a particular field (such as education or social work)
  • Your research will likely adopt an interdisciplinary method, with the particular methodology dependent on your chosen topic.

    Alongside your research, you’ll attend regular progress meetings with your supervisor(s) and complete any additional training required by your institution.

    Since it is a relatively new field, there are a very small number of predesigned PhDs in Disability Studies, but many students will propose their own research project. Choosing this option means you’ll identify a gap in the academic literature and determine the parameters of your own research.

Entry requirements

The most common entry requirement for PhD programmes in Disability Studies is an upper second-class Bachelors degree and a Masters degree at Merit level, both in a relevant discipline. Some programmes may set a 2:1 undergraduate degree alone as a minimum requirement, but bear in mind that applications are considered on a case-by-case basis and additional qualifications with often be an advantage.

PhD in Disability Studies funding options

The Research Council responsible for funding Disability Studies PhDs will vary depending on the specific topic studied. In the UK, the two primary funding bodies likely to support this field are the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). These bodies provide fully funded studentships that include coverage of your tuition fees, along with a stipend to cover living expenses.

Advertised Disability Studies PhDs may have studentships attached. Students proposing their own research project may be able to apply for a studentship after being accepted onto a programme.

Some Disabilities Studies PhDs may only accept self-funded students. Options for independently financing your PhD include the UK government’s doctoral loan, part-time employment alongside your studies and support from charities or trusts.

PhD in Disability Studies careers

Disability Studies is a young but fast-growing field, with a vast array of career opportunities for graduates. As awareness and acknowledgement of the disabled has progressed, so too has the size of the workforce concerned with disability.

A PhD in Disability Studies will equip you with numerous transferable skills such as academic writing and publishing, data analysis, critical thinking and abstract reasoning. Many graduates will go on to continue their careers in research, but the skillset you’ll earn will also be invaluable in numerous non-academic sectors. These include advocacy for those with disabilities, working in SEN settings or working within the public sector.

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Writing for Mass Observation: Ways of Knowing Everyday Life

This Sociology PhD project will explore the material and visual aspects of The Mass Observation Project (MOP), an archive that generates qualitative written material on people’s everyday lives at a large scale. Read more
Last chance to apply

Examining mental health and wellbeing service provision for rugby players experiencing catastrophic injury (Ref: SSEHS/RFU)

Spinal Cord Injuries (SCIs) and Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs) in rugby are rare, however the consequences are far-reaching. sustaining a catastrophic injury presents a rapid and life-altering shift in a rugby players’ personal and social identity and their day-to-day reality. Read more

Postgraduate Research Opportunities in Sociology and Social Policy

About the School of Sociology and Social Policy. In the School of Sociology and Social Policy we are passionate about research that makes a difference in society on a local, national and global level. Read more
Last chance to apply

Ableism, Microaggressions and the Law

Studies in Ableism (SiA) is now a recognised sub-specialism of critical disability studies and focuses on ways that abledment (the process of being/becoming ‘abled’) is located within societal processes and practices. Read more
Last chance to apply

Revealing Abledment: Ableism and the Body Politic

Studies in Ableism (SiA) is now a recognised sub-specialism of critical disability studies and focuses on ways that abledment (the process of being/becoming ‘abled’) is located within societal processes and practices. Read more

School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Sciences PhDs

Our research programmes offer you specialist knowledge in your chosen area of social science and an advanced level of skills. Working professionals may also be interested in the programmes we offer via our distance learning online courses. . Read more
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