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We have 25 Social Work PhD Research Projects PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships






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Social Work PhD Research Projects PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships

We have 25 Social Work PhD Research Projects PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships

PhD in Social Work

A PhD in Social Work is an opportunity to conduct original research that will improve our understanding of the field – and help improve the practice of social care. You might explore, for example, the efficacy of a specific intervention, or the experience of a particular demographic in accessing social services.

What’s it like to study a PhD in Social Work?

Working under the guidance of a specialist supervisor, you’ll conduct independent research, culminating in an extended dissertation that should make a substantial contribution to the field of Social Work.

Possible research areas include:

  • Child protection
  • Learning disabilities
  • Mental health
  • Gender, race, or sexuality within social work
  • Domestic violence

Alongside your research, you may be encouraged or required to undertake additional training to help you develop subject knowledge and research skills specific to your research area.

Your research will likely involve a multidisciplinary approach – the field of social work draws on several other subject areas such as Psychology, Social Policy, Law and Business.

As well as engaging with secondary literature and pre-existing cases studies, you may collect primary data using methods such as focus groups, surveys and participant observation.

There are a number of advertised PhD projects in Social Work, but you also have the option of proposing your own research idea.

PhD in Social Work Entry Requirements

The most common entry requirement for PhD programmes in Gender 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 Social Work Funding

The UK Research Council responsible for funding PhDs in Socioeconomics is the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). It provides fully funded studentships that include coverage of your tuition fees, along with a stipend to cover living expenses.

Some advertised PhDs will have studentships attached. Students proposing their own research project may be able to apply for a studentship after being accepted onto the programme. If you are already working within the field, you may be able to get funding from your employer.

Full studentships are extremely competitive, so it’s likely you’ll need to cover at least some of your PhD costs independently. You could do this through applying for the UK government’s doctoral loan, part-time employment alongside your studies or support from charities or trusts.

PhD in Social Work Careers

Many PhD graduates in Social Work will pursue a career in research and continue making contributions to the field which will ultimately improve practice. An undergraduate or Masters degree in Social Work is required for those wishing to practice in the field – it’s likely that you’ll already have obtained one of these qualifications by the time you apply for a PhD. In this case, you might wish to continue a career in practice, potentially alongside academic research.

Your PhD will equip you with the skills necessary to be successful in plenty of other fields, however, such as social policy or human resources.

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Interdisciplinary Information and Responsible AI for Child Sexual Exploitation prevention

  Research Group: Social Work
The successful PhD applicant will contribute to the research, evaluation, and creation of relevant information resources to be used by Responsible AI models and experts for the prevention of child sexual exploitation. Read more


Suicide bereavement support, known as postvention, is a critical aspect of suicide prevention. This project will explore intervention development strategies for the design and delivery of suicide bereavement support. Read more

Wales Graduate school for the Social Sciences (WGSSS), - General Studentship 2024

Bangor University are delighted to offer fully funded Wales Graduate School for the Social Sciences (WGSSS) (ESRC DTP) studentships starting in October 2024 in the following pathway subject areas. Read more

Improving school connectedness for secondary pupils with challenging behaviour (Ref: RDF24/HLS/SWECW/GRAHAM)

This PhD studentship provides an exciting opportunity to develop and evaluate the feasibility, appropriateness and effectiveness of a recently developed school-based intervention that seeks to improve school connectedness for secondary pupils identified as having ‘challenging behaviour’. Read more

Exploring lived experiences of disability football (Ref: RDF24/HLS/SWECW/CROFT)

This exciting studentship offers an excellent opportunity to work collaboratively with community sports providers to explore participation in disability football for visually impaired and/or physically impaired adults. Read more

Life on Mars: reconstructing the welfare of boys admitted to the TS Mars, Training Ship, moored on the River Tay, Scotland 1869 - 1929

This project is based on the records of the TS Mars. The Mars was a training ship which was moored on the banks of the River Tay in Scotland and was designed to provide recruits for the royal and merchant navies and to ‘rescue’ children who were perceived to be at risk of delinquency. Read more

Working residents? Employment-related support, barriers, and outcomes for people living in exempt (supported) accommodation

Research indicates that being homeless or in precarious housing creates significant challenges for individuals experiencing homelessness, particularly in relation to mental health, family relationships, maintaining social networks, employment, and physical health (including substance abuse). Read more

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

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