The School of Social Sciences at Cardiff University is recognised nationally and internationally as a leading centre for theoretically informed empirical research, combining inter-disciplinary working, impact on policy and practice, and innovative methodological approaches, both qualitative and quantitative. We are a large School with over 160 academic staff and a thousand undergraduate and postgraduate students studying. All teaching in the School is research-led, with students exposed to the latest ideas in the social sciences and enjoying face-to-face contact with internationally recognised scholars shaping the future of their respective fields. Interdisciplinary research training is a particularly strong feature of our postgraduate research student programme.
Research at the School of Social Sciences
In the most recent (2014) Research Excellence Framework exercise, the School was ranked 3rd and 5th in the UK for the quality of its research in Sociology and Education respectively; over one third of publications submitted were judged world-leading. We have the highest per capita external grant capture of any Social Science school or department in the country, having secured research grants in excess of £83 million since the School was founded in 2000. Amongst our academic staff we have a Fellow of the British Academy, several Academicians of the Academy of Social Sciences, the winner of a Lifetime Achievement Award of the British Sociological Association, a Fellow of the Royal Swedish Academy of Agriculture and Forestry, and Fellows of the Learned Society of Wales.
For further information on the School's research groups, project and impact, please see our website.
The PhD programme is characterised by a strong focus on research training leading to theoretically-informed research that advances academic and policy debates.
The School of Social Sciences has the following research themes that represent the School's main areas of expertise. There is also the opportunity for interdisciplinary research. We encourage applications in all these areas:
• Science, technology and risk
• Crime, security and justice
• Education and education policy
• Health and social care
• Inequality, labour and the future of work
• People, place and policy
The School offers different options of study: a 1-2 years MPhil, 3 years full-time PhD, 5 years part-time PhD.
Research students join a vibrant academic and research environment with supervision by leading experts in their field.
The School is committed to theoretically informed research with a clear policy focus. We welcome students who wish to pursue their studies in an interdisciplinary way. We collaborate with major universities and international agencies around the world, as well as with local policy makers and practitioners.
UK/EU Funding Opportunities
Funding may be available for PhD study with us through a Studentship.
We are delighted to be part of the Wales Doctoral Training Partnership (Wales DTP), funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). Each year we are able to offer a number of ESRC funded awards. Some of these studentships are funded in partnership with public, private and third sector organisations.
There is provision as part of the ESRC studentship awards to follow a PhD Programme that involves a one-year MSc in Social Sciences Research Methods, followed by 3 years of PhD research.
Occasionally, we also have opportunities for other studentships available from a range of other funding sources, such as the Health and Care Research Wales.
International Funding Opportunities
Explore all current funding available through our Postgraduate funding pages.
How to Apply
Applicants should contact the School in the first instance, then submit an online application.
Some or all of the PhD opportunities in this programme have funding attached. It is available to citizens of a number of European countries (including the UK). In most cases this will include all EU nationals. However full funding may not be available to all applicants and you should read the full programme details for further information.
FTE Category A staff submitted: 29.48
Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)Click here to see the results for all UK universities