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Transitions and labour market outcomes for ethnic minority young people in Scotland


Project Description

Ethnic diversity is growing in Scotland. Although, on average, educational attainment of school leavers from BME backgrounds surpasses that of their peers from white ethnic background, and the former have higher rates of transitions into Higher Education than the latter, this improvement has not been matched by a sustained improvement in labour market outcomes for young people from BME background. There is a growing evidence that choices made by young people at the secondary education phase are consequential for their post-school transitions, achievement and labour market outcomes. Yet the role of these choices on the post-secondary transitions and the labour market outcomes of BME young people in Scotland is under-explored.

The proposed doctoral research programme will use mixed research methods to investigate the factors associated with transitions from education to the labour market of BME young (16-25) people in Scotland.

This will include:
providing up-to-date and detailed evidence on trends in these transitions;
examining the subject choices made at different stages of secondary education and explore the determinants of these choices;
examining the transitions into higher education and explore the factors that affect the decisions of BME young people to apply to and their chances of being admitted to a certain type of universities/study programmes;
exploring how secondary school students from minority ethnic backgrounds make decisions about their subject and career choices.
The project will be informed by the analyses of large-scale administrative datasets such as Scottish Longitudinal Study dataset, the Scottish Government data on Transitions and Destinations of State School Leavers, the UCAS and the HESA datasets. In order to understand how secondary school students from minority ethnic background make decisions about the subject and career choices primary data will be gathered from ten schools across Scotland, with a range of ethnic diversity.

Hosted within the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Stirling the student will be provided with facilities, including their own desk in an office, and full access to all software, equipment and laboratories. The student will participate in the faculty’s internal research groups on ‘Social Surveys and Social Statistics’ and ‘Curriculum and Pedagogy’.

The supervisors of the project are Dr Marina Shapira and Dr Dave Griffiths and. A further advisor, from Skills Development Scotland, will liaise regularly on the project. The studentship is administered by the Scottish Graduate School for Social Sciences Doctoral Training Partnership (http://www.socsciscotland.ac.uk/), on behalf of its funders, the ESRC and Skills Development Scotland. Subject specific training will be available to the student on a one-to-one basis with the supervisors and with other academics within the Faculty, and through their participation in internal and external subject-specific training events. These will include:
Training in handling and processing secondary datasets
Training in advanced methods of statistical data analysis
Software training to advanced practitioner level in relevant packages (e.g. Stata, R, UCINET)
Training in undertaking social network analyses (including primary data collection of egonets)
External training events offer a particularly promising route to training development in this respect, since there are numerous high quality training programmes available across the University sector to which the student would be encourage to engage. The student will directly benefit from courses that will be offered within the Applied Quantitative Methods Network (AQMeN), the Social Network Analysis in Scotland group, the Glasgow Quantitative Methods Group and other providers such as NCRM. Generic training will be available primarily through the Stirling Graduate School and/or the Scottish Graduate School and will include:
presentation and critical engagement skills through postgraduate, research group and seminar series events;
writing for publication (through peer mentoring, specialist courses and writers retreats);
working with non-academic audiences through the Keyword seminar series;
general research training on themes such as project management, writing, and research ethics provided by the Stirling Graduate Research School.
In the later stages of their project, the student will be encouraged to disseminate their research at national and international meetings and to submit publications to peer review journals.

Applicants must meet the following eligibility criteria
A degree level qualification, First or Upper Second Class Honours (2:1), in a relevant subject, are required for entry to the 1+3 PhD programme. An appropriate Masters level degree is required for direct entry to the +3 PhD programme.
An interest in analysing quantitative data through large-scale secondary surveys
Some background training and experience in using social statistics
An interest in the research areas and methodologies involved in the project.
Students must meet ESRC eligibility criteria.


Interview date will be 15th April 2019.

Funding Notes

The scholarship is available as a +3 or a 1+3 programme depending on prior research training. This will be assessed as part of the recruitment process. The programme will commence in September 2019 It includes
an annual maintenance grant at the RCUK rate (2018/19 rate £15,009 full-time)
fees at the standard Home rate
students can also draw on a pooled Research Training Support Grant, usually up to a maximum of £750 per year

How good is research at University of Stirling in Social Work and Social Policy?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 32.97

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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