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We have 26 Public Policy PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships



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Public Policy PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships

We have 26 Public Policy PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships

A PhD in Public Policy focuses on areas such as applied econometrics, political psychology, management and public budgeting. Whether you are interested in local governance, applying life-cycle thinking to public policy or environmental protection, you’ll be empowering policy makers to make informed decisions and improve the lives of millions of people.

What's it like to study a PhD in Public Policy?

Doing a PhD in Public Policy, you will become proficient in the skills necessary to contribute to a research portfolio which spans economics, decision-making, politics and institutions, and science, technology and policy studies.

Some typical research topics in Public Policy include: 

  • applied microeconomics
  • behavioural economics and decision science
  • environmental economics
  • international trade
  • economic development

Typical Public Policy PhD research projects take between three and four years to complete. As well as undertaking research training within your department, you will also attend external meetings and conferences and may be submitting research posters as your research develops.

To be awarded your PhD, you must submit a thesis of about 60,000 words and defend it during your viva exam. 

PhD in Public Policy entry requirements    

The entry requirements for a typical PhD in Public Policy usually involves a Masters degree with at least a merit. You will also need to submit a compelling research proposal detailing your study plans.

PhD in Public Policy funding options

In the UK, PhDs in Public Policy are funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) who provide a tuition fee waiver and a living cost stipend. Depending on the programme, you may submit your own research proposal before being considered for funding or apply for a project that already has funding attached.  

It is also possible to apply for a PhD loan to help with the costs of a doctorate in Public Policy (although this cannot be combined with Research Council funding). Other options for financial support include university scholarships, graduate teaching assistantships and charities.   

If you are considering a part-time PhD in Public Policy, it may also be worth asking your employer if they are happy to sponsor you.    

PhD in Public Policy careers

A PhD in Public Policy could lead you down a number of different routes. You may choose to stay in academia and carry out more research and teach the next generation of policy makers. Or you may want to venture outside of academia and make a name for yourself in think tanks, multinational organisations, NGOs or the private sector.

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Understanding the economy-wide implications of different policy actions to address barriers and improving the outcomes of adopting energy efficiency improvement measures

Project Description. An exciting, 3-year full-time funded PhD studentship opportunity has arisen at the Centre for Energy Policy, at the University of Strathclyde for a project expanding CEP’s portfolio of research on energy efficiency in residential properties. Read more

PhD in Governing Deep Energy Demand Reduction

Energy demand, or the way people consume energy in homes, buildings, transport and industrial processes, has a key part to play as we address climate change and move towards net zero societies (Barrett et al, 2022). Read more

Measuring and monitoring the safety of care in the home

  Research Group: Medicines Optimisation
Do you want to address an important research question to inform healthcare policy practice?. Do you want to do cutting-edge research and develop a career in health services or patient safety research?. Read more

Postgraduate Research Opportunities in Global Development, Politics and International Relations & Security

About the School of Politics and International Studies. The School of Politics and International Studies is at the forefront of interdisciplinary research into international development, international relations and political studies. 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

Comprehensive decision support system for effective disaster management

  Research Group: Peace Studies
As the frequency and severity of natural disasters increases around the world, effective disaster management decision-making has become essential. Read more

Scotland’s diaspora – was there social justice for the ‘failed’ immigrant in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries?

The creation of clubs and societies organised around ethnicity characterised the Scottish diasporic experience, both for those who received alms and for those who sought a means through which to meet and socialise with other Scots. Read more

Dividing lines: drivers and solutions to polarisation in democracy

Across democracies around the world, there is widespread partisan polarization. Political conflict is central to democracy. However, democratic functioning is under threat when political identities solidify into polarized groups who are unwilling to engage respectfully with each other. Read more

Centre for Sectoral Economic Performance (CSEP) PhD

The Centre for Sectoral Economic Performance (CSEP) has been established to build a national resource to help ensure that the UK’s high-value science and technology-based industries are globally competitive in the 21st century. Read more

Studying for a PhD in Humanities and Social Science

The University of Brighton has opened opportunities for self-funded PhD students in multiple areas of research in the fields of humanities and social sciences. Read more

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