2020 applicants
Postgraduate Research Course

PhD Sociology

PhD Sociology

Overview

The details
Sociology
October 2020
Full-time
4 years
Colchester Campus
Sociology

If you have a strong background in sociology, its cognate disciplines or interdisciplinary areas, and a well-formulated research proposal, then our PhD could be appropriate. We offer supervision that covers topics pertaining to Europe, the Americas, Africa and the Asian sub-continent, with strengths in: criminology and social justice; culture and media; economic sociology; ethnicity, migration and human rights; intimacy and gender, social theory and methodology; and survey methodology. Reflecting this, we are home to three major research centres: the Migration Studies Cebtre, the Centre for Research in Economic Sociology and Innovation (CRESI) and the Centre for Intimate and Sexual Citizenship (CISC).

Part-time research study is also available.

Why we're great.
  • We're ranked among the top 40 departments in the QS World University Rankings (2018)
  • We have a dedicated Student Resource Centre offering academic and personal support
  • Top 20 in the UK for research excellence (REF 2014, mainstream universities, THE 2014)
THE Awards 2018 - Winner University of the Year

Our expert staff

Within our Department of Sociology, you will work with a supervisor whose role it is to guide you through the different stages of your research degree. In some cases, you may have joint supervision by two members of our staff and where appropriate with staff from other departments.

The support provided by your supervisor is a key feature of your research student experience and you will have regular one-to-one meetings to discuss progress on your research. Initially, your supervisor will help you develop your research topic and plan.

Specialist facilities

At Essex, our library holdings in sociology and related disciplines like history, philosophy, politics and anthropology are strong and there are also relevant archives, including the Peter Townsend archive, as well as an extensive collection of papers relating to the work of Sigmund Freud.

Within our department, we have an ever-increasing range of open-access computing facilities available for your use and, to further assist you with your research, we have bibliographic and qualitative analysis packages available on some of these machines.

We have our own Student Resource Centre which provides a range of support for all our sociology students, including help with study skills.

Your future

Many of our postgraduates go on to successful academic careers, both in the UK and overseas. Others have established careers in non-governmental organisations, local authorities, specialist think tanks, government departments, charities, media production, and market research.

Our University is strong across the social sciences so, by studying with us, you gain the opportunity to work with and be taught by well known international scholars. We have strong interdisciplinary links which mean your research and studies can be informed by a variety of perspectives.

Entry requirements

UK entry requirements

You will need a good Masters degree, or equivalent, in a related subject. A well-developed research proposal is also essential.

If you don’t have Masters, our four-year integrated PhD, allows you to spend your first year studying at Masters level in order to develop the necessary knowledge and skills and to start your independent research in year two. This option is not available to all programmes, please contact us for more information.

You will normally be required to attend an interview/Skype interview for acceptance, and acceptance is subject to research expertise in the department.

International & EU entry requirements

We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries. Get in touch with any questions you may have about the qualifications we accept. Remember to tell us about the qualifications you have already completed or are currently taking.

Sorry, the entry requirements for the country that you have selected are not available here. Please select your country page where you'll find this information.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, we require IELTS 6.5 overall, with no component score below 6.0, or equivalent.

Structure

Example structure

A research degree doesn't have a coursework structure, but instead gives you the chance to investigate your chosen topic in real depth with the assistance of supervisor. In communicating your research scholarship through a thesis or other means, you have a rare opportunity to generate new and exciting knowledge. A research degree allows you to develop new high-level skills, enhance your professional development and build new networks. It can open doors to many careers.

Assessment

Within our Department of Sociology, the PhD is a structured three-year programme of advanced study and research. We also offer an M.Phil, which is a two year programme. If you wish to undertake a PhD but are not sufficiently qualified, you may be offered our MA/MSc and PhD (four-year programme), where progression to your PhD is conditional on successful completion of your MA/MSc.

We therefore offer two routes to a PhD. If you have a strong background in sociology and/or related areas, and a well-formulated research proposal, you may be admitted directly to do supervised research and complete your PhD. Alternatively, we offer an Integrated PhD, where you follow one of our pathways in your first year, which provides you with Masters-level training, then undertake three years of PhD research.

Dissertation

Your thesis should be no longer than 80,000 words. We expect our PhD students to complete their PhD within four years of entering, so you will be regularly monitored through supervisory and other meetings to ensure that you finish your PhD on time.

Twice a year, you will have a supervisory board meeting, which provides formal opportunities to discuss your progress and agree your immediate and future plans for your work.

Fees and funding

Home/EU fee

£5,103

International fee

£15,460

Fees will increase for each academic year of study.

What's next

Open Days

We hold open days for all our applicants throughout the year. Our Colchester Campus events are a great way to find out more about studying at Essex, and give you the chance to:

  • tour our campus and accommodation
  • find out answers to your questions about our courses, graduate employability, student support and more
  • talk to our Fees and Funding team about scholarship opportunities
  • meet our students and staff

If the dates of our organised events aren’t suitable for you, feel free to get in touch by emailing tours@essex.ac.uk and we’ll arrange an individual campus tour for you.

Applying

You can apply for this postgraduate course online. Before you apply, please check our information about necessary documents that we’ll ask you to provide as part of your application.

We encourage you to make a preliminary enquiry directly to a potential supervisor or the Graduate Administrator within your chosen Department or School. We encourage the consideration of a brief research proposal prior to the submission of a full application.

We aim to respond to applications within four weeks. If we are able to offer you a place, you will be contacted via email.

For information on our deadline to apply for this course, please see our ‘how to apply’ information.

Colchester Campus

Visit Colchester Campus

Home to 15,000 students from more than 130 countries, our Colchester Campus is the largest of our three sites, making us one of the most internationally diverse campuses on the planet - we like to think of ourselves as the world in one place.

The Campus is set within 200 acres of beautiful parkland, located two miles from the historic town centre of Colchester – England's oldest recorded town. Our Colchester Campus is also easily reached from London and Stansted Airport in under one hour.

 

Virtual tours

If you live too far away to come to Essex (or have a busy lifestyle), no problem. Our 360 degree virtual tour allows you to explore the Colchester Campus from the comfort of your home. Check out our accommodation options, facilities and social spaces.

Exhibitions

Our staff travel the world to speak to people about the courses on offer at Essex. Take a look at our list of exhibition dates to see if we’ll be near you in the future.

At Essex we pride ourselves on being a welcoming and inclusive student community. We offer a wide range of support to individuals and groups of student members who may have specific requirements, interests or responsibilities.


Find out more

The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its programme specification is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include, but are not limited to: strikes, other industrial action, staff illness, severe weather, fire, civil commotion, riot, invasion, terrorist attack or threat of terrorist attack (whether declared or not), natural disaster, restrictions imposed by government or public authorities, epidemic or pandemic disease, failure of public utilities or transport systems or the withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications.

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