Department of Sociology and Criminology

Research degrees

A sociology PhD student in the Department of Sociology and Criminology at the University of Essex.

Work with world-leading scholars

You work closely with our academics who have their finger on the pulse of modern society, in an exciting and active research environment.

We offer unique training and supervision that stretches across Europe, North America, Latin America, and the Asian sub-continent - all from a department ranked 9th in the UK for Sociology in the QS World University Rankings by Subject (2023).

Our courses give you research method skills and with rare first-hand access to national research data and resources in our Institute for Social and Economic Research (ISER) and UK Data Archive, you can analyse real data for your work.

We offer two routes to our research degrees in sociology and criminology:

  • PhD by research: If you have a strong background in sociology and a well-formulated research proposal.
  • Integrated PhD: In your first year, you follow one of our courses which provides Masters-level research training, followed by three years of supervised research.

 Explore our postgraduate research degrees 
Why choose us?
  • 1st in UK for research environment in Sociology (Grade Point Average, REF 2021)
  • We’re ranked 17th for promoting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal on Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions (Times Higher Education Impact Rankings 2023)
  • Ranked 10th in the UK for Sociology in the QS World University Rankings by Subject (2023)
"The Department provides a wonderful, friendly environment for postgraduate study and research. I enjoyed the variety of activities such as attending insightful conferences."
Deniz Unan phd sociology

Expert supervision

Our research covers a range of areas:
  • criminology and social justice
  • culture and media
  • economic sociology
  • ethnicity and migration
  • citizenship and human rights
  • intimacy and gender
  • science in society
  • social theory and methodology
  • survey methodology.

If you'd like to carry out research in a different area, let us know.

A person typing on a laptop.
Looking for postgraduate opportunities?

Find out about the very latest studentships and scholarships available to postgraduate students at Essex by visiting our postgraduate opportunities page.

Discover more postgraduate research opportunities