Entry requirements

The general University entrance requirement for registration for a research degree is normally a First or Upper Second Class Honours degree and additionally, for a PhD, a Master’s degree or equivalent. All international students must show evidence that they meet the English requirement for their course of study: IELTS 7.0 (with no less than 6.0 in any section) This applies even if English is the native language of your home country. An appropriate level of English language competence is also expected as listed below. Applicants may also be required to attend compulsory in-sessional English language support. The Senate reserves the right to assess the eligibility of applicants on an individual basis. Potential research students are encouraged to contact members of staff in the area of interest to receive guidance on how to focus the research proposal. Entry criteria are subject to review and change each academic year.

Months of entry

January, December, November, October, August, June, May, April, March, February

Course content

Research students are welcomed to Brunel as valued members of our thriving, research-intensive community. A research degree provides the opportunity to investigate a topic in depth, and contribute new knowledge to your discipline. A PhD involves demonstrating through original research or other advanced scholarship the creation and interpretation of new knowledge, a systematic acquisition and understanding of a substantial body of knowledge at the forefront of an academic discipline or professional practice, the ability to conceptualise, design and implement a project for the general of new knowledge, applications or understanding at the forefront of the discipline.

Both full-time (3 years) and part-time (6 years) study routes are available.

MPhil degree option

An MPhil involves the exploration of a research topic and is typically studied over a shorter period of 1 year for a full-time student and 2 years for a part-time student. MPhil students are required to demonstrate a systematic understanding of knowledge and a critical awareness of current problems and/or new insights informed by the forefront of their discipline, field of study or professional practice.

Research profile

Youth and Community Studies has a proud history at Brunel, with 30 years of teaching Youth and Community Work and an international reputation for excellence in both teaching and research. We have connections with practitioners who work with young people in a range of posts and settings nationally and internationally. Our research focuses on:

  • Young people’s values, identities and perspectives.
  • Professionals working with children and young people.
  • Policy relating to equalities or the well-being or inclusion of young people.
  • Sexuality, drugs and alcohol - and related educational interventions.
  • Representations of youth and childhood.

In the Division of Social Work, Youth and Community, we have members of staff who are:

  • Editors of Gender and Education, Sex Education, Annual Review of Critical Psychology.
  • Core member of the Sex Education Forum.
  • Advisor on projects funded by the Office of the Children’s Commissioner.
  • Convenor of the British Educational Research Association’s Sexualities Special Interest Group.
  • Awarded the Ken Darby-Dowman Memorial Award for post-graduate teaching.
  • Member of the International Feminist Research Methods Seminar (SimREF).

The Division of Social Work, Youth and Community, have:

  • specialism in researching youth professionals with children and young people;
  • research with practitioners on tackling gender violence;
  • commitment to equalities interventions;
  • service user perspectives and experiences;
  • specialist researchers in gender and sexualities.

Applicants are welcome to contact us about their own specialist topics and projects. However we particularly welcome proposals on:

  • Young People’s Experience of Genders and Sexualities.
  • Social Change in Youth Sexualities.
  • Anti-violence and pro-equalities interventions.
  • Interprofessional Working on Sexualities and Sexual Health.
  • International perspectives on the above.

Find out more

Information for international students

English Language Requirements: IELTS: 7 (min 6 in all areas); Pearson: 64 (51 in all subscores); BrunELT: 70% (min 60% in all areas).

Fees and funding

UK students
Full time: £4,121, Part time: £2,060
International students
Full time: £17,200, Part time: £8,600

Qualification and course duration


part time
72 months
full time
36 months

Course contact details

College of Health and Life Sciences
+44 (0) 1895 268161