Research course

Applied Social Science

Lancaster University · Applied Social Science

Entry requirements

A Masters degree and an upper second class honours degree, with a viable research proposal. Equivalents are accepted and support is given in completing research proposals.

Months of entry


Course content

We believe that matching well qualified, able and enthusiastic PhD and MPhil students with supervisors who have relevant experience, expertise, and research interests, makes a healthy research environment. To this end we design our procedures to give candidates as much information as possible about our research and to allow us to judge a candidate’s ability to undertake research at this level. We offer a number of flexible full-time and part-time routes, and an innovative pathway for students wanting to focus on professional practice.

Our research record is well established in the fields of drugs, youth offending, disability studies, theories of welfare, gender and sexuality, child protection, family support and family justice, law and social work, community care, and health and social care. Recent work has been informed by a growing emphasis on issues of equal opportunities, social justice, poverty and social exclusion.

We are committed to a wide range of interdisciplinary projects, collaborative projects with practice agencies and policy focused studies.

Applications from international students are welcome.

Department specialisms

The co-operative approach to research which characterises social work at Lancaster means that its staff work across disciplinary boundaries and topic areas. However, the research interests of staff can be divided into the following broad areas of interest: Centre for Child and Family Justice Research This newly established interdisciplinary centre is unique in the UK, bringing together formal family justice systems (eg courts, tribunals, mediation services) and social justice concerns (eg poverty, housing, migration, violence and abuse). The centre will incubate and progress applied empirical and theoretical research with a strong emphasis on cutting edge methodologies and real-world impacts. Disability Research Social work staff play a core role in the University’s Centre for Disability Research (CeDR) and organise the biennial Disability Studies Conference held here. The conference is internationally respected and makes a significant contribution to the University’s profile and status in Disability Studies. Drugs and Alcohol Research We have a strong regional and national profile of research exploring and analysing emerging drug trends and the relationship between drugs policy, law enforcement models and activities, and user motivations and behaviour. The research has shaped strategic level activities in the region and nationally. Violence and Society UNESCO Centre Several members of the social work team are founder members of this multi-disciplinary team centred in Lancaster University across eight departments. The centre is a coalition of researchers investigating violence and society, who seek to build a coherent understanding and explanation of variations in violence and to contribute research expertise to public debate and policy making.

Information for international students

IELTS: 7.0 or equivalent.

Fees and funding

Qualification and course duration


part time
48 months
full time
36 months

Course contact details

Postgraduate Coordinator
+44 (0)1524 593148
+44 (0)1524 592475