Entry requirements

An upper second class bachelor's degree and a merit in an MSc broadly similar to the MSc Social Research Methods

Months of entry


Course content

All research students are initially admitted to the doctoral programme as MPhil students, until they are upgraded to PhD.

In the summer term of your first year, you will produce a 10,000 word research proposal, outlining the theoretical and conceptual framework, the aims and methods of your thesis. You will also give a short oral presentation of your proposal. The proposal will be assessed by the supervisor and two other academics, normally members of the Methodology Institute, who will judge the standard of the proposal to enable you to progress to the second year. In the first year, you will also take a portfolio of specialist courses as recommended by your PhD supervisor.

During your second year of registration, you will submit either three or four draft chapters of your thesis (which normally includes an introduction and focused literature review) or a short introduction, a literature review and one or two empirical papers (if you are pursuing the paper-based thesis). You should also provide a detailed plan for its completion for evaluation by an MPhil/PhD upgrading committee, who will recommend transferral to PhD registration if your work is judged to be of sufficient quality and quantity.

After the first year you will spend more time on independent study under the guidance of your supervisor. This will involve the collection, organisation and analysis of data, and writing up the results. However, you will attend the Institute's research seminars and other specialist workshops and seminars to broaden your horizon as a social researcher. You will be expected to make an active contribution to these by presenting papers and joining in the discussions.

Department specialisms

The Methodology Institute is an interdisciplinary group with joint appointments in other departments in the School. The disciplinary backgrounds of the staff include statistics, sociology, social psychology, management, political science and bioscience.

Fees and funding


Qualification and course duration


full time
36-48 months


full time
36-48 months

Course contact details

Student Recruitment Office
+44 (0)20 7955 6613