Research course

Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work

Queen's University Belfast · School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work

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Entry requirements

The minimum academic requirement for admission to a research degree programme is normally an Upper Second Class Honours degree from a UK or ROI HE provider, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University. Further information can be obtained by contacting the School.

Months of entry


Course content

Research Strategies

The School has a reputation for research which has maximum impact. This includes comparative studies with international partners, ensuring that research we do has relevance locally, nationally and internationally.

All are pursued through a range of theoretical and empirical approaches that take account of the person in society, social division and intersectoral stratification. Various methodological approaches are reflected in our research including qualitative, quantitative, cross-cultural, longitudinal, biographical and comparative history.

We approach the fields of social work, sociology, gender studies and criminology from a broad perspective and encourage multidisciplinary approaches to study and analysis of social phenomena. We see ourselves as social scientists committed to ways of working that interact with and build knowledge and capacities in the communities around us and have a positive impact on human well-being. Our research is organised into seven themes:

  • Children, Young People and Families
  • Conflict and Social Change
  • Social Inequalities
  • Disability Ageing and Health
  • Criminal Justice
  • Drugs and Alcohol
  • Trauma, Violence and Abuse

Research Strengths

Some of the School's research strengths include:

  • Adoption and fostering
  • Attitude surveys
  • Behavioural analysis
  • Border studies
  • Children in state care/leaving care
  • Cognitive-behavioural approaches
  • Comparative analysis of conflict societies
  • Criminality; Drugs and alcohol use
  • Gender and identity theory
  • Health, illness and disability
  • Historical and contemporary social movements
  • Mental health, social work and social policy
  • Social work and social conflict in Northern Ireland
  • The sociology of religion
  • Theory and measurement of poverty, inequality and social exclusion

Information for international students

Full details can be found on the Queen's University website.

Fees and funding

Applicants should refer to the relevant School's website for information. Details may be found here.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • PhD
    part time
    72 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    full time
    36 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
  • MPhil
    part time
    48 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    full time
    24 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Postgraduate Secretary
+44 (0)28 9097 5117