Research course

Social Work and Social Policy

Ulster University · Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

Entry requirements

A first or upper 2nd class honours degree in a relevant subject area (or equivalent qualification).

Months of entry

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

Course content

SCPS is a world-leading centre of excellence for applied research that examines complex policy and service dilemmas facing post-conflict societies.

Social Policy, Criminology, Public Policy and Social Work (SCPS), is a substantial multi-disciplinary, cross campus research unit with members working on a range of methodological, theoretical, empirical and policy related issues. It is distinguished by its applied, interdisciplinary research that draws on national and international comparative methods, to develop innovative and significant impact centred work which pushes the disciplinary boundaries and promotes important changes within society.

SCPS has developed an international reputation for:

  • Pioneering theoretical ideas that change the way in which policy, governance, criminology and social work are conceptualised.
  • Developing cutting-edge research methodologies which produce unique, internationally significant data-sets.
  • Designing a range of innovative analytical tools that help reform and guide social practice.
  • Disseminating research outputs to a range of stakeholder groups in order to strengthen, and critically reflect upon, policy and practice.

The University welcomes applicants interested in researching social policy, criminology and justice, policing, prisons, public policy, social work, poverty, disadvantage, migration and welfare.

Department specialisms

Public Policy; Public Expenditure; Policy Implementation; Public Management; Women's Issues; Health; Social Security; Voluntary Sector; Housing Policy; Conflict and Social Policy; Local and Regional Government.

Information for international students

International students should visit the University's website ( or contact the university and ask to be sent an international student handbook.

Fees and funding


Qualification and course duration


full time
36 months
part time
72 months


full time
24 months
part time
48 months

Further details of qualification

Students enrol on a programme of work leading to the degree of PhD or MPhil. Award of the degree is subject to academic progress which is assessed formally throughout the two to six year study period, including by formal examination following submission of the thesis.

Course contact details

Dr Markus Ketola
+44 28 9036 6502