Research course

South West Doctoral Training Partnership (ESRC)

University of Bristol · Faculty of Social Sciences and Law

Entry requirements

Scholarships are available as either a 1+3 award, which is a one-year MSc/MRes plus three years funding for a PhD, or as a +3 award, which covers three years funding for a PhD only.

Applicants for a +3 award should have completed, or be due to complete, an ESRC-accredited or an equivalent research master's with a significant element of research training. The research training should include significant social sciences research design, and quantitative and qualitative research methods elements. The transcript will need to show that a minimum of a third of the taught stage of your programme entailed research methods elements. Applicants should have achieved an average grade of their master's (at the point of application) of at least merit (60 per cent). Successful applicants must ultimately achieve both an overall average of at least 60 per cent across the taught units/modules and at least 60 per cent for the dissertation component as a condition of their funding. Applicants may be asked for further information to determine the relevance of the content covered.

For students who have undertaken a master's outside the UK, we will look for appropriate equivalencies.

Please see individual programme entries for details of other entry requirements.

Months of entry


Course content

Established in 2011, the South West Doctoral Training Partnership, has recently been re-launched (it was formerly known as the SWDTC). The partnership now comprises the Universities of Bristol, Bath, Exeter, Plymouth and UWE. As recognised research leaders, all institutions are committed to providing excellent training, development and teaching for the postgraduate community across disciplinary and interdisciplinary research fields.

The SWDTP is a strategic partnership accredited by the Economic and Social Sciences Research Council. As well as developing tailored training programmes for our students and staff, the partnership also supports a wide variety of collaborative activities, including events and student placements in public, private and civic society organisations.

The partnership is made up of a number of disciplinary and interdisciplinary pathways. For details of the pathways available at Bristol, please see the Apply to the SWDTP section of our website. The pathway you are interested in will determine which programme you will need to apply to through our online application system. Each programme has its own entry in the programme finderwhere you will find further details of research activities and potential supervisors.

The SWDTP offers funding for 1+3 or +3 awards in a range of disciplines and interdisciplinary themes.

Students will normally be registered in the school of their first supervisor. This may not be the school that processes your application.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

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

Course contact details

Postgraduate Admissions Team