Research course

Social Work

University of Kent · School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research
PhDMPhilMA by research

Entry requirements

A good honours degree in the social sciences, an interest in the chosen topic area and a clear idea of your proposed thesis topic. In the case of research in health services and personal social services, we will also consider candidates with professional qualifications alone and/or relevant experience in the health service.

All applicants are considered on an individual basis and additional qualifications, and professional qualifications and experience will also be taken into account when considering applications.

Months of entry


Course content

We offer research supervision across a broad range of topics. We are especially interested in applications that include proposals to investigate the social dimensions of environmental issues in the countries in which we have area expertise, and topics in environmental politics and environmental movements.

Research programmes involve writing a thesis on a particular topic with specialist supervision. You are given research training, which is tailored to the particular needs of your research and takes into account any training you have previously received. You also have opportunities to attend modules on relevant subjects on a non-assessed basis to fill any gaps in your background.

Department specialisms

The School and its Social Policy component have several research units which act as a focus for postgraduate students working within those areas. Other research interests within the School have been grouped under certain headings for guidance. However, there is a degree of overlap between groups and your research project does not have to fall neatly within any one of them. Centre for Health Services (CHSS) Centre for the Study of Social and Political Movements Civil Sector, the Third Sector and the Centre for Philanthropy Cross-national and European Social Policy Heath, Social Care and Health Studies Kent Crime and Justice Centre (KCJC) Centre for Child Protection Personal Social Services Research Unit Race, Ethnicity and Religion Risk, 'Risk Society', and Risk Management Social and Public Policy, Sociology and the Body Tizard Centre Work, Employment and Economic Life

Information for international students

For detailed information see our English language requirements web pages. Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of pre-sessional courses in English for Academic Purposes through Kent International Pathways.

Fees and funding

Please visit our funding web pages for the most current information and application details.

Qualification and course duration


part time
60 months
full time
36 months


part time
36 months
full time
24 months

MA by research

part time
36 months
full time
24 months

Further details of qualification

Full-time and Part-time modes available. Qualifications do not count as professional qualifications in social work.MPhil two years full-time or three years part-time, PhD registration three to four years full-time or five to six years part-time.

Course contact details

School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research
+44 (0)1227 823684