Research course


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

Entry requirements

A good honours degree or MA in Sociology or a related social science discipline.

Months of entry


Course content

The School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research (SSPSSR) has a long and distinguished history.

It is one of the largest and most successful social science research communities in Europe.

It has received top ratings in Research Assessment Exercises, and most recently had 70% of its work judged as either ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent” in terms of its “originality, significance and rigour”.

The School supports a large and thriving postgraduate community, and in 2010 distributed to new students in excess of £100,000 in Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) quota awards, University and SSPSSR bursaries and scholarships.

Our faculty staff are world authorities in their fields. Members attract large research grants from bodies such as the ESRC, the British Academy, Arts and Humanities Research Council, European Commission, Anglo-German Foundation, NATO, Equal Opportunities Commission, National Probation Service and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. We take part in international symposia and research projects, and act as consultants and advisers to a wide variety of government departments, professional organisations, research funding bodies and learned journals.

Research in Sociology at Kent covers a range of areas, including social and critical theory, social movements, globalisation and everyday life, cities and space, media and technology, class, ‘race’ and ethnicity, gender, work, visual sociology, the welfare state, risk and society, violence, NGOs and organisations, and social aspects of the body. We offer high-quality supervision across a wide range of areas and we work carefully to match you with a supervisor who suits your interests and ambitions. There are further details on the research activities and publications of individual members of staff and the School’s research units on the School’s website. In addition to regular meetings with individual supervisors, all research students take part in a research training programme.

Department specialisms

Academic staff at Kent share a number of interests, grouped here for your guidance. However, there is often a degree of overlap between groups and your research project does not have to fall neatly within any one of them. The School also has several research centres that bring together experts in the field, co-ordinate research, organise talks and offer opportunities for postgraduate students to get involved in discussions and research projects. 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) Globalisation The Individual and the Social Risk and Society Race, Ethnicity and Migration The Analysis of Social Movements Philanthropy, Humanitarianism and Social Justice Sociology of the Body Crime, Control and Culture Sociological Theory and the Culture of Modernity Gender Media Visual Sociology Work, Employment and Economic Life Cross-national and European Social Policy Research Centres: Centre for Health Services (CHSS) Centre for the Study of Social and Political Movements Kent Crime and Justice Centre (KCJC) Centre for Child Protection Personal Social Services Research Unit Tizard Centre Centre for Philanthropy

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. See

Fees and funding

Please visit our

funding web pages

for the most current information and application details.

Qualification and course duration


full time
36 months
part time
60 months


part time
36 months
full time
24 months

MA by research

part time
24 months
full time
12 months

Course contact details

School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research
+44 (0)1227 823684
+44 (0)1227 827005