The Doctorate in Social Science (DSocSci)

The Doctorate programme aims to produce a group of leading practitioners who have mastered the full range of theoretical and practical knowledge necessary for the conduct of their professional activities at the highest levels. It provides a structured taught component, which can be built on for research at thesis stage.

Using specifically designed materials you will gain a thorough grasp of the theoretical foundations of the profession. This will include advanced theory from a number of different social science disciplines, e.g. sociology of work and employment; sociology of education; human resource management; human resource development; education, training and learning.

You will gain knowledge of the range of research techniques available for enhancing professional knowledge and the ability to utilise appropriate research techniques to produce research of publishable quality.

Doctorate image newUpon completion you will:

  • have the latest and most sophisticated theoretical knowledge for practitioners.
  • be able to ensure that this knowledge can be used to inform practice and that you can critically engage with developments in your field.
  • be equipped with the tools and techniques necessary to conduct and evaluate research pertinent to your professional interests.
  • be able to enhance the growing discipline areas of Human Resource Development (HRD) and labour market studies.


The DSocSci is studied completely by distance learning. The normal registration period is four years, the maximum registration period is six years.


There are eight modules in total with five core modules and three option modules.

Modules 1-4 cover research training and Modules 5-7 comprise three option modules. Once these are completed you will move on to study Module 8, the Thesis Proposal. If successful you will proceed to write the thesis (50,000 words).

Please note that module content and options module availability may be subject to change.

Enrolment Dates

February, May and October.


We will require evidence of a relevant Masters degree, preferably at distinction level, together with a detailed outline of your initial research proposal. The validity and quality of the proposal will be of crucial significance in determining eligibility for entry. Applicants will be invited for interview (face-to-face or Skype) before an offer can me made.

Applicants must meet the English language requirements. Unless you are a national of an English speaking country and/or have completed secondary or tertiary education where the medium of instruction was English, you will be required to provide evidence of your English language ability.


Modules 1-4 will be assessed by an assignment of 4,000 words for each module. Modules 5-7 will be assessed by an assignment of 5,000 words for each module. Module 8, the Thesis Proposal, comprises a proposal of 5,000 words and the completion of the University of Leicester online ethical approval form. If completed successfully then you will be permitted to proceed to the thesis stage of the programme where you will work in close contact with allocated supervisors.

You will be required to submit a thesis of 50,000 words in an approved field of study. The thesis will demonstrate your ability to apply appropriate research methodologies and to analyse issues within the field of work, employment and learning. The thesis must contain original work and be of publishable quality. Doctorate theses have to be defended at a viva in the presence of two examiners.


There are currently just under 100 students registered on the DSocSci with significant groups in the UK, Hong Kong, Ireland and Malta. The majority of our students are mature professionals who undertake the Doctorate programme to advance or change their career. Read about our current DSocSci students' research topics.

For further information, please contact:

Phone: +44 (0)116 252 5943

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Contact the Centre

School of Management
Ken Edwards Building
University of Leicester
University Road

T: +44 (0) 116 252 5520

F: +44 (0) 116 252 3949