Doctor of Social Science (DSocSci)

The DSocSci is designed to meet the needs of established professionals who require a sophisticated academic understanding of the issues affecting their field.

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The DSocSci is designed to meet the needs of established professionals who require a sophisticated academic understanding of the issues affecting their field.

The DSocSci aims to equip practitioners with the full range of theoretical and practical knowledge necessary for the conduct of their professional activities at the highest level.

On this programme you will master a range of research techniques and produce a thesis of publishable quality, based on original research.

On completion of the DSocSci you will:

  • have the latest and most sophisticated theoretical knowledge;
  • be able to apply this knowledge can be used to professional practice and critically engage with developments in your field using academic insights;
  • be equipped with the tools and techniques necessary to conduct and evaluate research pertinent to your professional interests
  • be able to contribute to academic debate in your chosen specialism (for example, human resource management, industrial relations, or labour market studies).

The DSocSci and the PhD are equivalent qualifications. The DSocSci is available for study by distance learning only and can be completed in a minimum of 48 months to a maximum of 72 months. You can start your degree in February, May or October

Entry Requirements

Standard academic entry requirements and English language entry requirements apply.

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.

The majority of our candidates are mature professionals who undertake the DSocSci programme to advance or change their career.

If you are unsure how to write a research proposal, we strongly recommend our free online course:

Tuition Fees 2019/20 entry

The fee quoted below is the total fee for the PhD.

• UK/EU £19,930
• International £23,855

Tuition Fees 2020/21 entry

  • UK/EU £20,825
  • International £24,930

Tuition Fees can be paid using any of the options below:

1. Total course fee paid in full before first registration.
2. Total course fee split into 4 annual payments with first annual payment made in full before first registration.
3. Total course fee split into 12 instalments paid over the first 4 years of study. The first instalment to be paid before first registration.

A payment schedule will be sent with the offer letter

If you are living outside of the UK/EU during your studies you will pay the International fee. For clarification please contact

Programme Structure

Candidates complete eight taught modules. Modules One to Four cover key aspects of research skills and methodological training. For Modules Five to Seven, candidates select three specialist options to demonstrate their knowledge in a specific field. Module Eight is a detailed thesis proposal.

Having completed all eight modules, candidates are required to submit a thesis of 50,000 words in a field of study approved by the Doctorate Programme Board. 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.

Applications and Further Details

Applications for the DSocSci must be submitted online and should include a full research proposal:

  1. Search our staff research interests to make sure we offer supervision in the area you want to work in
  2. Download and save the Research Proposal Form.  Complete all sections of the form telling us what you want to research, how you intend to do it, and why it is worth doing and how, with reference to existing practice and research, it constitutes an original investigation.
  3. When you are ready to apply for your place you will need to upload the form to the Research Proposal section of your online application form. *Please do not upload multiple research proposals with your online application.
  4. You might be interested in signing up for our 5 week online course 'Discovering Your PhD Potential: Writing a Research Proposal. The course is offered through FutureLearn where you can register your interest for the next available course.
  5. Prepare your supporting documents
  6. Submit your online application

If you have any questions about the DSocSci please contact

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