Sociology PhD UK

Last Updated on May 19, 2022

Are you considering applying for sociology phd in uk? If so, this article may help! This article provides you with the most recent information on sociology phd programs in uk

Here you’ll find details on sociology phd uk,phd sociology distance learning uk,phd in sociology subject,phd sociology distance learning uk and many more related topics on CollegeLearners.

PhD Programme

A Ph.D. in the UK is a 3 to 4 year full-time and 6 years part-time degree associated with research work. The cost of a Ph.D. in the UK is around 18000 GBP to 35000 GBP per annum at top universities and this can be easily supported by scholarships available in the UK for international students such as studentships, scholarships, grants by UK Research and Innovation, etc.

The Ph.D. course in UK is structured around a substantial research project chosen by the applicant in their area of interest. Students are required to conduct independent and original research in a specific field under the supervision of a professor. The basic qualification for admission to Ph.D. is a master’s degree with a minimum of 70%. However, unlike India, some universities in the UK also accept applications from students having a 4-year bachelor’s (honors) degree.

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The opportunities after studying in UK universities are vast. Almost 87% of the Ph.D. students start working after graduation and earn an average pay of 42,219 GBP (41 lakhs INR) per annum.

Sociology is a branch of social sciences and studies the origins of society, its development, organisations and institutions. Sociology uses methods of empirical investigation and critical analysis to develop a body of knowledge about human social activity, structures and functions. Focussing on social class, culture, race and ethnicity, gender, social mobility, religion and law, a degree in Sociology in the UK may also be combined with accounting, economics, finance and marketing.

Sociology has been taught in the UK since 1904 and over the course of the degree you will develop logical thinking, critical evaluation, literacy and expression, negotiation and problem solving skills. Sociology modules will cover the works of Karl Marx, Max Weber and Emile Durkheim as well as social change, social policy and crime and society.

Careers in Sociology

Sociology graduates will find employment in the media, local government, research, management, housing and education.

  • Average starting professional salary: £20,000
  • Average starting non-professional salary: £16,000

Source: The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2019.

Sociology UK Entry Requirements

  • Typical International Baccalaureate requirements: 32 points.
  • Typical A-levels requirements: ABB.
  • Typical IELTS requirements: 6.5 overall, with no lower than 5.5 in any one component.

Ph.D. in UK Universities

International students are attracted to the high-quality education offered by top-rated universities in UK. According to the QS Ranking of 2021, 4 universities in the UK rank among the top 10 universities across the world. The following table lists the top 10 universities offering Ph.D. in the UK, a per the QS World Ranking of 2021:

QS Rank 2021UniversityPopular Ph.D. Programs
5University of OxfordBiochemistry, Chemistry, Engineering Science, Medical Science
7University of CambridgeClinical Neuroscience, Chemical Engineering, and Biotechnology, Engineering
8Imperial College LondonLife Sciences, Mathematics, Mechanical Engineering, Medical Sciences
10University College LondonChemical Engineering, Chemistry, Physics and Astronomy, Material Science
20University of EdinburghMedicine, Engineering, Geosciences, Informatics, Mathematics
27University of ManchesterChemical Engineering, Chemistry, Electrical Engineering, Material Science, Mathematics
31King’s College LondonPharmaceutical Science, Medical Science, Life Science
49London School of Economics and Political ScienceCommunication, Social Science, Law, Journalism
58University of BristolMedical Science, Biochemistry, Physiology, Biological Science

Popular Ph.D. Programs in UK

Universities of the UK have modern infrastructure and world-class amenities to aid the research of Ph.D. students. Its programs have global recognition. Hence, it becomes difficult for international students to choose a Ph.D. program that best suits their skills and interests. The table below lists some of such popular degrees along with the universities offering them:

ProgramUniversityFees per Annum (GBP)
Ph.D. in Sociology and PsychologyUniversity of Oxford, University of Cambridge, 
Imperial College London, University College London, KCL
Ph.D. in SociologyUniversity of Oxford, University College London, University of Cambridge
Newcastle University, University of Manchester
24,000- 32,352
Ph.D. in Sociology and PsychologyUniversity of Cambridge, Oxford, University College London
The University of Manchester, University of Southampton
22,704- 32,352
Ph.D. in SociologyLSE, University of Oxford, University of Cambridge
University of Warwick, University of Manchester
Ph.D. in PsychologyUniversity of Oxford, University of Cambridge, LSE, KCL, UCL18,740-25,758
The PhD | Department of Sociology

Types of Ph.D. in UK

There are majorly five types of PhDs offered by universities in UK: Standard, Integrated, Professional, Distance Learning, and Ph.D. by Publication. Standard Ph.D. is a more common choice than others among international students. All 4 types of Ph.D. in the UK are discussed in brief as follows:

Standard Ph.D.: It is a 3 to 4-year full-time on-campus degree split into 3 parts. In the first year, students discuss research proposals with supervisors and devise a plan. Gathering data and conducting research is part of the second and third-year curriculum. Finally, in the last year, students write their thesis and submit it for viva.

Integrated Ph.D.: It combines the 1 year Masters in Research (MRes) with a 3-year Ph.D. in the UK and offered by over 30 universities. The main aim is to combine the taught element of the program with independent research. This helps students in learning different methodologies.

Professional Ph.D.: This type of Ph.D. is mainly for vocational subjects like medicine, engineering, and education. The focus of the program is to prepare students for future employment. Hence, it involves fewer research thesis and more projects revolving around real-life corporate issues. Common titles include Doctor of Business Administration, Doctor of Education, Doctor of Engineering, etc.

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Distance Learning Ph.D.: International students having work or family obligations choose this type of Ph.D. for studying in UK. It is also a preferred option when a selected topic requires the researcher to be present at a specific location. Students remain in touch with their supervisor through phone, email, or skype and attend university for one or two weeks every year. It takes 5 to 6 years to complete.

Ph.D. by Publication: This Ph.D. is also known as Higher Doctorate and is granted to students having already published original work such as book chapters, journal articles, books. However, most of the universities of the UK accept only their own alumni for Ph.D. by Publication. Students are required to submit five to eight published works and a written supporting statement of 5,000 to 20,000 words.

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How to Apply for Ph.D. in UK

A master’s degree or in some cases a 4-year bachelor’s is a minimum eligibility requirement for admission to Ph.D. in the UK. International students may also need to submit a research proposal outlining their research interests and methodology as a part of the application.

There is no common application portal for Ph.D. applications in the UK. Thus, students have to submit their application individually for their choice of university’s application portal.

English Requirement for Ph.D. in UK

The research thesis required for completion of a Ph.D. in UK has to be written entirely in English. Also, the workshops, seminars, lectures, etc are conducted in that language. Hence, international students are required to demonstrate proficiency in English by submitting one of the following test scores:

TestMinimum Score Required

Admission Requirements for Ph.D. in UK

  • A degree equivalent to Masters in the UK or a 4-year bachelors (Hons) degree
  • Minimum 70% in masters and bachelors
  • Proof of English Proficiency
  • Research Proposal
  • Letter of References

Note: A statement of purpose for UK universities is also required in some cases.

Explore admission criteria to get into some of the most popular Ph.D. courses in the UK:

Admission Requirements for Ph.D. in Sociology

Subjects like politics, economics, social work, and anthropology. Students pursuing Ph.D. in UK in sociology research on the relationship between humans and society. Minimum eligibility and requirements for admission at top universities offering PhD in Sociology are tabulated below:

UniversityEligibilityAdditional Requirements
London School of Economics and Political ScienceUG with a minimum 80% and masters in a social science-related field2 academic LORs;
Statement of Purpose: 1500 words;
Research Proposal: 1500 words Sample of written work: 3000 words;
University of OxfordUG with a minimum 80% and masters in a social science-related fieldResearch Proposal: 3000 words;
2 samples of written work: 2000 words; 3 academic LORs
University of CambridgeMasters in a related fieldResearch Proposal: 2000 words;
Sample of work; 2 academic LORs
University of WarwickMasters in a related fieldResearch Proposal
University of ManchesterUG with a minimum 80% and masters with a minimum of 65% in a social science-related field2 academic LORs; Research Proposal: 1500 words

Cost of Study for Ph.D. in UK

Ph.D. in the UK can be expensive since study abroad aspirants have to fund their research, living cost as well as tuition fees. Their total cost of study can be broadly categorized into the following sections.

Pre-arrival Cost

The expenses that incur before arrival at the university are known as pre-arrival costs. These are summed up in the following table:

Type of FeesCost (in GBP)
UK Student Visa348
IELTS fee150
TOEFL fee140
Application Fees60
Airfare425 – 638

Cost of Living in UK

The annual cost of living including the travel and accommodation cost in the UK is estimated to be around 15,000 GBP. A breakdown of expenses incurred per week for an international student is provided as follows:

Type of ExpenseWeekly Cost (in GBP)
Accommodation125 – 160
Food Expense10
Telephone Bill45
Household Items10
Books and Supplies10
Other Expenses45

Funding and Scholarships for Ph.D.  in UK

The majority of the universities of the UK grant a Studentship to research postgraduate (Ph.D. and MRes) students. These awards are funded by the department, college, or external body and usually covers the tuition fees with an additional stipend. Some studentships also cover the cost of attending seminars and workshops related to their research projects taken up by students pursuing Ph.D. in UK. Applicants are selected for such awards on the basis of their academic performance in masters and bachelors.

In addition to this, universities and other external bodies award scholarships to international students in the UK pursuing a Ph.D. degree. Some of them are listed as follows:

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UniversityScholarship AwardedEligibilityAmount (in GBP)
University of OxfordErtegun Graduate Scholarship Programme in the HumanitiesEnrolled in full-time humanities program;
Supporting statement
Course Fees + 15,285 grant
Oxford-E P Abraham Research Fund Graduate ScholarshipsEnrolled in medicine-related DPhil CourseCourse fees + 18,000 grant
University of CambridgeGates CambridgeEnrolled in full-time postgraduate program;
Non-EU students only
Course fees, 17,500 grant for 12 months, two economy airfares, visa and Immigration Health Surcharge cost
Imperial College LondonPresident’s PhD ScholarshipBased on undergraduate and masters academic performanceCourse fees, 21,600 per annum stipend, 2,000 additional fund for first 3 years
University College LondonUCL Overseas Research ScholarshipEnrolled in MPhil or Ph.D. program; Only for Non-EU studentsCourse fees (equal to UK/EU rate), 17,432 per year stipend
University of EdinburghSchool Doctoral ScholarshipEnrolled in Ph.D. in history, classics or archaeologyCourse fees (equal to UK/EU rate), 15,009 per year stipend
University of ManchesterResearch Impact Ph.D. ScholarshipEnrolled in Ph.D. at Department of Humanities;
Research Project related to philanthropic research themes
19,500 per year for 3 years; Additional 1,500 per year
King’s College LondonHans Rausing ScholarshipEnrolled in Ph.D. or Masters at Centre for History of Science, Technology, and MedicineCourse fees, stipend

A funding organization known as UK Research and Innovation also awards funding opportunities to international students in the UK based on their research projects. It collaborates with other countries and invites its citizens to conduct research on a pre-decided topic. The amount is expected to be directed entirely towards the project.

Doctor of Philosophy in Sociology | Sociology | Western Michigan University

Scope after PhD in UK

A PhD graduate earns on an average of 42,219 GBP per year in the UK. Most of them go for an academic job especially in the teaching and education sector. According to Prospects UK, over 50% of graduates having PhD in UK are either education or science professionals working in the science and pharmaceutical industry.

One of the reasons for this might be that private sector companies have become more research-oriented since the last few years and look for more researchers. Some other most common career options chosen by PhD graduates are clinical psychologists, biochemists, medical practitioners and university researchers.

Salary for PhD graduates at different jobs in UK are tabulated below:

Job RoleAverage Annual Salary (in GBP)
Data Scientist43,000
Principal Scientist51,000
Senior Software Engineer71,000
Postdoctoral Research Associate31,000
Research Scientist39,000
Senior Research Scientist43,000

In June 2020, the UK Government announced a “Graduate Route” that will allow international students completing their PhD from summer 2021 to stay back for 3 years and look for work. These changes were done to support the country’s research and development roadmap that is aimed towards making the UK a world-leading science power. 

The government is also planning to spend 300 million GBP for upgrading scientific infrastructure via the World Class Labs funding scheme. New offices will be established to attract global scientists, researchers and innovators. Thus, a lot of new opportunities will open for those who opt for PhD in UK.

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