This four-year PhD programme is designed for individuals wishing to develop advanced knowledge and skills in social science research design and methods through a mixture of coursework and independent research with supervisory support. The programme is particularly suited to PhD applicants who require the masters-level social science research training that is necessary in order to undertake independent PhD study.
Year one is devoted to coursework to build generic social science research skills that are then applied in years two-four through independent research with supervisory support and complementary research training.
Your coursework in year 1 will be taken within the recently redesigned MA in Social Research programme, within the University’s Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) recognised Doctoral Training Centre. This programme aims to provide students with a thorough and advanced education in social research design and the most up-to-date training in methods of data collection and analysis. The combination of core modules and short courses on more advanced topics provides flexibility to relate training to the thesis topic.
If you pass the coursework component, you will progress to normal PhD study in years 2–4. You will work closely with your supervisors in designing and undertaking your own research project, leading to an 80,000 word thesis. You will also undertake additional training in advanced methods and transferable skills, guided by the regular training needs analysis that forms an essential basis for your Career Development Plan.
The core elements of the year 1 taught programme are delivered by staff across the entire College of Social Sciences, many of whom are engaged in cutting-edge research in their own fields. Students will benefit by undertaking the modules with others from the College’s constituent schools of Business, Education, Government and Society, and Social Policy. Students will take:
Four core modules (these may be substituted for discipline specific modules depending on the pathway being followed):
- Philosophy of Social Research
- Research Design, Practice and Ethics
- Fundamentals in Quantitative Research Methods
- Foundations in Qualitative Research
Four elective modules (10 credits each) from the short course programme below, which are run as 2-day intensive workshops.
Support and training
Birmingham Business School provides dedicated facilities, resources and support to postgraduate students and early career researchers which includes The Midlands Graduate School and Doctoral Training Centres and Programmes. Click to find out more.
If I gain an Integrated Study PhD in Social Sciences, what are my career prospects?
The training available on this Integrated Study PhD programme enables graduates to develop advanced skills in designing and conducting research in the Social Sciences. Such skills are highly applicable to a variety of careers in academia, business, government and non-profit organisations.
What type of career assistance is available to doctoral researchers in the College of Social Sciences?
The College of Social Sciences at Birmingham has specially designated careers advisors and careers consultants who can provide guidance for doctoral researchers on career paths, CVs, training opportunities, application and interviews. The University’s central Careers’ Service also runs workshops and offers personally tailored advice and guidance including 1-1 careers advice, 1-1 CV advice. The Career’s Service also runs CV writing workshops especially for postgraduates in the College of Social Sciences, giving advice on how to compile CVs for both employment and for academic roles.
The University also has dedicated careers advisors for International students who run workshops and networking opportunities with potential employers. These are especially popular with International postgraduate researchers.
The training enables graduates to develop advanced skills in designing and conducting research, in ways that are applicable to a variety of careers in academia, business, government and non-profit organizations.