PhD Social Policy

The School for Policy Studies links theory, policy and practice in a multidisciplinary, research-intensive environment. Our research engages with and influences national and international policy.

Our team of policy experts come from a wide variety of backgrounds in social policy research, social work, sociology, poverty, gender violence, disability studies, health and social care, urban studies history, human geography, economics, psychology, physical activity nutrition and health sciences, family and child welfare, based within seven specialist research centres.

Our research examines policy areas that affect us all in day-to-day life, influences and challenges policies implemented by governments and institutions at a local, national and international level and investigates the issues, factors and attitudes underlying and impacting the social concerns that make our headlines every day.

The school is an exciting environment for graduate studies; we welcome graduate students from the UK and around the world to join our diverse and highly-rated research team. We particularly welcome applications on topics with direct relevance to national and international policy concerns.

Our new 'integrated' PhD model

Alongside the traditional approach to the PhD format, the school is now pleased to offer a new ‘integrated’ model which takes the form of a series of linked chapters, incorporating distinct but related studies and/or papers, instead of the standard final 80,000 word thesis. Discussions will be held with each student about the most appropriate format for their dissertation, taking into account their research subject and proposed methodology, and their own preferences.

I am really enjoying my time in Bristol; it is a very comfortable place to live. It is not busy like London, but you can find anything you want and the people are very nice.

Chenqi, What our postgraduates say

Staff research interests

You can find the names of academic staff and their research interests listed within their respective research centres.

Contact us

School admissions:
+44 (0)117 954 6785

School for Policy Studies
University of Bristol
8 Priory Road
Bristol, BS8 1TZ

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