Social Sciences, Doctor of


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

It is intended to produce a group of leading-edge practitioners who have mastered 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 gain knowledge of research techniques available for enhancing professional knowledge and the training to help you use these to produce research of publishable quality.

On completion of the DSocSci 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 and labour market studies

The DSocSci is equivalent to a PhD - and like the PhD holders are allowed to use the title 'Doctor'. 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.

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.

Supervision and research areas

More information about supervision interests can be found here.

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.

How to apply

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 and prepare your proposal. Complete all sections and make sure that tells us what you want to research, how you intend to do it, and why it is worth doing. *Please do not upload multiple research proposals with your online application.
  3. 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.
  4. Prepare your supporting documents with your application you need to include proof that you meet the academic entry requirements and the English language entry requirements:
    • Include all relevant certificates/diplomas and transcripts.
    • International applicants must provide official copies of their entire course transcripts including explanations of the mark schemes used.
    • Supporting documents not in English must be provided with a certified English translation.
    • CV
    • In addition to uploading the above documents please enter contact details for two academic (not personal) referees who can comment on your suitability for the research degree programme or upload letters of reference if already available.
    • Personal Statement

5. Submit your application using the Apply button at the bottom of this page. Upload your supporting documents and your completed Research Proposal Form.

When to apply

We have intakes in February, May and September

You should try to submit your application as far in advance of your preferred start date as possible. 

After you have submitted your application, it will take a minimum of six weeks for you to receive a decision about your application.

If you have any questions about the DSocSci or about supervision in the School of Business, please contact us.

Fees and funding

For distance learning study if you are living outside of the UK/EU during your studies you will pay the International fee.

UK/EU Distance learning

  • Starting in 2020/21 academic year: £20,825 (Total course fee)
  • Starting in 2021/22 academic year: £20,825 (Total course fee)

International Distance learning

  • Starting in 2020/21 academic year: £24,930 (Total course fee)
  • Starting in 2021/22 academic year: £24,930 (Total course fee)

Paying for distance learning

The fees quoted are the total fee for the DSocSci programme and can be paid by the following options:

  • Total course fee paid in full before first year registration
  • Total course fee split into four annual payments with first annual payment made in full before first year registration
  • Total course fee split into 12 equal instalments payable over years 1-4 of the study. The first instalment to be paid before first year registration

If study extends beyond the 4th year no further fees are required. A payment schedule will be sent with the offer letter.

PhD description