Postgraduate research

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 May or September

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.

To apply

Prepare your Research Proposal Form  and follow the How to Apply guidelines in the section below.

Supervision and research areas

Get more information about supervision interests.

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

Make sure we offer supervision in the area in which you want to work and that you meet or expect to meet the academic entry requirements and the English language requirements.

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.

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

  • Download and save the Research Proposal Form and prepare your proposal. Complete all sections using the guidance on the form. If your proposal is not submitted on the Proposal Form your application will not be considered.
  • CV
  • Personal statement explaining your interest in the research, your experience, why it is worth doing and why we should consider you.
  • Copies of your Degree Certificates and Marks Transcripts of study already completed and if possible a transcript to-date of any study currently being undertaken.
  • If your documents are not in English please include an official translation.
  • Evidence of English language proficiency if applicable
  • In the reference section please enter the contact details of your two academic referees in the text boxes provided or upload letters of reference if already available.
  • In the funding section state clearly how you intend to fund your study.

Submit your application using the Apply Button at the bottom of this page. Please ensure you upload all the required documents and your completed Research Proposal Form, failure to do so may cause a delay in assessing your application.

When to apply

We have intakes in 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 during your studies you will pay the International fee.

UK distance learning

  • Starting in 2023/24 academic year: £21,850 total course fee
  • Starting in 2024/25 academic year: £23,650 total course fee

International distance learning

  • Starting in 2023/24 academic year: £26,000 total course fee
  • Starting in 2024/25 academic year: £28,150 total course fee

Distance learning payment options

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

Application options

Apply: distance learning Apply now

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