Undertaking an PhD
The School of Social Sciences offers opportunities to study for a PhD by research. Supervision is available by full-time or part-time study and can sometimes be provided by distance learning. Please find further details of who to contact here.
Supporting your studies
Carrying out research for a PhD, DPsych or ProfD requires different skills from undergraduate or taught postgraduate study. You will mostly work on your own research project, but we also emphasise the importance of regular meetings with your supervisory team.
The team consists of a director of studies (who will usually have expertise in your subject area) and at least one other supervisor selected for their complementary expertise such as relevant research methods.
The Doctoral School Team will support you from your initial enquiry, through the application process and the various stages of your degree, until your viva voce examination and subsequent graduation. Once you begin your studies, you will have induction sessions to introduce you to the University, help you settle in and meet other researchers.
In addition to studying for a research degree, students undertaking traditional route PhDs will participate in researcher training. This combines general research training with specific topics associated with your discipline. The training focuses on the requirements of external research funding bodies and government requirements.
We also provide a structured programme of transferable skills training and career development. This is informed by the work of Vitae, the national organisation which supports researchers throughout their careers.
Careers and employability
Nottingham Trent University prides itself on the real-world relevance of its courses, placing particular emphasis on helping students to develop the academic and practical know-how that encourages initiative, innovation and academic excellence.
All our research degrees incorporate a programme of supporting studies designed to develop knowledge and skills of all aspects of the research process, including the funding and dissemination of research. This programme will ensure that you have the necessary expertise in research to complete your doctoral programme successfully. It will also lay sound foundations for those students who wish to pursue a research orientated career.
Participation in academic conferences, seminars and external networks contributes significantly to students' professional development. They cultivate contacts, skills and knowledge essential for successful practice as researchers: this knowledge and these skill are also transferable to a wide range of other careers. Participation in such events is therefore strongly encouraged.
There are some opportunities for research students to prepare for an academic career by teaching undergraduate students or supervising laboratory work. Students may take part in our bespoke teacher training programme for PhD students.
Although formal placements are not a requirement of PhDs and related awards, the University has strong links with professionals in business and industry.
There are opportunities to participate in ERASMUS overseas university exchanges in some subject areas. The University has links with many other institutions such as:
- Eötvös Loránd University (Budapest)
- Sapienza Università di Roma
- Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
- l'Université d'Angers
- Universitat Ramon Llull (Barcelona)
- University of Zadar (Zadar, Croatia).
Campus and facilities
As a Social Sciences student you will have easy access to the fantastic facilities in the Chaucer and Taylor buildings including:
- Lecture theatres and teaching classrooms;
- Open access PCs and secure wireless points;
- Study areas and social spaces;
- Chaucer cafe serving drinks and light snacks;
- Our brand new School of Social Sciences reception, providing you with easy access to our helpful and friendly support staff.
How to apply
You will need:
An applicant for admission to read for a PhD should normally hold a first or upper second class honours degree of a UK university or an equivalent qualification, or a lower second class honours degree with a Master's degree at Merit level of a UK university or an equivalent qualification.
International students will also need to meet the English language requirements - IELTS 6.5 (with minimum sub-scores of 6.0).
Applicants who have taken a higher degree at a UK university are normally exempt from the English language requirements. Applicants who do not meet the English language proficiency requirement will normally be asked to complete an English Language course.
To apply for a PhD/DPsych/ProfD please submit a research proposal (between 1,000 and a maximum of 2,000 words) which addresses the following points:
- Provisional title
- The topic or area to be investigated (the subject or field that you are going to investigate)
- The problem or hypothesis to be tested (the research questions or problem you want to address, the research objectives)
- The relationship of the proposed research to the published literature and to current research in the field (how your project relates to other work)
- An indication of the unique contribution to knowledge that the thesis is anticipated to make (the gap in research that your work will fill and what you hope to find out)
- The methods and techniques to be used in the research (how you propose to go about the research)
- A provisional timetable for the project, indicating anticipated activities
- If applicable,details of your previous work in the proposed field, or relationship to prior experience or study
- Bibliography of sources already consulted or identified as of relevance to your proposal.
As you’re applying for a Research degree, you may also like to have a look around our Research pages. This may help you to spot academic staff, research areas or projects that interest you.
How to apply
Visit the Doctoral School’s step by step guide to make an application.
Please read our notes on the University’s commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.