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Different course options

Full time | Royal Holloway, University of London | 3 years | SEP

Study mode

Full time


3 years

Start date


Key information

Qualification type

PhD/DPhil - Doctor of Philosophy

Subject areas

Social Work

Course type


Course Summary

About us

The Centre for Social Work is part of the School of Law, which is highly regarded for its research and has an active and vibrant research culture. In the Centre for Social Work we undertake research on a range of subjects including: child protection, children looked after and adoption; poverty and inequality; race and mental health; discretion and decision-making; and arts-based research. In the wider School of Law research is conducted on subjects spanning law, criminology, sociology, social policy and forensic psychology.

Research facilities and environment

Our postgraduate research students enjoy a friendly and stimulating research environment and regular, personally-tailored supervisory sessions. Participating fully in the life of the School of Law, our doctoral students are valued members of a close-knit group of academics.

We provide regular monthly workshops where students take it in turns to present their work and receive feedback from other students and from the Departmental lead for Postgraduate Research. Additional sessions may be offered on topics ranging from publishing to career choices on completion of a doctorate.

Our lively annual Postgraduate Research Day is always well-attended and gives postgraduate researchers the opportunity to showcase their work to staff and students in the School of Law. We understand the importance of fostering doctoral students' professional skills, and fully support them in presenting papers at academic conferences in the UK and abroad. We are committed to our students' success, providing mock vivas, annual reviews, and personal advice on issues such as managing time pressures and meeting deadlines. Students are also actively encouraged to join one of the School’s four thriving research groups. Many members of the School's postgraduate community are from outside the UK, providing an opportunity for the exchange of ideas within an international context.


Students register for an MPhil and then participate in an upgrade process before the 20th month of their studies if full time (40th month part time). This requires them to submit chapters of their work for consideration by a panel of staff members and then make a formal presentation in front of this panel. Having upgraded students are expected to submit their thesis by the end of their third year, or at the latest by the end of their fourth year if full time (part time by the end of their 8th year).

Your future career

Our PhD programme is very successful and our alumni have gone on to undertake careers in a variety of roles social care and health sectors. Our graduates have also gone on to have extremely successful careers in a variety of universities both inside and outside the UK.

Tuition fees

UK fees
Course fees for UK students

For this course (per year)


International fees
Course fees for EU and international students

For this course (per year)


Entry requirements

The Department welcomes applications from suitably qualified and highly-motivated candidates. The application process for our postgraduate research programmes is interactive.