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Different course options

Full time | Colchester Campus | 4 years | OCT-22

Study mode

Full time


4 years

Start date


Key information

Qualification type

PhD/DPhil - Doctor of Philosophy

Subject areas

Social Work

Course type


Course Summary

Our PhD in Social Work offers you a unique opportunity to undertake research in a variety of social and health contexts. You may be interested in the experiences of looked after children, the care of older people or the support provided to refugees but whatever your specific research interests we are likely to have a supervisor with the experience to support you in this process.

In addition, you will have access to the University’s Proficio research training scheme which allows you to choose training programmes that meet the requirements of your own research topics and methodologies.

This PhD is offered on a 3 year full-time or 6-year part-time basis, plus up to a maximum of one year of completion.

Why we're great

We specialise in applied multidisciplinary research, addressing issues of national and international concern to social work, social policy, social care, health sociology and related fields.

Our researchers work closely with international social work organisations such as IASSW and EASSW. The Centre for Social Work is also involved in the Social Work Action Network and the Social Services in the Context of Conflict Network.

The Centre for Social Work is an outward-looking and vibrant community of scholars which frequently organises national and international events such as seminars, symposia, and conferences. Our PhD students can contribute towards these events both as co-organisers and presenters.

Your future

Essex University graduates are in the frontline of shaping policies and influencing debates internationally. Some of our graduates continue working in academic settings as lecturers or researchers while others work in clinical and management positions in local trusts, social work/ care organisations, hospitals, international NGO’s as well as in local and county councils.


You undertake a dissertation of 40,000 words on a subject relevant to your specialist area of practice.Dissertation workshops are held throughout the academic year which will help you to select a topic for your dissertation and provide guidance on writing up your research.

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

You will need a Masters degree, or equivalent, in a relevant discipline such as a health science or a social science. Alternatively you will need to evidence advanced research skills developed through an alternative route. A well developed research proposal is also essential.

University information

The University of Essex is a hub of innovation and stereotype-breaking success. It offers students a fantastic academic experience, and a fresh way of thinking about some of the key challenges faced by society today. The university delivers an impressive selection of postgraduate courses at a number of levels, including master’s programmes, doctoral degrees, research positions and short courses for continued professional development. The...more

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