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School of Social and Political Science: Graduate school


PhD in Sociology

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The application deadline for this programme is 5 July 2021.

PhD in Sociology Programme Handbook 2019/20


Edinburgh is one of the leading international centres of excellence for postgraduate study in Sociology. From Adam Ferguson to Erving Goffman, Edinburgh Sociology has a long historical tradition of producing some of the world's leading figures in the discipline. In 2014 we were ranked 16th in world, and together with Science, Technology and Innovation Studies (STIS) we have been rated as first* in the UK for quality and breadth of research in the Research Excellence Framework 2014 (REF2014).

PhD research in Sociology at Edinburgh is located in the Graduate School of Social and Political Science, which brings together Sociology, Politics and International Relations, Social Anthropology, Social Policy and Social Work. Our PhD degree has ESRC funding for home/EU students. We offer programmes of graduate study leading to a PhD in Sociology, an MSc by Research in Sociology, and an MSc by Research in Socio-Cultural Studies. Our aim is train students in scholarly and practical sociological research grounded in qualitative and quantitative methods.

In addition to world class Sociological (and STIS) research, we also have particular expertise in social studies of finance; nationalism and national identity; digital cultures; gender; personal life and intimacy; sociology of emotions; energy and sustainability; comparative/historical sociology; quantitative and qualitative methods; social theory; political sociology; social demography; narrative, biography and the sociology of culture; and the sociology of South and East Asia.

We belong to a number of leading research centres, such as the Centre for Research on Families and Relationships (CRFR), Science, Technology and Innovation Studies (STIS), the National Centre for Research Methods (NCRM), the Applied Quantitative Methods Network (AQUMeN), South Asian Studies and Canadian Studies.

Just as we remain deeply committed to investigating the social world globally and cross-culturally, from Scotland to the UK and beyond, we also greatly value the diversity of our vibrant international community of postgraduate students – from the UK, western and eastern Europe, the Nordic countries, Russia, North America, Asia and Africa. This diversity is also reflected in the wide variety of intellectual interests of our recent graduates’ dissertation projects.

You can find out more about applying here. Information about funding can be found here.