ESRC Wales DTP PhD studentships in Social Sciences

This funding opportunity has expired.

Key facts

Application deadline 1 February 2017
Start date 1 October 2017
Duration MSc and PhD, 4 years (1+3); PhD, 3 years (+3); or part-time equivalent
Funding body ESRC
Level of study Postgraduate research
Award type PhD studentship

The School of Social Sciences, supported by the ESRC Doctoral Training Partnership for Wales (Wales DTP) invites applications for a chance of securing a fully-funded PhD studentship commencing in October 2017. The School expects to make doctoral studentship awards in the areas of:

  • Criminology
  • Digital Economy and Society
  • Education
  • Science and Technology Studies
  • Social Work and Social Care
  • Sociology
  • Social Policy

The awards are available on either a 1+3 or +3 basis for full-time study, and also as its part-time equivalent. A 1+3 studentship provides funding for four years full-time, completing the MSc in Social Science Research Methods in the first year, followed by three years research funding for a PhD. A +3 studentship provides funding for the three years full-time PhD research study only. The School of Social Sciences values diversity and equality at all levels, and encourages applications from all sections of the community. All studentships are available on a full-time or part-time basis.

About the School

We take an interdisciplinary approach to the Social Sciences to create a dynamic and engaged teaching and research environment. The School of Social Sciences is an internationally recognised centre of excellence in research and teaching across a range of subject areas including sociology, policy studies, criminology, education and social work.

The School currently has over 220 academic staff, and around 1,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students. We have a strong commitment to developing programmes of study that benefit from the research expertise and achievements of staff in the School.

We are home to a number of world-leading research centres, and these engage across a range of research themes. Our students have the opportunity to work with and learn from world class scholars, alongside students from across the world. The School has a thriving postgraduate research community, with both PhD and Professional Doctorate programmes. We also offer a number of courses for professional development.

The School collaborates with major universities and scholars from around the world, as well as enjoying excellent links with local businesses, public and third sector organisations, policy makers and practitioners.

About the University

Cardiff University is acknowledged as one of Britain's leading teaching and research universities, held in high esteem both nationally and internationally. Its world-leading research was ranked 5th amongst UK universities in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework for quality and 2nd for impact.

Cardiff University has been named as the lead partner for one of 14 new accredited ESRC Doctoral Training Partnerships (DTP) across the UK, judged by the ESRC to deliver truly excellent postgraduate training provision. The DTP and University are committed to widening access for postgraduates to ESRC funding.


These studentships are ‘open’ awards therefore the School welcomes proposals in a wide range of areas, however applicants should consider approaching a potential supervisor before submitting their application to confirm that there is supervisory capacity within the School and to discuss their draft application. Information on the research interests of our staff can be found on the School of Social Sciences webpages.

If you need help in identifying potential supervision, please contact Hannah Vincent at the Graduate Office.

The pathway convenor for each of the award pathways may be able to steer you.

These are:


Hannah Vincent

Funding details

Tuition fee support Full UK/EU tuition fees
Maintenance stipend Doctoral stipend matching UK Research Council National Minimum
Additional funding offered Research Training Support Grant (RTSG) of up to £750 for three years for full-time students (pro-rata for part-time study).

Eligibility criteria

Residency UK Research Council eligibility conditions apply
Academic criteria

ESRC studentships are highly competitive, candidates should have an excellent academic background in the social sciences, holding a 1st or strong upper 2nd class degree; applications from those also holding a relevant research training master's degree (or an equivalent background in research training) will be considered for a +3 award.


Hannah Vincent

A completed application form for admission to Doctor of Philosophy (Social Sciences), selecting 1 October 2017 start, must be submitted by the deadline of 12noon, 1 February 2017.

The application form must contain the following documents:

  1. Covering letter: Please address to Dr Teresa de Villiers, Director of Postgraduate Studies. The covering letter must set out your reasons and motivation for applying to study at Cardiff University, and the School of Social Sciences; your understanding, and expectations of doctoral study; and your academic interests generally, and particularly of those relating to your proposed research. The covering letter should be no more than 2 pages. Please note that all studentships are available on a +3 or 1+3 basis full-time, or part-time pro-rata. Please specify +3 or 1+3 and which pathway you will be applying to; Criminology, Digital Economy and Society, Education, Science and Technology Studies, Sociology, Social Policy, Social Work and Social Care.
  2. Academic/ professional qualifications: Where relevant, academic certificates and transcripts must be submitted with the online admissions application by the application deadline. This should also include proof of English Language Competency.
  3. References: All applications require two academic references to be submitted in support. Candidates must approach referees themselves and request a reference to be submitted. Please use our referee form and should be sent to when complete. Please ensure your chosen referees are aware of the application deadline, as we will be using these to help us evaluate your ESRC studentship application.
  4. Miscellaneous information: Candidates may use this section to add their CV. This should include details of academic achievement and any other material relevant to the application. It should be no longer than two pages.
  5. Research proposal: Applicants should use the ‘Research Proposal’ section of the application form to set out their doctoral thesis and project in summary. The proposal should be up to a maximum of 1,000 words, not including references. We suggest that you use the following four headings in your research proposal:
    1. Aims and purpose of the research
    2. Overview of the academic literature relevant to your field
    3. Proposed methodology
    4. Academic contributions of your research
    5. References

Where the form requests a personal statement, please leave this section blank.

Guidance notes

When completing the ‘Programme Details’ section please specify Social Sciences – Research Degree – Doctor of Philosophy (Social Sciences) (Full-time or Part-time) with a start date of October 2017.

The deadline is absolute and applications received after this specified time and date will not be accepted.

The University will not automatically contact an applicant’s referees.

We reserve the right to close applications early should sufficient applications be received.


Hannah Vincent

Funding opportunity provided by:

Three PG students standing outside. One of them is holding a Cardiff University postgraduate brochure.

Open Day

Meet us at our Postgraduate Open Day on 22 November 2017.

Eligible research programmes