Sociology - Research

Ulster University - Belfast

Sociology - Research

The School of Applied Social and Policy Sciences has a vibrant and multi-disciplinary research environment, which is home to a wide range of research projects that tackle important questions in the social sciences. We have an excellent international reputation for producing high quality research which has global impact. Our work is centred around three key themes: persistent and emerging socio-economic challenges, policy and practice in divided societies, and national global social justice.

If you are interested in pursuing doctoral research in Sociology at Ulster University, you’ll be joining a community of academics undertaking high-impact and policy-relevant research across a diverse range of issues including Victims, Truth, and Justice; Institutional Child Abuse; Identities and Representation; Legacies of Armed Conflict and the Politics of Memory. As well as disseminating research through international academic peer-reviewed publications and conferences, we have a strong track record of producing knowledge that reaches beyond the academic boundaries. We have built close working and collaborative relationships with civil society, a range of international NGOS and human rights organisations; and work with government, national and international oversight bodies and communities directly impacted by our research. The team’s outputs are recognised nationally and internationally, and we have a strong track record of achieving REF 4* impact rating and publication outputs, as well as securing highly competitive funding from prestigious bodies such as the British Academy, Leverhulme, AHRC, Irish Research Council and Royal Irish Academy.

Sociology at Ulster University
Successful PhD candidates will join a dynamic and vibrant research community and culture. Over the course of the programme, candidates will benefit from expert supervision, conduct high-quality research that makes a unique contribution to knowledge, as well as developing professionally in areas such as presentations, seminars and conferences within the School’s dynamic research environment. PhD candidates will also significantly benefit from our close collaborative links with a range of institutions and bodies including the NI Executive; Living Legacies Engagement Centre; North West Migrants Forum; Amnesty International; IFA; Glencree Centre for Peace and Reconciliation; North West Cultural Partnership and The Inquiry Network. The Sociology team have strong research links with universities globally including Canada, Australia, Sweden, the United States, South Africa and Hong Kong.

Entry requirements

Applicants should hold, or expect to obtain, a First or Upper Second Class Honours Degree in a subject relevant to the proposed area of study. We may also consider applications from those who hold equivalent qualifications, for example, a Lower Second Class Honours Degree plus a Master’s Degree with Distinction.

In exceptional circumstances, the University may consider a portfolio of evidence from applicants who have appropriate professional experience which is equivalent to the learning outcomes of an Honours degree in lieu of academic qualifications.

Application dates

All applications are made online and applicants are advised to discuss their application prior to submission with relevant staff in order to develop an appropriate research proposal (see "Application Date Weblink").

Post Course Info

Careers and opportunities
PhD graduates are recognised by employers to hold valuable transferrable skills, as the nature of the degree trains candidates in creativity, critical inquiry, problem solving, negotiation skills, professionalism and confidence.

The most recent Ulster survey of PhD graduates found that 92% had secured employment within the first year since graduation (HESA Destination of Leavers Survey 2015), and while two thirds end up in the Higher Education or Research sectors, the range of skills acquired equips the remainder for employment in a wide range of contexts.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Doctoral at UK Level 8

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Daytime

  • Apply to

    Course provider