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Social Work - Research

Overview
You'll be a social scientist committed to ways of working, through multidisciplinary research, that build knowledge and capacities in the communities around us and have a positive impact on human wellbeing. You'll care about young people and families, conflict and social change, social inequality, disability, ageing and health, criminal justice, drugs and alcohol, trauma, violence and abuse and the effect these have on society.

Social Work highlights
A wide range of specialist research methods modules are available as part of the EdD / DChild Taught Doctoral programmes which are also open to PhD students.

Internationally Renowned Experts
•The School is home to leading international academic experts in specialist fields with a number of academics holding positions on government advisory councils, Chair positions on internationally recognised committees and memberships of several Research Centres across the University. One of our academics was recently awarded a Fulbright Scholarship for their work in the field of Social Work.

Key Facts
Research students are encouraged to play a full and active role in relation to the wide range of research activities undertaken within the School and there are many resources available including:
•a wide range of specialist research methods modules are available as part of the EdD / DChild Taught Doctoral programmes which are also open to PhD students.
•access to the Queen's University Postgraduate Researcher Development Programme.
•office accommodation with access to computing facilities and support to attend conferences for full-time PhD students.

Course structure
There is no specific course content as such. You are expected to take research training modules that are supported by the School which focus on quantitative and qualitative research methods. You are also expected to carry out your research under the guidance of your supervisor.

Over the course of study you can attend postgraduate skills training organised by the Graduate School, carry out a piece of independent research and complete a thesis of 80,000 words. The thesis is awarded after a successful oral examination with an internal and external examiner.

You will normally register, in the first instance, as an 'undifferentiated PhD student' which means that you have satisfied staff that you are capable of undertaking a research degree. The decision as to whether you should undertake an MPhil or a PhD is delayed until you have completed 'differentiation'.

Differentiation takes place about 9-12 months after registration for full time students and about 18-30 months for part time students: You are normally asked to submit work to a panel of up two academics and this is followed up with a formal meeting with the 'Differentiation Panel'. The Panel then make a judgement about your capacity to continue with your study. Sometimes students are advised to revise their research objectives or to consider submitting their work for an MPhil qualification rather than a doctoral qualification.

To complete with a doctoral qualification you will be required to submit a thesis of approx. 80,000 words and you will be required to attend a viva voce [oral examination] with an external and internal examiner to defend your thesis.

A PhD programme runs for 3-4 years full-time or 6-8 years part-time. Students can apply for a writing up year should it be required.

The research degree is open to both full and part time candidates. The PhD is often a useful preparation for a career within academia or consultancy.

Full time students are often attracted to research degree programmes because they offer an opportunity to pursue in some depth an area of academic interest.

The part time research degree is an exciting option for professionals or those unable to commit to full time study seeking to extend their knowledge on an issue of professional interest. Often part time candidates choose to research an area that is related to their professional interests..

If you meet the Entry Requirements, the next step is to check whether we can supervise research in your chosen area. We only take PhD students to whom we can offer expert research supervision from one of our academic staff. Therefore, your research question needs to engage with the research interests of one of our staff.

Entry requirements

Entrance requirements
Graduate
The minimum academic requirement for admission to a research degree programme is normally an Upper Second Class Honours degree from a UK or ROI HE provider, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University. Further information can be obtained by contacting the School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work

International Students
For information on international qualification equivalents, please check the specific information for your country.

English Language Requirements
Evidence of an IELTS* score of 6.5, with not less than 5.5 in any component, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University is required. *Taken within the last 2 years.

International students wishing to apply to Queen's University Belfast (and for whom English is not their first language), must be able to demonstrate their proficiency in English in order to benefit fully from their course of study or research. Non-EEA nationals must also satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) immigration requirements for English language for visa purposes.

For more information on English Language requirements for EEA and non-EEA nationals see: www.qub.ac.uk/EnglishLanguageReqs.

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this degree programme, INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for admission to this degree.
•Academic English: an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level
•Pre-sessional English: a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English.

Duration

3 years

Careers or further progression

Career Prospects
Introduction
Many of our PhD graduates have moved into academic and research roles in Higher Education while others go on to play leading roles in the public sector or within NGOs. Queen's postgraduates reap exceptional benefits. Unique initiatives, such as Researcher Plus bolster our commitment to employability.

Employment after the Course
For further information on career development opportunities at PhD level please contact the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Career Development Team on ahssdevoffice@qub.ac.uk / +44 28 9097 5175

Development Officers Cathy Wilson and Aileen Carson will be happy to provide further information on your research area career prospects.

Further enquiries

Dr Caitlin Donnelly 
Doctoral Research Programme Director
SSESW
email: caitlin.donnelly@qub.ac.uk

Assessment method

Assessment processes for the Research Degree differ from taught degrees. Students will be expected to present drafts of their work at regular intervals to their supervisor who will provide written and oral feedback.

A formal assessment process takes place annually. This Annual Progress Review requires students to present their work in writing and orally to a panel of academics from within the School. Successful completion of this process will allow students to register for the next academic year.

The final assessment of the doctoral degree is both oral and written. Students will submit their thesis to an internal and external examining team who will review the written thesis before inviting the student to orally defend their work at a Viva Voce.

Feedback
Supervisors will offer feedback on draft work at regular intervals throughout the period of registration on the degree.

Application date

How to Apply
Apply using our online Postgraduate Applications Portal go.qub.ac.uk/pgapply and follow the step-by-step instructions on how to apply.

Find a supervisor
If you're interested in a particular project, we suggest you contact the relevant academic before you apply, to introduce yourself and ask questions.

To find a potential supervisor aligned with your area of interest, or if you are unsure of who to contact, look through the staff profiles linked here.

www.qub.ac.uk/Study/PostgraduateStudy/Postgraduate-research/find-phd-sup...

You might be asked to provide a short outline of your proposal to help us identify potential supervisors.

Postgraduate Research
There is no standard closing date. You should however check both the University's website and refer to the relevant School/Institute webpage for information on deadline dates for postgraduate funding applications, as these will also determine when your application for admission should be submitted.

Application Process
Select ONE potential supervisor from our list of Academic Staff (http://www.qub.ac.uk/schools/ssesw/Connect/OurPeople/AcademicStaff/) and send them an email containing:

a brief CV (1-2 pages maximum)
a concise statement that you are interested in studying for a PhD, stating when you would start, and how you would plan to fund the research
a brief statement of the research question or interest, and how you think the question could be investigated

Our academic staff are very happy to receive approaches like this, in order that they can liaise with you to develop a research proposal of mutual interest. The potential supervisor should get back to you within a couple of weeks. They may invite you to meet with them or they may invite you to apply formally.

If you have difficulty identifying or contacting an appropriate supervisor, please contact Dr Caitlin Donnelly (email: Caitlin.donnelly@qub.ac.uk) who will be happy to help.

For part-time study – the closing date for this option is 31st August each year.

For full-time study (self-funding) – for those full time candidates who do not wish to compete for a studentship or who are not eligible to compete for a studentship the closing date is 31st August each year.

For full-time study and application for an studentship/award - awards are only available to full time students. Candidates wishing to apply for scholarships available within the School must apply for full-time study at the same time. Discover our current studentships and closing dates on the School's Scholarships web page: http://www.qub.ac.uk/schools/ssesw/Study/Scholarships

Research areas

Research information

Associated Research
The School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work combines a rich tapestry of disciplinary strengths, in Sociology, Education, Social Policy and Criminology, so that we proudly proclaim ourselves as key advocates for, the worth and value of the Social Sciences.

Our research is organised through a series of Centres and Networks in our core disciplinary research areas across four interconnected themes:
- Disability
- Health and Well Being
- Research on life course
- Conflict and Change
The School also offers a Professional Doctorate in Childhood Studies (DChild), which incorporates both taught and research elements and aims to enable professionals working with children and/or young people to extend their professional experience and develop skills in research, evaluation and evidence-informed practice.

Research Impact
The School attracts significant funding each year. Recent funding successes include large research awards from prestigious research councils; AHRC, ESRC, NIHR and the MRC.

Research Success
We also secure funding at a local level with peer reviewed funding streams for example HSC Research and Development Office, DHSSPS and charitable bodies. School research is informing thinking and contributes to policy making at local, national and international levels. The School hosts the Pioneering Research Programme, the Centre for Evidence and Social Innovation.

PhD Opportunities
The School attracts research students from many parts of the world including several European countries, Ghana, India, Jordan, Russia, Uganda and the USA.

Any project and funding opportunities can be found on the link below

Current PGR Student Profiles
PhD Title:
Comparing Outcomes for Children in Statutory and Independent Foster Care in Northern Ireland
Years of study: 2014 - Present

PhD Title:
Police Response to Domestic Violence involving Children
Years of study 2013 - Present

PhD Title:
Autism Spectrum Disorder and Sexual Offending: Developing Good Practice in Assessments and Interventions with Young People
Years of Study: 2016 - Present

Enrolment and start dates

Entry year: 2019

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