MPhil/PhD Social Sciences

The College of Social Science undertakes internationally recognised research, and welcomes students from across the globe to join our academic community.

The Course

Postgraduate research in the School of Social and Political Sciences is informed by the expertise of our team of academics, who have long-standing links to industry, government, research organisations and the voluntary sector.

Opportunities for research are available across a range of topics in social and political sciences. Current research projects include the politics of anti-social behaviour, quality physical education, transforming higher education, new social movements in the Middle East, support for people with HIV/AIDS, the 1984/5 miners’ strike, gender and violence, the Gambling Act 2005, and democracy and human rights in Africa.

You can benefit from a structured programme of training which aims to develop the research competencies and professional practice skills that can enhance both your postgraduate study and future career. There are opportunities for collaborative working across disciplines and you will be supported in applying for funding, attending conferences and publishing your work.

Examples of current research projects include:

  • Collaborative Governance
  • The Case of Mass Transportation in Lagos and London
  • Steiner Education
  • Machiavelli and New Labour
  • Public Houses in Rural Communities
  • The Politics of Anti-Social Behaviour
  • Rural Community Engagement
  • Preventive Diplomacy
  • Quality Physical Education
  • The Learning Motivation of Older People.
Research supervision is available across the range of the department's subjects, with examples of current students' interests being Sino-Soviet relations in the 1940's, the politics of direct action, war crimes, refugees and asylum seekers, Syrian politics, international relations in the Maghreb, the social exclusion of older people and the policing of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans-gendered people.

The School aims to provide considerable support to enable you to become an independent researcher. Students are required to follow a structured pattern of activity during which their progress can be monitored and encouraged. Throughout their studies students are allocated two supervisors and the emphasis is on providing whatever training students require. Students are asked to contribute to the department's research seminar series, are able to apply for funding to attend conferences and are encouraged to publish their work, including in the department's Social Research Paper series and in journals.

Due to the nature of postgraduate research programmes, the vast majority of your time will be spent in independent study and research. You will have meetings with your academic supervisors, however the regularity of these will vary depending on your own individual requirements, subject area, staff availability and the stage of your programme.

A PhD is usually awarded based on the quality of your thesis and your ability in an oral examination (viva voce) to present and successfully defend your chosen research topic to a group of academics. You are also expected to demonstrate how your research findings have contributed to knowledge or developed existing theory or understanding.
Enrolment Dates

To support your experience within the postgraduate research community, new students are encouraged to enrol in October, February or May.

In addition to meeting peers across the University who are starting their research programme at the same time, there is access to a central training programme designed around the first three months of study, and targeted support aligned to each stage of the postgraduate research journey. Alternative enrolment dates may be agreed with your supervisor on an individual basis.

2018/19 Entry*Full-timePart-time
Home/EU £4,260 £2,130
(including Alumni Scholarship** 25% reduction)
£3,195 £1,598
International £13,500 £6,750

(Including International Alumni / Global Postgraduate Scholarship £2,000 reduction)

£11,500 £5,750
Thesis Pending Home/EU (MPhil/PhD only) £682 £682
Thesis Pending International (MPhil/PhD only) £1,958 £1,958

* Academic year August - July
** UoL Alumni students only enrolling on to a Postgraduate Research programme. 25% Offset against the tuition fee payable for each year of study
*** All International students holding a UoL degree when enrolling on a PG programme. First year’s fees only.

Research students may be required to pay additional fees in addition to cover the cost of specialist resources, equipment and access to any specialist collections that may be required to support their research project. These will be informed by the research proposal submitted and will be calculated on an individual basis. Any additional fees will be outlined in your offer letter, prior to accepting your place at the University of Lincoln.

Guidance for Postgraduate Fees

Postgraduate Research

Full time and part time postgraduate research students will be invoiced the published set fee each academic year enrolled, up to the point of thesis submission.

Upon first enrolment, the full set fee is payable.

All continuing students are required to re-enrol on their anniversary of their first enrolment. The relevant set full time or part time fee is payable by all continuing students on re-enrolment.

A reduced ‘writing-up’ fee in the 12 month period prior to thesis submission may be applicable subject to your progress. After your Viva Voce examination, additional fees will be payable if a second Viva Voce examination is required.

For further information and for details about funding your study, scholarships and bursaries, please see our Postgraduate Fees & Funding pages [].

MPhil: First or upper second class honours degree or Master’s degree.

PhD: Master’s degree with a research component.

Learn from Experts

Throughout this degree, students may receive tuition from professors, senior lecturers, lecturers, researchers, practitioners, visiting experts or technicians, and they may be supported in their learning by other students.

Peter Somerville PhD Social and Political Sciences

Professor Peter Somerville

Programme Leader


Your Future Career

Career and Personal Development

This programme may help to develop the high-level research skills and knowledge required to establish careers in fields related to your research. Some graduates may pursue roles in research, government, the criminal justice system, local authorities and other public services, as well as academia.


At Lincoln, we constantly invest in our campus as we aim to provide the best learning environment for our students. Whatever the area of study, the University strives to ensure students have access to specialist equipment and resources, to develop the skills, which they may need in their future career.

Students can study and research in the University's Great Central Warehouse Library, which provides more than 250,000 printed books and approximately 400,000 electronic books and journals, as well as databases and specialist collections. The Library has a range of different spaces for shared and individual learning.

The University is situated next to the picturesque Brayford Pool marina, just a few minutes' walk away from the thriving city centre, which offers a wealth of shops, restaurants and accommodation.

The University intends to provide its courses as outlined in these pages, although the University may make changes in accordance with the Student Admissions Terms and Conditions.