Our Department provides students with the opportunity to pursue doctoral study in Social Policy and Social Intervention within Oxford's unique intellectual environment. As well as becoming a member of the Department, students also join a college, which is a central part of the 'Oxford experience'. 

The DPhil is a degree examined solely by thesis, prepared under the guidance of a supervisor appointed by the Department's Graduate Studies Committee. 

We invite applications from outstanding graduates in Demography, Economics, Political Science, Psychology, Social Policy, Social Work and Sociology, or closely related fields. We are interested in candidates with proposals in the areas of our research expertise and interest.

  • Social Policy is inviting DPhil proposals in the following areas: family and family policies; educational inequalities and educational policies; labour market policies; poverty, social inequalities and social mobility; social policy in developing countries; policies of social protection; pension reform; welfare state change in comparative perspective as well as politics of social policy in rich democracies.
  • Social Intervention is inviting DPhil proposals in the following areas: evaluation methodology in social intervention; alcohol and drug misuse; child mental health; antisocial behaviour in children and youth; parenting and family interventions; cross-cultural adaptation of interventions; maternal & infant mental health; violence prevention; child abuse

We encourage prospective students to check there is appropriate supervisory expertise for their proposed topic by browsing our faculty profiles.

We offer doctoral students a unique graduate programme tailored to their individual needs. Our doctoral students are supervised and supported by internationally renowned academics. In addition, we offer a large and diverse range of seminars, workshops and advanced training opportunities in order to further enhance postgraduate research experience. Most of our doctoral students find jobs in leading research universities, international organisations or government departments.

We offer:

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