Doctoral

Follow your path into doctoral study at DSPI by joining one of our world-renowned DPhil programmes in Social Policy and Social Intervention and Policy Evaluation.

Our DPhil is a degree examined solely by thesis, under the guidance of a supervisor appointed by our Graduate Studies Committee. You will study on your programme within a University college and enjoy the archetypal Oxford experience. Yet, at the same time, you will be a part of the DSPI and contribute to our unique intellectual environment. 

Our leading graduate programmes are tailored to your individual needs and you will be supervised and supported by internationally renowned academics. We offer a wide range of seminars, workshops and advanced training opportunities to further enhance your postgraduate research experience. 

You are encouraged to apply if you are an outstanding graduate in Demography, Development, Economics, Epidemiology, Political Science, Psychology, Public Health, Social Policy, Social Work and Sociology, or closely related fields.  

For our DPhil in Social Policy, we invite your proposals in: 

  • 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 

  • Politics of social policy in rich democracies 

For our DPhil in Social Intervention and Policy Evaluation, we invite your proposals in: 

  • Social problems, e.g. poverty, violence, mental health, substance misuse, educational disadvantage, delinquency, health and economic inequality 

  • Support for vulnerable groups, e.g. refugees, elderly people, troubled children, as well as those affected by HIV and AIDS 

  • Specific programmes and policies, e.g. parenting and family interventions, and violence prevention 

  • Evaluation methodology: cross-cultural adaptation of interventions, research transparency and systematic reviewing. 

You are encouraged to check there is appropriate supervisory expertise for your proposed topic by browsing our faculty profiles

You can study on a part-time basis. You will enjoy the same quality of teaching, but your programme will be spread over 6-8 years. Your part-time study not only offers great flexibility, it also provides an excellent opportunity for working students to carry out rigorous long-term research that may be relevant to your career.  

For more information, please contact admissions@spi.ox.ac.uk