Social Intervention and Policy Evaluation Doctoral study

DSPI students doctoral

Our DPhil in Social Intervention and Policy Evaluation attracts graduate students from across the world. As a doctoral research student, you will be a key member of our academic community, fully involved and immersed in the life of our department, one of the top-ranked in its field. 

We welcome DPhil candidates who are interested in a wide range of areas of social intervention and policy evaluation research. 

Topics related to the world-leading expertise of our supervisors may focus on: 

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

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

  • Specific programmes and policies, such as parenting and family interventions and violence prevention.

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

If you are starting the DPhil following a 1-year MSc, you will usually finish after 3-4 years. The graphic below gives an impression of the usual DPhil trajectory. For more detailed information please consult our GRS Handbook.
dphil ebsipe course diagram 

The DPhil programme is also available on a part-time basis. The part-time version of the degree has the same high standards and requirements as the full-time degree, but is spread over 6-8 years. If you are seeking the flexibility of part-time study, this degree is particularly well suited to you. Part-time study also provides an excellent opportunity if you are a professional looking to undertake rigorous long-term research that may be relevant to your working life. For more information, please contact

Our approach to graduate study focuses on your ability to work independently to explore and develop your research under an academic supervisor (or two co-supervisors).  

Each member of academic staff has expertise in particular areas of social policy and you will only be accepted for a DPhil if there is an appropriate supervisor available. Every effort is made to match your research interests with those of our supervisors. 

As a doctoral student, you will be offered a graduate programme for doctoral researchers, tailored to your individual needs as agreed with your supervisor. In addition to individual supervision, we offer a wide range of seminars, workshops and advanced training opportunities to enhance your graduate research experience. Further training and exchange opportunities are provided by colleges and the University.


DPhil students are also members of a college, providing opportunities for exchange with other students and fellows across disciplines. Oxford colleges offer a unique academic community. Student college membership ranges across the University as the DSPI has an association with many colleges.

Many graduates of the DPhil programme in Social Intervention and Policy Evaluation go on to pursue academic careers in world-leading research universities. Other alumni hold influential positions in government, non-governmental and international organisations such as the World Bank, the World Health Organisation and the UN.  

The DSPI, colleges and the University provide several scholarships for DPhil students. You can find out more here

You can find full details about how to apply on the University Admissions pages.