Social Intervention and Policy Evaluation Doctoral study

The Department welcomes DPhil candidates who are interested in a wide range of areas of social intervention and policy evaluation research

The Department of Social Policy and Intervention offers a DPhil in Social Intervention and Policy Evaluation and welcomes graduate students from across the world to apply for our unique Oxford PhD. Doctoral research students are an important part of our academic community, and they will be fully involved and immersed in the life of the Department. We are the top-ranked Social Policy department in the UK, and second globally.


The Department welcomes 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 vulnerable groups for example 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, as well as evaluation methodology: cross-cultural adaptation of interventions, research transparency and systematic reviewing.

The varied research portfolio of staff is organised within the Centre for Evidence-Based Intervention and its research groups.


Students starting the DPhil following a 1-year MSc 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. The DPhil programme in Social Intervention and Policy Evaluation 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 spread over 6-8 years. The degree is particularly well suited for students who are seeking the flexibility of part-time study. Part-time study also provides an excellent opportunity for professionals to undertake rigorous long-term research that may be relevant to their working life. For more information, please contact

dphil ebsipe course diagram

For more detailed information about the programme please have a look at the sections below: 


The Department's approach to graduate study emphasises the student’s ability to work independently to explore and develop their of research under an academic supervisor (or two co-supervisors). Each member of academic staff has expertise in particular areas of social policy and students are accepted for a DPhil only if there is an appropriate supervisor available. Every effort is made to match the research interests of supervisees and supervisors.


Research and methods training

As a doctoral student, you will be offered a graduate programme for doctoral researchers and  tailored to your individual needs as agreed with your supervisor. In addition to individual supervision, the Department offers a large and diverse range of seminars, workshops and advanced training opportunities in order further to enhance graduate research experience. Further training and exchange opportunities are provided by Colleges and the University. 

You can find out more about methodology here.



DPhil students are also members of a college which provides 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 Department has an association with a large number of colleges.


Scholarship opportunities

The Department, Colleges and University provide several scholarships for DPhil students. Please consult the information provided here.


Graduate destinations

Many graduates of the DPhil programme in Social Intervention and Policy Evaluation go on to pursue academic careers in world-leading research universities, while other alumni hold influential positions in government, non-governmental and international organisations such as the World Bank, the World Health Organisation, and the UN. Read about some of our alumni such as Matt Morton and Sean Grant. Other recent examples work for the World Bank, a graduate's own data-analysis NGO and becoming academics.



For details on how to apply see here.