This programme is currently under development and may be subject to change
The Centre for Social Work is part of the School of Law, which is highly regarded for its research and has an active and vibrant research culture. In the Centre for Social Work we undertake research on a range of subjects including: child protection, children looked after and adoption; poverty and inequality; race and mental health; discretion and decision-making; and arts-based research. In the wider School of Law research is conducted on subjects spanning law, criminology, sociology, social policy and forensic psychology. Our main research areas can be found here.
To read detailed research profiles of our social work staff, and find information about their publications and projects, please visit Pure.
Research facilities and environment
Our postgraduate research students enjoy a friendly and stimulating research environment and regular, personally-tailored supervisory sessions. Participating fully in the life of the School of Law, our doctoral students are valued members of a close-knit group of academics.
We provide regular monthly workshops where students take it in turns to present their work and receive feedback from other students and from the Director of Graduate Studies. Additional sessions may be offered on topics ranging from publishing to career choices on completion of a doctorate.
Our lively annual Postgraduate Research Day is always well-attended and gives postgraduate researchers the opportunity to showcase their work to staff and students in the School of Law. We understand the importance of fostering doctoral students' professional skills, and fully support them in presenting papers at academic conferences in the UK and abroad. We are committed to our students' success, providing mock vivas, annual reviews, and personal advice on issues such as managing time pressures and meeting deadlines. Students are also actively encouraged to join one of the School’s four thriving research groups. Many members of the School's postgraduate community are from outside the UK, providing an opportunity for the exchange of ideas within an international context.
Students register for an MPhil and then participate in an upgrade process before the 20th month of their studies if full time (40th month part time). This requires them to submit chapters of their work for consideration by a panel of staff members and then make a formal presentation in front of this panel. Having upgraded students are expected to submit their thesis by the end of their third year, or at the latest by the end of their fourth year if full time (part time by the end of their 8th year).
The Centre for Social Work in the School of Law welcomes applications from suitably qualified and highly-motivated candidates. The application process for our postgraduate research programmes is interactive. We place great emphasis on matching prospective students to supervisors’ interests, building on our existing research activities. Interested potential applicants should first refer to our website to obtain a good idea of the Centre’s expertise. The Centre is only able to consider applications in research areas of interest to its full-time academic staff. In the first instance, potential applicants should prepare a research proposal, outlining the project that they will undertake if accepted onto the PhD programme. This should be at least 4-5 pages long and should include a brief literature review, the key research questions stemming from this review, proposed methodology and a bibliography. Email this research proposal, along with a brief CV, to the Director of Graduate Studies, Professor Jonathan Gabe. If the proposal is met with interest by a potential supervisor, the Director of Graduate Studies will invite the candidate to discuss their proposal further via email with this person. If the potential supervisor recommends that the candidate should apply, the Director of Graduate Studies will request them to do so. UK-based applicants will be invited for an interview while overseas applicants will be interviewed over the internet. Potential applicants may contact the Director of Graduate Studies with proposals at any stage of the academic year. They can begin their studies at three points in the academic year – September, January and April.
English language requirements
All teaching at Royal Holloway is in English. You will therefore need to have good enough written and spoken English to cope with your studies right from the start.
The scores we require
- IELTS: 6.5 overall. Writing 7.0. No other subscore lower than 5.5.
- Pearson Test of English: 61 overall. Writing 69. No other subscore lower than 51.
- Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English (ISE): ISE III.
- Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) grade C.
- TOEFL ib: 88 overall, with Reading 18 Listening 17 Speaking 20 Writing 26.
For more information about country-specific entry requirements for your country please see here.
Your future career
Our PhD programme is very successful and our alumni have gone on to undertake careers in a variety of roles social care and health sectors. Our graduates have also gone on to have extremely successful careers in a variety of universities both inside and outside the UK.
Fees & funding
Home and EU students tuition fee per year*: £4,345
International students tuition fee per year**: £15,900
Other essential costs***: There are no individual costs greater than £50 per item.
How do I pay for it? Find out more about funding options.
* and ** These fees apply to students enrolled on a full-time basis. Students studying part-time are charged a pro-rata fee, usually equivalent to approximately half the full-time fee. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for further information on part-time fees. We adopt the minimum fee level recommended by the UK Research Councils for the Home/EU tuition fee. Each year, the fee level is adjusted in line with inflation (currently, the measure used is the Treasury GDP deflator). Fees displayed here are therefore subject to change and are usually confirmed in the spring of the year of entry. For more information on the Research Council Indicative Fee please see the RCUK website.
*** These estimated costs relate to undertaking this particular programme at Royal Holloway. Costs, such as accommodation, food, books and other learning materials and printing, have not been included.