The craft of the sociologist is to relate ‘personal troubles’ to ‘public issues’[i]. Sociology is a field of study interrogating how the everyday life of individuals is bound up with wider social contexts, identities and networks. In this way sociology lends itself to the examination of an array of different topics relevant to the contemporary world. These include, for example, social inequalities of class, gender, ethnicity, age, disability, and their intersections, the dynamics of institutions such as families, schools, workplaces and organisations, the shaping of intimate relationships by cultural contexts, mobility, migration and population change, consumption and sustainability, and issues of power, protest, crisis and resistance. Sociological research challenges conventional ways of thinking through critical investigation of the world around us. It brings a range of empirical evidence and sociological theory into dialogue to re-think commonly held assumptions about social and cultural life.

Sociologists are often motivated by a desire to improve the conditions of society, and to provide perspectives on how, practically, we might bring about changes to our world. In enabling you to explore, scrutinise and interpret contemporary social developments, a Sociology PhD within the NWSSDTP will foster and hone the vital skills needed for independent thinking, research and analysis in the era of the ‘fourth industrial revolution’. The Sociology pathway is an important space in which contemporary currents in inquiry are supported, with Postgraduate Studentships and Postdoctoral Fellowships meaningfully contributing to intellectual and more broadly public debates concerning important elements of social life.

[1] C. Wright Mills, The Sociological Imagination, 1959.

Programmes eligible for NWSSDTP funding

N.B. Master’s programmes can only be funded as part of a 1+3/2+2 Studentship

Lancaster University

University of Liverpool

University of Manchester

For information on how to apply for funding, please visit our How to Apply page.

Pathway Representatives

Contact details for Sociology Pathway Representatives at each institution can be found here

Current Sociology DTP students


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