PhD in Sociology, criminology and media

Research environment Members of academic staff have research interests and expertise in a number of substantive areas, in a range of theoretical approaches and in the full diversity of research methods, from mixed-method and qualitative research to statistical analysis of large and complex datasets and social simulation.

We engage in innovative methodological and theoretical work, employ a diversity of methods and perspectives, and make a major contribution to applied and policy-related sociology, criminology and media research. We provide research students with office space, PCs and online research tools and resources. You will normally become a member of a subject/research group and participate with academic staff in its activities.

Key research areas include:

Crime and security


    • Criminology and criminal justice (including policing, imprisonment and hate crime)
    • Developments in methodology
    • Identities, generation and everyday life
    • Media, culture and communication
    • Nationalism, ethnicity and multiculture
    • Science, environment and technology
    • Sexualities
    • Sociology of education

Research programmes:

    • PhD Sociology

Research degrees overview We welcome applications from prospective doctoral students in a wide range of subject areas.

Doctoral students are supported through a carefully designed programme of regular postgraduate day schools and monthly professional seminars, and may be directed to take relevant modules from the MSc Social Research Methods – or, if appropriate, from the MSc Criminology, Criminal Justice and Social Research – during their first year of study. They can attend in-house day courses in social research (about 20 per year) and the extensive range of courses run by the Computer Assisted Qualitative Data Analysis (CAQDAS) Networking Project.

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Entry Requirements Applicants usually hold at least an upper second-class honours degree in sociology or a related discipline. Students are initially registered for a PhD with probationary status and, subject to satisfactory progress, are subsequently confirmed as having PhD status. Non-fluent speakers of English are required to have IELTS 7.0 or above.


Studentship Opportunities Faculty studentships are available for top-quality students, covering tuition fees at the Home/EU rate and maintenance at current research-council rates for full-time or part-time study.

ESRC South East Doctoral Training Centre studentship opportunities

The South East DTC offers ESRC studentships to top-quality research students wishing to study sociology, politics, psychology or related multidisciplinary topics within the social sciences at the University of Surrey.

Further information
For full programme information, please visit the schools website:

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