The School of Geography, Politics and Sociology

Postgraduate Research

Postgraduate Research

Postgraduate Research

We welcome applications or enquiries from prospective research students in any of our areas of research expertise.

We are proud of our interdisciplinary research tradition covering sociology, social policy and social anthropology. This is represented by established strengths in family studies, health studies, and political economy, and newer strengths in sexuality, citizenship, and youth and student lives. The same emphasis on interdisciplinary social science is found in the Policy, Ethics and Life Sciences Research Centre, where some of our PhD students are based.

Over recent years the number of PhD students registered with us has grown substantially. We aim to maintain our sizeable postgraduate body and provide high-quality postgraduate education. Our PhD students all receive a free laptop for use during their studies, and we provide research training and supervision for all research students.

We are recognised by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) as an outlet to receive full-time doctoral students.

Three research groupings act as the intellectual focus for the development and exchange of ideas. All postgraduate students join one or more of these research groupings:

Sociology plays a major role in the cross-faculty Gender Research Group. Cross-school research synergies are also being promoted through research institutes including Newcastle Institute for the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (NIASSH) and the Newcastle Institute for Sustainability.

We have numerous international links in our research activities and a number of our postgraduates are engaged in research abroad, currently including Taiwan, Korea, Germany and India.

Current research projects

Current research postgraduates are conducting research into issues such as:

  • sexuality and gender
  • youth transitions
  • domestic violence
  • childcare, inter-country adoption and lone parenthood
  • consumption
  • social assistance
  • health care for older people
  • environmentalism 

See a list of our current research students and their projects.

Further information

To discuss your ideas and plans contact the relevant member of academic staff or the Director of Sociology PhD Programmes: Professor Bridgette Wessels

Details of how to apply and funding opportunities can be found on the Postgraduate website.

For any general information about postgraduate research please contact the Postgraduate Research Secretary at

PhD Topics

Our academic staff have identified potential research projects they would be happy to supervise and are confident would make for feasible and interesting PhDs.

If you're interested in doing a PhD in any of these areas or are keen to put forward a funding application for a DTC scholarship, you are encouraged to contact the staff member in question. If you have any additional questions, please contact the Sociology Postgraduate Research director, Bridgette Wessels.