Social work and social care (2016 entry)

Subject overview

  • Social work at Sussex is ranked 11th in the UK in Guardian University Guide 2017.
  • There is a developing portfolio of flexible study opportunities for professionals wishing to undertake continuing professional development, and for those interested in pursuing research qualifications. The MSc in Social Research Methods offers ESRC-recognised research training in social work research methods. Our thriving ESRC recognised PhD course provides excellent opportunities for disciplinary and interdisciplinary doctoral-level study.
  • Relationships with local social welfare agencies are excellent. Joint projects include development, training and research initiatives.
  • Our MA in Social Work have been validated by the Health and Care Professions Council as having met the social work professional quality criteria.

Programmes

  • PhD in Social Work and Social Care

The School of Education and Social Work provides a vibrant interdisciplinary research community. Our core research themes are pedagogy of professional education, policy and practice across the life-course, theory and practice in wellbeing, professional knowledge and methodologies, and the exploration of
extraordinary childhoods, digital childhoods and emotional lives.

Full-time or part-time research student registration is possible. Sussex particularly welcomes applications from those with an existing professional interest in social work who may wish to combine their studies with continuing work in relevant agencies.

For full-time research students we provide access to computing facilities supplementing those available through University IT Services. There are also research student workrooms, equipped with some PCs.

Research centres

Department of Social Work and Social Care:

  • The Centre for Innovation and Research in Adult Well-Being (CIRA): this is a newly developing research centre aiming to lead innovation and research to identify social innovation in developing and sustaining wellbeing. Its approach is interdisciplinary and will inform national and international agendas on lifestyle, prosperity and identity.
  • The Centre for Innovation and Research in Childhood and Youth (CIRCY): this is an interdisciplinary and cross-University centre bringing together research, scholarship and expertise in childhood and youth. Its membership includes researchers from the social and life sciences, arts, humanities and professional fields including social work, law, education and health. Together, we aim to create a space for dialogue, collaboration, creativity and capacity-building so as to develop new research and knowledge exchange.
  • The Centre for Social Work Innovation and Research (C-SWIR): a recently launched research centre to advance the international profile and impact of research on innovative interdisciplinary approaches to social work. It does this by re-articulating current trans-national, cross-disciplinary, and interprofessional social work as a distinctive mode of collaborative and participatory relationship based social action. Our aim is to promote social justice and rights, protection and development of vulnerable populations by enabling innovation in the advancement of theory, methodology and policy and practice
    impact at the intersection of the ‘social’, ‘psychological’ and cognate disciplinary perspectives.

Routes into doctoral study

The PhD (+3 and 1+3) benefits from research training within the MSc in Social Research Methods. This is provided by the ESRC-recognised University of Sussex Doctoral Training Centre.

Social Work and Social Care PhD research at Sussex has ESRC recognition.

PhD in Social Work and Social Care 
(+3) 2-4 years full time/3-6 years part time
(1+3) 2-5 years full time/5-8 years part time

This course provides you with the support and resources necessary to complete an original and substantial piece of research, usually but not invariably with a significant empirical component.

You are normally required to take modules offered within the MSc in Social Research Methods (+3 PhD), or to complete the MSc as the first year of the 1+3 PhD. The MSc modules are supplemented by social work-specific inputs, including individual tutorial support, open research seminars and student self-support groups.

Additional entry information

Research students come from a wide variety of contexts and backgrounds, including social work practice and management, social and health care policy and practice fields, criminal justice, youth and community services, and Higher Education. Those undertaking part-time doctoral research are often in current employment in professional practice.

Assessment and progression 

The research proposal developed in the first year of the PhD is reviewed by academic faculty before permission to undertake fieldwork is granted. Annual reviews of progress and training needs are conducted.

Recent PhD thesis titles 

Against the odds? A case study of developing community participation with vulnerable innercity children and young people

How do social workers construct emotional abuse cases?

Why and how do older people choose to live in international communities in England?

Entry requirements

PhD in Social Work and Social Care

UK entrance requirements

A Masters degree (normally with a dissertation at grade B+ or equivalent) in either Social Research Methods or in a relevant discipline which includes significant research methods training. A research proposal must be submitted on application

Overseas entrance requirements

If you are an international student and wish to find out if you have the necessary qualifications for this degree, please refer to Overseas qualifications.

English language requirements

IELTS 7.0, with not less than 6.5 in each section.

For more information, refer to What qualifications do I need?

Additional entry information

Research students come from a wide variety of contexts and backgrounds, including social work practice and management, social and health care policy and practice fields, criminal justice, youth and community services, and Higher Education. Those undertaking part-time doctoral research are often in current employment in professional practice

Visas and immigration

Find out more about Visas and immigration.

For more information about the admissions process at Sussex

For pre-application enquiries:

Student Recruitment Services
T +44 (0)1273 876787
E pg.enquiries@sussex.ac.uk

For post-application enquiries:

Postgraduate Admissions,
University of Sussex,
Sussex House, Falmer,
Brighton BN1 9RH, UK
T +44 (0)1273 877773
F +44 (0)1273 678545
E pg.applicants@sussex.ac.uk 

Fees and funding

Fees

PhD in Social Work and Social Care fees

Home UK/EU students: £4,1211
Channel Island and Isle of Man students: £4,1212
Overseas students: £14,8003

1 The fee shown is for the academic year 2016.
2 The fee shown is for the academic year 2016.
3 The fee shown is for the academic year 2016.

Find out more about fees

Visit Living costs

Scholarships

The sources of financial support listed below are for the subject area you are viewing and may not apply to all degrees listed within it. Please check the description of the individual source of financial support to make sure it is relevant to your chosen degree.

Visit Postgraduate research scholarships 2016

Visit Career development and part-time work

We are in the process of updating funding sources for postgraduate study in the academic year 2016/17. For general information, visit Postgraduate research scholarships 2016.

For more information on scholarships go to the Scholarships web pages.

Faculty interests

Visit Department of Social Work and Social Care: People and contacts

Dr Henglien Chen
Lecturer in Social Work
H.L.Chen@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: ageing care policy and practice: cross country comparison, ageing care service provisions, ageing care workforce, family carer for older people, gerontology social work

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Dr Kristine Hickle
Senior Lecturer in Social Work and Social Care
K.Hickle@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: childhood and youth, Groups, groupwork, human trafficking, sexual violence, Social work, Trauma

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Ms Sharon Lambley
Lecturer in Social Work
S.Lambley@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Social work

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Dr Michelle Lefevre
Senior Lecturer in Social Work & Care
M.Lefevre@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: child protection, child well-being, Communication, psychoanalysis, Social work

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Mr Barry Luckock
Senior Lecturer in Social Work & SocialPolicy
B.A.Luckock@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Social work

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Dr Reima Ana Maglajlic
Senior Lecturer In Social Work And Social Care
R.A.Maglajlic@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Mental Health, Participatory Design, participatory methods, radical social work, Social rights and social justice, social welfare reform, social work and political conflict, social work and social development

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Dr Tish Marrable
Senior Lecturer in Social Work and Social Care
L.F.Marrable@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Autism and Social Care, Bereavement, disability, Emotion in professional practice, Social work, Supervision

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Dr Lel Meleyal
Lecturer In Social Work And Social Care
L.F.Meleyal@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: adult protection, adult safeguarding, Behavioural economics, digital identities, e-ethics, Fitness to Practise, Gender And Sexuality Studies, Nudge, Professional identities, Professional regulation, Professional Suitability, re-validation, Regulation, Social care, Social work, Standards of conduct

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Dr Sevasti-Melissa Nolas
Senior Lecturer
S.Nolas@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: action research, childhood and youth, children's participation, children's social policy, children's welfare, public life, qualitative research methods, social action, Social work, youth inclusion, youth policy

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Dr David Orr
Senior Lecturer in Social Work
D.Orr@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: adult protection, adult safeguarding, Andean studies, anthropology of the Andes, cinema and dementia, Dementia, ethnography, Global Mental Health, medical anthropology, Mental Health

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Prof Gillian Ruch
Professor of Social Work
G.Ruch@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Social work

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Prof Elaine Sharland
Professor of Social Work Research
E.Sharland@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Knowledge generation - Co-Creation, Research design and methodology, Responsibilities to children, Social work, Youth

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Prof Rachel Thomson
Professor of Childhood & Youth Studies
R.Thomson@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Social behaviour, Sociology

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Dr Denise Turner
Lecturer In Social Work And Social Care
D.M.Turner@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Autoethnography, Change, Child Death, Creative practice, Death Education, Digital practices, Loss, Service User narratives, Social Media

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Prof Charles Watters
Professor of Wellbeing and Social Care
C.Watters@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Asylum seeking, Children and migration, medical anthropology, Mental Health and Well-Being, Refugees and asylum, Social work, well-being

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Dr Russell Whiting
Senior Lecturer in Social Work and Care
R.Whiting@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Alternative Spiritualities/New Religious Movements, Church History & History Of Theology, Modern British history, Social work

View profile

Careers and perspectives

Our graduates have gone on to work across the public and independent sectors as professional practitioners, managers, policy makers, consultants, or researchers.

To find out more, visit Careers and alumni

Research training

The University’s Doctoral School runs a wide range of training courses covering the needs of students throughout all phases of their studies.

Visit the Doctoral School website

Visit Stages of doctoral study

School and contacts

Contact us

Research and Enterprise Co-ordinator,
Essex House, University of Sussex, Falmer, 
Brighton BN1 9QQ, UK 
T +44 (0)1273 678464 
E eswpgradmin@sussex.ac.uk

Visit the Department of Social Work and Social Care

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Our online campus tour can also give you an excellent introduction to the University.

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Overseas visits

Meet with Sussex staff in your country at exhibitions, visits to schools and universities, and at a wide range of other events. Forthcoming visits are planned all over the world:

Bahrain • Brazil • Brunei • Canada • China • Colombia • France • Germany • Ghana • Greece • Hong Kong • India • Indonesia • Iraq • Italy • Japan • Kenya • Kuwait • Malaysia • Mexico • Nigeria • Norway • Pakistan • Qatar • Saudi Arabia • Singapore • South Korea • Spain • Sri Lanka • Taiwan • Thailand • Turkey • UAE • USA • Vietnam.

In-country representatives

In the International Office, we manage a network of overseas representatives who have been trained to support international students with their application to study at the University. Services representatives provide can include pre-departure information, support in submitting your housing application and advice regarding applying for a UK Student Visa.

Find out more about our overseas visits and in-country representatives

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