Science, technology and innovation (2016 entry)

Subject overview

  • SPRU – Science Policy Research Unit is recognised internationally as being at the forefront of research in the field of science and technology policy and innovation management. In January 2015, SPRU – Science Policy Research Unit was ranked as the 8th most influential science and technology think-tank in the world (University of Pennsylvania: Global Go-To Think-Tanks Report (2014).
  • SPRU has a student community of more than 90 doctoral and 100 Masters students, supported by about 50 research and teaching faculty.
  • Students come to SPRU with a strong first degree in the sciences, humanities or in the social sciences. We provide systematic education and training for students interested in analysing and guiding policy, assessing the impact of policy, and managing scientific change and technological innovation within governments, businesses and nongovernmental organisations (NGOs).
  • SPRU’s multidisciplinary and international orientation provides a unique perspective on policy and management issues in the UK and across Europe, in North America and Japan, and also in the emerging economies of Latin America, Asia and Africa.
  • Our MSc and research courses have extensive links with business and policy organisations, and emphasis is given to strengthening your skills and competencies for careers in science, technology or innovation policy.
  • The magazine Research Fortnight noted in a 2011 editorial that SPRU ‘has been at the forefront of thinking and policy advice in science and technology studies, innovation research and technological change since its inception... [Its] alumni have gone on to set up policy research centres and think-tanks all over the world and many work in senior positions in governments.’

Programmes

  • PhD in Science and Technology Policy Studies
  • MPhil in Science and Technology Policy Studies

SPRU offers research courses (MPhil and PhD). The PhD may be achieved via two different routes:

  • doctoral research linked to prior study and research training in one of SPRU’s MSc degrees. This integrated course may be taken by UK and other EU students as an ESRCfunded 1+3 course. The expected duration of the combined course is about four years
  • as a stand-alone course of doctoral research undertaken by students whose prior research training in a relevant field has been equivalent to that provided by a SPRU MSc course. In this case the expected duration of the course is three years.

SPRU’s research focuses on the growth, sustainability and responsible governance of science, technologies and innovation systems. We emphasise interdisciplinary interactions that underpin our distinctive perspective.

Current research projects fall under three main headings:

  • Governance and sustainability
  • Innovation in firms and industries
  • National and international science and technology systems.

These projects focus, for example, on strategy, structure and dynamics of innovating firms, research and technological change in high-tech industries, science and technology in developing countries, policy and regulation in energy and the environment, rethinking sustainable development, preventing the misuse of biological and chemical techniques, and the politics and economics of the ‘information society’.

A major research theme concerns energy, climate change and sustainability, pursued via the Sussex Energy Group, and core membership of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research and the UK Energy Research Centre. SPRU also co-hosts (with IDS) the ESRC-funded STEPS (Social Technological and Environmental Pathways to Sustainability) Centre.

Recent research projects have included the following:

Benchmarking the environmental performance of manufacturing firms

Development of renewable energy technology in developing countries

Developing practical ways for dealing with new risks and uncertainties

Improved indicators of scientific, technical and environmental performance

Innovation in energy networks to manage decentralised power

Innovative management in collaborative software development networks

Managing complex knowledge bases, skills and organisations

Managing the development of integrated systems and services

New perspectives on biomedical systems, especially genetics/genomics

The management of innovation in firms, industries and countries

The role of scientific evidence and expertise in public policy-making

Practitioners with knowledge and competencies in these and similar fields are increasingly sought after internationally, and students engaged in research-degree study at SPRU can expect excellent career opportunities in a range of roles in the academic, business or public-sector arenas.

Research training 

Although the MPhil and PhD research courses are assessed by thesis, you are expected to take assessed research and statistical methods modules. You may also be asked to take other specific modules in the first two terms, to fill gaps in your knowledge.

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

Thesis research topics

SPRU attaches a high priority to integrating research students closely with its overall research activities. Thesis research topics may therefore cover a wide range of areas where this integration is possible. However, prospective applicants should consult the SPRU website to review in more detail the research interests of faculty and the current thesis topics of research students.

Entry requirements

MPhil in Science and Technology Policy Studies

UK entrance requirements

Normally a Masters degree in a field related to science and technology policy, or several years of equivalent professional experience.

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 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each section.

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

Additional entry information

Note that it is only possible to begin this degree in September.

PhD in Science and Technology Policy Studies

UK entrance requirements

Normally a Masters degree in a field related to science and technology policy, or several years of equivalent professional experience.

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 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each section.

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

Additional entry information

Note that it is only possible to begin this degree in September.

Duration of study:
* Full-time: minimum two years; maximum four years
* Part-time: minimum three years; maximum six years

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

MPhil in Science and Technology Policy Studies 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.

PhD in Science and Technology Policy Studies 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 SPRU – Science Policy Research Unit: People and contacts

Dr Allam Ahmed
Senior Lecturer
Allam@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Africa, Change Management Strategy, ICT in Education, Information and Knowledge Management, Innovation for sustainability, Innovation Management, International business, International Development, Knowledge generation - Co-Creation, Knowledge Management (Design), Marketing, Media and international development, Middle Eastern and African Studies, Science and technology policy, Strategic management, sudan, Sustainable development, Technology

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Dr Saurabh Arora
Senior Lecturer in Technology and Innovation for Development
S.Arora@sussex.ac.uk

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Dr Robert Byrne
Lecturer
R.P.Byrne@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: climate policy, Developing Countries, Development studies, energy policy, Innovation for sustainability, Low carbon development, Renewables, Socio-technical transitions, Strategic niche management

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Dr Rose Cairns
Research Fellow
R.Cairns@sussex.ac.uk

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Dr Tommaso Ciarli
Senior Research Fellow
T.Ciarli@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: complex adaptive systems, Conflict and violence, Development Economics, ecological economics, Economics of innovation, Entrepreneurship, Globalisation of production/agriculture, Scientometrics, Structural change and economic growth, Technological Change

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Dr Rachael Durrant
Research Assistant
R.Durrant@sussex.ac.uk

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Dr Adrian Ely
Senior Lecturer in SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit
A.V.Ely@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Agro-ecological agriculture, biotechnology, Chinese science & innovation policy, Food Security, Innovation for sustainability, Research and innovation governance

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Dr Rumy Hasan
Senior Lecturer
R.Hasan@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Critique of multiculturalism and multifaithism, East Asia, Eastern Europe, Political economy of Russia, The conflict in the Middle East and its impact on the West (including ‘dual identities’)

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Dr Sabine Hielscher
Research Fellow
S.Hielscher@sussex.ac.uk

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Dr Michael Hopkins
Senior Lecturer
M.M.Hopkins@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: biotechnology, diagnostics, Financing Innovation, Healthcare, Hidden Innovation, Innovation Systems, Intellectual Property, Managing Change, pharmaceuticals, Regulation of Technology, Science and technology policy, Science And Technology Studies, Scientometrics, Technology Strategy

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Dr Florian Kern
Senior Lecturer
F.Kern@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Climate change, Energy, Innovation policy issues, Political economy, Politics, Science and technology policy, Sustainability transitions

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Prof Fiona Marshall
Professor of Environment & Development
F.Marshall@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Ecosystem Services, Environment And Health, Food safety, Food Security, Innovation for sustainability, interdisciplinary research, International Development, Natural Resource Management, Peri-urban sustainability, Plant responses to environment, Science and technology policy, Urbanisation

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Prof Ben Martin
Professor of Science & Technology Policy Studies
B.Martin@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: benefits of publicly funded research, creativity and research, evolution of universities, innnovation studies, research assessment, research collaboration, research impact assessment, research integrity, science policy, technology foresight, University-industry links

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Prof Mariana Mazzucato

M.Mazzucato@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Economic Policy, Economics of innovation, Finance and innovation, Firm growth, Growth Policy, History of Economic Thought, Industrial organisation, Innovation Policy

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Dr Caitriona McLeish
Senior Research Fellow
C.A.McLeish@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: arms control, biological weapons, Biosecurity, CBRN terrorism, chemical weapons, disarmament, dual use, International Law, International security, international treaties and governance regimes, proliferation, WMD

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Prof Erik Millstone
Professor in Science & Technology Policy
E.P.Millstone@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Food Safety Policy, Obesity prevention policy, Science and Policy-Making, Science and technology policy, Sustainable agriculutral development

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Prof Paul Nightingale
Professor Of Strategy
P.Nightingale@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Biosecurity, Biotechnology - Synbio, Change Management Strategy, Data Mining, Economic And Social History, Financial regulation, Industrial Innovation, Innovation policy issues, Security studies, Strategy and entrepreneurship, War and the military-industrial complex

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Mr Parimal Patel
Research Fellow
P.R.Patel@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Innovation policy issues

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Dr Ismael Rafols
Associate Faculty
I.Rafols@sussex.ac.uk

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Dr Matias Ramirez
Senior Lecturer in Management
Matias.Ramirez@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Land Use

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Dr James Revill
Research Fellow
J.Revill@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: biological weapons, Biological weapons convention, Biosecurity, Bioterrorism, chemical terrorism, chemical weapons, disarmament, IEDs, Improvised Explosive Devices, International Organization, International security

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Dr Karoline Rogge
Lecturer In Energy Policy And Sustainability
K.Rogge@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: climate policy, consistency, credibility, decarbonization, eco-innovation, ecological economics, energy transition, Environmental economics, eu emission trading system, Innovation studies, policy mix, Renewables, sustainability, Sustainability transitions

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Dr Daniele Rotolo
Lecturer in Science Technology and Innovation Policy
D.Rotolo@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Academic productivity, Bibliometrics, Emerging technologies, Funding complementarity, Funding data, Network Analysis, Network dynamics, patent analysis, Science and technology policy, Scientometrics, social network analysis

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Dr Carlos Sato
Lecturer in Management
C.E.Y.Sato@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Major Projects Studies, Project Management, Technological Change, Technology and Innovation Management

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Prof Maria Savona
Professor of Innovation and Evolutionary Economics
M.Savona@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Applied Economics, Barriers to innovation, Economics of innovation, Regional and urban economic development, Structural change and economic growth, Structural dynamics, Theory and measurement of innovation in services

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Prof Johan Schot
Director of SPRU
J.W.Schot@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Hidden Innovation, History of Science/Medicine/Technology, Strategic management, Sustainability transitions

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Dr Josh Siepel
Senior Lecturer in Management
J.Siepel@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Design Innovation, Economics, Entrepreneurship, entrepreneurship policy, Financing Innovation, Firm growth, Innovation Creativity and Design, Innovation policy issues, skills and employment, Small Business Policy, SMEs; SME finance; SME public policy

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Prof Adrian Smith
Professor of Technology and Society
A.G.Smith@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Grassroots innovation, Innovation studies, Politics of technology, STS, Sustainable development, Technology and society

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Prof Steven Sorrell
Professor of Energy Policy
S.R.Sorrell@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Energy and climate policy, Energy Efficiency, rebound effects, resource depletion

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Prof Ed Steinmueller
Professor of Information & Communication Technology Policy
W.E.Steinmueller@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Economics

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Prof Andrew Stirling
Professor of Science & Technology Policy
A.C.Stirling@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: diversity analysis, ecological economics, energy policy, innovation democracy, multicriteria mapping, participatory appraisal, precaution, risk, Science And Technology Studies, science policy, Sustainability transitions, technology assessment, uncertainty

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Dr Puay Tang
Senior Lecturer
P.Tang@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: academic entrepreneurship, evaluation of publicly funded investments, research impact assessment, University-industry links

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Prof Joseph Tidd
Professor of Science & Technology Policy Research
J.Tidd@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Industrial Innovation, Innovation Management, New Product Development

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Prof Jim Watson
Professor of Energy Policy
W.J.Watson@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Energy and climate policy, Innovation Policy

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Prof James Wilsdon
Associate Faculty
J.Wilsdon@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: democracy, Environment, Europe and China relations, evidence & policy, Political economy of China, public policy, science & technology studies, science in society, science policy, sociology of expertise, Sustainable development, UK science & innovation policy

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Careers and perspectives

We have extensive links with business and policymaking organisations, and emphasis is given to strengthening your skills and competencies for employment.

Students engaged in research-degree study at SPRU can expect excellent career opportunities in a range of roles in the academic, business or public-sector arenas.

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

School of Business, Management and Economics, 
SPRU – Science Policy Research Unit, 
University of Sussex, Falmer, 
Brighton BN1 9SL, UK 
T +44 (0)1273 872717 
E pgbmec@sussex.ac.uk

Visit SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit

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