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About our programmes

With its diverse range of environments, experiences and social conditions, the city of Hull and its surrounds make it an area rich with opportunities for research in social work, youth work and community development.

Social work at the University of Hull has a long tradition of making a tangible difference to the lives of others, with recent research centring on issues surrounding safeguarding and suicide-prevention in the internet age, kinship care, child protection and missing children, among other themes.

Our hand-selected postgraduate students share our passion and drive to make a difference. We have established strong working relationships with local social services providers, users, and carers, and we have also created our own Family Assessment and Support Unit for practice teaching and learning which is staffed by highly qualified and experienced social workers.

The PhD in Social Work allows you to research and write a dissertation of 70,000 to 100,000 words on a topic chosen in conjunction with your supervisor.


Open for admission in 2018/19

Full time Part time
PhD 4 years 7 years

Start in January, June or September


Health, Well-being and Social Inclusion

This theme encompasses work which theorises notions of health, illness and well-being integrated with empirical studies and evaluations of health, social work and social care provision.

  • Sociology of chronic illness
  • HIV and AIDS
  • Obesity
  • Health and the family
  • Marginal masculinities

Staff: Professor Liz Walker


  • Adolescent development
  • Domestic violence
  • Young people and suicide

Staff: Dr Jo Bell


  • Disability Studies
  • Equality and diversity
  • Social Identities

Staff: Dr Ruth Butler


  • Kinship Care
  • Foster Care
  • Looked After Children
  • Child Sexual Exploitation

Staff: Dr Karin Cooper


  • Children and families
  • Professional education
  • Professional ethics
  • Religion and spirituality

Staff: Dr Caroline Humphrey


  • International population health (focus on sub-Saharan Africa)
  • Maternal/child health
  • Adolescent sexual and reproductive health
  • Quantitative research (including multilevel modelling) and mixed methods research

Staff: Professor Monica Magadi


  • Sexualities
  • Chronic illness
  • Music and well-being

Staff: Dr Liz Price


  • Youth work and youth studies
  • Professional practice learning in Higher Education
  • Health and wellbeing of young people
  • Student experience of teaching, learning and assessment

Staff: Julie Rippingdale


  • Youth offending
  • Youth justice
  • Problematic drug use

Staff: Dr Luke Cartwright


Other research in the school of social sciences is themed around;

  • Gender and sexuality
  • Globalisation, Power and Post-Colonialism
  • Culture, Religion and Society
  • Criminology and Criminal Justice

Fees and funding

  • Home/EU: £4,260 (full-time) 
  • Home/EU: £2,130 (part-time)
  • International: £14,000 (full-time)

Please note, fees for International applicants for 2018/19 have not yet been confirmed, and may increase.

These fees are for all research degree programmes on this page. For courses lasting more than one year, small annual increases may apply. For more information, please visit www.hull.ac.uk/money.

For information about bursaries and how to fund your studies see our money page, or take a look at our PhD scholarships page for specific funded PhD opportunities.

The University’s Postgraduate Training Scheme (PGTS) provides a range of modules (both generic and discipline-specific) to support research students through their programme.

Find out more

The library has an exclusive lounge for postgraduate research students and a dedicated Skills Team to provide a wide range of study and research skills help.

Find out more

The Graduate School provides support to postgraduate research students. Offering skills development opportunities and dedicated facilities, the school is here to help you achieve your potential.

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Research at Hull tackles big challenges and makes an impact on lives globally, every day. Our current research portfolio spans everything from health to habitats, food to flooding and supply chain to slavery.

Find out more

Entry requirements

A first or a 2:1 degree (in any subject) or, exceptionally, a relevant professional qualification, plus at least GCSE grade C in English and Mathematics (or equivalent such as Key Skills Level 2 in literacy and numeracy). Experience of working in a ‘helping capacity’ is also essential.

International students (language requirements)

For international students, those who do not have English as a first language, and applicants requiring a Tier 4 visa, an IELTS score 7.5 (minimum 6.5 in all elements) or equivalent, such as Pearson PTE or iBT TOEFL, is also required. Applicants will have both an interview and sit a written test designed to assess their written English before being offered a place.

International students

If you require a Tier 4 student visa to study or if your first language is not English you will be required to provide acceptable evidence of your English language proficiency level.

This course requires IELTS 6.0 overall, with no less than 5.5 in each skill. For other English language proficiency qualifications acceptable by this University, please click here.

If your English currently does not reach the University's required standard for this programme, you may be interested in one of our English language courses.

Visit your country page to find out more about our entry requirements.