DPhil in Sociology

The DPhil in Sociology is a research-based degree which is intended for students who would like to undertake original and independent research in preparation for an academic career and other research-intense jobs, and can be taken either full-time in three years or part-time over six to eight years. The DPhil is examined by a thesis, prepared under guidance of one or two academic supervisors. 

For full details on the application process, please visit the central website which provides details about:


The DPhil programme offers training to prepare you for academic life and the job market. The Department's DPhil workshops and seminars will develop your skills, and in addition you will find a wide variety of relevant courses, lectures and seminars taking place all over Oxford that will enable you to become a well-rounded sociologist. In your second year (or your fourth for part-time students), you will present a substantive chapter or paper of your thesis to the department's faculty and DPhil students. Students are also encouraged to present their work at seminars and conferences both in and beyond Oxford.

As a research student, you will have the opportunity to be fully involved in the department's research environment, which is characterized by a rich tradition of methodologically rigorous empirical sociology. You will be exposed to cutting edge research undertaken by your supervisor, by scholars in the department and by the many visitors that Oxford welcomes each year.

Admission to the DPhil programme is highly selective. Students are offered a place on the DPhil programme only if they fulfil the Department's academic criteria and if appropriate supervision is available in the department. To be admitted you must be prepared to work a great deal on your own, and will need considerable personal motivation and self-discipline. You are required to have a excellent general knowledge of the field within which your research falls and of the methods appropriate to the study of this field.

Our students have gone on to academic/research positions at universities in the UK (e.g. Cambridge, Essex, LSE, Manchester, and Durham) and across the world (e.g. UCLA, Yale, Penn, EUI Florence, Berlin, Stockholm, Hong Kong) and to research-intense jobs in government and international organizations (e.g. OECD), NGOs, and the private sector (e.g. banks and marketing).

Subjects Studied

Students on the DPhil programme study many different topics, including, but not limited to, the following (listed with potential supervisors):