Postgraduate Opportunities in IASR

Do you want to join leading world-leading experts to develop research, policy and practice to enhance social justice and to improve social work, systemic practice and social policy?

The Institute of Applied Social Research offers several routes to a research degree: Professional Doctorate, PhD, MPhil, MA and MSc by Research.

Professional Doctorates

Our programmes invite you to research key issues in national and international policy and practice and:

  • provide opportunities for developing and researching sophisticated systemic ways of working and for creating exceptional, relational achievements.
  • analyse the challenges for organisations across all sectors as providers re-structure, develop and implement new policy and practice, and as new commissioning arrangements reshape service delivery.
  • provide opportunities to pursue social justice in social policy and practice.
  • improve outcomes for children and adults using public and independent services.

Led by internationally recognised researchers in their field, these research degrees provide the opportunity to study the most up-to-date practice, policy and research and to develop your own research profile.

Whether you are a graduate practitioner delivering services, a recent graduate looking to enhance your career prospects in this field, or an experienced practitioner looking to return to higher education and gain a postgraduate qualification, you are sure to benefit from these programmes.

Please check the entry criteria for each of the programmes.

Please visit the programme pages before making a formal application. Informal enquiries should be directed to the programme leaders.


MRes, MPhil, PhD

The Institute also offers supervision opportunities for independent study for a research degree in a range of areas. We welcome applications which align with the research interests and expertise of Institute staff, from both home and international students whether they wish to develop their research in the UK or abroad. The team can offer supervisory support for proposals utilising quantitative, qualitative or mixed methods which address one of the areas of study listed here

  • Master of Arts by Research (MRes) - This is a programme which may be undertaken over one year (full-time) or two years (part-time). Indicative thesis length 20-30,000 words
  • Master of Philosophy (MPhil) – one year full-time and two years part-time. The final thesis should be in the region of 35,000 words
  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) via transfer from MPhil. Doctoral students are normally registered for MPhil initially and then transfer to a PhD pathway part way through their programme of study. Submission of the final thesis is expected within 3 years for a full-time student and 4 years for those registered for part-time study. The final thesis should be in the region of 75,000 words

Please note that beyond the entry requirements listed here, there are four criteria which will influence our ability to offer a place.

  • The quality of your proposal, including the standard of academic writing.
  • The extent to which your topic aligns with the research interests of Institute staff.
  • Whether your proposal appears both feasible and ethical.
  • Whether there is capacity, within any given research centre, to offer supervision at the time for which you are applying.

We recommend that you make initial enquiries before making a formal application. Informal enquiries should, in the first instance, be directed to: Dr Isabelle Brodie at isabelle.brodie@beds.ac.uk or +44 (0)1234 793403.

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