The Doctor of Social Sciences program is Canada’s first applied research doctorate designed exclusively for working professionals. It responds to the growing demand nationally and internationally for scholar-practitioners who can provide intellectual leadership in the workplace and help build sustainable organizations, communities, and societies in an age of global interdependence.
An alternative to traditional doctoral programs, the Doctor of Social Sciences focuses on the interdisciplinary applications of the social sciences to complex, real-world problems of direct concern to organizations, communities, and society in general.
The program of study builds candidates’ knowledge of a range of applied social research methodologies and their understanding of their relevance to specific practical social purposes.
The Doctor of Social Sciences program is based on the academic and professional expertise of the Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences (FSAS). Doctoral programs of study should normally be consistent with the research areas of emphasis in one or several of the FSAS schools: the School of Communication and Culture, the School of Environment and Sustainability, the School of Leadership Studies, the School of Education and Technology, and the School of Humanitarian Studies.
The residencies for the February 9, 2015 intake for the Doctor of Social Sciences will be held on the Royal Roads University campus in Victoria, BC. The residencies for the July 13th, 2015 intake will be held on-site in Calgary, AB.
SOSC700: Global Interdependence and Community
Explores key 21st century global challenges and trends and the interdependence between the global and the local worlds. Examines the fundamental shift from the pragmatic character of the industrial age to the post-industrial perspective which incorporates understanding the world from a blend of disciplinary views. Focused on themes that include human rights, environmental rights, and social justice, the course provides insights into how knowledge and leadership are intertwined in a paradigm of sustainability.
SOSC710: Social Science Theory and the Globalized World
Provides a critical overview of the history and development of applied social sciences within the broader context of contemporary social science. Examines theories of knowledge underlying the integration of theory and practice, the development of transdisciplinary and interdisciplinary inquiry, and the synthesis of theories of society and ecology. The overarching focus is on the developments in social theory that have responded to the complexity of the globalized world.
SOSC717: Directed Study
Permits an extensive exploration of current knowledge and practice in the student’s selected area of study and research. Co-designed by the student and the primary dissertation supervisor to advance knowledge of specific applied social inquiry area. The topic areas of study include substantive research issues and/or methods development. Pre-requisites: SOSC 700, SOSC 710, SOSC 720.
SOSC720: The Epistemology of Applied Social Sciences
Considers a range of approaches to the applied social inquiry traditions highlighting their epistemological assumptions and their appropriate applications. Conveys the importance of making informed research choices concerning the role of researcher and participants in inquiry methodologies. Fosters informed choices in designing applied research projects and in the articulation of the relationship between methodology, method and practical inquiry purposes, especially in a context of interdisciplinarity and transdisciplinarity. Pre-requisites: SOSC 700, SOSC 710.
SOSC730: Applied Qualitative Social Scientific Methods
Engages the student with a range of current qualitative data collection, display and analysis methods, and overviews basic quantitative methods for use in mixed mode studies. Highlights the strengths, limitations and conditions of quality for specific data collection and analysis methods in the context of particular research methodologies. Includes an exploration of software innovations that support digital data storage, display and analyses. Lastly, explores the principles of ethical research practice and guides students to incorporate ethics concerns into their research. Pre-requisites: SOSC 720.
SOSC740: Applied Quantitative Social Scientific Methods
Engages the student with a range of current quantitative data collection, display and analysis methods. Covers survey research, including sampling, measurement, questionnaire construction, coding, validity and reliability assessment, data reduction, and analysis. Includes discussions of fundamentals of statistical inference and covers both inferential and non-inferential multivariate methods.
Culminating project of the doctoral program. Successful completion of the comprehensive exams is required before work on the dissertation may begin. The results of the research must make a distinct interdisciplinary contribution to applied scholarship in the social sciences. The dissertation should demonstrate a high degree of original work and understanding and knowledge of the topic area. Evidence of originality may be demonstrated by a combination of the following: the development of a new critical analysis of a practical issue or challenge; the development of a new theory from practice; the novel application of existing theory to a practical challenge; or the discovery of a new professional approach to practice. The dissertation should be written to a standard for professional and academic communication. It should be evident that the dissertation can be the basis for a published book, a monograph or a series of articles, and a significant application in the field. Pre-requisites: SOSC 700, SOSC 710, SOSC717, SOSC 720, SOSC 730, SOSC 740, successful completion of comprehensive exams.
Career professionals with a master’s degree in one of the social sciences or related disciplines who have a minimum of 10 years work experience in positions of decision-making authority and, those who seek to advance their applied research skills and provide analytical leadership to solve complex real-world problems.
The program design is tailored to career professionals and speaks to recent Canadian research that shows two out of three PhD graduates will work in non-university settings, rather than as university professors.
This degree will be of particular interest to policy analysts, senior administrators, or executives from the public, private, or non-profit sector who work in areas such as natural resource management, health care, global security, professional communication, disaster relief, humanitarian aid, conflict management, values-based leadership, environmental sustainability, or learning and technology.
Before starting a programme, you need to have a basic knowledge of the English language. Find English courses on Language Learning Portal.
For applicants whose first language is not English, competency can be demonstrated in one of the following ways:
No Flexible Admission process for this program. All applicants must have a recognized master's degree.
Tuition costs are for the entire program :
There are a variety of awards, scholarships, and bursaries available to help offset your tuition fees.
Apply to a competition that falls before your first day of class
Apply to a competition that falls after your program begins
Recipients are selected by way of academic performance, application, or peer nomination
Student Research Awards
Major grants to support research training for master’s and doctoral students
External Award Postings
Other award notices received by RRU are posted on MyRRU.
The following external resources offer additional funding opportunities through loans, scholarships, or grants.
Government Student Loans
Information about program eligibility and application procedures
Student Line of Credit
A popular and flexible alternative to government student loans
Lifelong Learning Plan
This plan allows you to borrow from your RRSP's tax-free
This program assists students with short-term emergency needs due to unforeseen expenses
Funding resources and the President's Aboriginal Support Bursary
Links to helpful sites for international students studying in Canada and for Canadians wishing to study abroad
Canadian Forces and DND
Financial assistance is available to employees of the Canadian Forces and their family
StudyPortals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.
The award recognises studying abroad as a positively life changing experience for many students as well as promoting intercultural understanding and tolerance. Successful candidates will receive up to £10,000 to be applied toward the cost of tuition fees.
Testimonial Registration Module
Together with the ISIC Association and British Council IELTS, StudyPortals offers you the chance to receive up to £10000 to expand your horizon and study abroad. We want to ultimately encourage you to study abroad in order to experience and explore new countries, cultures and languages.