Applied Social and Economic Research, Ph.D.

  • N/A
    Application Deadline
  • 36 months
  • Tuition
    Tuition (Year)
    Tuition (Year)
  • English (take IELTS)
University rank #251 ,
The Institute for Social and Economic Research enjoys an outstanding reputation at both a national and international level for cutting-edge and high profile research, which is reflected in our publications in top-ranked journals, in our contribution to our University’s outstanding Research Assessment Exercise ratings for economics and sociology, and in our consistently high level of support from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). 


Our research focuses primarily on the life course of the individual and the changing nature of society, so our work to date has examined the family, labour markets, income and poverty, social disadvantage and public policy. This means our research is used by academics and researchers around the world, by policy makers, by politicians and by journalists involved in ongoing debates about society.

Our facilities

Our Institute for Social and Economic Research is home to the ESRC Research Centre on Micro-Social Change, an interdisciplinary centre with a prestigious team of staff who have a wide range of expertise in social science disciplines, including economics, sociology, demography, geography, health research and statistics. 

We are also home to the UK Longitudinal Studies Centre (ULSC), funded by the ESRC, which aims to promote longitudinal research. Our experienced and talented team support users of longitudinal data through the provision of advice, information, training in longitudinal analysis and resources to make data easier to use. Methodological research is carried out to improve longitudinal survey methods and to ensure the production of high quality data for users. We run the British Household Panel Survey, which has interviewed the same sample members since 1991, and Understanding Society, the world’s largest longitudinal survey with 100,000 sample members from 40,000 households. 


Officially accredited and/or recognized by the Privy Council, University of Essex is a large (uniRank enrollment range: 10,000-14,999 students) coeducational higher education institution. University of Essex offers courses and programs leading to officially recognized higher education degrees such as bachelor degrees, master degrees, doctorate degrees in several areas of study.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity

    You can choose to do this programme part-time or full-time.

    • Duration 36 months
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

Programme Structure

For the PhD Applied Social and Economic Research, we offer supervision in quantitative research in sociology and other social sciences. This involves the use of secondary data to answer socially relevant research questions and we offer supervision in: social stratification, social class and other forms of disadvantage; social behaviour, beliefs and values; occupational choice and mobility; migration; social change; life cycle and biography; social group identity; sociology of education; and family and socialization. 

English Language Requirements

You need the following IELTS score:

  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

    Take IELTS test

    StudyPortals Tip: The UK government has confirmed new English-language testing requirements for visa and immigration purposes. Learn more

Academic Requirements

For research study within our Institute for Social and Economic Research, we normally require a good Masters degree, or equivalent, in a relevant discipline. A well developed research proposal is also essential.

If English is not your first language, then we will require you to have IELTS 6.5 or equivalent.

Tuition Fee Per Year

  • GBP 13350 International
  • GBP 4200 EU/EEA


For up-to-date information on funding opportunities at Essex, please visit:

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.