PhD Sociology

Boasting an international reputation and a thriving academic environment, the Department of Sociology supervises PhDs in a wide range of subjects across sociology, criminology, digital media, gender and communications and related areas. We are renowned for our applied approach, which is reflected in the way we work with a range of private, public and third-sector organisations.

Key course information

Entry requirements
See full entry requirements
Start date
October 2024
4 years
UK fees
Overseas fees
Subject area

Why choose this

  • The Department has an excellent reputation for its innovative and ground-breaking research. The Research Excellence Framework (REF) in the REF 2021, we were 9th for research that is world-leading and internationally excellent (4* and 3* research combined). Our research environment has been ranked 11th for Sociology.
  • Our standing in league tables reflects our strong postgraduate community, diverse research centres, research training activities, and funding successes. We are proud to be ranked 6th in the UK and top 50 in the world for sociology in the Global Ranking of Academic Subjects (Shanghai Ranking) 2023.
  • We're home to the following research centres:
  • A number of academic journals are based in or edited from the Department.
  • As a postgraduate researcher in the Department of Sociology at the University of Surrey, you will join a diverse community of full and part-time PhD students from the UK, the EU and around the world. Our PhD students play an important part in the life and culture of our vibrant and friendly department.
  • We have a global reputation for our expertise in a wide range of research methods, from qualitative and ethnographic work to statistical analysis of large and complex data sets, and online research and social simulation. As a postgraduate researcher you will be offered the opportunity to undertake in-depth methodology training via a range of taught courses.
  • As a department we are renowned for our applied approach, something reflected in the way we work in partnership with a range of private, public and third-sector organisations. These include the Ministry of Justice, the Home Office, the Environment Agency, the Department of Energy and Climate Change, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and the Police Dependants’ Trust.
Find out more information

About the University of Surrey

Need more information?

Contact our Admissions team or talk to a current University of Surrey student online.

Code of practice for research degrees

Surrey’s postgraduate research code of practice sets out the University's policy and procedural framework relating to research degrees. The code defines a set of standard procedures and specific responsibilities covering the academic supervision, administration and assessment of research degrees for all faculties within the University.

Download the code of practice for research degrees (PDF).

Terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Surrey, you are agreeing to follow our policies and procedures, student regulations, and terms and conditions.

We provide these terms and conditions in two stages:

  • First when we make an offer.
  • Second when students accept their offer and register to study with us (registration terms and conditions will vary depending on your course and academic year).

View our generic registration terms and conditions (PDF) for the 2023/24 academic year, as a guide on what to expect.


This online prospectus has been published in advance of the academic year to which it applies.

Whilst we have done everything possible to ensure this information is accurate, some changes may happen between publishing and the start of the course.

It is important to check this website for any updates before you apply for a course with us. Read our full disclaimer.