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Social Work & Social Policy MPhil/PhD

The University of Worcester welcomes applications to undertake research towards MPhil and PhD degrees in Social Work and Social Policy.

Research at Worcester has grown significantly in the last 10 years as the University itself has expanded. As a research student you will join a vibrant student community in our Research School and become part of our dynamic research environment.

You will have the opportunity to be supervised by leading researchers in your field and take advantage of our rich Researcher Development programme which will help you to develop the skills and knowledge you need to complete your research degree but also enhance the skills you will need in any future career.


Our MPhil/PhD research degree programme offers you:

Wide variety of research interests

The Institute of Health and Society has a strong mix of academics with a high degree of professional and personal experience, enabling you to get the most out of your programme. Our staff have expertise in social policy, social justice, race and identity, public health, safeguarding, social work, coproduction.

Excellent supervision

Benefit from a professional and challenging relationship with your supervisory team, drawn from experienced academics working at the forefront of their disciplines.


Access to the University of Worcester’s virtual resources and its state of the art library facilities. The Social Work and Social Policy team at Worcester have an excellent range of resources available to support your learning and your research project, including; extensive regional networks of social work partners able to support research activity. The University has a vibrant Service User and Carer Group, IMPACT, whose members are happy to be involved in research, advise on research or participate as subjects..

Projects being undertaken by current Social Work and Social Policy research students include: social worker influence and perceptions of power; the promotion of social worker resilience in education and practice and child sexual exploitation.

How to apply

How to apply

Please make your application via our online application form. If you have any questions, please contact the Research School on 01905 542182 or

Before you submit a full application, please contact Dr Yvonne Thomas ( to discuss your research project and the availability of appropriate supervision.



Dr Clare Garabedian
Expertise: dementia studies, ageing, end of life, creative arts, music, communication.

Professor Elizabeth Gilchrist
Expertise: domestic abuse/intimate partner violence and factors associated with IPV; risk assessment - particularly with intimate partner violence; innovative interventions for intimate partner violence - again particularly with perpetrators; victim/survivors perspectives on intimate partner violence; sports interventions and desistance; international perspectives on risk, interventions and offending.

Dr John Leah
Expertise: public health; health and sustainability.

Dr Gabriela Misca
Expertise: developmental psychology and family diversity across the life-span; military and veterans psychology.

Dr Sue Neilson
Expertise: palliative and end of life care; bereavement; communication skills.

Dr Jan Quallington
Expertise: values based practice; health and social policy; education.

Dr Wayne Richards
Expertise: participant action research with young people; heuristic research and reflexive methodologies; race and identity.

Dr Clive Sealey
Expertise: social policy; poverty; policy analysis; comparative policy analysis.

Dr Holly Taylor
Expertise: policing; domestic and sexual violence; social policy and social justice.

Dr Peter Unwin
Expertise: safeguarding and child sexual exploitation; fostering; privatisation/agency social work; service user/carer involvement.

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