How to apply

  1. Info for applicants
  2. Entrance requirements
  3. Frequently Asked Questions

Information for Applicants


PhD or MPhil:
Applicants are required to hold (or expect to be awarded) a Master’s degree in a relevant social science discipline, with the grade of Merit or Distinction, or overseas equivalent.

Your Master’s degree should include modules in econometrics or quantitative methods; we would expect applicants to have achieved high marks in these modules. We don’t require candidates to have had high-level training in all the methods they will go on to use; rather, we expect our students to undertake ongoing training throughout their studies.

Applicants for a 1 + 3 course of study are required to hold (or expect to be awarded) a Bachelor’s degree in a relevant social science discipline, with a high 2:1 or 1st class honours, or overseas equivalent.

Application Requirements:

  • A full CV/Resume
  • A short personal statement (max 500 words) outlining the reasons for your interest in your proposed area of research
  • A research proposal (1000-2500 words)
  • Official transcript(s), in English or a certified translation, of your academic results to date, showing a full breakdown of your marks or grades.
  • You may also submit samples of written work, publications, etc.

Further details can be found on the University’s website.

Application Process:

Before formally applying, you are strongly advised to identify and contact your potential advisor to discuss your potential research topic. For MiSoC and Understanding Society Studentships, you should contact the supervisor mentioned in the post description. If you are unsure who may be a potential advisor, please email us: your CV/Resume, your research proposal (1000-2500 words), and if possible tell us who you would like to be your supervisor. Please note that if there is no-one at ISER working in your area then you should not apply to us.

To apply for the ISER PhD programme: all formal applications are made through The University of Essex’s online application system. The portal will ask you to specify a department in which you want to study. Applicants to our PhD programme should select ISER (Institute for Social and Economic Research). Applicants to Masters programmes should not select ISER, but should select the partner department in which the Masters degree is hosted. If you are applying for a 1+3 (Masters + PhD), you will need to make two separate applications – one for the Masters course and one for the PhD.

When to Apply

For self-funded applicants you should apply at least six weeks before the start of the term in which you plan to commence your studies, to allow us to process your application. Most students apply long before this. We encourage students to start in October, though we do also accept students starting in January and April.

Note that although we accept applications at any time during the year, there are deadlines for scholarships. ISER offers several studentships as part of the SeNSS Doctoral Training Programme, the Soc-B Centre for Doctoral Training, Understanding Society and MiSoC. See a full list of the Studentships currently on offer.


Taught and research degrees


Supervision and teaching from leading academics


Fully-funded studentships through our Doctoral Training Centre

How to apply

A step by step guide