Skip to main content

Apply for a research project in the humanities and social sciences

Join our collaborative and supportive research community, and start your journey to becoming an expert in your field.

Research project ideas

The Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences offers a variety of postgraduate research degrees. Below you will find a list of PhD project ideas that our academic staff have suggested.

If you find a project that interests you, please contact the associated lead academic directly. This person might also be the potential supervisor. Discussing with them the potential project idea before you apply is vital to maximising the strength of your application. We will not be able to consider applications for funding where a potential supervisor has not been named.

The project descriptions below are simply starting points for discussion and intended to help you find a good supervisory match. Any conversations you have with a potential supervisor may lead to developing a more concrete project. They will want to hear your ideas too.

Academic departments projects

Interdisciplinary projects

Several projects are interdisciplinary and may span across more than one department. These projects may be considered just within the University of Bath or within the ESRC South West Doctoral Training Partnership, with joint supervision from the Bath supervisor and a supervisor from another South West university.

  • Advanced Quantitative Methods in Social Sciences
  • Global Political Economy
  • Health and Wellbeing
  • Security, Conflict and Human Rights
  • Sustainable Futures

If you have an idea for a project that is not listed here please do still get in touch with a potential supervisor directly to discuss your idea further.


Find out more about the funding options available to you.

There are two main sources of funding available for Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences research project PhDs at Bath:

  • The South West Doctoral Training Partnership's ESRC studentships (ESRC SWDTP)
  • University of Bath studentships (URSA)

You do not have to worry about this though - all you need to do is indicate on your application if you need funding, and we will steer your application to the most appropriate funding competition for you.

ESRC SWDTP funding is available to both Home and International (EU and Overseas) students.

URSA funding is currently only available for Home students, although this is under review and could change. View more information about eligibility for research funding.

How to apply

Apply in four easy steps.

  1. Contact the lead academic for the project to discuss the opportunity. They will advise if they would welcome a formal online application from you and confirm if you can name them as a potential lead supervisor.

  2. Ensure you meet the entry requirements for a PhD in the relevant department or interdisciplinary stream.

  3. Complete the online application form for the relevant department or interdisciplinary stream. You must quote the title of the project and complete an initial research proposal in your application.

  4. Complete the Annex A Student Statement Form and submit this as part of your online application to study by the deadline. You can either cut and paste your research proposal into the form or adapt it to the specific criteria on the form. There is a strict 1,300-word limit, fully inclusive of everything except references. Proposals over this length will be rejected. Further guidance can be found in the form.

View further guidance on how to apply for doctoral study.

Start your research at the University of Bath

Apply for doctoral study The deadline for applications is 12:00 (noon) GMT on Tuesday 19 January 2021. If successful, you will be expected to commence your studies in October 2021.


For queries about a research project idea, please contact the relevant academic directly. For application enquiries only, please contact the Doctoral College Admissions team.