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Advanced Quantitative Methods in Social Sciences PhD

Most students complete this programme in 6 years part-time

Utilise expertise in quantitative methods from a range of disciplines to a higher level than is usually offered.

You'll benefit from insights from a number of disciplines and research groups including social and policy sciences, economics, psychology and health.

Department of Education

Programme structure

Most students complete this programme in 6 years. You cannot take less than 3 years to finish your research and the maximum time you are allowed is normally 6 years.

This programme is only available through the Southwest Doctoral Training Partnership. Applications open from October each year and close around January. More information is available to Study as a South West Doctoral Training Partnership (SWDTP) student at Bath.

If you are interested in a PhD on this topic but not through the DTP, then please apply for a PhD in any Humanities and Social Sciences Department.

You will start this programme in October.

Occasionally we make changes to our programmes in response to, for example, feedback from students, developments in research and the field of studies, and the requirements of accrediting bodies. You will be advised of any significant changes to the advertised programme, in accordance with our Terms and Conditions.

Your academic progress and general welfare will be monitored by your supervisor.

Academic milestones

  1. Registration
  2. Induction
  3. Candidature
  4. Confirmation
  5. Research
  6. Writing up
  7. Give notice of intention to submit a thesis / portfolio
  8. Submission for examination
  9. Examination (Viva Voce)
  10. Examiners report
  11. Final submission of thesis / portfolio
  12. Graduation

Programme content


  • Doctoral skills online
  • Doctoral skills workshop
  • Research project
  • Supervisory team

Research content

This pathway is for social scientists who wish to learn advanced quantitative methods and apply them appropriately to answer particular substantive questions from their discipline. It's also well-suited to statistically trained researchers whose interests are more methodological.

You'll be part of a group of social scientists interested in interdisciplinary research involving the application of quantitative methods from one discipline (for example economics) to problems in another (for example politics).

Projects may involve applying statistical methods used in other disciplines to social science problems, or developing novel statistical methods for analysing social-science data.

This programme includes a significant piece of research aimed at enabling you to contribute to the academic community through a large written thesis (typically up to 90,000 words).

For interdisciplinary pathways the Lead Supervisor will be from the applicant’s home institution and the second supervisor must be from a different discipline (a different sub-discipline is not sufficient; however, the second could still be from the same institution but a different discipline). The Lead and Second Supervisors must be employed at one of the SWDTP’s partner institutions – Bath, Bristol, Exeter, Plymouth or UWE Bristol.

Professional Development

Professional development is a crucial element of doctoral study, not only in supporting your research but also as part of your longer term career development. Our DoctoralSkills workshops and courses will help you build your skills and help you succeed in your doctorate.

Read more about professional development support


Assessment methods

  • Dissertation
  • End point assessment
  • Thesis
  • Viva Voce

Assessment description

If you wish to study for both the MRes and the PhD (the 1 + 3) you should apply for the PhD but indicate on the Application Form, that you also wish to study for the MRes.

Progression from the MRes to the PhD stage is dependent on achievement of a current average grade Masters (at the point of application) normally of at least Merit (60%) grade. Successful applicants must ultimately achieve both an overall average of at least 60% across the taught units/modules, and at least 60% for the dissertation component as a condition of their funding.

Most research students who ‘do a PhD’ register in the first instance as probationer for the programme of PhD. Confirmation of PhD registration is subject to your passing an assessment process, which normally involves submission of written work and an oral examination.

Candidates are expected to carry out supervised research at the leading edge of their chosen subject, which must then be written up as a substantial thesis.

The final stage of the PhD programme is the oral or viva voce examination, in which students are required to defend the thesis to a Board of Examiners.

Entry requirements

Academic requirements

  • At least a 2:1 degree in a social science subject (or)
  • An equivalent degree in another subject, together with substantial relevant work experience

Underlying these conditions is a belief that students must bring a minimum combination of theoretical knowledge and practical experience to the programme. Marginal cases are often dealt with at interview, and it is not uncommon for relatively inexperienced students to be asked to defer entry.

English Language requirements

You will normally need one of the following:

  • IELTS: 7.0 overall with no less than 6.5 in all components
  • The Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic): 69 with no less than 62 in any element
  • TOEFL IBT: 100 overall with a minimum 24 in all 4 components

You will need to get your English language qualification within 24 months prior to starting your course.

If you need to improve your English language skills before starting your studies, you may be able to take a pre-sessional course to reach the required level.


Two references are required. At least one of these should be an academic reference from the most recent place of study.

Fees and funding

Fees and funding information for Advanced Quantitative Methods in Social Sciences PhD


Your tuition fees and how you pay them will depend on whether you are a Home or Overseas student.

Learn how we decide fee status

Tuition fees are liable to increase annually for all University of Bath students. If you aren't paying your fees in British pounds, you should also budget for possible fluctuations in your own currency.

Find out more about student fees

How to pay

Funding options

This programme is only available through the Southwest Doctoral Training Partnership. Information on the funding is available at Study as a South West Doctoral Training Partnership (SWDTP) student at Bath.

This is an Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) recognised programme, suitable for ESRC-funded 1+3 awards or subsequent +3 applications (MRes and PhD).

ESRC-funded students are able to claim (during their studies) for three additional allowances:

  • Overseas Fieldwork Allowance
  • Difficult Language Training
  • Overseas Institutional Visits

For more information on these allowances please see the ESRC Postgraduate Funding Guide. Please note that if you anticipate such activities you should outline the details in your application.

Find funding for doctoral research

Payment options

You can pay your tuition fees by Direct Debit, debit card, credit card or bank transfer.

Application information

Applicant profile

Your proposal should address a problem or question with strong links to the themes of this interdisciplinary pathway.

Prior to applying, please contact and gain agreement to supervise you from an academic staff member (who will become your lead supervisor), as well as your additional supervisor(s), as their agreement to supervise is critical for acceptance into the PhD program. Your lead supervisor may be able to advise on the most suitable additional supervisor(s). Gaining feedback on your proposal from your potential supervisors prior to submission is strongly encouraged.

The proposal itself should include;

  • a brief review of relevant background literature (to contextualise the issue)
  • a core research question or theme
  • an outline of the possible methods that could be used to address this question.
  • how your research will draw on interdisciplinary perspectives

If you wish to study for both the MRes and the PhD (the 1 + 3) you should apply for the PhD but indicate on the Application Form, that you also wish to study for the MRes.

Progression from the MRes to the PhD stage is dependent on achieving an acceptable level of achievement (typically an overall average of 60% on at least the taught component of the MRes).

See our guide about how to apply for doctoral study.

Immigration requirements

If you are an international student, you can find out more about the visa requirements for studying in the UK.

For additional support please contact the Student Immigration Service for matters related to student visas and immigration.

Programme enquiries

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