- Supervisory team
Sustainable Futures PhD
Most students complete this programme in 6 years part-time
Explore environmental change and the diverse responses needed to foster behaviours, practices and policies which promote sustainability.
In this interdisciplinary pathway, you will investigate sustainability topics using insights and perspectives from multiple disciplines, with a primary focus on social sciences (e.g., psychology, policy studies, political science, development studies, education, economics, social geography, sociology).
You may start this programme at any time. Most students start in September.
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.
- Writing up
- Give notice of intention to submit a thesis / portfolio
- Submission for examination
- Examination (Viva Voce)
- Examiners report
- Final submission of thesis / portfolio
Sustainability topics can be wide-ranging, with the content of your research determined with your PhD supervisory team. However, in line with the goals of this PhD programme, your thesis will have a primarily social science focus.
While you will have a lead (primary) supervisor, you should also have at least one additional supervisor working in a different discipline to help you develop your interdisciplinary insights.
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.
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.
- A good first 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 for this programme (at least one of these should be an academic reference from your most recent place of study).
Your tuition fees and how you pay them will depend on whether you are a Home, Island or Overseas student.
These fees are for the academic years stated only. Tuition fees are liable to increase annually for all University of Bath students.
Tuition fee for the academic year 2022/23
Tuition fee for the academic year 2022/23
You should budget for an increase of up to 5% each year for every further year of study; we will not increase your fees each year by more than this percentage and the amount will be set out on our fee page in December for the following academic year.
If you aren't paying your fees in British pounds, you should also budget for possible fluctuations in your own currency.
How to pay
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.
You can pay your tuition fees by Direct Debit, debit card, credit card or bank transfer.
Programme titleSustainable Futures PhD
Mode of studyPart-time
LocationUniversity of Bath
Claverton Down, Bath BA2 7AY
3 months prior to the intended start date (for International applicants) or 2 months prior to the intended start date (for Home applicants). For example, for an end of September start, the deadline is 30 June (International) and 31 July (Home)
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
See our guide for information on how to apply for ESRC SWDTP funding
If you are an international student applying for this course, find out more about the visa requirements for studying in the UK.