Sociology, Philosophy and Anthropology
|Degree types||Types of research degrees explained|
|Duration||Degree duration details|
|Study modes||Full time and part time Study mode details|
|Start date||September or January|
In the Department of Sociology, Philosophy, and Anthropology (SPA) we offer of a variety of research degrees, from MA by Research, to MPhil, to PhD. Please see here for an explanation of different types of degree available.
In our Department you have the opportunity to undertake advanced postgraduate research in a friendly, interdisciplinary, collaborative, and highly productive community. We have a range of interests that cut across themes in sociology (including criminology), philosophy, anthropology and anthrozoology. We support postgraduate students working across a diverse range of topics in these disciplines and at their boundaries. Our department includes Egenis, the Centre for the Study of Life Sciences, an internationally recognised research centre for philosophical and social studies of the life sciences.
- Science and Technology Studies (STS)
- Sociology of Health and Illness
- Social Theory
- Social Inequalities in Education
- Cultural Sociology
- Political Sociology
- Advanced Quantitative Methods
- History and Philosophy of Science
- Philosophy of Mind and Cognitive Science
- Philosophy of Psychiatry
- Social Philosophy
- Philosophical Anthropology
- Critical Theory
- Feminist Philosophy
- Anthropology of Food
- Anthropology of Health and Illness
- Anthropology of Art and Visual Anthropology
- Kinship, Marriage and Gender
- Sound studies
- Wellbeing and the Good Life
- Ritual and Religion
- Cities and Society
- Emotion and Affect
- Regional expertise: Europe, Middle East, Japan, Korea, Africa
- Human-Animal Interaction
- Animal Welfare
- Animals as Pets
- Working Animals
- Animal Ethics
- Animal Training
- Trans-species communication
- Animals in Religious Belief
- Veterinary Care
My research project is an ethnographic study of young people’s engagement with narcocorridos music in Mexico. The university considered this to be an important project and I was awarded the Global Excellence Studentship for Postgraduate Research in 2019.
My supervisors are highly qualified and very experienced. Every supervision session has been very helpful and encouraging. The workshops, seminars and conferences that take place all year round have been a source of inspiration and a great forum for presenting my work and getting valuable feedback.
Doing a PhD has been one of the most challenging decisions in my life. However, living in the UK and being surrounded by enthusiastic scholars from a range of disciplines has been an inspiring experience.
Sergio, PhD Sociology.
As a postgraduate student in Sociology, Philosophy and Anthropology, you will be able to pursue your work within a friendly and informal atmosphere. We pride ourselves on providing an environment for students that will expose you to a wide range of intellectual influences and exciting ideas. PhD students are also part of the wider College of Social Sciences and International Studies Graduate Research School and have opportunity to meet with students and staff from other disciplines. The Graduate Research School team also provides a friendly point of contact for any queries you might have about the application process, orientation or life within the School.
Postgraduates in the department actively contribute to its research culture by:
- participating in research-related seminars, including departmental seminars, Egenis seminars, Science and Technology Studies briefings, technical briefings on developments in contemporary biology and the annual College of Social Sciences and International Studies' postgraduate conference.
- organising workshops and symposiums
- producing their own on-line Music and Arts in Action journal
- running intermittent student-only reading groups on the philosophy of science
- taking part in the History and Philosophy of Biology Journal Club
- participating in the Sociology of the Arts Group
You should have a good first degree either in Philosophy or another subject that could prepare you for a research project within the Department.
Requirements for international students
If you are an international student, please visit our international equivalency pages to enable you to see if your existing academic qualifications meet our entry requirements.
English language requirements
Overall score 7.0 with a minimum score of 6.5 in the writing component and all other sections no less than 6.0.
Overall score 100 with minimum scores of 25 for writing, 21 for listening, 22 for reading and 23 for speaking.
Pearson Test of English (Academic)
65 with no less than 58 in all communicative skills.
Other accepted tests
Information about other acceptable tests of linguistic ability can be found on our English language requirements page.
Applicants with lower English language test scores may be able to take pre-sessional English at INTO University of Exeter prior to commencing their programme. See our English language requirements page for more information.
Finance: fees and funding
Tuition fees per year 2021/22
- UK/EU: £4,500 full-time; £pro-rata part-time
- International: £18,100 full-time
Following your registration, tuition fees for subsequent years of study may increase to take into account inflationary pressures – this will not exceed 5 per cent per year of study.
Tuition fees per year 2020/21
- UK/EU: £4,407 full-time; £pro-rata part-time
- International: £17,500 full-time
Following your registration, tuition fees for subsequent years of study may increase to take into account inflationary pressures – this will not exceed 3 per cent per year of study.
Our Postgraduate Research Funding webpage provides links to further information. If you are considering a PhD in the future, in addition to University of Exeter funding, we have been successful at securing postgraduate funding for PhD research through our Funded centres.
Find out about current funding opportunities for our research programmes.
Current available funding
The Doctoral College PGR Support Team helps to support both intellectual and social contact between graduates of different disciplines and from different backgrounds and countries. Our team supports both prospective and current postgraduate research students.
We welcome enquiries about the degree, for further information contact:
Postgraduate Research admissions
Phone: 0300 555 60 60 (UK callers)*
+44(0)1392 723044 (EU/International callers)
Web: Enquire online
We would encourage all potential applicants to look at the academic staff profiles and consider who may be a suitable supervisor within the department. It is best to contact them by email to discuss possible directions for a research proposal and see if they are able to supervise your chosen topic ahead of submitting an application.
* Calling us on an 0300 number will cost you the same as a call to a standard landline number starting with 01 and 02. If you have an inclusive call package for calling landline numbers on your mobile or landline telephone the call would simply be reduced from your available talk minutes. Otherwise your call will be charged at the same rate as calling a standard national rate number.
As a postgraduate student in the Department of Sociology, Philosophy and Anthropology, (SPA) you will be able to pursue your work within a friendly and informal atmosphere.
We pride ourselves on providing an environment for students that will expose you to a wide range of intellectual influences and exciting ideas.
PhD students are also part of the wider College of Social Sciences and International Studies research community and have opportunity to meet with students and staff from other disciplines.
Our research culture is characterised by our commitment to foster thinking and analysis that crosses over traditional academic boundaries (such as between philosophy-sociology-anthropology as well as social sciences-life sciences). The research culture for postgraduate students reflects this spirit.
Postgraduates in the department actively contribute to its research culture by:
- participating in research-related seminars, including departmental seminars, and Egenis seminars
- participating in topic-specific reading groups, led by faculty members and/or PhD students. Examples of ongoing reading groups include: cognition and culture; sociology of diagnosis; science and technology studies; feminist phenomenology (and others)
- organising and presenting at the Department’s annual Postgraduate Conference (see here for the one held in 2019)
- contributing to the organisation of workshops and symposia
- contributing to any other research event, such as attending visiting students’ and staff’s talk, discussions on work-in-progress work, evening film & discussion series, etc.
You are very welcome to visit the department and talk to potential research supervisors and meet one of our current students. If you would like to do this please contact the Graduate Research Team with a selection of possible dates, your research interests, and any members of staff you would particularly like to meet.
Our small and friendly Postgraduate Open Days offer fantastic opportunities to speak to our staff and current postgraduate students one-to-one so that you can find out more about our individual programmes, about scholarships and funding, and experience our campuses and facilities first-hand. Find out more.
Tridibesh, anthropology research student, talks about his research and the opportunities he has enjoyed so far such as assisting in departmental teaching in Anthropology and playing an active role in the research community. View full size.
Aimee, sociology research student, talks about her research into second-trimester pregnancy loss and her experiences so far as a research student who has returned to academia after spending time in the workplace following the completion of her undergraduate studies. View full size.
Ric, philosophy research student, talks about his research and his experiences of being a mature student who commutes from Sweden for his studies. View full size.