PhD Opportunities

PhD opportunities in the School of Social Sciences

There are currently both funded and self-funded PhD opportunities in the following areas. For further information, contact the named staff below.

You can find further details on studying for a PhD and details of how to apply by clicking here. 


Funded PhD Opportunities

The School of Social Sciences is seeking to recruit a new cohort to undertake research in a number of key areas. The funding consists of a tax-free stipend paid monthly and has a current value of £15,009 per annum. The bursary is renewable annually for up to 36 months in total, subject to you making satisfactory progression within your PhD research.

Successful applicants for our funded PhD studentships will receive a tax-free research stipend that tracks UK Research Council rates (currently £15,009) and a fee waiver to the value of Home / EU student PhD fees (currently £4,327). 

The closing date for applications is 23.59 on Thursday 31 October 2019

You can find further details on studying for a PhD and details of how to apply here. To apply, please click on the ‘How to Apply’ tab and quote the Reference Number and Title on your Research Proposal.

How do students assess debt? A socio-cognitive investigation

Supervisory Team: Dr Silvio Aldrovandi, Dr Emma Bridger, Dr Pelham Carter

Reference number: 24

This project will involve a systematic investigation into the cognitive and social factors that underpin students’ perception and appraisal of indebtedness in an effort to examine how cognitive biases and abilities, social norms comparisons and socio-economic status can interact to determine students’ concern about, and decision-making related to debt.

The subsequent effects on debt-related outcomes, including participation in higher education and strategies to deal with debt will also be addressed. We expect the present project to be quantitative in nature and to utilise different methodologies such questionnaire- and laboratory-based studies, and intervention studies to assess the applicability of the principles observed through prior testing.

Download full proposal PDF

Contact information:

Name: Dr Silvio Aldrovandi

Email: Silvio.Aldrovandi@bcu.ac.uk

Tel: 0121 3316547


Self-Funded PhD Opportunities

The development of rationality: Decision-making strategies in childhood and adolescence

Reference Number: 25 Social Sciences

Supervisors: Silvio Aldrovandi, Olga Fotakopoulou and Alexandros Psychogios

Policy makers, parents, teachers, and other adults responsible for the welfare of children and adolescents take decisions that need to be informed of the quality of the decision-making competence of the young. An important question thus revolves around how decision-making skills develop through childhood and adolescence.

The project aims to test how decision-making strategies change across development. In doing so, an individual-differences approach will be adopted in order to explore how underlying cognitive and social processes may support such development. 

Download Full Proposal PDF

Contact information: Dr Silvio Aldrovandi

Email: Silvio.Aldrovandi@bcu.ac.uk

Tel: 0121 331 6547


1488: Modern Day Hate in the United Kingdom

Reference Number: 26

Supervisors: Dr Geraldine Lee-Treweek, Dr John Bahadur Lamb, Mr David McGee

Recently the United Kingdom Government announced that referrals to the PREVENT stream of the country’s counter terrorism strategy involving people who have adopted an extreme right wing ideology have risen by over a third. Such an increase highlights a gap in the study of violent extremism as despite the wealth of literature written on Al Qa’eada and ISIS the study of extreme right wing political violence has, apart from a few works, gone largely unstudied. Such a gap in the literature is perplexing when recent history is considered and this project is seeking candidates who can address this gap by exploring the nature of extreme right wing groups within the United Kingdom and the threat they may pose.

Social Sciences PhD - 1488: Modern Day Hate in the United Kingdom

Contact information: Dr John Bahadur Lamb

Email: john.lamb@bcu.ac.uk

Tel: 0121 331 5272