Social Work and Youth Work research degrees

How to applySocial Work, Youth and Community Development

Our programmes

With its diverse range of environments, experiences and social conditions, the city of Hull and its surrounds make it an area rich with opportunities for research in social work, youth work and community development.

Social work at the University of Hull has a long tradition of making a tangible difference to the lives of others, with recent research centring on issues surrounding safeguarding and suicide-prevention in the internet age, kinship care, child protection and missing children, among other themes.

Our hand-selected postgraduate students share our passion and drive to make a difference. We have established strong working relationships with local social services providers, users, and carers, and we have also created our own Family Assessment and Support Unit for practice teaching and learning which is staffed by highly qualified and experienced social workers.

The PhD in Social Work allows you to research and write a dissertation of 70,000 to 100,000 words on a topic chosen in conjunction with your supervisor.


Health, Well-being and Social Inclusion

This theme encompasses work which theorises notions of health, illness and well-being integrated with empirical studies and evaluations of health, social work and social care provision.

  • Sociology of chronic illness
  • HIV and AIDS
  • Obesity
  • Health and the family
  • Marginal masculinities

Staff: Professor Liz Walker


  • Adolescent development
  • Domestic violence
  • Young people and suicide

Staff: Dr Jo Bell


  • Disability Studies
  • Equality and diversity
  • Social Identities

Staff: Dr Ruth Butler


  • Aspects of housing policy
  • Education
  • Community involvement in social policy

Staff: Charlie Cooper


  • Kinship Care
  • Foster Care
  • Looked After Children
  • Child Sexual Exploitation

Staff: Dr Karin Cooper


  • Health inequalities
  • Mediterranean ethnography
  • Refugee and migrant studies
  • Mental health
  • Social aspects of health

Staff: Dr Lisa Dikomitis


  • Children and families
  • Professional education
  • Professional ethics
  • Religion and spirituality

Staff: Dr Caroline Humphrey


  • International population health (focus on sub-Saharan Africa)
  • Maternal/child health
  • Adolescent sexual and reproductive health
  • Quantitative research (including multilevel modelling) and mixed methods research

Staff: Professor Monica Magadi


  • Sexualities
  • Chronic illness
  • Music and well-being

Staff: Dr Liz Price


  • Youth work and youth studies
  • Professional practice learning in Higher Education
  • Health and wellbeing of young people
  • Student experience of teaching, learning and assessment

Staff: Julie Rippingdale


  • Youth offending
  • Youth justice
  • Problematic drug use

Staff: Dr Luke Cartwright


Other research in the school of social sciences is themed around;

  • Gender and sexuality
  • Globalisation, Power and Post-Colonialism
  • Culture, Religion and Society
  • Criminology and Criminal Justice

Admissions status

Open for admission in 2018/19

Research options

PhD: 4 years (full-time) / 7 years (part-time)


Home/EU: £4,195 (full-time) / £2,098 (part-time)

Overseas: £12,800 (full-time)

These fees are for all Social Work and Youth Work research degrees research programmes on this page. For courses lasting more than one year, small annual increases may apply. For more information, please visit

The Postgraduate Training Scheme

It is now widely recognised by employers, professional bodies and research funding agencies that specialist expertise alone is not sufficient preparation either for research or a subsequent career. With this in mind, the University of Hull requires all its postgraduate research students to follow a research training programme relating both to their particular field of study and to generic skills; for example, information technology and communication skills.

Postgraduate Training Scheme

Next steps


For information about bursaries and how to fund your studies see our money page, or take a look at our PhD scholarships page for specific funded PhD opportunities.

Entry requirements

A first or a 2:1 degree (in any subject) or, exceptionally, a relevant professional qualification, plus at least GCSE grade C in English and Mathematics (or equivalent such as Key Skills Level 2 in literacy and numeracy). Experience of working in a ‘helping capacity’ is also essential.

International students (language requirements)

For international students, those who do not have English as a first language, and applicants requiring a Tier 4 visa, an IELTS score 7.5 (minimum 6.5 in all elements) or equivalent, such as Pearson PTE or iBT TOEFL, is also required. Applicants will have both an interview and sit a written test designed to assess their written English before being offered a place.

International students (language requirements)

If you require a Tier 4 student visa to study or if your first language is not English you will be required to provide acceptable evidence of your English language proficiency level.

This course requires IELTS 6.0 overall, with no less than 5.5 in each skill. For other English language proficiency qualifications acceptable by this University, please click here.

If your English currently does not reach the University?s required standard for this programme, you may be interested in one of our English language courses.


Social work at Hull is a vigorous and developing activity. There is a long tradition of social work education at the University of Hull.