Who we are

The White Rose Social Sciences Doctoral Training Partnership (WRDTP), accredited by the Economic and Social Research Council in 2016, is a collaboration across the social sciences at the Universities of Leeds, Sheffield, York, Bradford, Sheffield Hallam, Hull, and Manchester Metropolitan.

The WRDTP delivers excellent supervision, first class discipline and cutting-edge interdisciplinary research and transferable skills training, and a world-class intellectual environment for postgraduate research students. It supports PhD students to participate in local, national and international networks of leading academics, non-academic partners, opinion formers, and policy makers.

We produce doctoral graduates with outstanding skills and flexibility, with the imagination to tackle the thorniest challenges confronting the social sciences today.

Director, Professor Ruth Blakeley welcomes students to the White Rose Doctoral Training Partnership

The WRDTP Training Programme

The seven partner WRDTP Universities all offer 3 and 4 year programmes of full-time study leading to the award of a PhD (part-time versions of both are also available).  Students are based within the Department of their primary supervisor, and in addition to one-to-one support with their supervisory team, are able to access a range of training provided by their Departments, Schools, Faculties, their University, and the White Rose Doctoral Training Partnership.

This ensures our students’ journey not only involves detailed, original research in an area of social science, but includes wider skills and methods training that supports the student in the transition to employment, either within academia or beyond.

The 4-year PhD programmes (1+3)

The first year of these programmes is provided through an MA Social Research taught framework. This introduces students to research design, quantitative and qualitative methods, develops their professional skills, and allows them to take specialist and advanced subject-based courses in the field of their research topics.

In the second year onwards, students then work on their own research projects, alongside ongoing advanced training which is undertaken across the period of their doctoral studies.

The 3-year PhD programmes (+3)

These programmes are aimed at students who already have significant social science research experience. They then extend their existing training by taking modules in four key areas:

  • Discipline-based training: provides a high-level understanding of academic debates in their field, and a supportive research environment in which to develop PhD topics
  • Professional skills for research leadership: develops experience of how academic work is funded, published and translated into practical use beyond the university
  • Advanced research methods: provides exposure to cutting-edge methods that support students’ own projects and their future research ambitions
  • Interdisciplinary working: enables students to articulate how their PhDs contribute to wider societal challenges through work within one of the seven thematic pathways of the WRDTP

As a member of the WRDTP you will also:

  • be part of a vibrant and growing community of social science researchers
  • discover that it is easier to link and network with academics and student researchers both from within your discipline and beyond
  • be offered a range of broad based training opportunities
  • have increased access to training courses throughout the UK

Our Partner Universities

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