Social Policy & Intervention

Training pathways

Structure(s) of provision

Method of study

Links to other training pathways

Comparative Social Policy, Evidence Based Social Intervention and Policy Evaluation

1+3 (MSc + DPhil)

2+2 (MPhil + DPhil)

Full time


Social Policy, Social Intervention

+3 (DPhil)

Area Studies (+3 Social Policy)

Introduction (please note: this training pathway information contains minor changes that are currently subject to ESRC approval)

The Department of Social Policy and Intervention (DSPI) is a multidisciplinary centre of excellence for research and teaching in social policy, the development and systematic evaluation of social interventions, and population studies. We offer taught courses in Comparative Social Policy (CSP) and Evidence-Based Social Intervention and Policy Evaluation (EBSIPE).

DSPI is home to staff from a range of academic disciplines, including social policy, sociology, politics, geography, social work, psychology and demography. In the 2008 RAE 70% of its research activity was rated as world leading or internationally excellent; over the last eight years DSPI acquired an average of 20 new research grants each year. Research is international, interdisciplinary and collaborative. Research activity is organised into three research clusters: the Centre for Evidence-Based Intervention (CEBI), the Oxford Institute of Social Policy (OISP), and the Oxford Centre of Population Research (OXPOP). DSPI also hosts the Centre for the Analysis of South African Social Policy (CASASP) and co-hosts (with the Department of Public Health) the Centre for AIDS Interdisciplinary Research at Oxford (CAIRO). DSPI also has extensive links with research users, and members of staff regularly provide advice to UK and overseas governments, other public bodies and voluntary organisations.

This academic environment (intrinsically multidisciplinary, international, and outcome-focused) provides a rich and relevant research environment for graduate students. DSPI hosts one year (MSc) and two-year (MPhil) degrees in both CSP and in EBSIPE (ESRC recognised for the 1+3), and research degrees (DPhil) in Social Policy and in Social Intervention. The MPhil caters to students who wish to undertake additional substantive training, and have the opportunity to produce a more extended thesis. The MSc and MPhil degrees provide research methods training (instruction and practical classes), and students produce a research-based dissertation under detailed supervision. DSPI is the academic base for some 55 MSc/MPhil students and 75 DPhils. Doctoral admission is to 1+3, or direct to the DPhil +3, (if candidates have completed an ESRC-recognised Masters or equivalent), or 2+2 (i.e. 2 years MPhil and 2 years doctoral studies.

For information on the training available for students in Social Policy and Intervention please click here. An overview of the Research Environment can be found here.

News & Events

On 1st November 2013, the University of Surrey and South East DTC hosted students from Oxford University's DTC, at an event entitled 'Using and Abusing the Impact Agenda'. This event engaged future research leaders on how and why their research in the social sciences can impact on wider society. Read more here.


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