Funded PhD Project (UK students only)

Project code



School of Area Studies, History, Politics and Literature

Start dates

Closing date

23 January 2020

This project is now closed. The details below are for information purposes only. View our current projects here.

The studentship is funded by the ESRC South Coast Doctoral Training Partnership (SCDTP), a collaboration between the Universities of Portsmouth, Southampton and Brighton.

The studentship is available to UK students only and covers tuition fees and an annual maintenance grant of £15,009 (2019/20 rate).

The first supervisor is Dr Jane Creaton and other members of the supervision team will include Dr Darren Van LaarDr Jacqueline Priego or Dr Laura Hyman.

This PhD presents a unique opportunity to the successful candidate to be part of the SCDTP cohort as well as the University’s Centre for European and International Studies Research (CEISR) which brings together world leading research in Area Studies.

The work will look at:

  • how participating in Higher Education influences students’ Mental Health and Wellbeing
  • the extent to which the relationship between Higher Education and Mental Health and Wellbeing mediated by individual factors such as learning behaviours and attitudes and contextual factors such as higher levels of qualifications and skills, job security and income obtained through HE participation
  • how an understanding of this relationship might inform Higher Education policy and practice

The successful candidate will join a team of established researchers with a track-record in investigating Mental Health and Wellbeing in Higher Education contexts. This project will adopt a mixed-methods approach drawing on available quantitative data sets and new qualitative data generated by an existing Office for Students (OfS) funded two-year project examining PGR wellbeing to understand how participation in Higher Education influences Mental Health and Wellbeing. It will provide evidence for the impact of Higher Education on mental health, help us better understand the effects of individual and contextual factors in the relationship and to ensure that current initiatives and policies aimed at improving mental health in Higher Education are evidence-based. The successful candidate will have experience of quantitative data analysis as well as an interest in policy evaluation and analysis.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

All candidates must be UK residents and hold a  good honours degree (2:1 and above) from a recognised higher education institution. Please note, students applying without a Master's qualification containing a substantial Social Sciences methods component may be required to complete such a Master's beforehand. The Master's will be fully funded by the SCDTP and will be run from the University of Southampton.

English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.

Relevant degree in a relevant social science discipline which includes a foundation in quantitative and qualitative methods (e.g. sociology, psychology).

How to apply

The first thing you will need is a University supervisor to support your SCDTP application - so you’ll need to contact the project supervisors before you submit an application. 

The project will require you to discuss possible methods and research design as well as detailing how your skills, background and research interests match the project.  It is therefore very important that you discuss the project with the supervisor.  Full instructions are given on the SCDTP application form and there are different word limits depending on whether you are applying for a 1+3 (ie Masters in Social Research Methods plus PhD) or +3 (PhD only).  

Please note: you will need to submit an online application to the University of Portsmouth plus an application for funding to the SCDTP. For more details, visit the SCDTP website. 

When applying to the University, please quote project code: SASH5010120

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