Pathway available at Bath, Bristol, Plymouth and UWE
The social policy pathway includes large departments with research excellence related to social policy across a wide range of issues, including inequality, poverty, and social justice (Bristol, Bath); gender, violence, and criminal justice (Bristol, UWE); death and society (Bath); health inequalities (Plymouth); and body image (UWE). The partnership has two broad areas of shared research excellence: (i) public health policy, including social care, social justice, and healthy aging, and (ii) planning and policy for healthy environments. All four universities where the pathways are located were submitted to Social Policy in REF2021 and demonstrated good performance at 3* and 4* level for publications, impact and environment. All universities are active in winning external research grants. Each pathway has significant supervisory capacity, with the number of eligible supervisors in pathway lead departments ranging from 70 to 227 and completion rates of 95% in the period 2017–2022. All partners provide general research methods training through a cross-pathway MRes program, including access to specialist quantitative and qualitative MRes units and specialist one-off unaccredited research methods training. Some specialist training will be organised in collaboration with other SWDTP pathways, such as Health, Wellbeing and Society. PGRs will be encouraged to seek advanced training from external providers. The pathway has collaborations with local, national and international stakeholders and researchers beyond academia, and so is well placed to support research in practice placements to support PhD graduates into careers beyond as well as within academia.