Ph.D Programme

Since its inception in 1959, the Ph.D. Programme at the Department of Sociology has produced more than hundred doctorates. Apart from being one of the leading programmes in the country, it is among the best of its kind in this region and continues to attract many students from Asia, Africa, and other parts of the globe.

The Ph.D. Programme is administered by the Departmental Research Committee (D.R.C.), a statutory committee mandated by University ordinances that also govern its membership, and under the overview of the Board of Research Studies in the Social Sciences (B.R.S.S.).

Continued registration in the Ph. D. will be subject to satisfactory progress being made in the course of the year. A candidate is required, according to the University regulations, to submit his/her thesis ordinarily within a specified period from the date of registration. (Please refer to the University Ordinances for more details.)

No candidate shall undertake any employment during the period of his/her study without the permission of the D.R.C. and the Board of Research Studies.

Without the previous permission of the D.R.C. and the Board, no candidate shall join any other course of study or appear at any other examination conducted by any university or public body.

Not later than one year after admission, a candidate may modify the scheme of his/her subject with the approval of the D.R.C. and the Board.

If a research student wants to change the topic of research after a period of one year from the date of registration, the student will be required to re-register for the Ph.D. course.

Every candidate shall reside in Delhi. However, in the interest of her/his research, she/he may be permitted by the D.R.C. and Board of Research Studies, on the recommendation of the supervisor, to be absent from Delhi, ordinarily for not more than two semesters.

The minimum residence period for Ph.D. students is two years.

Attendance at the Sociological Research Colloquium and in seminars/workshops conducted by the Department is compulsory for Ph.D. students.

The Ph.D. thesis shall comply with the following conditions: it must be a piece of research work characterized either by the discovery of new facts or by a fresh interpretation of facts or theories. In either case it should indicate the candidate’s capacity for critical examination and judgment. It shall be satisfactory so far as its literary presentation is concerned. The candidate shall indicate how far the thesis embodies the results of her/his own research or observations and in what respect her/his investigations appear to her/him to advance the study of her/his discipline.

The candidate may incorporate in her/his thesis the contents of any work which she/he may have published on the subject, and shall inform the examiner if she/he has done so, but she/he shall not submit as the thesis, any work for which a degree has been previously conferred by this or any other University.

A Ph.D. candidate shall not be permitted to submit her/his thesis for the Ph.D. degree unless the supervisor is satisfied that the thesis is worthy of consideration for the degree.

The candidate shall supply four printed or typed copies of his/her thesis as well as a soft copy.

Please refer to the amended version of the Ordinance VI here which pertains to the Submission and Award of Thesis.

The Thesis Submission Form can be accessed here. 

Details about PhD Admissions 2022-23 will be made available here. Please visit University of Delhi Admission Portal for Details.

The proposal should be of approximately 2500 words, exclusive of references. Candidates are required to declare that the proposal submitted is their own work; unacknowledged borrowing from other sources will be penalised. The proposal should include the following sections:

Objective – two or three paras; this section should describe the main argument/hypothesis you are considering and the research questions you will be asking.

Literature Review (The literature referred to could be theoretical, or a combination of both theoretical and empirical. Show the relevance of the literature cited to the research objectives.)

Specification of research site and locus (empirical, geographical, theoretical) and justification for site in terms of the topic and availability of materials.

References (follow any consistent social science style of referencing; note that this is not a bibliography – relevance is important, not the length of the list.)

Keep in mind the feasibility of the study in terms of

a) sociological relevance

b) time required (the thesis should ideally be completed within six months)

c) availability of data sources (M.Phil. theses in the Department usually rely entirely on secondary sources)

You may find helpful material on the following links (although they deal with PhDs, the basic principles involved in preparing proposals are the same)

Writing a Good Ph.D. Research Proposal

An example of a successful Ph.D. Proposal

Ph.D. Notices