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PhD Scholarship: "Service Improvement in Social Care: Organisational Learning through Inspections?"

The University of Manchester

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Manchester
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students
Funding amount: £15,009
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 18th April 2019
Closes: 24th May 2019

This PhD scholarship offers three years’ funding, including tuition fees at ‘Home’ level and a stipend of £15,009 per year for candidates wishing to commence their studies in September 2019. The successful candidate will also receive a generous research support and conference allowance. You will also have access to a robust doctoral research training programme, dedicated research resources, training in transferable skills, visiting speaker seminar programme, and associate with existing research centres and groups.

Students will benefit from the state-of-the art facilities at the newly refurbished Business School including a new Learning Resources Centre. The student will be a member of our exciting new Institute for Health Policy and Organisation, which brings together world leading researchers in the fields of health services organisation and policy research. The institute has its own researcher development network. In addition, all students are encouraged to undertake training and development in teaching and deliver teaching and/or research assistantship duties on a paid basis to further enhance their experience in preparation for their future careers.

The Project

This project will study the interactions between Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspectors who monitor and inspect residential care homes for older people, and

  • Corporate level and care home level managers in care home groups/chains
  • Residents of those care homes and their advocates involved in inspections

The broad aims are to examine how organisations learn and improve service quality when they are subject to regulation, study the impact of service user knowledge on regulation, and extend the theory of ideal regulatory relationship types (Etienne, 2013).  Students are encouraged to formulate their own research questions, design and methods. One possibility might be surveys of care home managers and CQC inspectors to identify different approaches to interaction; plus in-depth investigation of regulatory inspection visits and other meetings through ethnographic observations, interviews and documentary analysis.

The research may be of interest to students in organisational studies, service improvement, social care or regulation. It will be supervised by Mr Alan Boyd and Professor Anne McBride. The project forms part of a longstanding programme of research on CQC and offers scope for substantial impact on policy and practice.

Entry Requirements

Applications for this project are sought from exceptional Home (UK and EU) candidates with an outstanding academic background.

Applicants must have a First or Upper Second Class Honours degree (or equivalent) and hold or expect to obtain a Masters level qualification with Distinction. English Language requirements (where required) are IELTS 7.0, TOEFL 623 (100 ibt), PTE 66.

How to apply

Candidates should submit a PhD application for the PhD Business & Management and indicate that they wish to be considered for this project.

Your application must contain a 3000-word research proposal related to the topic.

Candidates are strongly advised to submit their application as early as possible. Candidates who do not submit the required supporting documents by the specific deadlines will not be considered.


For further details about the project, please contact Alan Boyd at

For questions related to making your application, please contact Lynne Barlow-Cheetham in the Doctoral Programmes Office:

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