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The School of Social and Behavioural Sciences seeks to fulfil this noble mission to drive research for societal good starting from compassion as a base. Built on this core, is the mission to identify and address the social determinants of inequality, build on human capacity and evaluate interventions and policies that would lead to an improvement in overall wellbeing of humankind and the environment.

The Social and Behavioural Sciences (SBS) PhD program will provide core education common to addressing social and behavioural issues. PhD students who enroll in coursework will develop expertise in:

  • the analysis of major social factors that affect the well-being of populations (for example, identifying the systemic determinants of inequality),
  •  the application of systems theory to affect social change,
  • the design of intervention programs,
  •  research methodology and Impact evaluation.

Our Chancellor’s exemplary vision and unwavering endeavour to care for and address the needs of underserved people drive the program’s comprehensive yet flexible curriculum. We enroll and cater to candidates who have a background in social and behavioural sciences.

Mata Amritanandamayi Devi
“There are two kinds of poverty. The poverty that comes with the lack of food, clothing and shelter. The second kind of poverty is the lack of love and compassion. If we address the second kind of poverty first, we automatically address the first kind of poverty.”
Mata Amritanandamayi Devi

Programme Overview

Program Highlights
  • Joint and Dual D. program possibilities in affiliation with international universities
  • Projects funded by the UN, Government of India,
  • Engagement with A. Math, International NGO with a UN ECOSOC affiliation, other reputed international NGOs, and local NGOs
  • Join world-class research centres and work with distinguished international scientists and professors
  • Studies in the Social and Behavioural Sciences various disciplines (Sociology, Psychology, Pedagogy, Cultural Anthropology, Economics)
Research Topics

The offered research context includes the following thrust areas, among others:

  • Gender studies
    • Women’s Empowerment
    • Women as collectives (such as Self-Help Groups)
    • Role of Men in Women’s Empowerment
    • Gender Equality
  • Capacity building to empower rural communities
  • Education and Pedagogy
    • Skill Development (Policy and Practice)
    • Advances and future of Skills
    • Skill Intelligences
    • Value education/pedagogy (compassion, empathy, social responsibility, ),
    • Life & soft skill development & training
  • Implementation Sciences (impact evaluation)

Our Ph.D. fellows will be working in teams of students and expert researchers in projects that promote women’s empowerment and rural development by implementing social solutions. For example, life skills course and vocational skills are provided and are geared towards supporting personal growth and healthy community development.

Experiential Learning Module

All PhD students will work on topics with the goal of creating tangible community impact, through intervention.

Who Can Apply?

International and Indian-citizen students can apply for the program. Fellowships can be requested through the online registration form. Applicants from a wide range of academic disciplines can apply, including Sociology, Psychology, Pedagogy, Anthropology, Economics, Social Work.

Eligibility Criteria
  • Completed a Master’s degree or must be in their final semester of Master’s program in any of the academic disciplines mentioned in the above section.
  • CGPA above 0 at the preceding degree (mandatory for fellowship)
  • Age limit: Below the age of 50 years (exceptions could be made upon discretion by the Admissions Committee)
  • Students are required to take an entrance Please look for the entrance exam date on the Amrita website – Doctoral Programs
  • A statement of purpose (SOP) in English explaining why the candidate wants to study in our
  • Three letters of recommendation in


Applicants must have
  • Good communication skills
  • Capacity to collaborate and work in an interdisciplinary team
  • Experience related to social work is helpful but not mandatory
  • Good social science research skills
  • Willingness to work in rural communities of India
  • We welcome applications from prospective full-time students This Ph.D. program will typically take about 4 years to complete when enrolled as a full-time student.

Degree awarding criteria as well as all regulations with regards to the awarding of this degree will adhere to and concur with, Amrita’s PhD policy. This includes the criteria on publications (quality and quantity), ethics and ethical clearances, policy against plagiarism etc. to name a few.

How to Apply

Admission to our PhD program is now open.

Step 1: Register with us online

Step 2: Email us the following documents (as attachments)

  1. Statement of Purpose outlining your area of interest (1000 words)
  2. Electronic copy of your academic transcripts
  3. CV that includes any publications
  4. Full official contact details of 2 referees
  5. Reference letters from the referees on their official letterheads
  6. English Language Certificate
  • IELTS overall score minimum 5 or equivalent (require a minimum score of 6 in each section)
  • TOEFL score minimum 80 or equivalent


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Amrita’s PhD program in Social and Behavioural Sciences is a theory-into practice program.

We offer this program in two modules:

1. Academic Learning Module:

The academic learning module will be designed and tailored to suit proposed research and development context. Social science research methods will be a crucial component of the academic learning module for all students. The module will constitute a set of Core courses and Elective courses. Wherever applicable, we will arrange:

  • International faculty lectures to offer various specialized courses and academic
  • Allow taking MOOC courses from reputed universities with transferable credits

2. Field Work practices:

  • Organized community visits
  • Theory-into-practice approaches to effective community engagement
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Mandatory Courses:

  • Research Methods in Social Sciences
  • Field Work Practices in Social Sciences
  • Ethics, Data and Privacy
  • Intersectional Methodology and Approach
  • Core Studies in Social Sciences
  • Sociology
  • Pedagogy
  • Psychology
  • Anthropology (with emphasis on cultural anthropology)
  • Development Economics and management

Elective Courses (based on individual requirements)

The course structure is designed to combine flexibility to pursue an individual field of study with the development of broad-based skills and knowledge in relation to social and behavioural sciences. The students should maintain at least an overall average of B+ with no grade lower than a B in any of the core classes.


Ph.D. Fellowship in Social and Behavioural Sciences
Dr. Bhavani Rao

UNESCO Chair Director CWEGE Associate Professor

Ph.D. Fellowship in Social and Behavioural Sciences
Dr. Sidney Strauss

Adjunct Professor

Ph.D. Fellowship in Social and Behavioural Sciences
Dr. Tarek Rashed

Adjunct Professor

Ph.D. Fellowship in Social and Behavioural Sciences
Dr. Meltem Alkoyak-Yildiz

Assistant Professor, CWEGE

Ph.D. Fellowship in Social and Behavioural Sciences
Dr. Sophia von Lieres

Assistant Professor

Ph.D. Fellowship in Social and Behavioural Sciences
Dr. Preetha Menon

Assistant Professor (Sl. Gd.)

Admissions Apply Now