Mphil PhD Admissions

Intergrated MPhil-PhD programme in Social Work

Location: Mumbai

School: School of Social Work - Mumbai Campus

Intake: 25


Candidates are requested to check the eligibility criteria before filling the application form. Candidates found ineligible will be rejected at any stage in the admission process and no grievances will be entertained in this regard.

Applicants will be shortlisted for the Research Aptitude Test (RAT) on basis of them meeting the following considerations with regard to educational qualifications, work experience and research proposal:

  • Educational Qualifications: The minimum academic qualification for admission to the integrated M.Phil. & Direct Ph.D programmes is a Second Class Master’s or equivalent degree in the relevant subject awarded by a recognised university in India or abroad, with at least an average of 55 per cent of aggregate marks, or a grade point average of 3.5 under the seven-point scale of the University Grants Commission (UGC). In the case of SC/ST/OBC(non-creamy layer)/differently-abled candidates, the minimum eligibility is an average of 50 per cent of aggregate marks, or a grade point average of 3.05.

  • General eligibility + PG in Social Work + 5 years work Post PG work experience

  • Candidates who are likely to complete all the requirements of their final year Master’s Degree examinations by July 1, are also eligible to apply for M.Phil, provided they have successfully completed their first year Masters degree. In such cases, admission will be provisional. If a provisionally admitted student successfully completes the admission formalities such as clearing the Research Aptitude Test, but fails to score the minimum required mark/grade at the end of the final year examination of his/her Master’s degree, the offer of provisional admission will be automatically cancelled.

  • Work Experience: A minimum of five years of post graduation work experience is required for Direct PhD programmes. In case of the Integrated M.Phil-PhD Programme, there is no requirement of work experience. However, candidates with one to two years of work experience, will be preferred.

  • Research Proposal:

    Submission of a research proposal is a compulsory requirement for admission to the Integrated M.Phil-Ph. D and Direct Ph.D. Programme. A research proposal consisting of approximately 1,000 words should accompany the proposal and indicate the Specification of the broad field of study, Statement of the research problem and scope and objectives of the study, rationale for and the significance of the study, methodology to be followed, references, and the candidate’s research/work experience in that area, if any.

  • Candidates who have an M.Phil or equivalent degree awarded by a recognized university in India or abroad are also eligible for a Direct PhD


The School of Social Work (SSW) is working toward the vision of the Institute of building excellence in higher education which continuously responds to changing realities, through its engagement in social work education, building social work knowledge and praxis through a range of ideological stances as reflected in the curriculum, and complex domains of practice, research, and field engagements. The core ethos and values that pervade all aspects of learning, knowledge building and interventions are: social justice, rights, development, and empowerment of society simultaneously appreciating differences and intersections created through social constructs of caste, class, gender, ethnicity and religion. The mission in the School is thus to create a cadre of professionals who are able to converge the discursive and practical aspects of people centred interventions


School of Social Work

Integrated MPhil-PhD and Direct PhD programmes


The School of Social Work (SSW) at TISS, Mumbai is as a pioneer social work institution, with a focus on developing social work education and practice in India.Presently, the SSW has 8 centres which are organized around its niche areas of practice, masters degree teaching, field action and research. They are:

  1. Centre for Criminology and Justice

  2. Centre for Disability Studies and Action

  3. Centre for Equity and Justice for Children and Families

  4. Centre for Health and Mental Health

  5. Centre for Livelihoods and Social Innovation

  6. Centre for Community Organization and Development Practice

  7. Centre for Social Justice and Governance

  8. Centre for Women-centred social work

The contemporary focus is indigenous knowledge building in social work. Practice for social equity, justice and rights, form the bedrock of SSW on which the niche areas have evolved. These include social work research and practice in and with: criminal justice, children and families, community organisation and development, disability, Dalits and tribes, livelihood and social innovations, health and mental health, women, conflict analysis and peace processes, and environment. The core research themes include: poverty, marginalisation and forced migration; social innovation and people centred development; socio-economic and educational status of scheduled tribes, nomadic and de-notified tribes; disability and identity; violence against women and developing field capacities for interventions; strategies for inclusion and livelihood innovation; homosexual identities and queer assertions; sexuality, HIV/AIDS and cyber technologies; newer public health concerns and arenas for health social work; local knowledge systems and disaster risk reductions; caste in urban areas and caste-based violence; crime, ethnicity and human rights; homelessness and destitution; custodial justice and social re-entry; family transitions: structure, forms, inter-generational relationships and value frameworks; rural development & development strategies; rural governance; displacement and rehabilitation

The SSW has one decentralized Intergrated MPhil-PhD programme and one Direct PhD programme in Social Work. The two core objectives of the Integrated MPhil-PhD program in Social Work are: to developing skills in evidence-based practice; and, indigenous knowledge building in social work. Evidence-based practice is defined here as a practice where development decisions are made after reviewing information from repeated rigorous data gathering instead of relying on rules, single observations, or customs.



Programme Details

The Integrated M.Phil-PhD program in Social Work uses a multi-method and transdisciplinary training to prepare future leaders in social work research and education. It focuses on building advanced social research and analytical skills. It aims to provide an advanced understanding of the discipline of social work through a meta theoretical repertoire, specific thematic theorizations, a complex and nuanced understanding of the field/ fields, so as to enable a framework that is practice inclusive.

The curriculum of the Integrated MPhil-PhD programme in Socal Work encompasses rigorous training in research methods, social work knowledge and imparts interdisciplinary training into specific areas of contemporary significance. The programme hopes to make significant contribution in the making of future social work and social welfare scholars and leaders to address the complex social challenges of the 21st century.

In terms of scope, the program will allow scholars to engage in self-study, develop critical, analytical and problem solving skills, specialized interest area, and advanced skills in designing, executing and preparing research projects. This will also be extended to practice and hence action research and field practicum monographs. The course work hence has a mix of broad theoretical paradigms, peripheral and proximate social work theories and perspectives, specific thematic theorisations where applicable, research methodologies (both quantitative and qualitative), and seminars where conscious field-practice and theory links are emphasised so as to enable the evolution of newer episteme.


Programme Structure

The MPhil in Social Work programme has 50 credits divided as follows:

Semesters I and II

  • Course on Advanced Perspectives and Praxis in Social Work (2 credits)

  • Five courses on Research Methodology (10 credits)

  • Three optional courses (6 credits) – scholars may select from the basket of optional courses available within the School of Social Work or from MPhil courses offered by various schools across the Institute

  • Literature Review and Proposal (6 credits)

Semester III and IV

  • Research colloquium (2 credits)

  • Dissertation or Field Practicum Monograph (24 credits)


Coursework will be delivered through classroom lectures, readings, presentations, reflective exercises, computer practicals where applicable, and guest lectures.

Distribution of Credit Hours:

 Details of Significant Programme Components

Literature review and Proposal (6 credits)

In the second semester, MPhil scholars are expected to work on the literature review for their MPhil dissertations and the proposal, which has to be presented in a seminar, and assessed by a body of experts. The outcome of the evaluation would be either to proceed for field work, or substantial revisions.

In the literature review, MPhil in Social Work scholars are expected to:

  • Undertake an overview and a critical evaluation of a body of literature relating to their research topic

  • Analyse that body of literature in order to classify it by themes or categories

  • Synthesise and evaluate the information and identify main ideas in the literature

  • Identify the main argument of the literature review of their own dissertations, organise the main points and write the review with appropriate paraphrasing, citations and adhering to standard referencing norms and conventions.

The broad criteria for evaluation for the proposal prepared by MPhil in social work candidates, either for dissertation or a field practicum are as follows:

  • Introduction and problem statement or rationale for intervention (in case of a practicum) along with a suggestive theoretical frame

  • Updated, comprehensive and thematically arranged review of literature

  • Objectives and methodology containing details of the design, sampling, methods and analysis plan (concepts, constructs, variables and their interlinkages) in case of dissertation and details of intervention module and modes in case of a practicum

  • Ethical considerations and study limitations (for field practicum, ethical clearance from the Institutional review board would be essential)

  • References written in appropriate and consistent style and format including in text citation.


MPhil in Social Work Dissertation (24 credits)

The aims of the MPhil dissertation are to: put into practice theories and concepts learned on the programme; provide an opportunity to study a particular topic in depth; show evidence of independent investigation; combine relevant theories and suggest alternatives; enable interaction with practitioners (where appropriate to the chosen topic); and, show evidence of ability to plan and manage a project within deadlines. The MPhil in Social Work dissertation is a guided process. The guide would ideally have a background expertise in the scholar’s area of study.


Field Practicum Monograph (FPM) Option for MPhil Social Work scholars (24 credits)

Since the field is critical and central to social work, one option which is offered within School of Social Work is that of a field practicum monograph as an alternative to a traditional dissertation. The ethos is that field education is an integral component of social work education, geared towards preparing graduates for advanced and professional practice. The core argument for FPMs is to encourage experiential knowledge building in social work.

The practicum at the MPhil level would be undertaken by the scholar with an organisation/agency or independently with individuals/communities/groups. The intervention package or module of the FPM would have to be planned, under supervision of the guide, and needs to be cleared by the Institutional Review Board for ethical standards, as it involves working with human subjects. The final idea is to develop a monograph, which is a kind of emplotting i.e. presenting the story pre and post intervention, in a manner legitimate to aid knowledge building. The FPM is a process whereby the scholar works under the supervision of a guide who is generally a combination of intervention specialist, subject expert and research expert. The scholar and guide, through the FPM, should collectively address notions of communities and publics for whom they link research and practice.



Criteria for permitting scholars to undertake the practicum option

Scholars fulfilling the following criteria would be permitted to undertake the practicum option.

  • Scholars who have at least 2 years of field experience in the intended area of practicum, after masters degree in social work.

  • Scholars who demonstrate a clear understanding of the objectives of the practicum and have a focus in view prior to undertaking the same.

  • Scholars who are willing to engage in the practicum routine/schedule from the first semester onwards.



The FPM will undergo the routine traditional dissertation assessment process of done by an external expert and defended at a viva voce exam.

In cases where actual intervention has been carried out, the monograph may also contain feedback of respondent participants and other related stakeholders.


MPhil Dissertation Calendar

First Year

July – September – concept note preparation

October – March – literature review and proposal preparation and presentation

April – tools preparation and pretesting

Second Year

May – August – Data collection/ Field Work

September – March – Data cleaning, augmentation, analysis, writing the dissertation.


Field Practicum Monograph Calendar

First Year

July – September – practicum rationale and idea note preparation

October – March - Planning Practicum form and modalities or instruments, status report or baseline survey or pre-test situational analysis, pilot execution, Preliminary literature review, White Paper or Baseline Survey note preparation and presentation

April – Finalising practicum modalities for actual work

Second Year

May – August – Conducting the practicum and regular documentation - reflexivity

September – March – Retrospective reflection, analysis, bolstering the literature review and writing the monograph



Transition to PhD

Scholars who have successfully completed the MPhil program would then proceed toward working on their PhD thesis. The main phases would be: proposal preparation, Doctoral Advisory Committee (DAC) formulation, proposal presentation, field work, thesis writing, synopsis presentation, thesis submission and viva-voce examination.


Semesterwise Courses:

Semester-wise listing of courses

MPhil in Social Work: Course Structure



Course Code

Course Title


Semester 1

Compulsory courses


Advanced Perspectives and Praxis in Social Work




Social Theory and Research




Quantitative Research Methods




Qualitative Research Methods




Action Research


Semester 2

Compulsory courses


Workshop on Research Design, Methods and Data Collection Strategies


Semester 2

Optional courses*


Tribe, State and Social Research




Gender and Development




Political Ecology of Development




Development and Modernity in India




Critical Disability Theory




Human Security: Contemporary Challenges and Responses




Interrogating ‘Madness’: Interdisciplinary Perspectives in Mental Health






First year credits



Semester 3


Data collection, Field Practicum and Analysis


Semester 4


Research Colloquium




MPhil Dissertation or Field Practicum Monograph


Second year credits




*Scholars have to select any 3 of the available optional courses either from this basket or from optional courses of other decentralized programmes, adding to total 6 credits. Optional courses in the School of Social Work would be offered if minimum 5 scholars opt for the same, else, at the discretion of the competent authorities, they could be undertaken in a tutorial mode.

Fee Structure:

Fee Structure for Integrated M.Phil and Ph.D Programme and Direct Ph.D Programme

(Prices in INR and subject to revision)

The full fees and deposits should be paid within the stipulated time after the announcement of the admission results. In addition, Rs. 50/- towards bank processing charges should be paid in any branch of the State Bank of India. If students fail to pay the fee on time, their candidature can be cancelled. Once the students details have been entered into the Online platform, a scanned copy of the fee receipt must be submitted via the online platform. Non-adherence to the above will be considered as equivalent to non-payment of fees.

Fee Component








Per Semester




Per Semester

Identity Card







Per Semester

Students’ Mediclaim Insurance Premium



Per Year

Development Fund



For M.Phil per Semester

For Ph.D. per Semester for 2 Years

Medical Examination Fees




Refundable Deposits




Student Union Fee



Per semester






Thesis submission



Payable three months before submission

Thesis resubmission




Degree certificate replacement




Issue of duplicate Identity Card




Sub Total




Hostel Charges:




Dining Hall



Per Semester

Hostel Room(Double/Triple) (if allotted)



Per Semester

Sub Total




*subject to revision