Research degrees

Our research explores the relationships between political theory, empirical enquiry and policy interventions across a broadly defined range of political topics.

We offer the following research degrees:

Our staff have a wide range of theoretical and substantive interests. We are able to offer supervision on numerous topics including international relations, security studies, diplomacy, political theory, feminism, democratisation and regional studies.

Information about fees and funding.

Supervision and research training

Supervision can be provided on either a full- or part-time basis. Students are allocated either one or two supervisors whom they meet regularly. Supervisors are responsible for helping students in developing a structured programme of work and for reading and commenting on work in progress at regular intervals.

As part of a flexible training programme, you can take a departmental training course which covers the philosophy of social science, normative analysis and qualitative analysis, and is complemented by the provision of teaching in quantitative methods (including computer analysis). Subject-specific training allows you to choose between competing approaches to political research and to engage critically with the research process. Taught courses are complemented by your supervision programme, specifically tailored to your requirements.

Application process

1. Contact

If you are interested in applying for a PhD with us, please contact Dr Robert Dover in the first instance for informal discussions about your research proposal.

Browse our PhD guidelines for producing a research proposal and please consult these guidelines before submitting your proposal.

You may also wish to look at our academic staff and their research areas.

2. Applying online

All PhD applications must go through the formal process, outlined below.

You can submit your application by completing our electronic form.

Once you have submitted an application it will be assessed by the Head of PhD Admissions and the appropriate staff who might be involved in supervision.

3. Feedback on your application

Then feedback will be given in the following forms:

  • Accept subject to interview (see below). We think the proposal is a good one and we will arrange for an interview with you.
  • More information requested. We might ask you for some more information or clarification on your written proposal.
  • Decline proposal. Your application might be declined for the following reasons:
    • The application does not follow the guidelines above
    • The quality of the application, for example: the topic may not be sufficiently original, the topic may be too unfocused, or the writing style and organisation of the proposal is not of the requisite standard
  • Interview. All PhD candidates are required to have an interview with the Admissions Tutor and/or the prospective supervisor before their proposals can be accepted. The interview may be conducted in person or by telephone. It will consist of questions about your proposal; for example, why it is important, what your main argument is, and the appropriateness of your methodology.

4. Acceptance

Following acceptance you will be registered with us for a PhD degree, and as well as receiving support from your first and second supervisors you will become a member of the research cluster in the Department most appropriate to your area of research.