Politics and International Relations

PhD, MPhil

Politics and International Relations at Leicester offers supervision for the degrees of:

  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) - full-time and part-time

  • Master of Philosophy (MPhil) - full-time and part-time

These degrees are available to study both on campus and by the PhD by distance learning.

Please refer to the How to Apply section below before submitting your application.

Supervision and research areas

We offer PhD and MPhil supervision in Politics and International Relations in areas compatible with the research interests of our academic staff including:

  • International Relations and Security Studies
  • Political Theory
  • Institutions, Participation, Public Opinion, Parties, and Comparative Politics

Interested in a different research area?

It is important that the area you want to work in is broadly compatible with our research interests - otherwise we may not be able to accept your application.

However, please do not feel we will not be interested if there is not an exact match. It is sometimes possible to be flexible, so please contact us.

Entry requirements

You must hold a UK undergraduate (Bachelor's) degree with at least First-Class or Upper Second-Class honours or an equivalent qualification from a recognised overseas institution. Applicants are also normally required to hold a Master's degree in a relevant subject.

See academic entry requirements and the English language entry requirements.

How to apply

If you have any questions that are not answered below, please feel free to get in touch with Dr Tara McCormack, Postgraduate Research Tutor for Politics and International Relations.

Before you apply, please search our staff research interests.

Prepare your supporting documents, with your application you need to include proof that you meet the academic entry requirements and the English language entry requirements

  • Download and save the Research Proposal Form and prepare your proposal. Complete all sections using the guidance on the form. If your proposal is not submitted on the Proposal Form your application will not be considered.
  • CV
  • Personal statement explaining your interest in the research, your experience, why it is worth doing and why we should consider you.
  • Copies of your Degree Certificates and Marks Transcripts of study already completed and if possible a transcript to-date of any study currently being undertaken.
  • If your documents are not in English please include an official translation.
  • Evidence of English language proficiency if applicable
  • In the reference section please enter the contact details of your two academic referees in the text boxes provided or upload letters of reference if already available.
  • In the funding section state clearly how you intend to fund your study.

Submit your application using the Apply Button at the bottom of this page. Please ensure you upload all the required documents and your completed Research Proposal Form, failure to do so may cause a delay in assessing your application. 

When to apply

We have intakes in January, April, July and September each year.

You should try to submit your application as far in advance of your preferred start date as possible. If you are an international applicant and require a visa to study in the UK you should submit your application at least three-to-four months before the proposed start date.

After you have submitted your application, it will take a minimum of six weeks for you to receive a decision about your application.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees vary according to your fee status (whether you live in the UK, EU, or international) and the mode of study (full-time or part-time). For clarification, please contact pgradmissions@le.ac.uk.

UK/EU Campus-based

*UK fees will rise each year of study in line with UKRI rates.

Full-time

  • Starting in 2020/21 academic year: £4,407 per year
  • Starting in 2021/22 academic year: £4,500 per year

Part-time

  • Starting in 2020/21 academic year: £2,203.50 per year
  • Starting in 2021/22 academic year: £2,250 per year

International Campus based

Full-time

  • Starting in 2020/21 academic year: £15,520 per year
  • Starting in 2021/22 academic year: £15, 520 per year

Part-time

Please note that owing to UK visa restrictions, part-time campus based registration is not normally available to international applicants.

Distance learning

UK/EU distance Learning

  • Starting in 2020/21 academic year: £20,825 (Total course fee)
  • Starting in 2021/22 academic year: £20,825 (Total course fee)
International distance learning
  • Starting in 2020/21 academic year: £24,930 (Total course fee)
  • Starting in 2021/22 academic year: £24,930 (Total course fee)

Paying for distance learning

The fees quoted are the total fee for the PhD distance learning programme and can be paid by the following options:.
  • Total course fee paid in full before first registration
  • Total course fee split into four annual payments with first annual payment made in full before first registration
  • Total course fee split into 12 equal instalments paid spread over years 1-4 of the study.  The first instalment to be paid before first registration
  • If study extends beyond the 4th year no further fees are required

A payment schedule will be sent with the offer letter.

Funding 

For a list of our available scholarships/studentships, please visit our funded opportunities pages.

PhD description

PhD students complete an independent research project under the guidance of a supervisory team.

PhD students complete an independent research project under the guidance of a supervisory team. The maximum period of registration permitted before thesis submission is 4 years full time / 7  years part time or distance learning.

Active research (including all experimental work, laboratory work, field work, and data collection) will typically take 3 to 3.5 years full time / 6 to 6.5 years part time or distance learning. On completion of active research students may request approval to register for a writing-up period of up to 12 months.

The thesis should not normally exceed 80,000 words and must make an original contribution to knowledge and contain work of publishable quality. The thesis must then be defended in a viva voce (oral) examination before a degree can be awarded.