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School of Interdisciplinary Global Studies

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Graduate programs, phd in politics and international affairs.

The doctoral degree in politics and international affairs is an interdisciplinary program designed to prepare students to teach at the university and college levels and to conduct high-level research in the academic and nonacademic sectors. It combines a broad focus on international relations, comparative politics, American politics, and political theory with a critical understanding of institutions, rights, citizenship/identity, governance, global policy, and justice. Students work closely with faculty to frame their dissertation research and to advance their knowledge of their chosen fields of specialization. The program’s interdisciplinary approach to a variety of global issues provides a rich and open-ended opportunity to research current and past problems, movements, and transformations in politics.

We welcome your interest in our doctoral program. The department's deadline for fall admission is January 5. The School of Interdisciplinary Global Studies only admits for the fall semester. Students must apply online through the Office of Graduate Admissions. For a listing of the admission requirements, students should consult the Graduate Catalog . 

*Effective starting with the 2023-2024 admissions cycle, GRE test scores are no longer required for applications to our doctoral program in Politics and International Affairs*

*International students should review the Office of Admissions International Students website for additional information and requirements.

*International students are also encouraged to contact the Office of International Services for information on visas, international travel, etc. 

PLEASE NOTE: International students whose native language is not English and who want to be considered for a teaching assistantship must show proficiency in spoken English even if their TOEFL has been waived for admission to a graduate program. More information on the TOEFL requirement can be found under Admission Requirements in the graduate catalog.

Program Requirements

For the Doctoral Degree in Politics and International Affairs degree requirements, students should consult the Graduate Catalog. Students should adhere to the requirements within the Graduate Catalog under which they were admitted.

  • Degree Requirements Beginning 2023-2024 Catalog

*Students can elect another catalog following the one they were admitted under. More information on this policy, and other policies, can be found in the Graduate Catalog.

*Students must request approval from the graduate director for any course not pre-approved and listed under the degree in the Graduate Catalog.

Additional information on program requirements:

Student can also select POS 6933/6747 Advanced Topics in Quantitative Political Analysis or another graduate course approved by the graduate director for the methods requirement. The Capstone Seminar will be conducted with doctorial students in Sociology and History and focus on dissertation proposal. 

Research Fields

The Doctorate in Politics and International Affairs specializes in the following four fields of research:

International Relations In the School of Interdisciplinary Global Studies, the International Relations (IR) faculty focuses on four areas of study: international relations theory, global political economy, international security, and human rights. We stress the importance of cutting-edge scholarship in our teaching of the graduate seminars as well as bridging the many emergent gaps in theory and practice in the various subfields that comprise International Relations, including American foreign policy, international ethics, global governance, and international law and organizations. One of our central aims is to advance innovative applications of the central theoretical perspectives (and their variant strands) in International Relations, namely, realism, liberalism, critical theory, constructivism, Marxism, international political theory, and gender. These applications involve in-depth theoretical and empirical analysis of key global issues, such as Asian security, moral accountability, the enforcement of human rights, immigration, and political and economic inequality. The International Relations faculty have published numerous books and peer-reviewed articles on these issue areas. These include monographs on the political tensions on the Korean Peninsula or North Korea’s nuclear arms buildup, the political cosmopolitan character and shifting dynamics of the International Criminal Court (ICC), hegemony and inequality in the global political economy, and China’s rapidly increasing support of intervention in African states. Together our published research emphasizes the production of critical theoretic knowledge, or the advanced methodological analysis of the contradictions and tensions informing the substantive debates in International Relations. This not only requires the particular mastery of concepts, methods, and claims but also an open-ended and historical understanding of the changing social forces shaping the behavior of states and the relations among global and local actors. It is this scholarly approach that we adopt to train our graduate students specializing in international relations, particularly as they advance their dissertation research and empirical knowledge of the global and regional contexts of problems and issues. One of the outcomes we strive for, then, is to encourage our doctoral students to develop rigorous theoretical and contextual analysis from which they can devise solutions and prescriptions to global issues.

Comparative Politics Comparative Politics in the School of Interdisciplinary Global Studies is committed to theory-driven, empirical research from an interdisciplinary perspective that is situated in a political, historical, cultural, and economic context.  The Comparative Politics faculty employ a variety of methodological approaches from both the social sciences and humanities, which utilize qualitative and quantitative research methods to study the patterns of similarities and differences. In particular, we conduct comparative and case study research to inquire into these patterns and to develop our theoretical propositions. One of our aims is to produce knowledge about the changing social, political, and legal conditions affecting the lives, development, cultural practices, and customs of underrepresented peoples. In meeting this aim, our research focuses on several themes of comparative politics, including social movements, democracy/democratization, citizenship, decolonization, genocide, hegemony, race and identity, development, legal systems and customary law, social justice, and indigenismo or the political ideology focusing on the changing relations of state and local peoples. Much of our published research draws creatively on social, critical, and political theory to advance knowledge of the laws, changing social relations, and attitudes in several countries, which includes Brazil, Ecuador, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Uganda, South Sudan, Ethiopia, and Iran. Our research strengths lie in the areas of race and citizenship, social movements theory, human security and law (or legal custom) in Eastern Africa, indigenous rights in various Latin American countries, and security relations in the Middle East. With these thematic foci, we encourage graduate students to create and develop their own research by selecting a region of the world as their emphasis and adopting theoretically informed research and comparative methods that allow them to analyze the changing social and political conditions in the countries of this region.

American Politics The study of American Politics in the doctorate program in politics and international affairs provides a comprehensive overview as well as an in-depth analysis of American politics. Our faculty focus on various aspects of American politics, including theoretical foundations, federalism, institutions (Congress, the executive branch, the bureaucracy, the judiciary), political behavior (political parties, the media, interest groups, social movements, and elections), and public policy (foreign and domestic), and employ a range of methodological approaches such as historical development, legal doctrine, institutional rules, and quantitative analyses of the behavior of political actors and the mass public, to advance the student's research skills.  Our core class, Seminar in American Politics, for instance, surveys the key foundations, institutions, and behavior in American politics, introducing students to both qualitative and quantitative methodological approaches for analyzing and testing the changing trends and outcomes in American politics. Special topics courses provide opportunities to gain in-depth knowledge on new research on a range of themes, including political development, the social bases of politics, and the global impact of American politics. The faculty in American politics have made important contributions in the areas of race and ethnicity, the judiciary, the presidency, Florida government, civil liberties, health care, environmental justice, economic inequality, and animal rights. Our strengths lie in economic inequality, animal rights, the Presidency, Judicial Behavior, Race and Ethnicity, and State and Local Government. In these specific areas, we have published several cutting-edge books and articles in leading peer-reviewed journals, which examine the emergence and implementation of nonhuman animals' regime of rights, the changing directions of the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank and its impact on world politics, and alternative strategies for natural disasters in the United States. Our scholarship is thus distinctive for the ways in which it addresses American government and politics in a global context. This is how we seek to train our doctoral students on the rapidly changing, nuanced linkages between local, state, federal and global institutional politics.  

Political Theory Political Theory introduces students to the core normative issues in the study of political science. These normative issues provide the bedrock assumptions on which much of the study of political science depends. For example, while nearly everyone agrees that democracy is the best form of government, why do we place such faith in it? In addition, the long tradition of political thought offers multiple versions of democracy, each with its own strengths and limitations. How are we to identify the best version for our needs? Similarly, while we might extol non-violence in politics, is it always the best path for political movements? How are we to justify its alternatives? Clarifying our moral commitments, sharpening our conceptual tools, and outlining pathways for transforming theoretical knowledge into action requires philosophical, historical, and conceptual capabilities. The political theory faculty at the School of Interdisciplinary Global Studies trains students to develop these capabilities. To that end, political theory classes not only familiarize students with many of the canonical texts that were read by generations of prominent political thinkers (from Aristotle to Martin Luther King Jr), they also teach students to read these texts critically and with an eye towards contemporary political developments. As such, training in political theory is a critical supplement to graduate work at School of Interdisciplinary Global Studies. The faculty’s expertise in feminist theory, postcolonial theory, the role of emotions in politics, environmental political thought, and Indian political thought complements the terminal degrees offered in American Politics, Comparative Politics, and International Relations.

Financial Assistance 

Most of our successful applicants qualify for funding offered by the department or the Office of Graduate Studies. Funded doctoral students will receive a graduate assistantship that includes:

  • a stipend for the academic year (9 months)
  • a tuition waiver (not including school fees)
  • the option of health insurance mostly paid by the department (the student only pays a small amount towards insurance).

All applicants for the doctoral degree are considered for a graduate assistantship - they do not need to complete a separate form.

The graduate assistantship is guaranteed for four years but is based on maintaining satisfactory annual academic progress. It requires each student to work 20 hours per week, in which case the student would be first assisting professors of the department with their teaching and class preparations and later, after having passed the doctoral comprehensive exams and completed teacher training seminars, teach a class at the University of South Florida. 

Please visit the graduate assistantships page for further information. The department also provides funding for conference travel or the presentation of research at conferences upon approval.

Information on eligibility for graduate assistantships can be found on the Graduate Assistantships Resource Center website. 

We also strive to fund our students in the fifth year, though this funding is not guaranteed. Depending on additional funds that become available, students may have the opportunity to extend their graduate assistantship to one, possibly two academic semesters. Students in the fifth year are also encouraged to seek external funding. For more information on this, please consult our Graduate Resources Page .

Outstanding candidates may also be nominated by the school’s director and/or graduate committee for prestigious and highly competitive university fellowships, including the Presidential Doctoral Fellowship , the Dorothy Auzenne Fellowship , and the University Graduate Fellowship. There is also the opportunity for minority students to be awarded a McKnight Fellowship, which provides annual tuition up to $5,000 for each of three academic years, plus an annual stipend of $12,000. The program also offers travel grants and other forms of financial support. For additional information on this fellowship opportunity, please visit the McKnight Fellowship's informational page.

  • Politics and International Affairs Doctoral Handbook 2022 - 2023
  • School of Interdisciplinary Global Studies Graduate Resources
  • Independent Study / Directed Research Contract
  • Office of Graduate Studies Forms
  • Dissertation Proposal Approval Form
  • Admission to Doctoral Candidacy Form
  • Graduate Student Supervisory Committee Appointment Form
  • Dissertation Checklist
  • Electronic Thesis & Dissertation Certificate of Approval Form
  • Comprehensive Exam Reading Lists
  • Research Conference Travel Award Request
  • Dissertation Defense Announcment

Spring 2024 Course Offerings

Recent Placements

For further information or questions about the PhD in Politics and International Affairs, please fill out this form . 

MIT Political Science

Graduate Program

Pushing the Scholarly Frontier

PhD in Political Science

Our doctoral students are advancing political science as a discipline. They explore the empirical phenomena that produce new scholarly insights—insights that improve the way governments and societies function. As a result, MIT Political Science graduates are sought after for top teaching and research positions in the U.S. and abroad. Read where program alumni are working around the world.

How the PhD program works

The MIT PhD in Political Science requires preparation in two of these major fields:

  • American Politics
  • Comparative Politics
  • International Relations
  • Models and Methods
  • Political Economy
  • Security Studies

We recommend that you take a broad array of courses across your two major fields. In some cases, a single course may overlap across the subject matter of both fields. You may not use more than one such course to "double count" for the course distribution requirement. Keep in mind that specific fields may have additional requirements.

You are free to take subjects in other departments across the Institute. Cross-registration arrangements also permit enrollment in subjects taught in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University and in some of Harvard's other graduate schools.

Requirements

1. number of subjects.

You will need two full academic years of work to prepare for the general examinations and to meet other pre-dissertation requirements. Typically, a minimum of eight graduate subjects are required for a PhD.

2. Scope and Methods

This required one-semester seminar for first-year students introduces principles of empirical and theoretical analysis in political science.

3. Statistics

You must successfully complete at least one class in statistics.
You must successfully complete at least one class in empirical research methods.

5. Philosophy

You must successfully complete at least one class in political philosophy.

6. Foreign language or advanced statistics

You must demonstrate reading proficiency in one language other than English by successfully completing two semesters of intermediate-level coursework or an exam in that language, or you must demonstrate your knowledge of advanced statistics by successfully completing three semesters of coursework in advanced statistics. International students whose native language is not English are not subject to the language requirement.

7. Field research

We encourage you to conduct field research and to develop close working ties with faculty members engaged in major research activities.

8. Second Year Paper/workshop

You must complete an article-length research paper and related workshop in the spring semester of the second year. The second-year paper often develops into a dissertation project.

9. Two examinations

In each of your two elected fields, you must take a general written and oral examination. To prepare for these examinations, you should take at least three courses in each of the two fields, including the field seminar.

10. Doctoral thesis

As a rule, the doctoral thesis requires at least one year of original research and data collection. Writing the dissertation usually takes a substantially longer time. The thesis process includes a first and second colloquium and an oral defense. Be sure to consult the MIT Specifications for Thesis Preparation as well as the MIT Political Science Thesis Guidelines . Consult the MIT academic calendar to learn the due date for final submission of your defended, signed thesis.

Questions? Consult the MIT Political Science Departmental Handbook or a member of the staff in the MIT Political Science Graduate Office .

PhD in International Relations

Graduation Group

Engage in problem-driven research with a truly global focus

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) program in International Relations trains scholars to conduct cutting-edge, interdisciplinary research across key areas of international affairs and political science. A combination of in-depth hands-on fieldwork and comprehensive theoretical study enables Fletcher's PhD students to uncover the meaningful questions that ultimately shape both their future research and their careers.

Developing tomorrow's thought leaders

With approximately 50 students engaged in coursework or research, the PhD program is an integral and vibrant component of the Fletcher community. Working alongside our world-renowned faculty, Fletcher doctoral candidates acquire the theoretical and practical skills needed to produce research that will help shape future discourse on international relations. After completing their degrees, graduates go on to successful high-level careers in academia and research, and in the non-profit, government, and private sectors.

Fletcher’s PhD candidates come from around the world, bringing perspectives and experiences that inform their research and goals.  Get to know their stories and learn how they plan to shape the future of international affairs.

After completing their degrees, doctoral graduates go on to successful high-level careers in academia and research, and in the non-profit, government, and private sectors.  They make their impact on an array of fields, often maintaining a presence in both academia and practice.

Fletcher PhD students move through three program phases on their way from admission to graduation. They start with classes, arranged within a structured curriculum that still allows significant flexibility in course selection. When their class requirements are complete, students take comprehensive exams, and then move on as PhD candidates to research and write a dissertation.

Shaping Your PhD Through Coursework

In shaping their curriculum, students start with a primary field of study, through which they develop a depth of expertise unique to their interests. The primary fields of study that support PhD studies are:

  • Comparative and Regional Studies
  • Gender and Intersectional Analysis
  • Human Security and Humanitarian Affairs
  • International Business
  • International Development and Environmental Policy
  • International Security

Students build on their primary field of expertise by developing a breadth of foundational knowledge in a second field of study, which can be any of the  fields offered at Fletcher  or might be a self-designed field. Regardless of their choice of field, all students also pursue foundational courses in international relations theory and in research methodology. The two fields of study later become the basis for comprehensive exams.

Students seeking additional opportunities to individualize their studies may cross-register for up to a quarter of their classes at another graduate school at Tufts University or at Harvard University.

Students who have received their master's degree at another institution generally pursue twelve courses at Fletcher, with limited opportunities to have prior coursework applied to their degree. Those who possess a MALD generally pursue an additional four courses, for a total of twenty courses for the two degrees.

Demonstrating Knowledge Through Comprehensive Examinations

Students demonstrate mastery of their subjects through comprehensive examinations, composed of a written exam in each of the two fields of study and an oral exam that integrates the material from the two areas. Students generally sit for their comprehensive examinations within a year of completing their coursework.

Developing and Writing a Dissertation

Once they have passed their comprehensive exams and achieved PhD candidacy, students move on to propose, research, and write a dissertation. The completed dissertation should bear evidence of independent research and constitute a substantial contribution on the subject. When the dissertation is complete, the PhD candidate participates in a public oral defense of the dissertation.

Additional Graduation Requirements

In addition to the steps detailed above, students in the PhD program:

  • Demonstrate proficiency in a second language.
  • Submit a master's thesis for evaluation by a Fletcher faculty member. This could be a master's thesis written prior to enrollment at Fletcher, or a thesis written during the first year at Fletcher.

Length of Time Required to Receive the PhD

Once they have completed their coursework, PhD students generally take about five years to complete the degree, but the exact time varies according to the scope of each candidate's research, the amount of time devoted to PhD studies, and the time needed to research and write the dissertation.

Professional Development Opportunities

Fletcher's Office of Career Services  works with PhD students interested in a career in international relations practice. Our graduates have pursued careers at a wide range of institutions and organizations. For those focused on the academic job market, Fletcher offers support at a variety of levels. Fletcher faculty and the Office of Career Services support job candidates with career advice, professional development, and general assistance.

To develop teaching skills, students can participate in Tufts University’s three-week summer intensive  Graduate Institute for Teaching  and then to co-teach a class with a faculty mentor. Many students have also developed and taught classes in the University’s  Osher Institute  or  Experimental College .

Department of Political Science

phd in international relations politics

Graduate Program

Yale’s Ph.D. program has a strong historical record of producing leading scholars in the field of Political Science. (Please note: The department does not offer a stand-alone MA in Political Science. Information about the Jackson Institute MPP in Global Affairs .) Many Yale graduates have also had successful careers in government, politics, non-profit organizations, and the private sector. This historical strength is matched by a strong faculty deeply engaged in training current graduate students to succeed in contemporary Political Science.

One of the Department’s strengths is substantive and methodological pluralism—there is no single “Yale way,” and our students and faculty are motivated by a range of questions in and across the subfields of Political Science. At the same time as we acknowledge this diversity of interests, the Department’s curriculum is designed to ensure students have adequate opportunities to master the core tools of contemporary social science research, including a four-course sequence in quantitative methodology and research design (statistics), a two course sequence in formal theory, courses on experimental design, implementation, and analysis, and a training program in qualitative and archival methodology.

The Department also offers training in five substantive subfields: American Politics, Comparative Politics, International Relations, Political Economy, and Political Theory. In each of these subfields, faculty regularly teach courses that expose students to both the foundational work in these areas and current active research topics. In many subfields, this training takes the form of formal or informal “sequences,” for example Comparative Politics I and II are taught each year. These classes are supplemented by topical seminars on selected and advanced topics.

In addition to regular courses, the Department and affiliated institutions (in particular, the MacMillan Center and the Institution for Social and Policy Studies) host a variety of (near-)weekly workshops in which outside speakers and Yale affiliates present and discuss work. These workshops provide a unique opportunity for students to observe the work of leading scholars, as well as to develop their own research in conjunction with faculty and student review. Information about these workshops is available here.

Students will also take two courses as a cohort. The first, Introduction to Politics, is for all Ph.D. students in their first semester. The second, Research and Writing, spans the second year and is centered on students producing a publishable quality research paper prior to embarking on the dissertation. Students in Research and Writing present their final paper in the Department’s mini-APSA conference in April.

About eighteen students enter the Ph.D. program each year. The total number of students in residence at any one time, including students working on their dissertations, is approximately 100, of whom about 40 are taking courses.

The Director of Graduate Studies for the Political Science Department is Hélène Landemore . Professor Landemore’s DGS office is located in Room 234  in Rosenkranz Hall, 115 Prospect Street. To contact Professor Landemore or sign up for DGS office hours, email her at dgs.polisci@yale.edu .

The Graduate program registrar is Colleen Amaro.  Her office is located in Room 230 in Rosenkranz Hall, 115 Prospect Street. She can be contacted by email at colleen.amaro@yale.edu .

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Expertise, rigor, & excellence

The challenges currently facing our world are numerous and varied. Successfully handling these issues requires the brightest and best-trained minds. The School of International Service's (SIS) PhD in International Relations provides qualified and dedicated students with the training, knowledge, and experience necessary to pursue careers in the scholarly and policy worlds and to contribute game-changing solutions in international affairs as emerging thought leaders.

With its large and diverse faculty, SIS offers a broad, interdisciplinary, and policy-relevant approach to the study of international affairs. We value theoretical diversity, intellectual breadth, analytical rigor, and scholarly excellence. SIS is committed to maintaining, both among its faculty and within its doctoral program, the expertise needed for the rigorous analysis of critical issues in international affairs.

The PhD program requires 39 credit hours of approved graduate coursework, plus the successful defense of a dissertation. The first year is devoted to core courses and methods training. In the second year, students complete one of the concentrations offered by SIS, or construct one of their own.

Students must also successfully complete two comprehensive exams - a qualifying exam at the end of their first year and a concentration comp at the end of the second year. Students are also asked to demonstrate competency in a modern foreign language .

The dissertation must advance knowledge in the field of international relations, broadly defined. Students select and design their own research project in consultation with a committee of at least three experts in their chosen field of study. Students advance to candidacy upon the successful defense of a dissertation prospectus, usually in their third year. A public defense of the dissertation is required for graduation.

The PhD degree Full degree and admission requirements

SIS has more than 120 full-time faculty from across the social sciences, including anthropology, economics, geography, law, political science, and sociology. Our faculty research and write on a variety of geographic and intellectual areas; many have extensive experience in the public and private sectors, both in the United States and internationally.  

SIS PhD students use rigorous training in both qualitative and quantitative methods to pursue a variety of research topics including:

  • The sources of cohesion in alliance relations.
  • The interaction between state and local fisheries management practices in Uganda and how this effects compliance and legitimacy.
  • The role of public diplomacy in US-China relations.
  • Transitional justice and its relationship to governance in Poland.

Unless students bring their own external funding, normally those admitted to the program are offered a Dean's Fellowship, which is renewable for up to four years for full-time students who maintain good progress toward completing the degree. The Dean's Fellowship provides full tuition remission plus a stipend that requires the student to work for a member of the SIS faculty as a either a Research or a Teaching Assistant for a maximum of 20 hours per week during both the Fall and Spring semesters.

Other sources of funding are available for summer research, travel for conference presentations, and additional methods training.

PhD Placements

SIS PhD Alumni hold appointments at top schools and organizations, including:

  • Georgetown University
  • University of Warwick, Britain
  • Fudan University, China
  • Towson University

More PhD placements

Challenging Oppressive Hierarchies

phd in international relations politics

K. Melchor Hall, SIS/PHD '14

Doctoral Faculty, Fielding Graduate University

At SIS, I was transdisciplinary, challenging boundaries of borrowed traditions.

I lived in Chocolate City before attending SIS, the experience deepened my understanding of the layering of cartographies of struggle and imperial maps. It was both disorienting and transformative to arrive where I started and find myself un-mapped. Studying international relations has deepened my commitment to challenging the oppressive hierarchies of Borderlands.

Frequently Asked Questions

When should i apply and when are the application deadlines.

In order to be considered for admission, applications and all supporting materials are due by December 15. New students begin in the fall semester. The program is designed for full-time study only and is not offered online. Students may not defer admission into the program.

View required application materials

Where will a PhD from the School of International Service take me?

Our graduates go on to careers in university teaching and research, government, and non-government organizations in the United States as well as around the globe.

Recent PhD program graduates are now on the faculty at a wide range of colleges and universities, including Virginia Tech, the University of Warwick, and the University of Denver. Graduates also hold government and industry positions, including with the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. Foreign Service.

Looking for more information or help? The SIS PhD has a dedicated placement officer to assist current students and alumni.

Is there financial assistance available?

Applicants who are admitted to the SIS PhD program as full-time students and who maintain good progress towards completing the degree are granted a Dean's Fellowship, unless they have their own external funding.

Need-based aid is available through AU Central Office and generally takes the form of a federal low-interest loan package.

Federal loan and work study information for graduate students

Still have questions? Send us an email at [email protected]

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Study Postgraduate

Phd in politics and international studies (2024 entry).

Students of Politics and International Studies at the University of Warwick

Course code

30 September 2024

3-4 years full-time; Up to 7 years part-time

Qualification

Politics and International Studies

University of Warwick

Find out more about our PhD in Politics and International Studies.

The University of Warwick's Politics and International Studies department (PAIS) offers the PhD in Politics and International Studies. Gain a unique opportunity to undertake a research project in one of the UK's largest Politics and International Studies departments.

Course overview

PAIS has a vibrant PhD community and our doctoral research covers a broad range of interests. The programme is structured around achieving distinct milestones in order to support your progress.

In your first year, you will be required to attend the PAIS first-year training module PO961: Doctoral Thesis Writing in Politics and International Studies, which will help you to prepare for upgrade process at the end of the first year.

As you progress through the course, you are also expected to attend advanced training workshops. Additional research training and personal and professional development are available through the department, the Doctoral College and IT Services.

PAIS has a keen interest in fostering networking between doctoral researchers of all stages as well as between PhD students and staff, and we therefore hold regular academic events.

Application Closing Date

Applications for the programme will close on 31 May 2024 for an Autumn 2024 start.

Teaching and learning

  • PO961: Doctoral Thesis Writing in Politics and International Studies
  • Advanced Training Workshops

Visiting PhD students

If you are currently a PhD student at another university anywhere in the world, it is possible to attend Warwick as a visiting researcher for up to one year. PAIS welcomes applications from students already undertaking postgraduate research at another institution, who wish to join us in a visiting capacity in order to participate in, and benefit from, the research culture and resources of the department and the university.

We recommend that you contact us prior to submitting an application in order to discuss your needs; the best starting point is to approach academic staff researching in your area to discuss your proposed visit dates and research plans. Please note that although members of the department’s academic staff are happy to arrange meetings with visiting students to discuss research and offer advice and suggestions, you would not be formally supervised during your visit.

Should you wish to submit an application, you will need to do this through the University's online postgraduate application system . Your application must include:

  • The proposed start and end dates of your visit
  • The name of the academic staff member who will oversee your visit in the department
  • A reference from your current supervisor which confirms your current student status and suitability for undertaking research at Warwick as a visiting student
  • A brief outline of the research you intend to undertake while you are with us.

You will also need to meet PAIS’s English language requirements ( Band B IELTS 7.0 ).

Before you submit your application, you should also consult the Doctoral College's information about visiting as a research student; their pages contain further information about fees, links to visa information if required, and a link to the relevant application form.

Part-time study

The PhD programme in PAIS is designed to be taken on a full-time basis. However, for a small number of candidates, studying part-time may offer a way to balance life and study commitments.

Learn more about part-time study. Link opens in a new window

Postgraduate FAQs (PAIS specific) Postgraduate FAQs (general)

General entry requirements

Minimum requirements.

A Master’s degree (or equivalent) with a minimum degree classification of Merit/2:1 in a relevant subject area; a strong research proposal; explicit support from at least one potential PAIS supervisor.

Read our department specific advice on applying Link opens in a new window to ensure your application has the best chance for success.

English language requirements

You can find out more about our English language requirements Link opens in a new window . This course requires the following:

  • IELTS overall score of 7.0, minimum component scores of two at 6.0/6.5 and the rest at 7.0 or above.

International qualifications

We welcome applications from students with other internationally recognised qualifications.

For more information, please visit the international entry requirements page Link opens in a new window .

Additional requirements

There are no additional requirements for this course.

Our research

Areas for phd supervision, by research groups:.

  • International Political Economy
  • International Relations and Security
  • Comparative Politics and Democratisation
  • Political Theory.
  • Development
  • Cyber Security
  • Intelligence
  • Democratic Theory
  • US/EU/UK Foreign Policy
  • Middle East
  • Latin America
  • Democratisation
  • Political Institutions
  • Environmental Policy
  • International Finance
  • Global Governance
  • Terrorism and Counter-terrorism
  • War Studies
  • Conflict studies
  • Peace keeping

You can also read our general University research proposal guidance.

Find a supervisor

Find your supervisor using the link below and discuss with them the area you'd like to research.

Explore our Politics and International Studies Staff Directory where you will be able to filter by research cluster, region or topic.

You can also see our general University guidance about finding a supervisor.

Tuition fees

Tuition fees are payable for each year of your course at the start of the academic year, or at the start of your course, if later. Academic fees cover the cost of tuition, examinations and registration and some student amenities.

Find your research course fees

Fee Status Guidance

We carry out an initial fee status assessment based on the information you provide in your application. Students will be classified as Home or Overseas fee status. Your fee status determines tuition fees, and what financial support and scholarships may be available. If you receive an offer, your fee status will be clearly stated alongside the tuition fee information.

Do you need your fee classification to be reviewed?

If you believe that your fee status has been classified incorrectly, you can complete a fee status assessment questionnaire. Please follow the instructions in your offer information and provide the documents needed to reassess your status.

Find out more about how universities assess fee status

Additional course costs

As well as tuition fees and living expenses, some courses may require you to cover the cost of field trips or costs associated with travel abroad.

For departmental specific costs, please see the Modules tab on the course web page for the list of core and optional core modules with hyperlinks to our  Module Catalogue  (please visit the Department’s website if the Module Catalogue hyperlinks are not provided).

Associated costs can be found on the Study tab for each module listed in the Module Catalogue (please note most of the module content applies to 2022/23 year of study). Information about module department specific costs should be considered in conjunction with the more general costs below:

  • Core text books
  • Printer credits
  • Fieldwork costs
  • Dissertation binding
  • Robe hire for your degree ceremony

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Politics and International Studies at Warwick

Join an innovative, creative and passionate department with a lively and interactive culture. Stretch and challenge yourself with the support of friendly staff and your peers.

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Our Postgraduate courses

  • International Development (MA)
  • International Political Economy (MA)
  • International Politics and East Asia (MA)
  • International Politics and Europe (MA)
  • International Relations (MA)
  • International Security (MA)
  • Politics and International Studies (PhD)
  • Political and Legal Theory (MA)
  • Politics, Big Data and Quantitative Methods (MA)
  • Politics of Climate Change (MA)
  • Public Policy (MA)

How to apply

The application process for courses that start in September and October 2024 will open on 2 October 2023.

Applications for the programme will close on 31 May 2024 for an Autumn 2024 start.  

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PhD Political Science (International Relations)

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McMaster has nine full time faculty members who specialize in teaching and conducting research in international relations. Our PhD International Relations program’s strengths are in the fields of:

  • Canadian Foreign Policy
  • Critical International Relations Theory
  • Critical Security Studies
  • Global Governance
  • Global Political Economy
  • Politics of the Global South

About the Program

McMaster’s PhD is one of the strongest critical international relations programs in the country. Critical IR approaches reveal the unequal power relations of world order and seek to challenge those conditions. We draw on a wide variety of theoretical traditions including constructivist, ecological, feminist, historical materialist, post-colonial and post-structural approaches.

Faculty members have overlapping interests in alternative diplomacies, citizenship studies and transnational social movements, climate change, international political economy, international relations theory, global governance, post-colonialism and politics of the global south. PhD students are encouraged to take advantage of the activities of the Institute on Globalization and the Human Condition , as well as our annual student focused Mapping the Global Dimensions of Policy conference .

Research Opportunities Several faculty members in the department have funded research programs that provide potential opportunities for collaboration or research assistant positions for PhD students enrolled in political science. Potential PhD students with research interests or preparation that align with one of the projects below should contact the relevant faculty member(s) as they prepare their applications for admission to the PhD program.

Faculty Specializing in International Relations:

Nathan Andrews : Political Economy of Resource Extraction, Social/Development Policy, Global Governance, International Relations Theory & Critical Pedagogy

Marshall Beier : Critical Approaches to Security, Militarization of Childhood, Indigeneity & International Relations, International Relations Theory

Thomas Marois : Neoliberalism & Development, Public Banking, Political Economy

Stephen McBride : North American Political Economy, Trade & Investment Governance, Austerity

Peter Nyers : Critical Security Studies, Citizenship, Borders, Refugees, Undocumented Migration

Robert O’Brien : Global Political Economy, Labour Internationalism, Global Civil Society, Climate Change, Global Governance

Tony Porter : Global Governance & Standard Setting, International Finance

Alina Sajed : Post-colonial International Relations, Political Violence & Revolution, Global South

Lana Wylie : Canadian & US Foreign Policy, Alternative Diplomacy, Cuba

In addition, several other faculty members have an interest in International Relations:

Michelle Dion : Comparative Politics, Gender & Politics, Globalization, Public Policy, Social & Health Policy

Catherine Frost : Communications, Globalization, Nationalism, Political Theory, Politics & History, Politics of Representation

Ahmed Shafiqul Huque : Public Policy & Public Administration in the Global South

James Ingram : Critical International Relations, Globalization, Political Theory, Post-colonial Theory

Inder Marwah : Critical International Relations, Globalization, Political Theory, Politics of Representation

Netina Tan : Sources of Authoritarian Resilience, Political Representation of Women & Ethnic Minorities in Asia & Globally

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Requirements and Timelines

The International Relations doctoral program is designed to equip graduates to conduct research and teach at the university level in International Relations and one other field chosen from Canadian politics, comparative politics, public policy, or political theory.

Students take six courses, including three required ones. They then prepare comprehensive examinations in their two major fields, which they write in August of their first year and December of their second year. Students also fulfill a language requirement to demonstrate their competency in a language other than English which is relevant to their research. This is normally done before the approval of the thesis proposal.

The remainder of the program involves preparing a thesis proposal, and then completing and defending the dissertation.

A thesis proposal will normally be submitted in April of the student’s second year. The thesis should normally be no more than 60,000 words long, and it is expected that the thesis will be finished about two years after the proposal is approved. Overall, then, full-time students are expected to take about four years to complete the program. Part-time students may take up to eight years to complete the degree but are encouraged to finish in less time.

Admissions and Applications

Admission to the PhD program will normally require a Master’s degree in political science with an average of at least an A– (A minus).

Applicants are encouraged to contact faculty members in the Department of Political Science regarding potential supervision.

Required Application Documents:

Graduate Studies Online Application

Applicants are required to complete the Graduate Studies Online Application which opens October 1st each year. In addition to the online application, applicants must also submit the required documents listed below. Most required documents must be submitted through the online application.

Statement of Interest 

  • An electronic statement of interest (approximately 500 words, single or double-spaced, maximum of 1 page ).
  • The statement must be uploaded as a PDF attachment only through the online application system.
  • Your statement of interest is a crucial element of the application process.  Canadian Politics  applicants should describe the analytical problem or question about the Canadian political system that their dissertation will pursue.  Comparative Politics  applicants should emphasize the comparative elements of their project compared. C omparative Public Policy  applicants should highlight the comparative nature of their research and policy area which concerns them.  International Relations  applicants should identify the international, transnational or global elements of their research projects.  Political Theory  applicants should identify the philosophical traditions, concepts, or figures that they wish to study at the doctoral level.
  • All applicants would benefit from indicating particular faculty members or research clusters that overlap with their projects.

CV/Personal Resume 

  • An electronic copy of your CV/Resume must be uploaded as a PDF attachment through the online application system.

Official Academic Transcripts 

  • Upload a scan of ALL official university transcripts completed to date to the application system. Remember to include a copy of the transcript key/legend or scale from the transcript.  
  • Transcripts from institutions where you completed courses on Letter of Permission and/or as part of a Student Exchange Program must also be included.
  • If the official language of instruction at your institution is not English, please include both the original language document and a certified English translation.  
  • DO NOT submit an unofficial transcript or a student record prints.
  • If you receive an offer of admission further instructions will be given on how to submit formal official transcripts.  

Academic Reference 

  • Three (3) confidential e-reference reports from instructors most familiar with your academic work.  
  • All referees are required to complete the e-Reference.
  • You will be required to include contact information and an email address for each referee.
  • The electronic referencing system will send an e-Reference request on your behalf.

English Language Proficiency (if applicable) 

  • If English is not your native language, an official copy of your English Language Proficiency score or other evidence of competency in English is required. Such applicants are required to supply this evidence as part of your application. Applicants whose university studies were complete at an institution where English is deemed the official language of instruction may be exempted from this requirement (an official letter from the institution is required).  
  • The English Proficiency exam must have been completed within 2 years of the application due date.  
  • This requirement must be met prior to an offer of admission. There will be no exceptions to the language requirement.  
  • The most common evidence is a score on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).
  • TOEFL: minimum score is 92 (iBT-internet based), 237 (computer based) or 580 (paper based). The McMaster University TOEFL/TSE Institution Code is 0936 and the Department Code for Political Science is 89.  
  • IELTS (Academic): minimum overall score is 6.5, with at least 5.5 in each section.  

NOTE: International students wishing to enter Canada on a study permit should also contact the nearest Canadian Embassy or Consulate for further information.

Application Fee 

The system will charg e a non-refundable application fee. Please have a valid credit card ready to pay the application fee. The fee will not be refunded or waived.

ANY LATE OR MISSING DOCUMENTS WILL DELAY YOUR APPLICATION AND NOT BE REVIEWED BY THE DEPARTMENT’S ADMISSION COMMITTEE.   

Application Deadline: 

January 14, 2024 (for September 2024 admission)  

We do not offer a Winter (January) or Spring (May) start date.

Financial Information, Scholarships and Awards

The Ellen Louks Fairclough Scholarship in Political Science

The Ellen Louks Fairclough Memorial Scholarship in Political Science was established in 2004 to commemorate the life of The Right Honourable Ellen Louks Fairclough, P.C., C.C., F.CA., L.L.D., F.R.C.G.S., D.H., U.E., Canada’s first female federal cabinet minister and lifelong advocate for women’s rights. To be awarded to a student enrolled in a graduate program in Political Science who holds an Ontario Graduate Scholarship. Preference will be given to a student with an interest in Canadian public policy.

The Political Science Travel Grant

To support research and professional development by assisting graduate students with costs related to doing field-work or attending academic conferences. This grant is open to both MA (thesis option) and PhD students. There are two rounds of applications each year with the deadlines being October 15th and January 30th.

The William Coleman Fund

The William Coleman Fund was established in 2011 by Dr. William Coleman. To support Ph.D. students in the Department of Political Science who are conducting field research.

To see additional information regarding awards and funding, please visit the Awards & Funding page .

Academic Support

International Relations Faculty  

The Department has many faculty specializing in International Relations. Their names and research interests are:  

Marshall Beier – Critical approaches to security, militarization of childhood, Indigeneity and IR, IR Theory  

Stephen McBride – North American Political Economy, Trade and Investment Governance  

Peter Nyers – Critical Security Studies, Citizenship, Borders, Refugees, Undocumented Migration  

Robert O’Brien – Global Political Economy, labour internationalism, global civil society, climate change, global governance  

Tony Porter – Global governance and standard setting, international finance  

Alina Sajed – Post-colonial IR, political violence and revolution, global south  

Lana Wylie – Canadian and US foreign Policy, alternative diplomacy, Cuba  

In addition several other faculty have an interest in international relations:  

Michelle Dion – Comparative politics, gender and politics, globalization, public policy, social and health policy  

Catherine Frost – Communications, globalization, nationalism, political theory, politics and history, politics of representation  

Ahmed Shafiqul Huque – Climate, water and sustainability, policy, public policy  

James Ingram – Critical IR, globalization, political theory, post-colonial theory  

Inder Marwah – Critical IR, globalization, political theory, politics of representation  

Apply to a PhD Program in Political Science (International Relations)

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DPhil in International Relations

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About the course

The DPhil programme is a full-time programme of doctoral research in the academic study of International Relations with an expected length of three to four years of full-time study or six to eight years of part-time study. Note that the part-time option is not a distance-learning programme; part-time students are required to attend face-to-face teaching in Oxford on up to three separate days each week during term.

As a DPhil student you will be a member of a distinguished academic community that is renowned for its cutting-edge research and its intensive and individualised teaching and supervision. The programme has received the highest level of recognition in UK national and global assessment exercises. It is a community from which you will draw support and guidance but which will also learn from your own contribution to its work.

You will have rich opportunities for connecting with fellow-students, postdoctoral fellows, and temporary and permanent academic staff involved in disciplinary and cross-disciplinary research programmes. The department attracts many of the world’s leading figures in International Relations (IR) - as visiting scholars, speakers in the regular IR Colloquium, and participants in research conferences and workshops.

Doctoral students spend the first year of full-time study, or the first two years of part-time study, in the development of, and early work on, the thesis topic; in improving knowledge of quantitative and qualitative research methods; in attendance at relevant lectures, seminars and classes; and in preparing to transfer from Probationary Research Student (PRS - the status at which you will normally be admitted - see Assessment) to full DPhil status.

An academic supervisor will advise and guide you as you progress through the different stages of your doctoral research. In addition to work for your supervisor, you will be required to take a range of coursework. In the first term this includes: Research Design and Methods (RDM) in IR, Research Design, and introductory or intermediate statistics, as well as attendance at the regular IR DPhil Research Seminar which runs through the year and at which doctoral students present their work. In the second term students continue with RDM in IR and take one course in Formal Analysis, Causal Inference or Qualitative Methods. In the third term, there are a series of short, specialised methods courses. For part-time students, these coursework obligations are distributed across six terms.

Exemptions from particular elements of the coursework can be sought on the basis of previous training. Subsequent years are largely devoted to the development of the thesis project.

Doctoral theses will normally require substantial original research, often involving archives, fieldwork, interviewing or other forms of data generation and collection. For the doctoral degree the most crucial requirement is that the thesis makes a ‘significant and substantial contribution to the field of knowledge within which it falls’. There are many ways of achieving this.

The department is committed to the rigorous use of a plurality of methods. There are many different ways of conducting research for a thesis. Any or all may be valid in a given case, depending on the subject of the research and the questions addressed. Some theses may involve an analytical-descriptive attempt at understanding different events, perspectives and traditions of thought. Others may have a strong historiographical element - exploring, for example, the relation between events and ideas, or involving an original and expert use of sources. Others may involve advancing a hypothesis about a subject and then testing it with a range of qualitative and/or quantitative approaches. Apart from meeting the highest scholarly standards, there is no set template. There is also a strong and successful tradition of normative and critical work. Oxford IR seeks to combine the best of North American political science with deep engagement with the international relations of different parts of the world and with the history of different traditions of thought on the subject.

As a doctoral student of the department, you will have access to outstanding library and computing resources within the Social Sciences Division (of which the Department of Politics and IR is a major part), elsewhere in the University and, in most cases, in your college. The division runs network events to enable DPhil students to meet and network with their colleagues not only within politics and IR but with other social science disciplines.

As a part-time student you will be required to attend classes, seminars, supervision meetings and other obligations in Oxford for a minimum of thirty days each year. There will be limited flexibility in the dates and pattern of attendance. Attendance will be required during term-time at least one day each week throughout the first two years of your study on days determined by your class and seminar attendance and by your supervisor. Attendance will be required outside of term-time on dates to be determined by mutual agreement with your supervisor. You will be required to attend fieldwork and training sessions on dates to be determined by mutual agreement with your supervisor.

Successful completion of an Oxford DPhil requires an intense and sustained level of personal motivation and focus within a world-class research and teaching environment.

Supervision

The allocation of graduate supervision for this course is the responsibility of the Department of Politics and International Relations and it is not always possible to accommodate the preferences of incoming graduate students to work with a particular member of staff. Supervisors are usually selected from the  academic staff  within the Department of Politics and International Relations. Under exceptional circumstances a supervisor may be found outside the Department of Politics and International Relations. 

You will be assigned an academic supervisor who will advise and guide you as you progress through the different stages of your doctoral research. 

Applicants are admitted to the DPhil with Probationer Research Student (PRS) status. As a PRS, you will develop your research proposal and skills, complete a programme of assessed research methods coursework, and produce a draft section or sections of the thesis, in order to apply for the Transfer of Status that will end your probationary period as a research student. The Graduate Studies Committee will require satisfactory completion of this training programme as a condition of your change of status from PRS to DPhil.

Once you have been admitted to full DPhil status, you must achieve confirmation of that status by the end of your ninth term as a full-time doctoral student, or by the end of your eighteenth term as a part-time student. Once you have completed your thesis, you will be examined viva voce .

Graduate destinations

International Relations has an outstanding placement record. The largest group of DPhil students go on to careers in academia or research. Many move on to post-doctoral fellowships in the UK, continental Europe and North America. Our doctoral students have a distinguished history of winning thesis and other prizes and of publishing their work in leading journals and with major university presses. The universities at which IR graduates have gained academic positions over recent years include: ANU, McGill, Waterloo, Sciences Po, Amsterdam, Groningen, The Graduate Institute Geneva, SAIS/JHU, ETH Zürich, The New School, Swarthmore, LSE, Oxford, Cambridge, King’s College London, University College London, Queen Mary London, St Andrews, Exeter, Reading, Warwick, PUC Santiago, and FGV São Paulo. Oxford IR DPhils also work at all levels in many of world’s leading think-tanks and research institutes in Europe and North America but also in Brazil, South Africa, and Singapore. Others still have moved to achieve leading positions in the policy and political world. The department runs regular courses on professional training, including on interviews, research grant applications and academic publishing.

DPIR is committed to engaging with its alumni community , through its Inspires alumni email newsletter and Alumni Career Conversations series of online talks. 

Changes to this course and your supervision

The University will seek to deliver this course in accordance with the description set out in this course page. However, there may be situations in which it is desirable or necessary for the University to make changes in course provision, either before or after registration. The safety of students, staff and visitors is paramount and major changes to delivery or services may have to be made in circumstances of a pandemic, epidemic or local health emergency. In addition, in certain circumstances, for example due to visa difficulties or because the health needs of students cannot be met, it may be necessary to make adjustments to course requirements for international study.

Where possible your academic supervisor will not change for the duration of your course. However, it may be necessary to assign a new academic supervisor during the course of study or before registration for reasons which might include illness, sabbatical leave, parental leave or change in employment.

For further information please see our page on changes to courses and the provisions of the student contract regarding changes to courses.

Entry requirements for entry in 2024-25

Proven and potential academic excellence.

The requirements described below are specific to this course and apply only in the year of entry that is shown. You can use our interactive tool to help you  evaluate whether your application is likely to be competitive .

Please be aware that any studentships that are linked to this course may have different or additional requirements and you should read any studentship information carefully before applying. 

Degree-level qualifications

As a minimum, applicants should hold or be predicted to achieve the following UK qualifications or their equivalent:

  • a master’s degree at distinction level  in international relations, or in a closely related discipline that has prepared you to undertake advanced graduate research on your chosen thesis topic;  and
  • a first-class or strong upper second-class undergraduate degree with honours in politics or international relations, or in a related discipline such as economics, history, philosophy, sociology or law.

Entrance is very competitive and most successful applicants have a record of academic performance at first-class and/or distinction level.

Applicants without a master’s qualification will not normally be admitted for doctoral study.

Each application will be assessed upon its own merits, and candidates with a degree in an unrelated discipline should demonstrate the relevance of their academic background to their proposed subject or topic of study.

For applicants with a degree from the USA, the minimum GPA sought is 3.7 out of 4.0.

If your degree is not from the UK or another country specified above, visit our International Qualifications page for guidance on the qualifications and grades that would usually be considered to meet the University’s minimum entry requirements.

GRE General Test scores

No Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or GMAT scores are sought.

Other qualifications, evidence of excellence and relevant experience

  • Research or work experience that is relevant to your proposed study may provide further evidence of your academic potential.
  • Publications are not expected, but a peer-reviewed publication in international relations or an allied discipline may be taken as  prima facie  evidence of aptitude for research.

Part-time applicants

Part-time applicants will also be expected to show evidence of the ability to commit time to study and, if applicable, an employer's commitment to make time available to study, to complete coursework, and attend course and University events and modules in Oxford. Where appropriate, evidence should also be provided of permission to use employers’ data in the proposed research project. As a probationer research student, coursework requirements will necessitate attendance in Oxford for at least one day per week during full-term. It is therefore likely that part-time students are either already resident in Oxford or will live within commuting distance of the city, such as via the strong transport links along the M4 corridor and between major cities to the north (including Birmingham) and south (including Southampton).

English language proficiency

This course requires proficiency in English at the University's  higher level . If your first language is not English, you may need to provide evidence that you meet this requirement. The minimum scores required to meet the University's higher level are detailed in the table below.

*Previously known as the Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English or Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) † Previously known as the Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English or Cambridge English: Proficiency (CPE)

Your test must have been taken no more than two years before the start date of your course. Our Application Guide provides  further information about the English language test requirement .

Declaring extenuating circumstances

If your ability to meet the entry requirements has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic (eg you were awarded an unclassified/ungraded degree) or any other exceptional personal circumstance (eg other illness or bereavement), please refer to the guidance on extenuating circumstances in the Application Guide for information about how to declare this so that your application can be considered appropriately.

You will need to register three referees who can give an informed view of your academic ability and suitability for the course. The  How to apply  section of this page provides details of the types of reference that are required in support of your application for this course and how these will be assessed.

Supporting documents

You will be required to supply supporting documents with your application. The  How to apply  section of this page provides details of the supporting documents that are required as part of your application for this course and how these will be assessed.

Performance at interview

Interviews are not normally held as part of the admissions process.

How your application is assessed

Your application will be assessed purely on your proven and potential academic excellence and other entry requirements described under that heading.

References  and  supporting documents  submitted as part of your application, and your performance at interview (if interviews are held) will be considered as part of the assessment process. Whether or not you have secured funding will not be taken into consideration when your application is assessed.

An overview of the shortlisting and selection process is provided below. Our ' After you apply ' pages provide  more information about how applications are assessed . 

Shortlisting and selection

Students are considered for shortlisting and selected for admission without regard to age, disability, gender reassignment, marital or civil partnership status, pregnancy and maternity, race (including colour, nationality and ethnic or national origins), religion or belief (including lack of belief), sex, sexual orientation, as well as other relevant circumstances including parental or caring responsibilities or social background. However, please note the following:

  • socio-economic information may be taken into account in the selection of applicants and award of scholarships for courses that are part of  the University’s pilot selection procedure  and for  scholarships aimed at under-represented groups ;
  • country of ordinary residence may be taken into account in the awarding of certain scholarships; and
  • protected characteristics may be taken into account during shortlisting for interview or the award of scholarships where the University has approved a positive action case under the Equality Act 2010.

Initiatives to improve access to graduate study

This course is taking part in a continuing pilot programme to improve the selection procedure for graduate applications, in order to ensure that all candidates are evaluated fairly.

For this course, socio-economic data (where it has been provided in the application form) will be used to contextualise applications at the different stages of the selection process.  Further information about how we use your socio-economic data  can be found in our page about initiatives to improve access to graduate study.

Processing your data for shortlisting and selection

Information about  processing special category data for the purposes of positive action  and  using your data to assess your eligibility for funding , can be found in our Postgraduate Applicant Privacy Policy.

Admissions panels and assessors

All recommendations to admit a student involve the judgement of at least two members of the academic staff with relevant experience and expertise, and must also be approved by the Director of Graduate Studies or Admissions Committee (or equivalent within the department).

Admissions panels or committees will always include at least one member of academic staff who has undertaken appropriate training.

Other factors governing whether places can be offered

The following factors will also govern whether candidates can be offered places:

  • the ability of the University to provide the appropriate supervision for your studies, as outlined under the 'Supervision' heading in the  About  section of this page;
  • the ability of the University to provide appropriate support for your studies (eg through the provision of facilities, resources, teaching and/or research opportunities); and
  • minimum and maximum limits to the numbers of students who may be admitted to the University's taught and research programmes.

Offer conditions for successful applications

If you receive an offer of a place at Oxford, your offer will outline any conditions that you need to satisfy and any actions you need to take, together with any associated deadlines. These may include academic conditions, such as achieving a specific final grade in your current degree course. These conditions will usually depend on your individual academic circumstances and may vary between applicants. Our ' After you apply ' pages provide more information about offers and conditions . 

In addition to any academic conditions which are set, you will also be required to meet the following requirements:

Financial Declaration

If you are offered a place, you will be required to complete a  Financial Declaration  in order to meet your financial condition of admission.

Disclosure of criminal convictions

In accordance with the University’s obligations towards students and staff, we will ask you to declare any  relevant, unspent criminal convictions  before you can take up a place at Oxford.

The DPIR provides a stimulating research environment in which you can pursue your interests beyond the formal demands of the syllabus.

Many of the academic staff who teach on the graduate programmes also organise extracurricular research seminars for graduate students, such as, the International Relations Research.

The DPIR also hosts a wide range of research centres and programmes which actively seek to develop collaborative research activity via conferences, workshops and other academic events, and which include graduate students in their activities.

Research centres provide opportunities for you to present your own work in research seminar series and at conferences in the department and beyond. The research centres have an established and popular visitors’ programme which has allowed many scholars of international repute to participate in the DPIR’s research activities.

At Oxford you have access to an extensive range of libraries, books, journals, online resources, manuscripts and more. The Bodleian Libraries is the main library service supporting the University of Oxford. The Bodleian Libraries include the Bodleian Library, which has been a library of legal deposit for 400 years, as well as the Bodleian Social Science Library . This is located on the ground floor of the Manor Road Building and houses the main collection for Politics and International Relations alongside a wide range of other social sciences resources.

SOLO (Search Oxford Libraries Online)   is the search engine for all library collections across the university. It provides access to information in over 100 libraries including college and departmental libraries as well as the Bodleian Libraries. Your Single Sign-On offers easy access to subscription resources through SOLO. The Politics and International Relations subject guide provides up-to-date advice and the contact details of your Subject Librarian for further support.

Politics and International Relations

The Department of Politics and International Relations (DPIR) at Oxford is an internationally-renowned centre of excellence for teaching and research.

The study of these disciplines at Oxford has a long and distinguished history and the DPIR is now one of the largest in the field in the UK. DPIR is ranked first for research overall in the most recent THES global university rankings for Politics and International Studies and second in the 2023 QS World University Rankings.

The department's large community of academic staff work in research areas that extend in geographical scope across the globe, cover both historical and contemporary sources, and address technical, practical, and philosophical problems in networks that extend beyond the DPIR to other departments, universities, and global and local organisations.  

Graduate students have access to an unrivalled range of expertise and activity in the fields of government and politics, political theory, and international studies. Teaching is based on the most rigorous contemporary scholarship and students are trained in the highest standards of critical analysis, and in the understanding and use of rigorous research methods and techniques. The department’s graduate courses include both taught master's degrees (one-year research preparation MSc and two-year MPhil) and three- to four-year doctoral research degrees (DPhil). However, all taught degrees involve a research element, and all research degrees will involve some taught components, including quantitative and qualitative research methods. The DPIR graduate community currently numbers just over 300, with 150 students studying the taught courses and around 170 undertaking doctoral research.

View all courses   View taught courses View research courses

The University expects to be able to offer over 1,000 full or partial graduate scholarships across the collegiate University in 2024-25. You will be automatically considered for the majority of Oxford scholarships , if you fulfil the eligibility criteria and submit your graduate application by the relevant December or January deadline. Most scholarships are awarded on the basis of academic merit and/or potential. 

For further details about searching for funding as a graduate student visit our dedicated Funding pages, which contain information about how to apply for Oxford scholarships requiring an additional application, details of external funding, loan schemes and other funding sources.

Please ensure that you visit individual college websites for details of any college-specific funding opportunities using the links provided on our college pages or below:

Please note that not all the colleges listed above may accept students on this course. For details of those which do, please refer to the College preference section of this page.

Further information about funding opportunities for this course can be found on the department's website.

Annual fees for entry in 2024-25

Full-time study.

Further details about fee status eligibility can be found on the fee status webpage.

Part-time study

Information about course fees.

Course fees are payable each year, for the duration of your fee liability (your fee liability is the length of time for which you are required to pay course fees). For courses lasting longer than one year, please be aware that fees will usually increase annually. For details, please see our guidance on changes to fees and charges .

Course fees cover your teaching as well as other academic services and facilities provided to support your studies. Unless specified in the additional information section below, course fees do not cover your accommodation, residential costs or other living costs. They also don’t cover any additional costs and charges that are outlined in the additional information below.

Continuation charges

Following the period of fee liability , you may also be required to pay a University continuation charge and a college continuation charge. The University and college continuation charges are shown on the Continuation charges page.

Where can I find further information about fees?

The Fees and Funding  section of this website provides further information about course fees , including information about fee status and eligibility  and your length of fee liability .

Additional information

There are no compulsory elements of this course that entail additional costs beyond fees (or, after fee liability ends, continuation charges) and living costs. However, please note that, depending on your choice of research topic and the research required to complete it, you may incur additional expenses, such as travel and vaccination expenses, conference attendance, research expenses, and field trips. You will need to meet these additional costs, although you may be able to apply for small grants from your department and/or college to help you cover some of these expenses.

There are no compulsory elements of this course that entail additional costs beyond fees (or, after fee liability ends, continuation charges) and living costs.

Please note that you are required to attend in Oxford for a minimum of 30 days each year, and you may incur additional travel and accommodation expenses for this. Also, depending on your choice of research topic and the research required to complete it, you may incur further additional expenses, such as travel and vaccination expenses, conference attendance, research expenses, and field trips. You will need to meet these additional costs, although you may be able to apply for small grants from your department and/or college to help you cover some of these expenses.

Living costs

In addition to your course fees, you will need to ensure that you have adequate funds to support your living costs for the duration of your course.

For the 2024-25 academic year, the range of likely living costs for full-time study is between c. £1,345 and £1,955 for each month spent in Oxford. Full information, including a breakdown of likely living costs in Oxford for items such as food, accommodation and study costs, is available on our living costs page. The current economic climate and high national rate of inflation make it very hard to estimate potential changes to the cost of living over the next few years. When planning your finances for any future years of study in Oxford beyond 2024-25, it is suggested that you allow for potential increases in living expenses of around 5% each year – although this rate may vary depending on the national economic situation. UK inflationary increases will be kept under review and this page updated.

If you are studying part-time your living costs may vary depending on your personal circumstances but you must still ensure that you will have sufficient funding to meet these costs for the duration of your course.

Students enrolled on this course will belong to both a department/faculty and a college. Please note that ‘college’ and ‘colleges’ refers to all 43 of the University’s colleges, including those designated as societies and permanent private halls (PPHs). 

If you apply for a place on this course you will have the option to express a preference for one of the colleges listed below, or you can ask us to find a college for you. Before deciding, we suggest that you read our brief  introduction to the college system at Oxford  and our  advice about expressing a college preference . For some courses, the department may have provided some additional advice below to help you decide.

The following colleges accept students for full-time study on this course:

  • Balliol College
  • Blackfriars
  • Brasenose College
  • Campion Hall
  • Christ Church
  • Exeter College
  • Green Templeton College
  • Harris Manchester College
  • Hertford College
  • Jesus College
  • Keble College
  • Kellogg College
  • Lady Margaret Hall
  • Linacre College
  • Lincoln College
  • Magdalen College
  • Mansfield College
  • New College
  • Nuffield College
  • Oriel College
  • Pembroke College
  • Regent's Park College
  • Reuben College
  • St Anne's College
  • St Antony's College
  • St Catherine's College
  • St Cross College
  • St Edmund Hall
  • St Hilda's College
  • St Hugh's College
  • St John's College
  • St Peter's College
  • Somerville College
  • Trinity College
  • University College
  • Wadham College
  • Wolfson College
  • Worcester College
  • Wycliffe Hall

The following colleges accept students for part-time study on this course:

Before you apply

Our  guide to getting started  provides general advice on how to prepare for and start your application. You can use our interactive tool to help you  evaluate whether your application is likely to be competitive .

If it's important for you to have your application considered under a particular deadline – eg under a December or January deadline in order to be considered for Oxford scholarships – we recommend that you aim to complete and submit your application at least two weeks in advance . Check the deadlines on this page and the  information about deadlines and when to apply  in our Application Guide.

Application fee waivers

An application fee of £75 is payable per course application. Application fee waivers are available for the following applicants who meet the eligibility criteria:

  • applicants from low-income countries;
  • refugees and displaced persons; 
  • UK applicants from low-income backgrounds; and 
  • applicants who applied for our Graduate Access Programmes in the past two years and met the eligibility criteria.

You are encouraged to  check whether you're eligible for an application fee waiver  before you apply.

Readmission for current Oxford graduate taught students

If you're currently studying for an Oxford graduate taught course and apply to this course with no break in your studies, you may be eligible to apply to this course as a readmission applicant. The application fee will be waived for an eligible application of this type. Check whether you're eligible to apply for readmission .

Do I need to contact anyone before I apply?

You are advised to review the  profiles of academic staff  before you apply as successful applications always depend on the DPIR's capacity to offer appropriate supervision. A supervisor should be a permanent member of the Department of Politics and International Relations. You are not required to make contact with any prospective supervisors before you apply, as the DPIR arranges supervision for successful applicants. General questions about the course should be directed to the course administrator via the contact details provided on this page. 

Completing your application

You should refer to the information below when completing the application form, paying attention to the specific requirements for the supporting documents .

For this course, the application form will include questions that collect information that would usually be included in a CV/résumé. You should not upload a separate document. If a separate CV/résumé is uploaded, it will be removed from your application .

If any document does not meet the specification, including the stipulated word count, your application may be considered incomplete and not assessed by the academic department. Expand each section to show further details.

Proposed field and title of research project

Under the 'Field and title of research project' please enter your proposed field or area of research if this is known. If the department has advertised a specific research project that you would like to be considered for, please enter the project title here instead.

You should not use this field to type out a full research proposal. You will be able to upload your research supporting materials separately if they are required (as described below).

Proposed supervisor

Under 'Proposed supervisor name' enter the name of the academic(s) who you would like to supervise your research. 

You can enter the names of up to two supervisors, either in order of preference or indicating equal preference.

Referees: Three overall, academic preferred

Whilst you must register three referees, the department may start the assessment of your application if two of the three references are submitted by the course deadline and your application is otherwise complete. Please note that you may still be required to ensure your third referee supplies a reference for consideration.

Your application must be supported by academic references, ie each referee should be able to testify to your academic abilities, achievements and motivation. In most cases, the academics who have taught you or who have known your academic work during earlier university-level study will be best placed to testify to these capabilities. When that is not possible, a professional reference from a colleague who has worked with you in a research capacity or is otherwise able to comment on your academic capabilities is acceptable in place of a tutor’s reference.

Official transcript(s)

Your transcripts should give detailed information of the individual grades received in your university-level qualifications to date. You should only upload official documents issued by your institution and any transcript not in English should be accompanied by a certified translation.

More information about the transcript requirement is available in the Application Guide.

Research proposal: A minimum of 4,000 words to a maximum of 6,000 words

You should submit a detailed outline of your proposed research, written in English, covering areas such as the background to the research, methodology, expected results and the contribution to the field of learning.

The research proposal should be written in English.

If possible, please ensure that the word count is clearly displayed on the document.

This will be assessed for:

  • your reasons for applying to the DPhil programme
  • the coherence of the proposal
  • the originality of the project
  • evidence of motivation for and understanding of the proposed area of study
  • the ability to present a reasoned case in English
  • the feasibility of successfully completing the project in the time available for the degree (a maximum of four years)
  • commitment to the subject, beyond the requirements of the degree course
  • preliminary knowledge of research techniques
  • capacity for sustained and intense work
  • reasoning ability
  • ability to absorb new ideas, often presented abstractly, at a rapid pace.

It will be normal for your ideas subsequently to change in some ways as you investigate the evidence and develop your project. You should nevertheless make the best effort you can to demonstrate the extent of your research question, sources and method at this moment.

Your proposal should focus on your research project rather than personal achievements, interests and aspirations.

Written work: Two essays, a maximum of 2,000 words each

You may submit academic essays on any subject or theme within the discipline of international relations but preferably ones that relate to your proposed area of study.

The essays may be written specially for the application or may have been produced for other purposes, for instance as a coursework submission within a previous degree programme. Essays that comprise extracts or excerpted sections from longer pieces are acceptable but should be prefaced with a brief note that places them in context.

The word count does not need to include any bibliography or brief footnotes. All written work should be in English.

This will be assessed for understanding of the subject area; understanding of problems in the area; ability to construct and defend an argument; powers of analysis; and powers of expression. 

Start or continue your application

You can start or return to an application using the relevant link below. As you complete the form, please  refer to the requirements above  and  consult our Application Guide for advice . You'll find the answers to most common queries in our FAQs.

Application Guide   Apply - Full time Apply - Part time

ADMISSION STATUS

Closed to applications for entry in 2024-25

Register to be notified via email when the next application cycle opens (for entry in 2025-26)

12:00 midday UK time on:

Friday 5 January 2024 Latest deadline for most Oxford scholarships Final application deadline for entry in 2024-25

*Three-year average (applications for entry in 2021-22 to 2023-24)

Further information and enquiries

This course is offered by the  Department of Politics and International Relations

  • Course page on the department's website
  • Funding information from the department
  • Academic and research staff
  • Departmental research
  • Social Sciences Division
  • Residence requirements for full-time courses
  • Postgraduate applicant privacy policy

Course-related enquiries

Advice about contacting the department can be found in the How to apply section of this page

✉ [email protected] ☎ +44 (0)1865 278727

Application-process enquiries

See the application guide

Visa eligibility for part-time study

We are unable to sponsor student visas for part-time study on this course. Part-time students may be able to attend on a visitor visa for short blocks of time only (and leave after each visit) and will need to remain based outside the UK.

Recommended pages

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Join our Postgraduate Open Day - Saturday 22 June

PhD Political Science and International Studies

For 2024-2025 UK Full time: £4,778* Part time: £2,389 International students Full time: £21,360 More Fees and funding details.

  • Visit an Open Day
  • Request a prospectus
  • Course details
  • Entry Requirements
  • Employability

The Department of Political Science and International Studies (POLSIS) offers a vibrant and inclusive research culture.

POLSIS has established itself as a centre of excellence in political science, political economy, comparative politics, political theory, international, international relations theory and security and conflict. Our research is concentrated around various research groups and research clusters which carry out a series of collaborative research activities.

Undertaking a PhD in Political Science and International Studies, you will have the opportunity to conduct original research under the guidance of academic supervisors within an active research environment, leading to an 80,000 word thesis. You will take a number of research training modules in your first year and may attend further courses offered by the Department or the University that enhance your personal discipline-specific and transferable skills.

POLSIS is part of the School of Government, one of the leading UK and international centres for governance, politics, international development, and public management. As one of the largest Schools of Government, in the United Kingdom, it is home to more than 80 full-time academic staff, more than 1,200 undergraduate and taught postgraduate students, and more than 70 doctoral researchers.  

The School of Government offers much more than a degree. As a doctoral student here, you have the opportunity to take part in a wide range of research events with staff and other doctoral students, including a PGR Colloquium and departmental speaker series. In addition, an individual training plan is drawn up to meet the needs of each student, covering coursework and skills development. As such, completing this research degree will cultivate specialist knowledge in your field and professional skills for a range of career settings. 

We are able to supervise a wide range of topics, in line with the research interests of our staff. We are particularly interested in receiving applications on themes that fit with our research groups:

  • Asian Politics
  • British Politics
  • European Studies
  • Gender and Feminist Theory
  • International Relations and Security Theory
  • Parties, Voters and Elections
  • Political Economy
  • Political Theory

Applications to study for a research degree on either a full- or part-time basis are welcomed.

Further information

  • POLSIS Doctoral research page
  • Guidance on preparing a research proposal
  • Doctoral Research Scholarships and funding

Doctoral Research Student Administration Tel: +44 (0)121 414 3497, Email:  [email protected]

Research degree fees 2024 - 2025

  • Full time £4,778 (UK)
  • Full time £21,360 (International students Band D)
  • Part time £2,389 (UK)

*Research fees also apply to combined research and taught programmes unless otherwise indicated.

Learn more about  fees

Scholarships and studentships

Scholarships may be available, please contact the Department directly.

College and School opportunities are advertised on  jobs.ac.uk  and some supervisors use ' Find a PhD ' which provides information about opportunities to conduct doctoral research. We also nominate our strongest applicants for studentships supported by the  ESRC-funded Midlands Doctoral Training Partnership , of which we are one of the principal institutional partners. International students can often gain funding through overseas research scholarships, Commonwealth scholarships or their home government. Explore our  Postgraduate scholarship and funding database

How To Apply

  • How to apply

To apply for a postgraduate research programme, you will need to submit your application and supporting documents online. We have put together some helpful information on the research programme application process and supporting documents on our how to apply page . Please read this information carefully before completing your application.

Our Standard Requirements

For doctoral programmes you require a good Honours degree (UK high upper second; USA GPA 3.40), and a good research proposal.

Learn more about entry requirements and see our Guidance for applying for a PhD .

International Requirements

Applicants for postgraduate research programmes should hold a Bachelors degree and a Masters degree, with a GPA of 14/20 from a recognised institution to be considered. Applicants with lower grades than this may be considered on an individual basis.

Holders of the Licenciado or an equivalent professional title from a recognised Argentinian university, with a promedio of at least 7.5, may be considered for entry to a postgraduate degree programme. Applicants for PhD degrees will normally have a Maestria or equivalent

Applicants who hold a Masters degree will be considered for admission to PhD study.

Holders of a good four-year Diplomstudium/Magister or a Masters degree from a recognised university with a minimum overall grade of 2.5 will be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes.

Students with a good 5-year Specialist Diploma or 4-year Bachelor degree from a recognised higher education institution in Azerbaijan, with a minimum GPA of 4/5 or 80% will be considered for entry to postgraduate taught programmes at the University of Birmingham.

For postgraduate research programmes applicants should have a good 5-year Specialist Diploma (completed after 1991), with a minimum grade point average of 4/5 or 80%, from a recognised higher education institution or a Masters or “Magistr Diplomu” or “Kandidat Nauk” from a recognised higher education institution in Azerbaijan.

Applicants for postgraduate research programmes should hold a Bachelors degree and a Masters degree, with a GPA of 3.0/4.0 or 75% from a recognised institution to be considered. Applicants with lower grades than this may be considered on an individual basis.

Applicants for postgraduate research programmes should hold a Bachelors degree and will usually be required to have completed a Masters degree, with a CGPA of 3.0-3.3/4.0 or higher for 2:1 equivalency from a recognised institution to be considered for entry. Applicants with lower grades than this may be considered on an individual basis.

Students who hold a Masters degree from the University of Botswana with a minimum GPA of 3.0/4.0 or 3.5/5.0 (70%/B/'very good') will be considered for Postgraduate Diplomas and Masters degrees.

Please note 4-year bachelor degrees from the University of Botswana are considered equivalent to a Diploma of Higher Education. 5-year bachelor degrees from the University of Botswana are considered equivalent to a British Bachelor (Ordinary) degree.

Students who have completed a Masters degree from a recognised institution will be considered for PhD study.

A Licenciatura or Bacharelado degree from a recognised Brazilian university:

  • A grade of 7.5/10 for entry to programmes with a 2:1 requirement
  • A grade of 6.5/10for entry to programmes with a 2:2 requirement

Holders of a good Bachelors degree with honours (4 to 6 years) from a recognised university with a upper second class grade or higher will be considered for entry to taught postgraduate programmes.  Holders of a good Masters degree from a recognised university will be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes.

Holders of a good post-2001 Masters degree from a recognised university will be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes.

Students with a minimum average of 14 out of 20 (or 70%) on a 4-year Licence, Bachelor degree or Diplôme d'Etudes Superieures de Commerce (DESC) or Diplôme d'Ingénieur or a Maîtrise will be considered for Postgraduate Diplomas and Masters degrees.

Holders of a bachelor degree with honours from a recognised Canadian university may be considered for entry to a postgraduate degree programme. A GPA of 3.0/4, 7.0/9 or 75% is usually equivalent to a UK 2.1.

Holders of the Licenciado or equivalent Professional Title from a recognised Chilean university will be considered for Postgraduate Diplomas and Masters degrees. Applicants for PhD study will preferably hold a Magister degree or equivalent.

Students with a bachelor’s degree (4 years minimum) may be considered for entry to a postgraduate degree programme. However please note that we will only consider students who meet the entry guidance below.  Please note: for the subject areas below we use the Shanghai Ranking 2022 (full table)  ,  Shanghai Ranking 2023 (full table) , and Shanghai Ranking of Chinese Art Universities 2023 .

需要具备学士学位(4年制)的申请人可申请研究生课程。请根据所申请的课程查看相应的入学要求。 请注意,中国院校名单参考 软科中国大学排名2022(总榜) ,  软科中国大学排名2023(总榜) ,以及 软科中国艺术类高校名单2023 。  

Business School    - MSc programmes (excluding MBA)  

商学院硕士课程(MBA除外)入学要求

School of Computer Science – all MSc programmes 计算机学院硕士课程入学要求

College of Social Sciences – courses listed below 社会科学 学院部分硕士课程入学要求 MA Education  (including all pathways) MSc TESOL Education MSc Public Management MA Global Public Policy MA Social Policy MA Sociology Department of Political Science and International Studies  全部硕士课程 International Development Department  全部硕士课程

  All other programmes (including MBA)   所有其他 硕士课程(包括 MBA)入学要求

Please note:

  • Borderline cases: We may consider students with lower average score (within 5%) on a case-by-case basis if you have a relevant degree and very excellent grades in relevant subjects and/or relevant work experience. 如申请人均分低于相应录取要求(5%以内),但具有出色学术背景,优异的专业成绩,以及(或)相关的工作经验,部分课程将有可能单独酌情考虑。
  • Please contact the China Recruitment Team for any questions on the above entry requirements. 如果您对录取要求有疑问,请联系伯明翰大学中国办公室   [email protected]

Holders of the Licenciado/Professional Title from a recognised Colombian university will be considered for our Postgraduate Diploma and Masters degrees. Applicants for PhD degrees will normally have a Maestria or equivalent.

Holders of a good bachelor degree with honours (4 to 6 years) from a recognised university with a upper second class grade or higher will be considered for entry to taught postgraduate programmes.  Holders of a good Masters degree from a recognised university will be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes.

Holders of a good Bacclaureus (Bachelors) from a recognised Croatian Higher Education institution with a minimum overall grade of 4.0 out of 5.0, vrlo dobar ‘very good’, or a Masters degree, will be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes.

Holders of a Bachelors degree(from the University of the West Indies or the University of Technology) may be considered for entry to a postgraduate degree programme. A Class II Upper Division degree is usually equivalent to a UK 2.1. For further details on particular institutions please refer to the list below.  Applicants for PhD level study will preferably hold a Masters degree or Mphil from the University of the West Indies.

Applicants for postgraduate research programmes should hold a good Bachelors degree from a recognised institution with a minimum overall grade of 6.5 out of 10, or a GPA of 3 out of 4, and will usually be required to have completed a good Masters degree to be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes. Applicants with lower grades than this may be considered on an individual basis.

Holders of a good Bakalár from a recognised Czech Higher Education institution with a minimum overall grade of 1.5, B, velmi dobre ‘very good’ (post-2004) or 2, velmi dobre ‘good’ (pre-2004), or a good post-2002 Magistr (Masters), will be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes.

Applicants for postgraduate research programmes should hold a good Bachelors degree from a recognised institution with a minimum overall grade of 7-10 out of 12 (or 8 out of 13) or higher for 2:1 equivalence and will usually be required to have completed a good Masters/ Magisterkonfereus/Magister Artium degree to be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes. Applicants with lower grades than this may be considered on an individual basis.

Holders of the Licenciado or an equivalent professional title from a recognised Ecuadorian university may be considered for entry to a postgraduate degree programme. Grades of 70% or higher can be considered as UK 2.1 equivalent.  Applicants for PhD level study will preferably hold a Magister/Masterado or equivalent qualification, but holders of the Licenciado with excellent grades can be considered.

Applicants for postgraduate research programmes should hold a Bachelors degree and a Masters degree, with a GPA of 3.0/4.0 or 75% from a recognised institution. Applicants with lower grades than this may be considered on an individual basis.

Holders of a good Bakalaurusekraad from a recognised university with a minimum overall grade of 4/5 or B, or a good one- or two-year Magistrikraad from a recognised university, will be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes.

Students who hold a Masters degree with very good grades (grade B, 3.5/4 GPA or 85%) will be considered for Postgraduate Diplomas and Masters degrees. 

Holders of a good Kandidaatti / Kandidat (old system), a professional title such as Ekonomi, Diplomi-insinööri, Arkkitehti, Lisensiaatti (in Medicine, Dentistry and Vetinary Medicine), or a Maisteri / Magister (new system), Lisensiaatti / Licenciat, Oikeustieteen Kandidaatti / Juris Kandidat (new system) or Proviisori / Provisor from a recognised Finnish Higher Education institution, with a minimum overall grade of 2/3 or 4/5, will be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes.

Applicants for postgraduate research programmes should hold a should hold a Bachelors degree and will usually be required to have completed a Masters/Maîtrise with a minimum overall grade of 13 out of 20, or a Magistère / Diplôme d'Etudes Approfondies / Diplôme d'Etudes Supérieures Specialisées / Mastère Specialis, from a recognised French university or Grande École to be considered for entry. Applicants with lower grades than this may be considered on an individual basis.

Holders of a Magister Artium, a Diplom or an Erstes Staatsexamen from a recognised university with a minimum overall grade of 2.5, or a good two-year Lizentiat / Aufbaustudium / Zweites Staatsexamen or a Masters degree from a recognised university, will be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes.

Students who hold a Bachelor degree from a recognised institution will be considered for Postgraduate Diplomas and Masters degrees. Most taught Masters programmes require a minimum of an upper second class degree (2.1) with a minimum GPA of at least 3.0/4.0 or 3.5/5.0 Students who have completed a Masters degree from a recognised institution will be considered for PhD study.

Applicants for postgraduate research programmes should hold a good four-year Ptychio (Bachelor degree) with a minimum overall grade of 6.5 out of 10, from a recognised Greek university (AEI), and will usually be required to have completed a good Metaptychiako Diploma Eidikefsis (Masters degree) from a recognised institution to be considered for entry. Applicants with lower grades than this may be considered on an individual basis.

4-year Licenciado is deemed equivalent to a UK bachelors degree. A score of 75 or higher from Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala (USAC) can be considered comparable to a UK 2.1, 60 is comparable to a UK 2.2.  Private universities have a higher pass mark, so 80 or higher should be considered comparable to a UK 2.1, 70 is comparable to a UK 2.2

The Hong Kong Bachelor degree is considered comparable to British Bachelor degree standard. Students with bachelor degrees awarded by universities in Hong Kong may be considered for entry to one of our postgraduate degree programmes.

Students with Masters degrees may be considered for PhD study.

Holders of a good Alapfokozat / Alapképzés or Egyetemi Oklevel from a recognised university with a minimum overall grade of 3.5, or a good Mesterfokozat (Masters degree) or Egyetemi Doktor (university doctorate), will be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes.

Applicants for postgraduate research programmes should hold a Bachelors degree and will usually be required to have completed a Masters degree, with a 60% or higher for 2:1 equivalency from a recognised institution to be considered for entry. Applicants with lower grades than this may be considered on an individual basis.

Holders of the 4 year Sarjana (S1) from a recognised Indonesian institution will be considered for postgraduate study. Entry requirements vary with a minimum requirement of a GPA of 2.8.

Applicants for postgraduate research programmes should hold a Bachelors degree and a Masters degree, with a score of 14/20 or 70% from a recognised institution to be considered. Applicants with lower grades than this may be considered on an individual basis.

Applicants for postgraduate research programmes should hold a Bachelors degree and will usually be required to have completed a Masters degree from a recognised institution, with 100 out of 110 or higher for 2:1 equivalency from a recognised institution to be considered for entry. Applicants with lower grades than this may be considered on an individual basis.

Students who hold the Maitrise, Diplome d'Etude Approfondies, Diplome d'Etude Superieures or Diplome d'Etude Superieures Specialisees will be considered for Postgraduate Diplomas and Masters degrees (14-15/20 or Bien from a well ranked institution is considered comparable to a UK 2.1, while a score of 12-13/20 or Assez Bien is considered comparable to a UK 2.2).

Students with a Bachelor degree from a recognised university in Japan will be considered for entry to a postgraduate Masters degree provided they achieve a sufficiently high overall score in their first (Bachelor) degree. A GPA of 3.0/4.0 or a B average from a good Japanese university is usually considered equivalent to a UK 2:1.

Students with a Masters degree from a recognised university in Japan will be considered for PhD study. A high overall grade will be necessary to be considered.

Students who have completed their Specialist Diploma Мамаң дипломы/Диплом специалиста) or "Magistr" (Магистр дипломы/Диплом магистра) degree (completed after 1991) from a recognised higher education institution, with a minimum GPA of 2.67/4.00 for courses requiring a UK lower second and 3.00/4.00 for courses requiring a UK upper second class degree, will be considered for entry to postgraduate Masters degrees and, occasionally, directly for PhD degrees.  Holders of a Bachelor "Bakalavr" degree (Бакалавр дипломы/Диплом бакалавра) from a recognised higher education institution, with a minimum GPA of  2.67/4.00 for courses requiring a UK lower second and 3.00/4.00 for courses requiring a UK upper second class degree, may also be considered for entry to taught postgraduate programmes.

Students who hold a Bachelor degree from a recognised institution will be considered for Postgraduate Diplomas and Masters degrees. Most taught Masters programmes require a minimum of an upper second class degree (2.1) with a minimum GPA of at least 3.0/4.0 or 3.5/50

Holders of a good Postgraduate Diploma (professional programme) from a recognised university or institution of Higher Education, with a minimum overall grade of 7.5 out of 10, or a post-2000 Magistrs, will be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes.

Applicants for postgraduate research programmes should hold a Bachelors degree and a Masters degree, with a score of 16/20 or 80% from a recognised institution to be considered. Applicants with lower grades than this may be considered on an individual basis.

Holders of a Bachelors degree from a recognised university in Libya will be considered for postgraduate study. Holders of a Bachelors degree will normally be expected to have achieved score of 70% for 2:1 equivalency or 65% for 2:2 equivalency. Alternatively students will require a minimum of 3.0/4.0 or BB to be considered.

Holders of a good pre-2001 Magistras from a recognised university with a minimum overall grade of 8 out of 10, or a good post-2001 Magistras, will be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes

Holders of a good Bachelors degree from a recognised Luxembourgish Higher Education institution with a minimum overall grade of 16 out of 20, or a Diplôme d'Études Supérieures Spécialisées (comparable to a UK PGDip) or Masters degree from a recognised Luxembourgish Higher Education institution will be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes.

Students who hold a Masters degree will be considered for Postgraduate Diplomas and Masters degrees (70-74% or A or Marginal Distinction from a well ranked institution is considered comparable to a UK 2.1, while a score of 60-69% or B or Bare Distinction/Credit is considered comparable to a UK 2.2).

Holders of a Bachelors degree from a recognised Malaysian institution (usually achieved with the equivalent of a second class upper or a grade point average minimum of 3.0) will be considered for postgraduate study at Diploma or Masters level.

Holders of a good Bachelors degree from the University of Malta with a minimum grade of 2:1 (Hons), and/or a Masters degree, will be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes.

Students who hold a Bachelor degree (Honours) from a recognised institution (including the University of Mauritius) will be considered for Postgraduate Diplomas and Masters degrees.  Most taught Masters programmes require a minimum of an upper second class degree (2:1).

Students who hold the Licenciado/Professional Titulo from a recognised Mexican university with a promedio of at least 8 will be considered for Postgraduate Diplomas and Masters degrees.

Students who have completed a Maestria from a recognised institution will be considered for PhD study.

Applicants for postgraduate research programmes should hold a Bachelors degree, licence or Maîtrise and a Masters degree, with a score of 14/20 or 70% from a recognised institution to be considered. Applicants with lower grades than this may be considered on an individual basis.

Students with a good four year honours degree from a recognised university will be considered for postgraduate study at the University of Birmingham. PhD applications will be considered on an individual basis.

Applicants for postgraduate research programmes should hold a Bachelors degree and will usually be required to have completed a Masters degree, with 60-74% or higher for 2:1 equivalency from a recognised institution to be considered for entry. Applicants with lower grades than this may be considered on an individual basis.

Holders of a good Doctoraal from a recognised Dutch university with a minimum overall grade of 7 out of 10, and/or a good Masters degree, will be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes.

Students who hold a Bachelor degree (minimum 4 years and/or level 400) from a recognised institution will be considered for Postgraduate Diplomas and Masters degrees.  Most taught Masters programmes require a minimum of an upper second class degree (2.1) with a minimum GPA of at least 3.0/4.0 or 3.5/5.0

Applicants for postgraduate research programmes should hold a good Bachelors degree from a recognised institution with a minimum GPA of B/Very Good or 1.6-2.5 for a 2.1 equivalency, and will usually be required to have completed a good Masters, Mastergrad, Magister. Artium, Sivilingeniør, Candidatus realium or Candidatus philologiae degree to be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes. Applicants with lower grades than this may be considered on an individual basis.

Applicants for postgraduate research programmes should hold a Bachelors degree and will usually be required to have completed a Masters degree, with a CGPA of 3.0/4 or higher for 2:1 equivalency from a recognised institution to be considered for entry. Applicants with lower grades than this may be considered on an individual basis.

Holders of a Bachelors degree from a recognised university in the Palestinian Territories will be considered for postgraduate study. Holders of Bachelors degree will normally be expected to have achieved a GPA of 3/4 or 80% for 2:1 equivalency or a GPA of 2.5/4 or 70% for 2:2 equivalency.    

Holders of the Título de Licenciado /Título de (4-6 years) or an equivalent professional title from a recognised Paraguayan university may be considered for entry to a postgraduate degree programme. Grades of 4/5 or higher can be considered as UK 2.1 equivalent.  The Título Intermedio is a 2-3 year degree and is equivalent to a HNC, it is not suitable for postgraduate entry but holders of this award could be considered for second year undergraduate entry or pre-Masters.  Applicants for PhD level study will preferably hold a Título de Maestría / Magister or equivalent qualification, but holders of the Título/Grado de Licenciado/a with excellent grades can be considered.

Holders of the Licenciado, with at least 13/20 may be considered as UK 2.1 equivalent. The Grado de Bachiller is equivalent to an ordinary degree, so grades of 15+/20 are required.  Applicants for PhD level study will preferably hold a Título de Maestría or equivalent qualification.

Holders of a good pre-2001 Magister from a recognised Polish university with a minimum overall grade of 4 out of 5, dobry ‘good’, and/or a good Swiadectwo Ukonczenia Studiów Podyplomowych (Certificate of Postgraduate Study) or post-2001 Magister from a recognised Polish university with a minimum overall grade of 4.5/4+ out of 5, dobry plus 'better than good', will be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes.

Holders of a good Licenciado from a recognised university, or a Diploma de Estudos Superiores Especializados (DESE) from a recognised Polytechnic Institution, with a minimum overall grade of 16 out of 20, and/or a good Mestrado / Mestre (Masters) from a recognised university, will be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes.

Applicants for postgraduate research programmes should hold a good Bachelors degree from a recognised Romanian Higher Education institution with a minimum overall grade of 8 out of 10, and will usually be required to have completed a Masters degree/Diploma de Master/Diploma de Studii Academice Postuniversitare (Postgraduate Diploma - Academic Studies) or Diploma de Studii Postuniversitare de Specializare (Postgraduate Diploma - Specialised Studies) to be considered for entry. Applicants with lower grades than this may be considered on an individual basis.

Holders of a good Диплом Специалиста (Specialist Diploma) or Диплом Магистра (Magistr) degree from recognised universities in Russia (minimum GPA of 4.0) will be considered for entry to taught postgraduate programmes/PhD study.

Students who hold a 4-year Bachelor degree with at least 16/20 or 70% will be considered for Postgraduate Diplomas and Masters degrees.   

Students who hold a Maitrise, Diplome d'Etude Approfondies,Diplome d'Etude Superieures or Diplome d'Etude Superieures Specialisees will be considered for Postgraduate Diplomas and Masters degrees. A score of 14-15/20 or Bien from a well ranked institution is considered comparable to a UK 2.1, while a score of 12-13/20 or Assez Bien is considered comparable to a UK 2.2

Students who hold a Bachelor (Honours) degree from a recognised institution with a minimum GPA of 3.0/4.0 or 3.5/5.0 (or a score of 60-69% or B+) from a well ranked institution will be considered for most our Postgraduate Diplomas and Masters degrees with a 2:1 requirement.

Students holding a good Bachelors Honours degree will be considered for postgraduate study at Diploma or Masters level.

Holders of a good three-year Bakalár or pre-2002 Magister from a recognised Slovakian Higher Education institution with a minimum overall grade of 1.5, B, Vel’mi dobrý ‘very good’, and/or a good Inžinier or a post-2002 Magister from a recognised Slovakian Higher Education institution will be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes.

Holders of a good Diploma o pridobljeni univerzitetni izobrazbi (Bachelors degree), Diplomant (Professionally oriented first degree), Univerzitetni diplomant (Academically oriented first degree) or Visoko Obrazovanja (until 1999) from a recognised Slovenian Higher Education institution with a minimum overall grade of 8.0 out of 10, and/or a good Diploma specializacija (Postgraduate Diploma) or Magister (Masters) will be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes.

Students who hold a Bachelor Honours degree (also known as Baccalaureus Honores / Baccalaureus Cum Honoribus) from a recognised institution will be considered for Postgraduate Diplomas and Masters degrees. Most Masters programmes will require a second class upper (70%) or a distinction (75%).

Holders of a Masters degree will be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes.

Holders of a Bachelor degree from a recognised South Korean institution (usually with the equivalent of a second class upper or a grade point average 3.0/4.0 or 3.2/4.5) will be considered for Masters programmes.

Holders of a good Masters degree from a recognised institution will be considered for PhD study on an individual basis.

Applicants for postgraduate research programmes should hold a Bachelors degree and will usually be required to have completed a Masters degree, with 7 out of 10 or higher for 2:1 equivalency from a recognised institution to be considered for entry. Applicants with lower grades than this may be considered on an individual basis.

Applicants for postgraduate research programmes should hold a Bachelors degree and will usually be required to have completed a Masters degree, with 60-74% or a CGPA 3.30/4.0 or higher for 2:1 equivalency from a recognised institution to be considered for entry. Applicants with lower grades than this may be considered on an individual basis.

Holders of a good Kandidatexamen (Bachelors degree) or Yrkesexamen (Professional Bachelors degree) from a recognised Swedish Higher Education institution with the majority of subjects with a grade of VG (Val godkänd), and/or a good Magisterexamen (Masters degree), International Masters degree or Licentiatexamen (comparable to a UK Mphil), will be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes.

Holders of a good "PostGraduate Certificate" or "PostGraduate Diploma" or a Masters degree from a recognised Swiss higher education institution (with a minimum GPA of 5/6 or 8/10 or 2/5 (gut-bien-bene/good) for a 2.1 equivalence) may be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes.

Applicants for postgraduate research programmes should hold a Bachelors degree and a Masters degree, with a GPA of 3.0/4.0, 3.5/5 or 75% from a recognised institution to be considered. Applicants with lower grades than this may be considered on an individual basis.

Holders of a good Bachelor degree (from 75% to 85% depending upon the university in Taiwan) from a recognised institution will be considered for postgraduate Masters study. Holders of a good Masters degree from a recognised institution will be considered for PhD study.

Students who hold a Bachelor degree from a recognised institution will be considered for Postgraduate Diplomas and Masters degrees.  Most taught Masters programmes require a minimum of an upper second class degree (2.1) Students who have completed a Masters degree from a recognised institution will be considered for PhD study.

Holders of a good Masters degree from a recognised institution will be considered for entry to our postgraduate research programmes.

Holders of a good Masters degree or Mphil from a recognised university will be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes.

Students with a Bachelors degree from the following universities may be considered for entry to postgraduate programmes:

  • Ateneo de Manila University - Quezon City
  • De La Salle University - Manila
  • University of Santo Tomas
  • University of the Philippines - Diliman

Students from all other institutions with a Bachelors and a Masters degree or relevant work experience may be considered for postgraduate programmes.

Grading Schemes

1-5 where 1 is the highest 2.1 = 1.75 2.2 = 2.25 

Out of 4.0 where 4 is the highest 2.1 = 3.0 2.2 = 2.5

Letter grades and percentages 2.1 = B / 3.00 / 83% 2.2 = C+ / 2.5 / 77%

Holders of a postdoctoral qualification from a recognised institution will be considered for PhD study.  Students may be considered for PhD study if they have a Masters from one of the above listed universities.

Holders of a Lisans Diplomasi with a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.0/4.0 from a recognised university will be considered for postgraduate study at Diploma or Masters level.

Holders of a Yuksek Diplomasi from a recognised university will be considered for PhD study.

Students who hold a Bachelor degree from a recognised institution will be considered for Postgraduate Diplomas and Masters degrees. Most Masters programmes will require a second class upper (2.1) or GPA of 3.5/5.0

Applicants for postgraduate research programmes should hold a good Bachelors degree / Диплом бакалавра (Dyplom Bakalavra), Диплом спеціаліста (Specialist Diploma) or a Dyplom Magistra from a recognised Ukrainian higher education institution with a minimum GPA of 4.0/5.0, 3.5/4, 8/12 or 80% or higher for 2:1 equivalence and will usually be required to have completed a good Masters degree to be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes. Applicants with lower grades than this may be considered on an individual basis.

The University will consider students who hold an Honours degree from a recognised institution in the USA with a GPA of:

  • 2.8 GPA (on a 4.0 scale) for entry to programmes with a 2:2 requirement 
  • 3.2 GPA (on a 4.0 scale) for entry to programmes with a 2:1 requirement 

Please note that some subjects which are studied at postgraduate level in the USA, eg. Medicine and Law, are traditionally studied at undergraduate level in the UK.

Holders of the Magistr Diplomi (Master's degree) or Diplomi (Specialist Diploma), awarded by prestigious universities, who have attained high grades in their studies will be considered for postgraduate study.  Holders of the Fanlari Nomzodi (Candidate of Science), where appropriate, will be considered for PhD study.

Holders of the Licenciatura/Título or an equivalent professional title from a recognised Venezuelan university may be considered for entry to a postgraduate degree programme. Scales of 1-5, 1-10 and 1-20 are used, an overall score of 70% or equivalent can be considered equivalent to a UK 2.1.  Applicants for PhD level study will preferably hold a Maestria or equivalent qualification

Holders of a Bachelors degree from a recognised Vietnamese institution (usually achieved with the equivalent of a second class upper or a grade point average minimum GPA of 7.0 and above) will be considered for postgraduate study at Diploma or Masters level.  Holders of a Masters degree (thac si) will be considered for entry to PhD programmes.

Students who hold a Masters degree with a minimum GPA of 3.5/5.0 or a mark of 2.0/2.5 (A) will be considered for Postgraduate Diplomas and Masters degrees.   

Students who hold a good Bachelor Honours degree will be considered for Postgraduate Diplomas and Masters degrees. 

International Students

You can satisfy our English language requirements in two ways:

  • by holding an English language qualification to the right level - IELTS 6.5 with no less than 6.0 in any band
  • by taking and successfully completing one of our English courses for international students

Research within the School of Government is aligned to one of three departments and Institutes:

The Department of Political Science and International Studies (POLSIS)

Dr Columba Achilleos-Sarll Feminist and post/decolonial theory; the Women, Peace and Security agenda; civil society and advocacy; visual global politics.

Dr David Bailey Protest, critical political economy and contemporary capitalism

Dr Stephen Bates British politics; Parliamentary Studies (in comparative perspective or focused on the UK Parliament).

Dr Tendayi Bloom Noncitizenship; Statelessness; Migration governance. 

Dr Verena K. Brändle Digital democracy; social media and politics; European politics; border and migration studies; political communication

Dr Sarah Bufkin Racism and racialization; Black Atlantic political thought; Critical Theory; Cultural Studies.

Professor Peter Burnham Restructuring of the state in the global political economy; State theory and radical theories of IPE; Marx and contemporary Marxism; Economic policy and capitalist crisis.

Dr Mwita Chacha Regional integration; International cooperation; Politics of coups d’état; Public opinion.

Dr Licia Cianetti Democracy and institutional change; democratic regression; inclusion and exclusion from policymaking processes; cities and local democracy.

Dr Laurence Cooley Politics of deeply divided societies (especially Northern Ireland and Bosnia and Herzegovina); post-conflict power-sharing; politics of the census and identity categorisation.

Professor David Cutts Political and electoral behaviour; Party campaigning turnout; Civic engagement; Populist parties; Social media and politics. 

Dr May Darwich International Relations Theory and the Middle East; Foreign policies of Middle Eastern states; Identity politics in the Middle East; Security policies in the Middle East.

Professor David Dunn US foreign and security policy; Strategic and security studies, and diplomacy and statecraft.

Dr Rita Floyd Ethics of emergency politics, theories of security (especially securitization theory), the English school and environmental security.

Dr Guiditta Fontana Peace processes and war-to-peace transitions. The design of peace accords, Powersharing and Reform of cultural and educational institutions in conflict-affected societies. Multi-method research designs. Politics of Lebanon, Northern Ireland, North Macedonia.

Dr Emma Foster Environmental politics; gender/sexuality and international relations; gender/sexuality and international relations.

Dr Charlotte Galpin European and national identities; European public sphere and media; Euroscepticism, EU citizenship and social movements; The role of Germany or Britain in Europe; Brexit; Gender and feminist approaches to these topics.

Dr Julie Gilson Japanese foreign policy; East Asian regionalism and institutions; Asia-Europe and Japan-Europe relations; Civil society in Asia; Climate change and environmentalism in Asia.

Dr Ruben Gonzalez-Vicente South-South relations; Global China; the political economy of development, especially in Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean; critical political economy; political geography. 

Dr Tim Haughton Contemporary politics of Central and Eastern Europe; Political campaigning; Party politics; Electoral politics.

Dr Laura Jenkins Feminist political theory; Contemporary political theory and British politics.

Dr Deema Kaneff Resources and Social Change; Postsocialist transformations and global capitalism; Property relations; Markets and moralities; Transnational migration, Social exclusion and inequalities. (Europe, Eastern Europe, Bulgaria and Ukraine)

Dr Peter Kerr British politics; State theory and theories of social and political change; UK party politics and party modernisation; Political leadership and governing strategies in the UK; Citizenship and political participation and political sociology. 

Dr George Kyris International conflict, conflict management and resolution; International organisations, especially the European Union; State recognition; Statehood and sovereignty; Secession; unrecognised/ de facto states.

Professor René Lindstädt American Politics; Political Institutions; Accountability; Representation; Legislative politics and institutions; Elections; Political methodology

Dr Huw Macartney International or Comparative Political Economy; Banking and financial market governance; Globalisation, and historical materialism. 

Dr Cerwyn Moore Political violence; international relations theory; Post-Soviet and post-communist security; Interpretive approaches to global politics and Chechnya.

Dr Richard North Any area of contemporary political philosophy, but particularly on justice and liberal and democratic political philosophy.  

Dr Julian Panke European Union Politics; European Neighbourhood Policy; German foreign policy and Eastern European foreign policies (Poland, Slovakia).

Professor Patrick Porter The interaction of power and ideas in the making of foreign and defence policy in the U.S. and U.K, and in shaping their conflicts, classical realism, strategic thought and great power diplomacy.

Dr Adam Quinn US ‘grand strategy’; American national identity; American foreign and security policy; Ideological contest in American politics (contemporary and historical). 

Dr Robert Ralston International Security; Civil-Military Relations; Grand Strategy.

Dr Richard Shorten Political theory, ideology, and rhetoric; fascism, Marxism and totalitarianism; reactionaries and conservatives; the political thought of Hannah Arendt, Albert Camus and George Orwell; intellectual politics of the Cold War.

Dr Asaf Siniver International mediation and conflict resolution; The politics, diplomacy and history of the Arab-Israeli conflict; The Israeli-Palestinian peace process; Contemporary US foreign policy and Foreign Policy Analysis. 

Dr Nicola Smith Gender and sexuality; Feminist political economy; Queer theory; Biopolitics; Body politics; Sex Work; Obesity; Austerity.

Dr Graham Timmins Areas related to the external relations and foreign policy role of the European Union with specific reference to EU-Russia and German-Russian relations.

Dr Tsering Topgyal Chinese foreign and security policy; Tibet and China’s Nationality Policy; Asia-Pacific security and politics; US-China relations; Sino-Indian relations and Security studies. 

Dr Sevasti-Eleni Vezirgiannidou International Environmental Politics; Climate change politics; Environment and trade negotiations; Environmental Regime effectiveness and compliance and The trade-environment debate.

Dr Marco Vieira Rising powers and global order; South-South political cooperation/identity/institutions, South American/Latin American politics; Brazilian foreign policy and International relations theory. 

Dr Yi Wang Memory politics; Nationalism and national identity; Contemporary China; International relations of East Asia; Political communication 

Dr Robert Watt Military History, power and networks, Small Wars/Insurgencies; Native American History & Politics.

Professor Mark Webber NATO; transatlantic relations; European security; American, Russian and British foreign policy; Theories and practices of security

Dr Mark Wenman Continental philosophy; Contemporary political theory; The philosophy of the social sciences; The history of political thought.

Professor Nicholas Wheeler Trust-building between adversaries, especially nuclear armed states; Nuclear weapons and proliferation. 

Professor Kataryna Wolczuk Politics of Russia and post-Soviet countries; EU’s Eastern policy, Russia’s policy towards the post-Soviet states; Regional integration in the post-Soviet space; Nationalism and national identities (across Europe and Eurasia).

Professor Stefan Wolff -  Ethnic conflict, civil war, post-conflict state-building; Geopolitics and great-power rivalry; Central Asia, South Caucasus, Eastern Europe, Western Balkans, Middle East & North Africa.

Dr Christalla Yakinthou Conflict transformation, particularly post-settlement; Transitional justice both in theory and practice, and transitions in the MENA region; The relationship between constitutional design and transitional justice; Power sharing, Cypriot, Lebanese, and Tunisian politics and conflicts and the right to truth in international law and practice, and issues around enforced disappearance and missing people during conflict.

Dr Sotirios Zartaloudis European Union politics and policies; Migration in Europe; European politics; Discourse

The International Development Department (IDD)

Dr Sameen A. Mohsin Ali Bureaucratic politics; politics of development, donor engagement, and public sector reform; public health, especially with regard to vaccination; politics of South Asia (especially Pakistan)

Dr Philip Amis Urbanisation; Urban policy; Poverty and housing.

Not currently accepting new PhD supervision applications 

Dr Danielle Beswick UK development policy, including parliamentary scrutiny and public engagement in this; UK Africa relations; The UK Conservative Party and development; Politics, identity and security in Sub-Saharan Africa, particularly Rwanda; Knowledge exchange between universities and legislatures.

Dr Brock Bersaglio The political ecology of biodiversity conservation, wild meat (including food sovereignty), and zoonotic disease in eastern/southern Africa; anti-, post- and settler colonial development studies

Dr Adrian Campbell Public and local government reform, especially in transitional states. 

Professor Nic Cheeseman  Elections and democratization; The formation of a social contract in new democracies; Power-sharing and the politics of inclusion; Populism and strategies of political mobilization; African political thought. 

Dr David Cobley Disability-inclusive approaches to development, especially in the areas of poverty reduction, livelihood development, inclusive education and disaster risk reduction.

Dr Niheer Dasandi Politics of international development and foreign aid; development and human rights; politics of climate change and health; foreign policy and development  

Dr Jonathan Fisher Authoritarianism and authoritarian rule; (in)security and conflict; international politics of aid and peacekeeping; particular interest in sub-Saharan Africa.

Professor David Hudson Politics of leadership and coalitions; public opinion, survey analysis, and experiments; migration decision making; network analysis.

Professor Paul Jackson Conflict and post-conflict reconstruction; security sector reform and international intervention; combatants, politics and social reintegration; peacebuilding; economic development.

Dr Chris Lyon Politics of development; political theory; democracy, participation, decentralisation; social justice; development ethics

Professor Heather Marquette The politics of development and foreign policy; Corruption, kleptocracy and organised crime; Anti-corruption/counter-organised crime strategies and interventions

Dr Claire McLoughlin State legitimacy; The politics of public service delivery; The role of ideas in development.

Dr Emeka Njoku Critical security studies; Terrorism and counter-terrorism; Nonprofit organisations; conflict-related gender/sexual violence; State-civil society relations; peacebuilding.

Professor Fiona Nunan Renewable natural resource governance, management and livelihoods in low- and middle-income countries, especially fisheries and coastal ecosystems and community-based or collaborative governance.

Dr Martin Ottmann Political economy of civil war and development, including peace processes and negotiated settlements; Power-sharing, resource redistribution, elections, and political trust after war. PhD applications relying on advanced statistical research methods, mixed-methods designs, and modern methods of causal inference are particularly welcome. 

Dr Emily Scott Humanitarianism, health, and migration; international organisation (IOs) and international non-governmental organisations (INGOs); state-society relations, particularly in the Middle East; conflict and security; localization and the international politics of aid.

Dr Merisa Thompson Feminist political economy; food and agrarian studies; the politics of gender and development; histories of colonialism, particularly the Caribbean.

Dr Kailing Xie Contemporary Chinese society, Gender and reproductive politics, the politics of nation-building; Civil Society; governance beyond the state; collective memory and emotions; Chinese diaspora;feminist epistemologies and methodologies.

Department of Public Administration and Policy (DPAP)

Dr Koen Bartels Social innovation; Democratic innovation; Public encounters; Urban governance; Action research; Interpretive policy analysis; Communication; Practice theory; Relational public policy and administration.

Dr Karin Bottom   The role of small parties; Comparative politics; Policy analysis; Elections and quantitative methodologies.

Dr May Chu Risk regulation; Collaborative governance; Food safety and sustainability

Dr Abena Dadze-Arthur Transfer and brokering of knowledge across cultural and institutional boundaries. Decolonizing, transforming, and indigenising approaches to public management and governance. The scientific study of subjectivity (Q Methodology)

Dr Stephen Jeffares Projects that draw on social media data to understand change or controversies in public policy. 

Dr Timea Nochta Networks in governance and policy; Complexity; Smart cities, digitalisation and e-government; Climate change and net zero; Network analysis; Mixed methods

Dr Louise Reardon Multi-level governance; Policy networks; Agenda setting; Policy change; Policy implementation; Transport policy; Wellbeing and quality of life; Smart cities. 

Dr Philip Whiteman Policy implementation studies; Central and local government relations; Regulation of local government; Local authority corporate management scrutiny; Public sector performance, procurement and efficiency; Public consultation and participation; Organisation dynamics. 

If I gain a postgraduate research degree in this area, what are my career prospects?

Birmingham’s Political Science and International Studies graduates develop transferable skills that are useful in many occupations. These include familiarity with research methods; the ability to manage large and diverse quantities of information; the ability to organise information in a logical and coherent manner; judging and evaluating complex information; and making reasoned arguments, both orally, in tutorials and presentations, and in written work. There are many careers where a political science and international studies degree is useful and past graduates have entered areas including commercial management, finance, administration, politics, and even the armed forces. Some of our PhD graduates also continue onto successful careers in academic research and teaching.

What type of career assistance is available to doctoral researchers in this department?

The College of Social Sciences, to which the Department of Political Science and International Studies belongs, has specially designated careers advisors and careers consultants who can provide guidance for doctoral researchers on career paths, CVs, training opportunities, application and interviews. The University’s central Careers’ Service also runs workshops and offers personally tailored advice and guidance including 1-1 careers advice, 1-1 CV advice. The Career’s Service also runs CV writing workshops especially for postgraduates in the College of Social Sciences, giving advice on how to compile CVs for both employment and for academic roles.

The University also has dedicated careers advisors for International students who run workshops and networking opportunities with potential employers. These are especially popular with International postgraduate researchers.

  • Online chat events

International Relations

Photo of Prof. Jacob Shapiro teaching POL 386

Explores the interaction between states, international law, non-state actors and market forces. 

Traditional subjects of interest have concerned interstate war, deterrence, cooperation, alliances, the balance of power, economic sanctions, economic growth and stability, and international institutions.

Princeton's international relations faculty conduct research and train students across the field's full range of theories and methods (historical, statistical and formal); and substantive research interests (security studies, international law and organization, political economy, transnational civil society, and normative analysis). 

Centers & Programs

The Center for International Security Studies provides a home for the study and debate of national and international security at Princeton University and supports a variety of educational, research, enrichment, and outreach activities with the intent of generating new knowledge on issues of fundamental importance and educating the next generation of strategic thinkers and decision makers. It also seeks to establish research and policy links with other institutions around the world. Professors Aaron L. Friedberg and G. John Ikenberry serve as Co-Directors of the Center.

The Niehaus Center for Globalization and Governance (NCGG) was created in the fall 2004 under the umbrella of the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs. The Center is a large and dynamic community of scholars and students interested in both the academic and policy dimensions of globalization and international governance. It directs a visiting fellows program, fosters greater integration among various parts of the social sciences at Princeton University and promotes engagement with the broader academic and policy community. It involves graduate students and faculty from the Politics Department, among other departments, in its conferences, workshops and research groups.  

The Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies (PIIRS) offers a variety of programs for students, faculty and visiting scholars that support research, learning and dialogue on world cultures and issues of global importance. 

The Program on Race, Ethnicity, and Identity in Politics (PREIP) organizes thematic events and other initiatives linked to the study of race, ethnicity, and identity, including a department-wide speakers’ series and workshops on research issues related to the study of the politics of racial, ethnic, and other minoritized subpopulations. This inter-subfield program intends to create a supportive and generative community of faculty and graduate students working on a range of related topics including racism, colonialism, citizenship, contentious politics, social movements, and gender inequalities.

Chirstopher Blair

Christopher Blair

Aaron Friedberg headshot

Aaron Friedberg

Naima Green-Riley

Naima Green-Riley

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G. John Ikenberry

John B. Londregan

John B. Londregan

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Helen V. Milner

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Andrew Moravcsik

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Layna Mosley

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Kristopher Ramsay

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Jacob N. Shapiro

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MPhil/PhD International Relations

  • Graduate research
  • Department of International Relations
  • Application code M1ZR
  • Starting 2024
  • Home full-time: Closed
  • Overseas full-time: Closed
  • Location: Houghton Street, London

This programme offers you the chance to be part of one of the world's leading departments in the study of international relations while you undertake a substantial piece of work that is worthy of publication and which makes an original contribution to international relations. You will begin on the MPhil and be upgraded to PhD status after passing a research panel within 18 months of initial registration.

The Department is organised around four Research Clusters: International Institutions, Law and Ethics ; Theory/Area/History ; International Political Economy ; and Statecraft and Security . You will belong to at least one of these clusters during your studies and attend its weekly events. You will also have the chance to participate in the editing of a student-run journal  Millennium: Journal of International Studies , which has a major role in the discipline.

The Department has particular strengths in international relations theory, security studies, international political economy, and European studies. As well as Europe, its specialist areas cover Russia, Central, Northeast and Southeast Asia, the USA, South America, the Middle East and Africa. Other areas of research strength include foreign policy analysis, nationalism, religion, historical sociology, international environmental politics and strategic and war studies. Many individuals contribute to more than one of these subjects, and there is interdisciplinary work with colleagues in the Departments of Government and International History, as well as through the many research centres at the School.

Programme details

Entry requirements, minimum entry requirements for mphil/phd international relations.

The minimum entry requirement for this programme is a high merit (65+) in a master’s degree in a subject relevant to the proposed research with high merit (65+) in the dissertation element, or equivalent. Applications which do not meet these criteria (or do not expect to do so on completion of any pending qualifications) are not considered eligible.

Competition for places at the School is high. This means that meeting our minimum entry requirement, does not guarantee you an offer of admission. 

If you have studied or are studying outside of the UK then have a look at our  Information for International Students  to find out the entry requirements that apply to you.

Assessing your application

We welcome applications for research programmes that complement the academic interests of members of staff at the School, and we recommend that you investigate  staff research interests  before applying. 

We encourage research projects which will expand and diversify the research profile of the Department. 

We strongly encourage applications from high calibre students of all nationalities studying across all research areas at the School but, in particular, we are seeking to support applications from: 

UK students  

Black, Minority Ethnic (BME) students, especially from Black African / Caribbean, Pakistani and Bangladeshi heritage 

Please note : Prospective candidates are not expected to contact potential supervisors in advance of their application. Due to the high volume of enquiries, potential supervisors are unlikely to be able to provide feedback on enquiries and outline proposals. Individual academic members of staff are not able to make commitments to supervise prospective students outside of the formal application process.

We apply our entry criteria rigorously, so if you do not already meet or expect to meet them with any pending qualifications, you will not be eligible. We carefully consider each application on an individual basis, taking into account all the information presented on your application form, including your:

- academic achievement (including existing and pending qualifications) - statement of academic purpose - references - CV - a research proposal of up to 4000 words with a title and abstract (300 words max) included at the beginning. The proposal should meet the criteria outlined on the Department  MPhil/PhD webpage - sample of written work.

See further information on supporting documents

You may also have to provide evidence of your English proficiency. You do not need to provide this at the time of your application to LSE, but we recommend that you do.  See our English language requirements .

When to apply

The application and funding deadline for this programme is 15 January 2024 . See the fees and funding section for more details.

Fees and funding

Every research student is charged a fee in line with the fee structure for their programme.  The fee covers registration and examination fees payable to the School, lectures, classes and individual supervision, lectures given at other colleges under intercollegiate arrangements and, under current arrangements, membership of the Students' Union. It does not cover living costs or travel or fieldwork.

Tuition fees 2024/25 for MPhil/PhD International Relations

Home students: £4,829 for the first year (provisional) Overseas students: £22,632 for the first year

The fee is likely to rise over subsequent years of the programme. The School charges home research students in line with the level of fee that the Research Councils recommend. The fees for overseas students are likely to rise in line with the assumed percentage increase in pay costs (ie, 4 per cent per annum).

The Table of Fees shows the latest tuition amounts for all programmes offered by the School.

The amount of tuition fees you will need to pay, and any financial support you are eligible for, will depend on whether you are classified as a home or overseas student, otherwise known as your fee status. LSE assesses your fee status based on guidelines provided by the Department of Education.

Further information about fee status classification.

Scholarships, studentships and other funding

The School recognises that the  cost of living in London  may be higher than in your home town or country, and we provide generous scholarships each year to home and overseas students.

This programme is eligible for  LSE PhD Studentships , and  Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) funding . Selection for the PhD Studentships and ESRC funding is based on receipt of an application for a place – including all ancillary documents, before the funding deadline.  

Funding deadline for LSE PhD Studentships and ESRC funding: 15 January 2024

In addition to our needs-based awards, LSE also makes available scholarships for students from specific regions of the world and awards for students studying specific subject areas.  Find out more about financial support.

External funding 

There may be other funding opportunities available through other organisations or governments and we recommend you investigate these options as well. A list of external sources of PhD funding can be found on the Department  MPhil/PhD webpage under the Funding section.

Further information

Fees and funding opportunities

Information for international students

LSE is an international community, with over 140 nationalities represented amongst its student body. We celebrate this diversity through everything we do.  

If you are applying to LSE from outside of the UK then take a look at our Information for International students . 

1) Take a note of the UK qualifications we require for your programme of interest (found in the ‘Entry requirements’ section of this page). 

2) Go to the International Students section of our website. 

3) Select your country. 

4) Select ‘Graduate entry requirements’ and scroll until you arrive at the information about your local/national qualification. Compare the stated UK entry requirements listed on this page with the local/national entry requirement listed on your country specific page.

Programme structure and courses

In addition to progressing with your research, you will take courses in methods and research design. You may take courses in addition to those listed and should discuss this with your supervisor.

At the end of your first year, you will need to satisfy certain requirements and if you meet these, will be retroactively upgraded to PhD status.

(* denotes half unit course)

Training courses

Methods in International Relations Research    -  Compulsory (not examined) Familiarises students with the principal approaches to contemporary research in the main branches of International Relations and to help students identify the appropriate methodology for their project. 

Research Methods Training - Compulsory (examined) You will be required to take compulsory assessed courses to the combined value of one unit from the range of quantitative and qualitative research methods topics listed below. 

Your selection of research methods should be agreed in consultation with your supervisor. You could take a different research methods course from those listed below, if this is better suited to your topic but this would need to be approved by their supervisor first.

  • Bayesian Reasoning for Qualitative Social Science: A Modern Approach to Case Study Inference*
  • Qualitative Methods in the Study of Politics
  • Fundamentals of Social Science Research Design
  • Qualitative Research Methods 
  • Case Studies and Comparative Methods for Qualitative Research
  • Doing Ethnography 
  • Qualitative Text and Discourse Analysis 
  • Introduction to Quantitative Analysis*
  • Applied Regression Analysis
  • Multivariate Analysis and Measurement
  • Survey Methodology
  • Causal Inference for Observational and Experimental Studies
  • Special Topics in Quantitative Analysis: Quantitative Text Analysis*
  • Social Network Analysis
  • Intermediate Quantitative Analysis
  • Computer Programming
  • Applied Machine Learning for Social Science
  • Computing Packages for Applied Analysis

Research Cluster Workshops -  Compulsory (not examined) Students will select from the below options:

  • Theory/Area/History
  • Security and Statecraft
  • International Institutions, Law and Ethics
  • International Political Economy

Transferable skills courses

  • Workshop in Information Literacy: Finding, managing and organising published research and data -  Aims to develop students' research skills and introduce the essential sources and tools when undertaking research, and the skills required to use them.
  • Relevant courses provided by the Library, the Eden Centre and the Methodology Department -   Optional (not examined)

Second year

Fourth year.

For the most up-to-date list of optional courses please visit the relevant School Calendar page.

You must note, however, that while care has been taken to ensure that this information is up to date and correct, a change of circumstances since publication may cause the School to change, suspend or withdraw a course or programme of study, or change the fees that apply to it. The School will always notify the affected parties as early as practicably possible and propose any viable and relevant alternative options. Note that the School will neither be liable for information that after publication becomes inaccurate or irrelevant, nor for changing, suspending or withdrawing a course or programme of study due to events outside of its control, which includes but is not limited to a lack of demand for a course or programme of study, industrial action, fire, flood or other environmental or physical damage to premises.

You must also note that places are limited on some courses and/or subject to specific entry requirements. The School cannot therefore guarantee you a place. Please note that changes to programmes and courses can sometimes occur after you have accepted your offer of a place. These changes are normally made in light of developments in the discipline or path-breaking research, or on the basis of student feedback. Changes can take the form of altered course content, teaching formats or assessment modes. Any such changes are intended to enhance the student learning experience. You should visit the School’s  Calendar ,  or contact the relevant academic department, for information on the availability and/or content of courses and programmes of study. Certain substantive changes will be listed on the  updated graduate course and programme information  page.

Supervision, progression and assessment

Supervision.

You will be assigned a lead supervisor who has the necessary expertise to oversee your research work. Lead supervisors guide you through your studies and are your main support contact during the PhD programme.

During your first year you will attend and contribute to the Methods in International Relations Research seminar ( IR501 ), one of the Department Research Cluster workshops and take research methods training courses to the combined value of one unit from the recommended list courses. These are designed to strengthen your methodological skills and background knowledge of specific topics related to your research.  During the second, third and fourth years you will also attend and contribute to one of the Department Research Cluster workshops.

You will also be assigned an adviser, a member of the International Relations faculty who will be familiar with your progress but will not necessarily be an expert in your research area. Your adviser will be involved in the review and upgrade process.

Progression and assessment

Each PhD thesis is unique, but the time frame everyone has to complete their thesis is four years.

All MPhil/PhD students at LSE are initially registered with MPhil status. Continued re-registration and upgrade are dependent on satisfactory progress being made. 

Progress will be reviewed annually by a research panel made up of members of academic staff other than the supervisor. Students are normally upgraded to PhD status by the end of the first year, and no later than within 18 months of initial registration in line with Research Degrees Regulations. The Annual Progress Review may result in a decision allowing progression to the next academic session, conditional progression to the next academic session, or a recommendation of de-registration.

In order to progress to PhD registration, you must normally have met the progression requirements outlined below:

  • Achieved a mark of at least 50% in each of the required examined graduate-level course units in Research Methods training;
  • Have made satisfactory progress in your research: this will be assessed by a face-to-face review panel involving two academic staff members and including the views of the supervisor. Review panels will be formed in consultation with the supervisor.

By the end of your first year, you will be required to submit a statement of research including a research outline and one draft chapter of no more than 10,000 words. The proposal, which should illustrate your command of the theoretical and empirical literature related to your topic, will be a clear statement of the theoretical and methodological approach you will take.  This should demonstrate the coherence and feasibility of the proposed research and thesis. The submission will also include a timetable to completion, which should identify any periods of fieldwork necessary to your research. Panels will normally take place in week 2-4 of the Spring Term.

The material submitted  will be also discussed and commented upon at IR501 lab sessions.

•       Regular attendance at IR501 and the IR Research Cluster Workshop will be taken into account for progression: at least 80% attendance is expected.

In the unlikely event where a student is successful at passing the upgrade panel but requires a second attempt at completing the Research Methods Courses, they may be authorised to be upgraded but would be required to pass the course by the end of their second year in order to re-register.

Progress review

After the first year review panel, progress will be reviewed annually as per Regulations for Research Degrees.

In year 2, you will be expected to submit two additional draft chapters and a timetable to completion which will be reviewed by the same panellists as in Year 1. The two chapters should be substantially new work, but may include revised material from year 1. A virtual panel meeting will be scheduled in week 2-4 of the Spring Term and make recommendations on further progression based on progress made and quality of work submitted, as well as attendance at a Cluster Workshop.

Students in their third year of registration will be required to submit an annual progress report at the end of June, including a timetable to completion clearly setting out the work completed and remaining on the student’s research, as well as their commitment to a Research Cluster. These will need to be approved by the supervisor and reviewed by the Doctoral Programme Director in order to authorise re-registration.

Student support and resources

We’re here to help and support you throughout your time at LSE, whether you need help with your academic studies, support with your welfare and wellbeing or simply to develop on a personal and professional level.

Whatever your query, big or small, there are a range of people you can speak to who will be happy to help.  

Department librarians   – they will be able to help you navigate the library and maximise its resources during your studies. 

Accommodation service  – they can offer advice on living in halls and offer guidance on private accommodation related queries.

Class teachers and seminar leaders  – they will be able to assist with queries relating to specific courses. 

Disability and Wellbeing Service  – they are experts in long-term health conditions, sensory impairments, mental health and specific learning difficulties. They offer confidential and free services such as  student counselling,  a  peer support scheme  and arranging  exam adjustments.  They run groups and workshops.  

IT help  – support is available 24 hours a day to assist with all your technology queries.   

LSE Faith Centre  – this is home to LSE's diverse religious activities and transformational interfaith leadership programmes, as well as a space for worship, prayer and quiet reflection. It includes Islamic prayer rooms and a main space for worship. It is also a space for wellbeing classes on campus and is open to all students and staff from all faiths and none.   

Language Centre  – the Centre specialises in offering language courses targeted to the needs of students and practitioners in the social sciences. We offer pre-course English for Academic Purposes programmes; English language support during your studies; modern language courses in nine languages; proofreading, translation and document authentication; and language learning community activities.

LSE Careers  ­ – with the help of LSE Careers, you can make the most of the opportunities that London has to offer. Whatever your career plans, LSE Careers will work with you, connecting you to opportunities and experiences from internships and volunteering to networking events and employer and alumni insights. 

LSE Library   –   founded in 1896, the British Library of Political and Economic Science is the major international library of the social sciences. It stays open late, has lots of excellent resources and is a great place to study. As an LSE student, you’ll have access to a number of other academic libraries in Greater London and nationwide. 

LSE LIFE  – this is where you should go to develop skills you’ll use as a student and beyond. The centre runs talks and workshops on skills you’ll find useful in the classroom; offers one-to-one sessions with study advisers who can help you with reading, making notes, writing, research and exam revision; and provides drop-in sessions for academic and personal support. (See ‘Teaching and assessment’). 

LSE Students’ Union (LSESU)  – they offer academic, personal and financial advice and funding.  

PhD Academy   – this is available for PhD students, wherever they are, to take part in interdisciplinary events and other professional development activities and access all the services related to their registration. 

Sardinia House Dental Practice   – this   offers discounted private dental services to LSE students.  

St Philips Medical Centre  – based in Pethwick-Lawrence House, the Centre provides NHS Primary Care services to registered patients.

Student Services Centre  – our staff here can answer general queries and can point you in the direction of other LSE services.  

Student advisers   – we have a  Deputy Head of Student Services (Advice and Policy)  and an  Adviser to Women Students  who can help with academic and pastoral matters.

Student life

As a student at LSE you’ll be based at our central London campus. Find out what our campus and London have to offer you on academic, social and career perspective. 

Student societies and activities

Your time at LSE is not just about studying, there are plenty of ways to get involved in  extracurricular activities . From joining one of over 200 societies, or starting your own society, to volunteering for a local charity, or attending a public lecture by a world-leading figure, there is a lot to choose from. 

The campus 

LSE is based on one  campus  in the centre of London. Despite the busy feel of the surrounding area, many of the streets around campus are pedestrianised, meaning the campus feels like a real community. 

Life in London 

London is an exciting, vibrant and colourful city. It's also an academic city, with more than 400,000 university students. Whatever your interests or appetite you will find something to suit your palate and pocket in this truly international capital. Make the most of career opportunities and social activities, theatre, museums, music and more. 

Want to find out more? Read why we think  London is a fantastic student city , find out about  key sights, places and experiences for new Londoners . Don't fear, London doesn't have to be super expensive: hear about  London on a budget . 

Preliminary reading

  • The Professor Is In: The Essential Guide to Turning your PhD into a Job.  Karen Kelsky    (Three Rivers Press, 2015)
  •   How to Write a Lot: A Practical Guide to Productive Academic Writing.  Paul J. Silvia (American Psychological Association, 2007)

Quick Careers Facts for the Department of International Relations

Median salary of our PG students 15 months after graduating: £32,000

Top 5 sectors our students work in:

  • Government, Public Sector and Policy   
  • Financial and Professional Services              
  • Education, Teaching and Research            
  • Information, Digital Technology and Data            
  • International Organisations

The data was collected as part of the Graduate Outcomes survey, which is administered by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA). Graduates from 2020-21 were the fourth group to be asked to respond to Graduate Outcomes. Median salaries are calculated for respondents who are paid in UK pounds sterling and who were working in full-time employment.

Students who successfully complete the programme often embark on an academic career. Recent doctoral graduates have also gone into careers in consultancy, education and teaching, NGOs and charities, international organisations and to roles within the public sector and government.

Further information on graduate destinations for this programme Hear from some recent graduates

Heidi Ning Kang Wang-Kaeding Assistant Professor in Asian Politics, Department of Political Science, Trinity College Dublin

Mark Kersten Research Fellow, Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto; Director of Research, Wayamo Foundation

Elisabetta Brighi Lecturer in International Relations, Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Westminster

Check our recent completion page .

Support for your career

Many leading organisations give careers presentations at the School during the year, and LSE Careers has a wide range of resources available to assist students in their job search. Find out more about the  support available to students through LSE Careers .

Find out more about LSE

Discover more about being an LSE student - meet us in a city near you, visit our campus or experience LSE from home. 

Experience LSE from home

Webinars, videos, student blogs and student video diaries will help you gain an insight into what it's like to study at LSE for those that aren't able to make it to our campus.  Experience LSE from home . 

Come on a guided campus tour, attend an undergraduate open day, drop into our office or go on a self-guided tour.  Find out about opportunities to visit LSE . 

LSE visits you

Student Marketing, Recruitment and Study Abroad travels throughout the UK and around the world to meet with prospective students. We visit schools, attend education fairs and also hold Destination LSE events: pre-departure events for offer holders.  Find details on LSE's upcoming visits . 

How to apply

Virtual Graduate Open Day

Register your interest

Related programmes, mres/phd political science.

Code(s) M1ZN

MPhil/PhD International History

Code(s) V1ZH

MPhil/PhD European Studies

Code(s) M1ZE

MPhil/PhD Gender

Code(s) Y2ZG

MRes/PhD International Development

Code(s) Y2ZI

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The application and funding portal for October 2024 entry is now closed.

Our PhD in Politics and International Studies is structured as a three-year programme. With the expectation that PhD students will submit a full draft of their thesis at the end of the third year or soon after.

This is a research degree and is completed through the submission of a thesis of up to 80,000 words. As a full-time programme, it is completed in a period of between three and four years – that is between nine and twelve university terms. 

The First Year

The first year of the PhD is spent in Cambridge, with two major activities: firstly, developing a research topic with the guidance of a supervisor and secondly, training in research methods.

The development of the topic often involves extensive reading into relevant literature, the discovery of relevant information sources (such as archives or databases), and formulating plans for primary research, such as through making plans for fieldwork. This is done in combination with your primary supervisor, who discusses your progress and reviews your written work, usually fortnightly. You are also appointed a second supervisor who can be drawn upon for additional advice.

The first year culminates in the production of a report, which serves as the basis for the registration exercise at the end of the year. This registration exercise is required to move on to official registration for the PhD degree and is conducted through a meeting with your second supervisor and an independent assessor. Its purpose is to ensure that your research project is viable, that an appropriate methodology is applied and that relevant literature is drawn upon.

The second major focus of the first year is research training. There is a weekly seminar on the methodological and philosophical questions that underpin research in the contemporary social sciences, which all first-year PhD students attend. Alongside this, PhD students choose two further courses to attend from a range of options, such as statistics, qualitative methods and languages.

As the induction process and training courses start at the beginning of October, entry to the PhD programme must also begin then. We cannot therefore accept applications to begin at other points during the academic year.

The Second and Third Years

The content of the second and third years varies considerably depending on the type of research being conducted. Many students spend a considerable portion of the second year of their PhD out of Cambridge on fieldwork, while others are resident throughout. To assist you in the development of your research, we schedule an annual meeting with your primary and secondary supervisor, for which you produce a report for discussion.

In the second year and onwards, many of our PhD students contribute to the Department's teaching programme, principally in small-group teaching of undergraduates (supervisions).

There is also the opportunity to deliver a lecture if your research interests align with the taught courses. There is no obligation to be involved in this, but many of our PhD students consider this valuable experience, particularly for those considering academic careers.

Dissertations are assessed through an oral examination with two senior academics, of whom at least one must be external.

Supervision

Full-time candidates on the course are expected to devote themselves fully to their studies . Full-time students must spend at least three terms resident in Cambridge.  Part-time students are required to attend Cambridge and undergo formal supervision with their supervisor at a frequency agreed upon between the supervisor and student and determined by the nature of the research project. Generally, we would expect part-time students to be resident in Cambridge for around 45 days per year, spread throughout the year, for supervision and training.

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Testimonials from current students

"POLIS’ unparalleled array and quality of resources have remained crucial to my growth as a researcher. Diligent research experts like my supervisor and advisor have guided me through fine tuning my academic voice, acquainting myself with my ontological outlook, and even confronting some of my political inclinations. The depth and rigor of the PhD modules around methodology and professional development have rooted my thesis design and helped me envision longer term applications for my work. Above all, navigating this PhD with my POLIS peers, alumni, faculty, and staff has fashioned an intellectual home for me, contributed to my confidence, and steadied my sense of belonging at Cambridge. Whether it’s forging through top tier research conferences, teasing out field studies in foreign countries, or navigating everyday challenges like illness or impostor syndrome, I can always count on a member of the POLIS community to see me, hear me, and stand with me. And that has almost always been the determining factor in my success."

Abii-Tah Bih -  PhD Student POLIS  (April 2022)

"A PhD at POLIS has been a fantastic choice. Graduate students have the opportunity to be connected to faculty researching across a wide range of issues and approaches. There are many opportunities to broaden intellectual horizons by attending workshops or talks, and I encourage anyone considering applying to do so!"

Say Jye Quah -  PhD Student POLIS- 2022

“A wonderful place to carry out independent research, POLIS paves the way for serendipitous and life-changing opportunities, within and beyond the world of academia. The PhD community is truly phenomenal, filled with passionate and driven students who bring a diverse range of perspectives and approaches to their study. I have found POLIS to be a rewarding research environment and have been privileged to find much support and inspiration from my peers and academic staff. “ 

Elizabeth Paradis - 2022

"Coming to the programme with a different intellectual background, I was immediately made to feel at home at POLIS by the sheer diversity of research carried out and the varied kinds of approaches people bring to the PhD programme. The openness and friendly support, the in-depth and challenging discussions, as well as the encouraging process of developing your own project in constructive exchange and collaboration with other PhD students make the programme an intellectually stimulating and deeply enriching experience."

Carl Pierer PhD Student POLIS  2021

"The structure of the PhD course, amazing staff, the events and workshops organised by the different centres at POLIS all provide a fertile ground for one to thrive. The diversity of research topics means you are always learning something different from your colleagues. I am grateful to be part of the POLIS family."

Edward Murambwa, PhD Student POLIS  - 2019

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PhD in Politics (Distance Learning)

Kdumim protest

PhD details 3 to 4 years full-time 6 years part-time Start date October 2023 January 2024 (semester dates)
Research Research in the department takes place within four clusters: Comparative Politics and Public Policy International Studies Political Economy Political Theory Members of staff participate actively in interdisciplinary research. Examples include: Centre for Applied Human Rights Centre for Renaissance and Early Modern Studies Research Centre for Social Sciences School of Philosophy, Politics and Economics
Fees 2023/24 UK fees 2023/24 international fees
PhD students benefit from: Dedicated study space Quality research training Teaching opportunities Financial support for conferences and fieldwork Interdisciplinary events
Find out more about some of our current PhD researchers .
Contact us Contact our Graduate Office +44 (0)1904 323542 [email protected]. uk

Apply for this course

The Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of York is at the heart of current thinking, research and debate, and home to a prestigious, lively and international community. Our students and academics are internationally recognized as being at the forefront of research. Our staff are committed to both research of the highest standards and to applying their knowledge to real-world problems. They advise governments and international organisations on a wide range of issues, and regularly contribute to the news media and current affairs programmes throughout the world. Current concentrations of research expertise include the history of political thought, contemporary political theory, comparative politics, public policy, peacebuilding, global development, international security, human rights, international political economy, environmental and gender politics. We welcome PhD   applications in any of these areas.

The focus of your work will be an independent research project. We provide training which will equip you with skills in a wide range of research skills, including qualitative and quantitative research methods, to support your growing expertise. The PhD requires a dissertation of 70,000- 80,000   words or (for the 'thesis by papers' doctorate) a series of papers making an original contribution to your thesis topic.

Postgraduate research provides opportunities to develop your academic, creative and practical skills. You'll work independently in a supportive academic environment where scholarship and creativity go hand-in-hand.

The PhD in Politics (Distance Learning) allows access to academic supervision and research training for those students unable to work on campus on a regular basis.

Distance learning may be challenging and applicants need to have a high capacity to work independently and in a disciplined fashion to pursue their research goals. Supervisory teams are there to support you in acquiring the knowledge and skills to complete the thesis and there will be opportunities to participate in our research environment through online and hybrid events.

Distance learning students are expected to attend a five day induction process at the University, at the start of their studies.

Department of Politics and International Relations University of York , York , YO10 5DD , UK Tel: work +44 (0) 1904 323542 | Fax: fax 01904 323563

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Politics and International Relations PhD

  • Full-time: 3 years
  • Part-time: 6 years
  • Start date: Multiple available
  • UK fees: £5,100
  • International fees: £21,500

Research overview

The School of Politics and International Relations has long been respected for the quality of its research and teaching. We have strong links with leading institutions in the UK and overseas and a diverse teaching team and student body. You will study in a dynamic research environment that will allow you to explore the political landscape by focusing on a specialism of your choice. 

You will be encouraged to play an active role in our research centres and institutes  as well as the activities of the school.

You will be assigned  two supervisors . You must ensure that we have at least one supervisor who has expertise in your proposed area of research before applying and name that person in your application. Ideally, you should contact your proposed supervisor before applying.

We offer supervision in most subject areas within international relations and security, British and comparative politics, and political theory.

Potential PhD projects

The School of Politics and International Relations invites expressions of interest from suitably qualified candidates to undertake a PhD in Politics or International Relations.

Successful applicants will join a team of PhD researchers in the School of Politics and International Relations . You can find out more about our staff , their research interests and current doctoral supervision, as well as the pages of individual academics.

Prospective candidates are welcome to outline their own doctoral research topic, but we have identified a number of priority topic areas where we believe a PhD project would be particularly cutting-edge and where we strongly welcome expressions of interest. The topic areas are:

International Relations

  • Covert economic influence
  • Britain and proxy wars
  • Struggles over water commodification
  • Alternative trade policy
  • The EU and the global South
  • Intelligence assessment and policymaking
  • Intelligence and diplomacy
  • Environmental disasters
  • British foreign policy
  • Britain and the Middle East
  • UK/China Relations

British Politics and Comparative Politics

  • The changing nature of election campaigns
  • Federalism and the management of ethnic conflict
  • Gender and political representation in Asia
  • Public administration in post-communist Europe
  • Anti-corruption in developing countries
  • Intersectionality, Identity and Representation in Political Careers
  • Taiwanese politics
  • Chinese digital politics
  • Forced marriage/honour-based abuse policies
  • Authoritarian party politics and democratic backsliding in Asia and Africa
  • Labour precarity and changing labour politics across the Global North and South
  • Majoritarian Nationalisms (and their impact) in Asia
  • Hybrid Regimes in South and South-East Asia
  • Federalism and Public Policy

Political Theory

  • Conceptions of Liberal Socialism
  • Post-truth politics/populism
  • Eco/techno-ideologies
  • Left, right and centre in UK and European History
  • Concept development (eg freedom, authoritarianism, etc)

Course content

You must complete a written thesis of up to 100,000 words, with support and advice from your academic supervisor(s). You will also take a verbal examination called a viva voce, where you explain your project in depth to an examination panel.

You will also be required to take 20 credits of methodological modules offered by either the School of Politics and International Relations or relevant modules offered by other schools. During your first semester, you will also enrol in the school's Professional Development module.

As a research student in the school, you will also develop skills needed in a future academic career through taking training courses offered through the Researcher Academy. You are required to take five training points during the first and second year of studies.  

Supervision 

Full-time students should meet with their supervisors at least 10 times each year. This would be at least six times in the same period for part-time students.

Entry requirements

All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2024 entry.

Meeting our English language requirements

If you need support to meet the required level, you may be able to attend a presessional English course. Presessional courses teach you academic skills in addition to English language. Our  Centre for English Language Education is accredited by the British Council for the teaching of English in the UK.

If you successfully complete your presessional course to the required level, you can then progress to your degree course. This means that you won't need to retake IELTS or equivalent.

For on-campus presessional English courses, you must take IELTS for UKVI to meet visa regulations. For online presessional courses, see our CELE webpages for guidance.

Visa restrictions

International students must have valid UK immigration permissions for any courses or study period where teaching takes place in the UK. Student route visas can be issued for eligible students studying full-time courses. The University of Nottingham does not sponsor a student visa for students studying part-time courses. The Standard Visitor visa route is not appropriate in all cases. Please contact the university’s Visa and Immigration team if you need advice about your visa options.

We recognise that applicants have a variety of experiences and follow different pathways to postgraduate study.

We treat all applicants with alternative qualifications on an individual basis. We may also consider relevant work experience.

If you are unsure whether your qualifications or work experience are relevant, contact us .

Applicants are strongly encouraged to make contact with possible supervisors prior to their application. You should look at the  areas of supervision  offered by staff in the school to identify who they may be. If you do not indicate a possible supervisor in your application, this may well affect its success. 

Once an application has been received, applicants who are not already known personally to the potential supervisor will be contacted for a short interview to discuss the intended topic of your research. This interview can take the form of face-to-face interview, via Skype or over the telephone. 

The Postgraduate Research Tutor will then make a decision on offering a place of study in the school.

Applicants interested in applying for entry October 2024 should contact Benjamin Holland , providing an expression of interest including the following:

  • a one-page note on your preparation and motivation to conduct research to PhD level on a topic in politics and international relations
  • a 2,000-word outline of your proposed research topic

View our further guidance PDF on how to write a convincing and compelling research proposal . We can advise on your eligibility and the fit of your proposed research with our interests and expertise.

Our step-by-step guide contains everything you need to know about applying for postgraduate research.

Additional information for international students

If you are a student from the EU, EEA or Switzerland, you may be asked to complete a fee status questionnaire and your answers will be assessed using guidance issued by the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) .

These fees are for full-time study. If you are studying part-time, you will be charged a proportion of this fee each year (subject to inflation).

Additional costs

All students will need at least one device to approve security access requests via Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA). We also recommend students have a suitable laptop to work both on and off-campus. For more information, please check the equipment advice .

As a student on this course, you should factor some additional costs into your budget, alongside your tuition fees and living expenses.

You should be able to access most of the books you'll need through our libraries, though you may wish to purchase your own copies or more specific titles which could cost up to £120.

Please note that these figures are approximate and subject to change.

There are many ways to fund your research degree, from scholarships to government loans.

Check our guide to find out more about funding your postgraduate degree.

Professional Development Module 

You will study this module in your first year of study. It will outline the diverse challenges and opportunities provided by doing a PhD in politics and international relations.

We run a weekly colloquium for postgraduate research students, giving you the opportunity to present your work in front of other research students and staff with similar research interests. 

Organised by students and facilitated by the Director of Postgraduate Research, it acts as a supportive forum for presenting your work, testing your arguments, ideas and approaches, and developing your research design. 

Conference 

Students also run their own annual postgraduate research conference which attracts researchers from across the UK and internationally.

Research seminars

We offer research seminars for staff and postgraduate research students through our  research centres and institutes . Each centre runs a full programme of workshops, reading groups, talks and conferences. 

Teaching experience

Suitably trained second and third-year research students can acquire paid teaching experience by delivering undergraduate tutorials. Free courses on teaching methods are on offer, though teaching is subject to availability and cannot be guaranteed. 

Researcher training and development

The Researcher Academy is the network for researchers, and staff who support them. We work together to promote a healthy research culture, to cultivate researcher excellence, and develop creative partnerships that enable researchers to flourish.

Postgraduate researchers at Nottingham have access to our online Members’ area, which includes a wealth of resources, access to training courses and award-winning postgraduate placements.

Graduate centres

Our graduate centres are dedicated community spaces on campus for postgraduates.

Each space has areas for:

  • socialising
  • computer work
  • kitchen facilities

Student support

You will have access to a range of support services , including:

  • academic and disability support
  • childcare services
  • counselling service
  • faith support
  • financial support
  • mental health and wellbeing support
  • visa and immigration advice
  • welfare support

Students' Union

Our Students' Union represents all students. You can join the Postgraduate Students’ Network or contact the dedicated Postgraduate Officer .

There are also a range of support networks, including groups for:

  • international students
  • black and minority ethnic students
  • students who identify as women
  • students with disabilities
  • LGBT+ students

SU Advice provides free, independent and confidential advice on issues such as accommodation, financial and academic difficulties.

phd in international relations politics

Where you will learn

Library facilities - politics and international relations.

The  Hallward Library  stocks a large number of politics and international relations related publications and journals. Our library facilities open long hours and include areas for group work, individual and silent study.

University Park Campus

University Park Campus  covers 300 acres, with green spaces, wildlife, period buildings and modern facilities. It is one of the UK's most beautiful and sustainable campuses, winning a national Green Flag award every year since 2003.

Most schools and departments are based here. You will have access to libraries, shops, cafes, the Students’ Union, sports village and a health centre.

You can walk or cycle around campus. Free hopper buses connect you to our other campuses. Nottingham city centre is 15 minutes away by public bus or tram.

phd in international relations politics

School facilities - Politics and International Relations

In addition to IT facilities provided by the University, the school offers all full-time postgraduate research students their own workspace in dedicated offices. You will be provided with a computer, printing and photocopying facilities, and a generous printing/photocopying allowance.

Whether you are considering a career in academia, industry or haven't yet decided, we’re here to support you every step of the way.

Expert staff will work with you to explore PhD career options and apply for vacancies, develop your interview skills and meet employers. You can book a one-to-one appointment, take an online course or attend a workshop.

International students who complete an eligible degree programme in the UK on a student visa can apply to stay and work in the UK after their course under the Graduate immigration route . Eligible courses at the University of Nottingham include bachelors, masters and research degrees, and PGCE courses.

Career destinations for our graduates include economists, management consultants, researchers, statisticians and university lecturers. Companies and organisations our graduates have gone to work for include the BBC, Channel 4, the European Union, GCHQ, Reuters, and the Thailand National Police Department.

100% of postgraduates from the School of Politics and International Relations secured graduate level employment or further study within 15 months of graduation.*

* HESA Graduate Outcomes 2019/20 data published in 2022 . The Graduate Outcomes % is derived using The Guardian University Guide methodology. 

Thomas Eason

Related courses

Politics and international relations mres, research excellence framework.

The University of Nottingham is ranked 7th in the UK for research power, according to analysis by Times Higher Education. The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is a national assessment of the quality of research in UK higher education institutions.

  • 82% of the school's research is ranked as world-leading or internationally excellent
  • 90%* of our research is classed as 'world-leading' (4*) or 'internationally excellent' (3*)
  • 100%* of our research is recognised internationally
  • 51% of our research is assessed as 'world-leading' (4*) for its impact**

*According to analysis by Times Higher Education ** According to our own analysis.

This content was last updated on 01 February 2024 . Every effort has been made to ensure that this information is accurate, but changes are likely to occur between the date of publishing and course start date. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply.

The University of Edinburgh home

  • Schools & departments

Postgraduate study

Politics PhD

Awards: PhD

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Funding opportunities

Programme website: Politics

Upcoming Introduction to Postgraduate Study and Research events

Join us online on the 19th June or 26th June to learn more about studying and researching at Edinburgh.

Choose your event and register

Research profile

Approximately 60 members of PIR academic staff enjoy international reputations for their research and have won numerous teaching, research and advising awards. Their scholarship covers a diverse range of research areas on Scotland, Europe, and the world, and is published in highly-rated journals and books.

The department has a strong tradition of advising, informing and debating policy with key decision-makers at Scottish, UK, European and international levels, and has a notable concentration of political theorists.

Research in Politics and International Relations explores the theory, practice and ethics of politics and governance.

We cover a broad area of expertise, from local policy to global governance, political theory to empirical studies, constructivism to rational choice approaches.

Our Politics & International Relations group has close links with cross-disciplinary and internationally recognised research centres.

Major research focuses include:

  • sub-state and supranational dimensions of politics and public policy
  • the impact of devolution in the UK and elsewhere, and the constitution and governance of the European Union
  • international politics: changing relations, the new security agenda, transatlantic relations, political economy, migration politics and global governance
  • nationalism, democratic transition, civil society and institution-building
  • health, welfare, environment, competition, migrations and citizenship, and equal opportunities policies
  • political theory, especially war ethics, environmental ethics and theories of freedom

Programme structure

The degree is based on three to four years of full-time research. Each student follows an individual training programme designed with their supervisor and the Postgraduate Adviser. This programme is reviewed and updated on an annual basis.

In the first year, you will acquire a wide range of research skills and formulate their research question and related design, under the guidance of their supervisors. At the end of their course of study you will submit a thesis and will be assessed in an oral examination (viva voce) by two examiners (usually one internal to the University, the other external).

The thesis is a long piece of research on a topic of your particular interest and makes an original contribution to the field of politics and international relations.

Find out more about compulsory and optional courses

We link to the latest information available. Please note that this may be for a previous academic year and should be considered indicative.

Training and support

You will follow a programme of research training, drawn from the MSc by Research courses coordinated by the School of Social and Political Science and Politics and International Relations-specific training.

The programme equips you with professional training to a high standard. After graduating you can expect to be a strong candidate for careers in a wide variety of contexts, including academia, the media, the private sector and a diverse array of public services. Nearly everyone needs good researchers!

Politics and International Relations helps you gain a range of transferable skills above and beyond those required by their specific projects, such as:

  • organising seminars and conferences
  • learning how to apply for research jobs in and out of academia
  • learning how to deliver professional seminar presentations

Postgraduate researchers also have access to the University and College-wide programme of training in transferable skills and other aspects of professional development, such as specialist careers advice.

Research library and archive facilities in Edinburgh are outstanding.

You will be a member of the Graduate School of Social & Political Science, with full access to the Graduate School’s facilities in the Chrystal Macmillan Building.

Other library and archive facilities include the University’s Main Library, the National Library of Scotland and the Scottish Records Office. Proximity to the Scottish Parliament and other institutions of national government provides further research opportunities.

Entry requirements

These entry requirements are for the 2024/25 academic year and requirements for future academic years may differ. Entry requirements for the 2025/26 academic year will be published on 1 Oct 2024.

A UK 2:1 honours degree or its international equivalent, and a UK masters degree with an overall mark of 65% or its international equivalent.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

  • Entry requirements by country
  • English language requirements

Regardless of your nationality or country of residence, you must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies.

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS Academic: total 7.0 with at least 6.0 in each component. We do not accept IELTS One Skill Retake to meet our English language requirements.
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Home Edition): total 100 with at least 20 in each component. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • C1 Advanced ( CAE ) / C2 Proficiency ( CPE ): total 185 with at least 169 in each component.
  • Trinity ISE : ISE III with passes in all four components.
  • PTE Academic: total 70 with at least 59 in each component.

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS , TOEFL, Trinity ISE or PTE , in which case it must be no more than two years old.

Degrees taught and assessed in English

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:

  • UKVI list of majority English speaking countries

We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries (non-MESC).

  • Approved universities in non-MESC

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than five years old* at the beginning of your programme of study. (*Revised 05 March 2024 to extend degree validity to five years.)

Find out more about our language requirements:

Fees and costs

Application fee.

This programme requires a non-refundable application fee.

Your application will not be processed until we have received your application fee.

  • Application fee information

Living costs

You will be responsible for covering living costs for the duration of your studies.

Tuition fees

Scholarships and funding, featured funding.

School of Social and Political Science Scholarships

UK Research Council Awards

For specialised guidance on submitting a competitive scholarship application, please follow the requirements and recommendations and how to contact relevant academic staff as advised here:

  • Important information and recommendations

UK government postgraduate loans

If you live in the UK, you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan from one of the UK’s governments.

The type and amount of financial support you are eligible for will depend on:

  • your programme
  • the duration of your studies
  • your tuition fee status

Programmes studied on a part-time intermittent basis are not eligible.

  • UK government and other external funding

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • Search for funding

Further information

  • Postgraduate Admissions Team
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 650 4086
  • Contact: [email protected]
  • Programme Advisor, Dr Sarah Liu
  • Contact: [email protected]
  • Graduate School of Social & Political Science
  • Chrystal Macmillan Building
  • 15A George Square
  • Central Campus
  • Programme: Politics
  • School: Social & Political Science
  • College: Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Select your programme and preferred start date to begin your application.

PhD Politics - 3 Years (Full-time)

Phd politics - 6 years (part-time), application deadlines.

We encourage you to apply at least one month prior to entry so that we have enough time to process your application. If you are also applying for funding or will require a visa then we strongly recommend you apply as early as possible.

  • How to apply

You must submit two references with your application.

You must submit a research proposal demonstrating your knowledge of your field of research, which will be closely scrutinised as part of the decision-making process. We request that PhD research proposals are no more than four A4 typed pages in Times New Roman, 12pt font. This includes charts and figures but does not include references or a bibliography.

We require PhD applicants in particular to contact potential supervisors before applying to discuss their research proposal so we can ensure there is adequate supervision.

A non-refundable application fee of £50 must be paid after you submit your application. Your application will not be processed until we have received your application fee.

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

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Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Government and International Relations

Undertake a phd in government and international relations at flinders.

Drive economic, social and political change with innovative research

Pursue an advanced research project in politics, public policy, or international relations. Guided by expert supervisors with strong links to government and industry you will conduct independent research in a field that is important to you and where you can make a difference. You will have the opportunity to contribute new knowledge and expand your understanding of the political forces that steer the world and the countries within it.

Research supervisors 

How to apply 

Enquire 

Doctor of Philosophy (Government)

Duration: 4 years

Delivery mode: In Person

Location: Bedford Park

CRICOS code:  106254H

Annual fees: 2024: $36,300

Further information on fees listed

Master of Arts (Government)

Duration: 2 years

CRICOS code:  106274D

Why undertake a PhD in Government and International Relations at Flinders

  • Access excellent research facilities
  • Work with internationally recognised scholars in your field
  • Collaborate with industry partners
  • Become an international expert on your chosen topic
  • Make a difference in the world – your research has the potential to change people’s lives

Your career

A PhD in Government and International Relations at Flinders is a stepping stone to a career in government, think tanks, not-for-profit organisations, universities, and private corporations. Increasingly, individuals with PhDs are highly sought after for senior management positions within government, and as political or policy analysts.

Potential occupations include:·

  • Public sector manager
  • Policy analyst
  • Government analyst

Potential employers include:

  • National and international NGOs
  • Think tanks
  • Multinational businesses
  • Universities

Top up scholarships available

Top up scholarships are available for newly enrolled high-achieving domestic or international PhD students in the College of Business, Government and Law on the basis of academic merit and research potential.

The six scholarships available are valued at $5,000 per annum for the duration of a PhD degree (maximum 3 years, with a possible 6-month extension).  

Find out more

Potential research supervisors

Flinders government and international relations academic staff are recognised as leaders in their fields both in Australia and around the world. Our academics draw on their extensive knowledge to undertake research that makes a difference to people's lives.

Professor Gerry Redmond

Associate Professor Rodrigo Praino

Dr Rob Manwaring

Learn what to prepare before approaching a potential research supervisor.

Ready to find the perfect supervisor for your research journey? Explore Research @ Flinders.

Find a supervisor

How to apply

Review the course rule

Check your eligibility

Find a research supervisor

Find out about scholarships and fees

Prepare your application

Meet our PhD students

David Waterford

Dr David Waterford

Status: Completed 2021 Thesis title : Politicians as policymakers: The interaction of interests, ideology, information and institutions in an Australian state Supervisors : Professor Gerry Redmond , Professor Charles Lees

Investigation of policymaking by the South Australia political executive 2002-2010, in three policy areas – bioscience industry, radioactive waste management, and urban water-supply – by applying Carol Weiss’ 4Is framework of policymaking. Primary sources include interviews with members of the political executive from the era and previously unavailable cabinet documents.

Dwi Ratih S. Esti

Dr Dwi Ratih S. Esti

Status: Completed 2021 Thesis title : Effectiveness of evaluation practices in supporting regional development planning

Supervisors : Associate Professor Noore Siddiquee , Professor Gerry Redmond

This research provides an in-depth overview of the effectiveness of evaluation practices in supporting regional development planning in Indonesia using two case studies at the provincial level. Realist methodology was selected to better understand the causal mechanisms and contexts which influence the effectiveness of evaluation practice in regional development planning.

Fajar Fadli

Dr Fajar Fadli

Status:  Completed 2021 Thesis title : The governance of renewable energy in Indonesia Supervisors : Associate Professor Noore Siddiquee , Dr Peter Tangney

This research investigates renewable energy governance in Indonesia with a focus on transparency and public participation. It aims to evaluate governance process and to investigate the extent to which transparency and public participation can improve renewable energy share in Indonesia.

Mahamadachch-Komalee-N-D.png

Nadeeka D. Mahamadachchi

Status: Completed 2023 Thesis title : Evaluating waste management policy in Sri Lanka Supervisors : Associate Professor Cassandra Star , Associate Professor Beverley Clarke

This research explores the factors involved in the implementation gap of waste management policy in Sri Lanka. In addition, it examines the relationships among various actors in different levels of government and how these relationships affect effective policy implementation. A mixed method approach is utilised for the study.

Fletcher-Paige.png

Paige Fletcher

Status: Completed 2023   Thesis title : Australian feminist organisations relationship with the state: effective or ineffective? Supervisors : Associate Professor Cassandra Star ,  Dr Peter Tangney

This research examines the effectiveness of feminist non-governmental organisations in influencing and contributing to domestic and family violence public policies. More specifically, it examines whether having a relationship with the state (i.e., being an insider or an outsider) impacts this effectiveness.

aryanta-nugraha.png

Dr Aryanta Nugraha

Status: Completed 2022 Thesis title : Indonesia and the Making of Regional International Society in Southeast Asia Supervisors :  Assoc. Prof. Michael Barr , Dr Maryanne Kelton

This research explores the role of Indonesia in constructing regional international society in Southeast Asia. Drawing from International Society perspective of the English School of IR, this thesis focuses on Indonesia's foreign policy in three episodes of creation, consolidation and maintenance of regional primary and secondary institutions of the regional international society.

David Waterford

Cole Williams

Thesis title : Reconceptualising sustainable development Supervisors :  Associate Professor Cassandra Star

Business interests have appropriated sustainable development discourse, leading to negative environmental and economic impacts on communities. The prioritisation of corporate interests in policy has led to an increase in inequality both within and between countries. 

Alternative conceptions of `progress´, and `development´ must be considered as they better serve community rather than corporate interests. This project considers the implementation of biocentric alternatives to mainstream sustainable development, including the Latin American concept of buen vivir which translates to ‘living well in community’.

David Waterford

Judi Storer

Thesis title : The Effectiveness of Diffusion of International Environmental Law Sustainable Development Principles into Domestic Climate Change Mitigation Policy Supervisors :  Associate Professor Cassandra Star and Associate Professor Hossein Esmaeili

This research seeks to determine the effectiveness of international environmental law sustainable development principles in driving effective domestic climate change mitigation law and policy, in three case study countries; Australia, Brazil and India. It will explore how governments in case study countries have rationalised conflicts, contradictions, and tensions, between the each of the sustainable development principles, and how this rationalisation has influenced the effectiveness of these countries’ domestic climate change mitigation law and policy.

David Waterford

Joshua Gilbert

Thesis title : Precarious Transitions: Understanding the impacts of ‘youth precarity’ on young people's end-of-school choices and aspirations in South Australia. Supervisors :  Professor Gerry Redmond , Dr Michael Scott

This project contributes to ongoing policy-orientated research into the lived experiences of young people here in Australia. In the context of increasing youth precarity both in metropolitan and rural settings, the project aims to understand how young people in South Australia frame their end-of-school aspirations in the context of crisis, change, and adversity.

David Waterford

Lachlan Poel

Thesis title : Defending Democracies from Digital Disinformation: A US/Australia comparative study Supervisors :  Dr Luis da Vinha , Dr Maryanne Kelton

As democracies find themselves facing increasingly powerful disinformation efforts, governments must ensure that they understand, recognise and respond to these threats. This thesis compares the United States and Australia and highlights how differences in understanding and recognition impact each country’s ability to respond to disinformation. 

Enquire now

If you have a question about how to apply, please review our Frequently Asked Questions before submitting an enquiry.

For all other course enquiries complete the enquiry form.

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Phd degree: politics and international studies.

phd in international relations politics

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phd in international relations politics

Key information

Home student fees (full-time) : £4,860 per year Home student fees (part-time) : £2,430 per year Overseas student fees (full-time) : £22,490 per year Overseas student fees (part-time) : £11,245 per year

Please note that fees go up each year.   See  research fees  for further details.

We normally require a 2.1 bachelor's degree (or its equivalent) plus a Merit-level Masters degree in Political Science or a related discipline. We also require a minimum of one reference. In exceptional cases we may accept applicants who do not meet these criteria if they show evidence of a strong Masters degree and/or appropriate level of relevant work experience. International applicants should also see  Doctoral School English language requirements

Course overview

The primary aim of the PhD programme is to train students to design, research and write a successful doctoral thesis.

Those who have completed the doctorate will be familiar with the conceptual and methodological aspects of political research and qualified as experts in their field.

To be considered for entry into the PhD programme, applicants must possess a good advanced degree in Politics equivalent in level and content to the Department's MSc, although applications from individuals with related degrees in cognate disciplines will also be considered  Guidelines for research proposals .

Admission takes place on a rolling basis. The application cycle opens in November and closes on 30 June for entry in October. Applicants also wishing to be considered for a SOAS scholarship or an ESRC studentship should refer to the  research scholarships  information for the deadlines.

Why study PhD Degree Politics and International Studies at SOAS?

  • We’re ranked 5th in the UK and 17th worldwide for Politics (QS World University Rankings 2023).
  • We're ranked 3rd globally for academic reputation (QS World University Rankings 2022).

Recently Completed PhD Dissertations in the Department

  • Maria Ambrozy, ‘Interrogating Education Policymaking in the Rwandan Developmental State: The Politics of Changing the Language of Instruction and the Higher Education Merger’ (Phil Clark)
  • Sheenah Kaliisa, ‘Opening Borders: The African Passport, Free Movement of Persons and the Integration of States’ (Phil Clark)
  • Hangwei Li, ‘Global China, African Agency and the Prism of Soft Power: Media Interaction and Newsroom Politics Between China and Africa’ (Stephen Chan)
  • Moudwe Daga, ‘Identity, Belonging and State Formation in Chad’ ( Professor Julia Gallagher )
  • Calum Fisher, ‘Doing Democracy in Malawi: MPs and Their Constituencies’ ( Dr Alastair Fraser )
  • Anna Evelyn Kensicki, ‘Jerusalem Narratives: A Phenomenological Analysis of Space and Time in 21st Century Conflict’, ( Dr Hagar Kottef )
  • Dwi Kiswanto, ‘Centre-Periphery Relations: The Politics of Fiscal Transfers in Indonesia’ ( Dr Michael Buehler )
  • Leon Kunz, ‘Deliberative Democracy in Social Movements in Taiwan and Hong Kong’ ( Professor Julia Strauss )
  • Magsud Mammadov, ‘The State Selfie in International Politics: Ontological Insecurity, Role Making, and Nation Branding in the case of Azerbaijan, 2008-2018’ ( Dr Bhavna Dave )

The PhD programme at SOAS follows a three-year model, with the possibility to extend into a fourth year. The programme consists of research training and coursework in the first year, after which Doctoral Researchers must pass an upgrade from MPhil to PhD status through submission of an ‘Upgrade Paper’, examined by a viva exam.

This is followed by primary research/fieldwork undertaken in the second year, and the writing up of their thesis in the subsequent year. Doctoral Researchers should aim to be ready for submission by the end of the third year and must submit by the end of the fourth year at the latest.

Research training year 1

Doctoral Researchers are expected to upgrade from MPhil to PhD status within 12 months of their registration. Progression requires successful completion of the Department’s training programme consisting of:

  • Politics MPhil Methods course (terms one and two);
  • an Upgrade Paper Workshop (term two); and
  • participation in the MPhil Research Projects Conference (term three).

Doctoral Researchers also have the opportunity to take an additional course in quantitative methods (term two). Students will produce an upgrade paper that forms the basis of a viva, which has to pass to gain PhD status. In addition to the Department’s own training, the SOAS Doctoral School offers two complementary courses for all SOAS Doctoral Researchers:

  • Research Project Management (term one), and
  • Technology-Enhanced Research (term 2).

Fieldwork procedure

For Doctoral Researchers who undertake fieldwork, most will generally conduct such activity in their second year. A maximum of three terms’ fieldwork is usually permitted in a full-time PhD programme. Fieldwork of longer than 12 months has to be approved by the SOAS Pro-Director for Research and Enterprise.

Training beyond year 1

Throughout the process of research design, fieldwork, and writing, Doctoral Researchers are expected to maintain regular contact with their supervisors.  Writing the dissertation is the student’s work alone, supported by regular meetings with the supervisor(s) and participating in a write-up seminar for advanced PhD students.

The Department strongly encourages Doctoral Researchers to participate in workshops offered outside SOAS and to attend and present at conferences organised by the major research associations in their field (some limited funding available).

Graduate Teaching Assistant

Teaching is an important part of doctoral training for PhD Doctoral Researchers considering an academic career. The Department aims to offer advanced Doctoral Researchers the possibility to work as a Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) on one of the courses offered in the Department for a maximum of two years.

Duties involve seminar teaching, holding office hours, and marking. Doctoral Researchers taking on the responsibility of a GTA post are expected to have completed a GTA training module offered by the Doctoral School, typically in October.

Teaching and learning

The primary building block of the PhD programme is the relationship between student and supervisor. Students are admitted on the basis of the expressed willingness of at least one member of staff to serve as the main supervisor for the student's project. 

From the student's entry in the programme, the supervisor assumes primary responsibility for monitoring and supporting the student’s progress towards the completion of the degree. Every research student also has an associate supervisor, another member of staff with a close interest in the student’s region and/or sub-field of the discipline. The Department’s research tutor oversees the PhD programme and is available for discussing general problems.

In addition to the training programme noted above, they may attend an MSc course relevant to their research. Research students are also encouraged to participate in the Department seminars, where invited scholars from other institutions give presentations, and they have access to many other seminars and lectures held throughout SOAS.

Language training

The School’s language training facilities are also available for students to develop or improve research-relevant language skills. Since 2012, research students have exclusive access to the facilities and services offered by SOAS’ Doctoral School.

Most PhD students spend some time doing fieldwork in the regions of their research. The Department and the School, through their various connections with individuals and institutions in the universities and governments of Asia, Africa and the Middle East, facilitate this work with personal contacts and introductions as well as (limited) funding.

For more information about the PhD programme in the Department of Politics and International Studies, see the MPHIL/PHD research handbook.

PDF document, 455.33KB

Important notice

The information on the website reflects the intended programme structure against the given academic session. The modules are indicative options of the content students can expect and are/have been previously taught as part of these programmes.

However, this information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change. 

Scholarships

Fees and funding, fees for 2023/24 entrants per academic year.

Please note that fees go up each year.

See  research fees  for further details.

In the last REF cycle (2014-2020), about a quarter of our PhD graduates embarked on successful academic careers, taking up positions in universities in the UK and across the world, including the LSE, University of Cambridge, University of Birmingham, Queen Mary University of London, Lahore University of Management Sciences, the American University in Beirut, Korea University, Abu Dhabi University, Sabanci University, the American University of Sulaymaniyah, University of Freiburg, Sciences Po, Leiden, and the Leibniz Zentrum Moderner Orient in Berlin.

Many of our PhDs have found employment in non-academic institutions ,  including the   Crisis Management Initiative, the Open Society Foundation, the Institute for Druze Studies in Haifa (Israel), the Institute for Security Studies in Dakar (Senegal), the Centre for Alternative Policy Research and Innovation in Freetown (Sierra Leone), the Centre for Policy Research in Delhi (India) and the Centre for International Digital Policy at Global Affairs Canada. Other PhD graduates have gone on to work as foreign-policy officials in the UK, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Nigeria, South Korea and Egypt

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Unlocking the World: 6 Reasons Why You Should Study International Relations

EU Business School

The study of International Relations has emerged as a vital field of inquiry, offering insights into the complex web of relationships that define global affairs. From diplomatic negotiations to transnational challenges, understanding the dynamics of international politics is essential for addressing pressing issues and shaping a more prosperous and peaceful world. 

If you’re considering embarking on a career journey into the realm of International Relations, here are six reasons why it’s a great field to study:

1. Global Perspective: Seeing the World Through Multifaceted Lens

At the heart of International Relations lies the pursuit of a global perspective—a holistic understanding of the multifaceted forces that shape our world. By delving into topics such as geopolitics, international law, and global governance, students of IR gain insights into the complexities of our interconnected world. Whether examining the impact of climate change on vulnerable regions, analyzing the dynamics of trade agreements, or exploring the cultural dimensions of conflict resolution, the study of IR equips individuals with the knowledge and tools to navigate the complexities of our globalized society.

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2. Cultivating Critical Thinking: Navigating Complex Challenges

In an era marked by uncertainty and rapid change, critical thinking is more valuable than ever. IR programs nurture this essential skill, challenging students to analyze complex issues, evaluate competing perspectives, and develop informed opinions. From dissecting the intricacies of international crises to assessing the efficacy of foreign policy strategies, the analytical skills honed through the study of IR are transferable across a wide range of fields and professions. By fostering a culture of critical inquiry, IR education empowers individuals to engage thoughtfully with the world around them and contribute meaningfully to global discourse.

3. Diverse Career Opportunities: Forging Pathways to Impact

One of the most compelling aspects of studying International Relations is its myriad career opportunities. Whether your passion lies in diplomacy, development, humanitarian aid, or security, an IR degree provides a versatile foundation for pursuing a wide range of career paths. Graduates may find themselves working in government agencies, international organizations, non-profit organizations, consulting firms, or multinational corporations, leveraging their expertise to address pressing global challenges and promote positive change. From serving as diplomats mediating between nations to working on the front lines of humanitarian crises, the possibilities are as diverse as the field itself.

4. Mastering Cross-Cultural Communication: Bridging Divides

Effective communication across cultures is essential for building bridges and fostering understanding. International Relations programs emphasize the importance of cross-cultural communication , equipping students with the skills to navigate linguistic, social, and political differences with sensitivity and diplomacy. Whether engaging in diplomatic negotiations, facilitating intercultural dialogue, or working in multicultural teams, the ability to communicate effectively across boundaries is a hallmark of success in the field of International Relations. By mastering the art of cross-cultural communication, IR graduates are better equipped to navigate the complexities of our globalized world and forge connections across diverse communities.

5. Embracing Digital Diplomacy: Navigating the Digital Frontier

In an age where technology permeates every aspect of our lives, the realm of diplomacy is no exception. The digital landscape has become an integral battleground in international affairs, from social media diplomacy to cyber warfare. Studying International Relations provides students with insights into the evolving field of digital diplomacy , where traditional diplomatic practices intersect with the digital realm. By examining the opportunities and challenges presented by digital technology, IR scholars gain a deeper understanding of how digital diplomacy shapes contemporary international relations. Whether analyzing the role of social media in political mobilization or studying the impact of cyberattacks on national security, the study of IR prepares students to navigate the complexities of the digital frontier.

phd in international relations politics

6. Collaboration: Real-World Experience Through Partnerships

A key advantage of studying International Relations is the opportunity to collaborate with esteemed institutions such as the United Nations and other global organizations. EU Business School has partnered exclusively with the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) which offers specialized training programs, workshops, and resources designed to complement academic studies and provide practical insights into global issues, to allow students to gain hands-on experience and networking opportunities that enhance their understanding of international affairs and prepare them for careers in diplomacy, development, and peacebuilding. Whether attending workshops on conflict resolution, participating in simulations of diplomatic negotiations, or accessing resources on sustainable development, UNITAR’s partnership enriches the learning experience for students.

Studying Digital International Relations and Diplomacy at EU Business School In Collaboration With UNITAR

At EU Business School, the study of International Relations (IR) goes beyond the traditional classroom experience, offering students a dynamic and immersive educational journey that prepares them for the challenges of the modern world. In exclusive collaboration with the United Nations Institute for Training and Research ( UNITAR ), EU Business School provides students with unparalleled opportunities to engage with global issues and participate in real-world diplomatic initiatives.

The partnership between EU Business School and UNITAR opens doors to a wealth of opportunities for students. UNITAR’s experience in specialized training programs , workshops, and resources complement EU Business School’s academic offerings, providing students with valuable insights and experiences that enhance their understanding of international affairs. Through participation in UNITAR initiatives , students gain hands-on experience in diplomacy, conflict resolution, and sustainable development, preparing them for careers in a variety of fields.

Located in the heart of Geneva, Switzerland, EU Business School offers students a unique opportunity to study in a global hub for peace and diplomacy. Home to numerous international organizations, including the United Nations, the International Red Cross, and the World Trade Organization, Geneva serves as a vibrant hub for global cooperation and dialogue. By studying in Geneva, students have access to a rich array of resources, including internships, guest lectures, and networking opportunities, that enrich their educational experience and prepare them for careers in the field of International Relations.

In conclusion, the study of International Relations offers a rich tapestry of opportunities for personal and professional growth. From gaining a global perspective to cultivating critical thinking skills and mastering cross-cultural communication, education in IR equips students with the tools they need to navigate the complexities of our interconnected world. By embracing the challenges and opportunities of the digital age and collaborating with institutions like UNITAR, students of International Relations are poised to make a meaningful impact on the global stage, shaping a more prosperous, peaceful, and sustainable future for generations to come. For more information about EU Business School’s range of innovative programs including the Master’s in Digital International Relations and Diplomacy in Geneva, click here.

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Global Democracy Conference 2024

Time: Tue May 21, 2024, All Day

Location: Multiple Locations on Campus

The Global Democracy Conference (GDC), organized by the Kellogg Institute for International Studies , is an integral component of the broader University of Notre Dame Global Democracy Initiative designed to connect academic research and non-academic audiences. It will be an annual forum that projects the University as a leader and convener on questions of democracy, while simultaneously facilitating positive, tangible impact on global democratic practices.

With the theme "Understanding Today, Shaping Tomorrow," the inaugural GDC will see the Kellogg Institute convene leading defenders of global democracy at the University of Notre Dame for a series of profound, actionable conversations about the state of democracy around the world. Animated by our understanding of the multidimensional, complex nature of democratic erosion, this conference will i) identify emerging challenges to democracies and possible solutions; ii) highlight the research being undertaken by Notre Dame in order to have meaningful impact in the world of policy; and iii) convene global actors that will help lay the foundation for partnerships with institutions and leaders who might utilize our research in protecting local democratic structures.

The GDC includes two types of sessions: panels, in which participants make formal, 12-minute presentations, and roundtables, which follow a conversational format led by a moderator. Sessions are organized in three thematic blocs:

  • New Ideas. Panels primarily formed by academics. They present original research on democracy to a broader audience, emphasizing the substantive relevance of their findings and mapping ongoing debates in the field. A practitioner may discuss how this line of research is relevant to practice.
  • The State of the World. Roundtables formed by academics and practitioners. They assess the state of democracy in particular countries or regions, with a particular interest in the near future.
  • The Path Forward. Sessions focused on practical lessons to protect and promote democratic governance. Those sessions may take the form of panels or roundtables and may include practitioners or academics. Of particular interest are sessions focusing on particular sectors, such as industries (e.g., technology, finance) or professional fields (e.g., international law) discussing their ability to strengthen democracy.

Our inaugural event is in part generously underwritten by Bert Piedra , a 1978 graduate of the University of Notre Dame and member of the Kellogg Institute Advisory Board.

For more information, visit kellogg.nd.edu .

Originally published at forum2023.nd.edu .

FIU News Homepage

How Iran selects its supreme leader − a political scientist and Iran expert explains

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Written by Eric Lob, a ssociate professor of politics and international relations  at FIU.

By Eric Lob

May 23, 2024 at 8:42am

Eric Lob , Florida International University

The sudden death of President Ebrahim Raisi is unlikely to drastically alter Iran’s foreign and domestic policies, but it has left a power vacuum.

As stipulated by the constitution, Raisi was replaced by his first vice president, Mohammad Mokhber, as interim president before presidential elections are held in 50 days. That said, Raisi was supposedly being groomed to succeed an aging Ali Khamenei as the supreme leader, the Islamic Republic’s ultimate power broker and decision-maker.

The Iranian supreme leader serves for life and is the highest religious and political authority in the Islamic Republic. He is the commander in chief of the armed forces and oversees other key institutions such as the judicial branch and state media. He also supervises the Guardian Council , which has the power to vet electoral candidates and veto parliamentary legislation. In this capacity, the supreme leader has the final say on foreign policy and different areas of domestic policy.

As a scholar of Iran’s domestic politics and foreign policy , I have studied the process of who succeeds or gets elected to the position. This process has evolved during the Islamic Republic’s nearly 50-year history and is more a function of politics than religion.

The history of succession

Since the Iranian Revolution of 1979, there have been two supreme leaders – Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who ruled between 1979-1989, and Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who succeeded him.

In addition to being a revolutionary and charismatic leader, Khomeini was a grand ayatollah and source of emulation , or “marja’ al-taqlid.” A grand ayatollah is among a select few of the highest-ranking clerics, considered a “sign of God,” in Twelver Shiism, the largest branch of Shiism and the state religion of Iran. These clerics have the authority to make legal decisions for their lay followers and for lower-ranking clerics.

While Khomeini came into power as a religious cleric and revolutionary leader in February 1979, it was not until the Islamic Constitution was approved through a referendum in December of that year that the position or office of supreme leader was officially established. It was inspired by Khomeini’s concept of the Guardianship of the Jurist , or the idea that a senior cleric should supervise the state in accordance with Islamic law.

The electoral facade

In 1982-83, when Khomeini was the supreme leader and Khamenei was the third president, the position or office fell under the purview of the Assembly of Experts , as enshrined in articles 107 and 111 of the constitution .

The Assembly of Experts is a body that comprises over 80 members who serve eight-year terms and are authorized to elect, supervise and, if necessary, dismiss the supreme leader. Although the members are elected by a popular vote, they are first vetted by the Guardian Council, much like presidential and parliamentary candidates.

It should be noted that the members of the Guardian Council are appointed by the supreme leader and the chief justice, or head of the judiciary , who is also appointed by the supreme leader. Therefore, through the council, the supreme leader approves the candidates, who are potentially elected to a body that oversees him, making the process far from free and fair.

As with the last election for the Assembly of Experts in March 2024, which had a historically low voter turnout of about 40% , the Guardian Council has disqualified many candidates.

This is particularly the case with moderates and reformists, who tend to oppose the supreme leader on various issues. For this reason, the assembly has not been known to seriously supervise or challenge the supreme leader, and its proceedings have remained strictly confidential or closed to the public.

The 1989 succession

Originally, the supreme leader was supposed to be a grand ayatollah and source of emulation. However, as Khomeini approached the end of his life in 1989, the constitution was amended so that a lower-ranking cleric like Khamenei could assume the position.

A bearded man wearing a black turban and a long robe speaks on microphones while holding white flowers in one hand. On the wall next to him are photographs of two men, also wearing black turbans.

As a seminary student of Khomeini who was more interested in politics than religion, Khamenei ranked below an ayatollah. Within the Shiite clerical hierarchy, and like other Islamic scholars who studied under an ayatollah, he earned the title Hojjat al-Eslam , or “proof of Islam.”

After being appointed to succeed Khomeini, Khamenei’s rank was elevated overnight to a grand ayatollah. The reason for the appointment was that Khamenei, much like Raisi, was a longtime loyalist and regime insider, even though he lacked the charismatic and religious authority of Khomeini.

Until 1989, Grand Ayatollah Hussein-Ali Montazeri – a prominent theologian and revolutionary leader – was expected to take over as the supreme leader . That year, however, he was ultimately passed over by Khomeini and later placed under house arrest by Khamenei.

Montazeri succumbed to this fate because he had criticized the regime for its repression, especially the execution of thousands of political prisoners in 1988 by a committee of four prosecutors , one of whom was Raisi.

The situation with succession today

With only a single case serving as precedent, the succession process of the supreme leader seems to be far from formulaic and formalized.

Technically, the Assembly of Experts is responsible for electing the future supreme leader. As with other institutions, however, it is the supreme leader who ultimately exercises authority over the assembly and not vice versa.

Additionally, and because of the intervention of the Guardian Council, the Assembly of Experts and other institutions are currently controlled by hard-liners.

This scenario also applies to a Parliament that could once again authorize amending the constitution and altering the required qualifications of the next leader. It is critical for Khamenei that the Assembly of Experts and Parliament – the Majles – are controlled by hard-liners who are regime loyalists.

As with Raisi, and in the spirit of patronage or clientelism, hard-liners are often appointed to other positions inside the political and economic establishment by the supreme leader. Consequently, they owe their careers to him and tend to show their loyalty.

While political outcomes in the Islamic Republic are difficult to predict, the process of succession largely lies in the hands of the supreme leader and is at his discretion. As in 1989, it will be dictated or determined by Khamenei’s political and personal preferences rather than religious and ideological principles.

At the same time, it is safe to say that the hard-liners inside the Assembly of Experts and other institutions are not monolithic and do not all follow the agenda of the supreme leader. They presumably possess different opinions about who should succeed him, among other issues.

Eric Lob , Associate Professor of Politics and International Relations, Florida International University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article .

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Two international students honored with the 2024 Penn Global Student Citizenship Award

Aishwarya pawar, a ph.d. student at the perelman school of medicine, is the graduate student winner, and david kato, a fourth-year political science major in the school of arts & sciences, is the undergraduate winner..

Rudie Altamirano, David Kato, Aishwarya Pawar and Amy Gadsden stand next to a tower or red and blue balloons and in front of a sign reading Bringing the world to Penn and Penn to the world.

University of Pennsylvania international students Aishwarya Pawar and David Kato have been named as the winners of the 2024 Penn Global Student Citizenship Award , which honors international students who have exemplified a spirit of global citizenship during their time at Penn.

Pawar, a Ph.D. student in cell and molecular biology at the Perelman School of Medicine who came to Penn from Pune, India, is the graduate student winner; Kato, a fourth-year political science major in the School of Arts & Sciences from Kigali, Rwanda, was named the undergraduate winner.

The awards were handed out as part of Penn Global ’s International Student and Scholar Services graduation reception, held at Perry World House for the more than 2,100 international students. The reception celebrated the accomplishments of graduating international students during their time at Penn.

Penn Glee club performs at Perry World House, with towers of red and blue balloons behind them.

“Penn would not be what it is today—a vibrant, intellectual hub for innovation and impact—without international students,” says Associate Vice Provost for Global Initiatives Amy Gadsden . “The richness of their experiences and unending drive to transform our campus and the world continuously elevate the University to new heights. The Penn Global Student Citizenship Award and reception are our way of celebrating international students’ contributions, large and small, but no less influential, to life at Penn.”

The award reflects Penn Global’s commitment to honor international students who, during their time on campus, prioritized the office’s global mission to “bring the world to Penn and Penn to the world.”

This marks the ninth year Penn Global has presented the award. “We are incredibly proud of this tradition and what it represents: a celebration of Penn’s international students as indispensable, impactful members of the University,” says Rudie Altamirano , executive director of International Student and Scholar Services. 

Pawar and Kato each received a trophy, and their names will also be displayed on a plaque in the ISSS office.

Visitors load their plates from a catered spread of meats, cheeses and salads at Perry World House.

Altamirano says Pawar’s “unwavering dedication to her role as the graduate chair of the International Student Advisory Board (ISSS) is evident in her consistent efforts to uplift and advocate for the welfare of international students. Aishwarya’s compassion and big heart make her a role model among her peers.”

Gadsden notes the “incredible impact” Kato has made on Penn’s campus during his four years. “As an active international student leader and World House Student Fellow, among other things, David used his perspective and experience to raise important issues facing the entire undergraduate international community. He has consistently been a welcome and thoughtful presence in meetings and discussions.”

Penn Global and ISSS also gave two honorable mentions to graduates and undergraduates. The graduate honorable mention awardees were Gaurav Mangal , an electrical engineering master’s student in the School of Engineering and Applied Science , and Sparsh Maheshwari , a master’s student in nonprofit leadership with a dual degree in social policy and data analytics in the School of Social Policy & Practice .

The undergraduate honorable mention awardees were Leah Tesfa , a mechanical engineering fourth-year student in Penn Engineering from Harare, Zimbabwe, and Carolina Yuka Nakada , a mechanical engineering and computer science major and a robotics master’s student in Penn Engineering from São Paulo, Brazil. Tesfa is also a robotics master’s student and the Penn World Scholar of the Year.

To Penn’s Class of 2024: ‘The world needs you’

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Solar production has begun at the Great Cove I and II facilities in central Pennsylvania, the equivalent of powering 70% of the electricity demand from Penn’s academic campus and health system in the Philadelphia area.

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Aggression or Caution: The Choice Facing Iran’s Next Leaders

The question is whether the successors to the president and foreign minister will take a similar path by keeping slivers of communication open, and avoiding direct conflict with the United States.

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People in Tehran waving Iranian flags while celebrating an attack on Israel.

By David E. Sanger

David E. Sanger has covered Iran’s nuclear program, and its challenge to the West, for nearly 30 years.

In their three years in power, President Ebrahim Raisi of Iran and his equally hard-line foreign minister, Hossein Amir Abdollahian, did everything they could to consolidate the “Axis of Resistance” against the United States and Israel.

They funded Hamas and Hezbollah. They armed the Houthis, feeding the militia intelligence that fueled attacks on cargo ships in the Red Sea. They cracked down on dissent at home, launched Iran’s first direct missile attacks on Israel, after Israel killed several Iranian generals, and turned Iran into a “threshold” nuclear state that could produce fuel for three or four bombs in short order.

But for all those aggressive moves, the two men, both killed in a helicopter crash in the mountains near Azerbaijan on Sunday, were also careful.

Last week, days before their deaths, they approved talks with the United States through intermediaries aimed at making sure the war in Gaza was not the prelude to a wider war in the Middle East. And they stopped just short of making those bombs, at least as far as American intelligence agencies and international inspectors can determine.

The question now is whether their successors — almost certain to be from the same hard-line camp, American officials suspect — will show similar caution. And whether, in the cauldron of internal Iranian power plays, and an all-consuming presidential election in the United States, it will even be possible to keep up the sliver of communications between Washington and Tehran.

“The thing about Raisi was that he was the supreme leader’s man,” said Dennis Ross, the longtime Mideast negotiator, referring to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the 85-year-old head of state who has led the country since 1989. “He allows engagement, but no compromise. His team will inflict damage, but keep it within bounds. They don’t want a direct conflict with the U.S., which is the one thing that could threaten the regime. And I don’t expect that to change.”

American officials say it is far too early to predict Mr. Raisi’s successor but that he is likely to be cast in the same mold.

As one American official noted recently, in the eyes of the supreme leader, that approach may appear to be working: Iran has forged a new relationship with Russia as a critical supplier of drones and missiles, and its attack on Israel demonstrated a new ability to “swarm” weapons — even if most of Iran’s drones and missiles were taken out by air defenses.

Short as it was, the Raisi era turned “resistance” into the semblance of a strategy.

A decade ago, it was possible to imagine a very different future for the United States and Iran. Mr. Raisi’s predecessor, Hassan Rouhani, and his urbane, Western-educated foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, seemed determined to dial back the decades of hostility, and sanctions, that had crippled Iran’s economy. They talked about personal freedom and women’s rights, courted European leaders even while the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps kept funding terrorism.

Mr. Zarif engaged directly with the secretary of state at the time, John Kerry, even triggering an uproar among Iranian conservatives when the two men were seen strolling together, deep in conversation, in Vienna.

In a series of often volcanic negotiations, Mr. Zarif and Mr. Kerry emerged with an agreement that essentially swapped Iran’s stockpile of nuclear fuel for sanctions relief. And while the country refused to give up its right to enrich uranium, it negotiated a complex series of limits on its activity that stretched to 2030. After that, Iran was free to produce as much nuclear fuel as it wanted — though it would still be prohibited, as a member of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, from building atomic weapons.

The deal, of course, quickly came under attack in the United States, especially in a Republican Congress, because it only delayed Iran’s nuclear progress — it did not terminate its ability to cheat on the treaty. But it also proved enormously unpopular in Iran, especially after it turned out that the promised sanctions relief did not come as quickly, or fully, as promised. Big European banks and other financial institutions did not want to take the enormous financial risk of re-entering business agreements that could later run afoul of new sanctions, especially if relations with the West soured again.

That is exactly what happened. President Donald J. Trump pulled out of the deal in 2018, and eventually so did the Iranians. Mr. Rouhani’s reformists were frozen out of the supreme leader’s inner circle and, when Mr. Rouhani’s term ended, they were replaced by a new government that was openly dismissive of the nuclear agreement with the United States and the reformist agenda at home. Crackdowns on dissent followed.

When Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken proposed a new nuclear arrangement, “longer and stronger” than the 2015 agreement, Mr. Amir Abdollahian shot the idea down. “We will not have a so-called ‘longer and stronger’ deal,” he told The New York Times in an interview in New York in 2021, where he was attending a United Nations meeting.

“We will return to the negotiations and will do so very quickly,” he said. “But if our counterparts don’t change their behavior we may not reach the required result.” He was critical of the new American president, Joe Biden, for his “paradoxical statements” about relations with Iran and highly skeptical any middle ground could be found.

Indeed, a new nuclear deal that seemed all but sealed in 2022 was killed in Tehran. Later, inspectors’ access to nuclear sites was limited, and Iranian authorities dismantled cameras and other monitoring devices. Only last week, the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency was in Tehran, meeting with Mr. Amir Abdollahian about trying to win greater access to nuclear sites. He emerged without an agreement.

And, in the months before his death on Sunday, Mr. Amir Abdollahian expressed little interest in calming tensions over the war in Gaza. “If the U.S. continues its military, political and financial support of Israel and helps manage Israel’s military attacks on Palestinian civilians, then it must face its consequences.”

Mr. Amir Abdollahian’s deputy for political affairs, Ali Bagheri Kani, has been named “caretaker” of the Foreign Ministry. He is well known to American officials, and he led the Iranian delegations that have secretly and indirectly negotiated with the United States in Oman on at least three occasions over the past year.

His appointment suggests that the supreme leader is interested in continuity. But as one U.S. official noted on Monday, Washington’s analysis over the past few years was focused on what would happen after the death of Ayatollah Khamenei, who is rumored to be ill. No one foresaw that, at age 85, he would be picking a new president.

David E. Sanger covers the Biden administration and national security. He has been a Times journalist for more than four decades and has written several books on challenges to American national security. More about David E. Sanger

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