Course details: Details | Fees and funding | Entry requirements | How to apply | Academic staff research interests.
Our MPhil and PhD degrees are taken by research with a coursework element. Applications to study for research degrees on either a full- or part-time basis are welcomed. We are particularly interested in receiving applications on the modernisation agenda, changing patterns of local governance, the impact of public policy changes, democracy, public participation and community involvement.
Learn more about the research interests of our staff and how to contact them.
The School of Government and Society brings together academic staff, research fellows and doctoral researchers across the Social Sciences. The School is one of the leading UK and international centres for Politics, International Relations, International Development, Sociology and European Studies.
In the School of Government and Society we offer much more than a degree. As a student here, whether undergraduate or postgraduate, you have the opportunity to take part in a wide range of events, with some or all of the costs paid for by the School.
Course details: Fees and funding | Entry requirements | How to apply | Academic staff research interests.
We offer two types of research degree: the MPhil and PhD degrees are taken by research with a coursework element. Applications to study for research degrees on either a full- or part-time basis are welcomed.
We are particularly interested in receiving applications on the modernisation agenda, changing patterns of local governance, the impact of public policy changes, democracy, public participation and community involvement.
We have some 15 research students, and more than 400 taught postgraduates, most of whom are practitioners registered with us on part-time programmes.
Standard fees apply.
Learn more about fees and funding.
Research degree fees 2017-18
Overseas students (Band D)
*Research fees also apply to combined research and taught programmes unless otherwise indicated.
Scholarships and studentships
INLOGOV offers occasional teaching assistantships for those enrolled on a full-time research degree. These provide bursaries to cover living costs, payment of the fee and the opportunity to gain additional income through a limited amount of tutorial work.
International students can often gain funding through overseas research scholarships, Commonwealth scholarships or their home government.
For further information contact the School directly or visit studenthelp.bham.ac.uk.
Applicants for degrees by research should have at least a good Honours degree or equivalent academic qualification. Our normal policy is to register PhD applicants for an MPhil, and transfer them to PhD if their work is of an acceptable standard. If you have registered for the MSc you may, after nine months full-time (18 months part-time), apply to transfer to an MPhil or PhD.
You will need to show evidence of satisfactory progress with your thesis, and have provided an acceptable programme of further research. MPhil students may apply to transfer to a PhD by meeting similar conditions.
Learn more about entry requirements and see our Guidance for applying for a PhD 2016 (PDF 236KB).
We accept a range of qualifications from different countries – learn more about international entry requirements.
When clicking on the Apply Now button you will be directed to an application specifically designed for the programme you wish to apply for where you will create an account with the University application system and submit your application and supporting documents online. Further information regarding how to apply online can be found on the How to apply pages
Dr Karin Bottom
- The role of small parties
- Comparative politics
- Policy analysis
- Elections and quantitative methodologies
Dr Catherine Durose
Catherine is interested in supervising doctoral researchers working on issues connected to her main research interests, set out below. Catherine also welcomes proposals from qualified and motivated scholars to undertake PhD or post-doctoral research.
Situated within a broader intellectual project exploring the intermediation of relationships between the state, the market, other social institutions, communities and citizens, my research focuses on the practices of community work and the politics of participation and co-production. I have forged an inter-disciplinary nexus between social policy, public administration and community studies, spanning issues of policy analysis and implementation, democracy, participation and community action. I have a growing passionate interest in how to challenge traditional research practice, using co-productive and participatory approaches to innovate and generate progressive social change.
Dr Stephen Jeffares
Stephen is interested in supervising projects that draw on social media data to understand change or controversies in public policy.
Professor John Raine
- Criminal and civil justice, management and organisation
- Local government organisation and political structures
- Central–local relations
- Local authority parking enforcement
Professor Chris Skelcher
- New forms of local authority accountability, management and government of public services;
- Development of partnership working and service quality;
- Quangos, partnerships, hybrids and appointed bodies;
- Standards of conduct and the wider question of improvement in local authority performance.
Dr Peter Watt
- Scrutiny of finance and budgeting
- Comprehensive Area Assessment
- Economics of contracting and procurement
- Local government finance and international comparisons
- Public sector efficiency and performance management
- Financial management
- Public choice theory
- Organisational review
- Risk management and quantitative techniques, statistics and econometrics
Mr 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 Local Government Studies, what are my career prospects?
The University of Birmingham has recently been ranked 9th in the UK, and 55th in the world, for post-qualification employability in a global survey of universities commissioned by the International Herald Tribune.
Over the last five years, an impressive 99.5% of Local Government Studies postgraduates have been in work and/or further study six months after graduation.
In addition to the academic knowledge gained through their course, postgraduates from Birmingham’s Institute of Local Government Studies 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 and in written work.
Institute of Local Government Studies graduates are attracted to careers in both public and private sectors. These include local government, policing, health services, transport, legal services, prison services and housing. Some of these careers require further professional training, and/or building a portfolio of relevant work experience. Many PhD graduates of the Institute of Local Government Studies also successfully gain academic research and teaching posts.
What type of career assistance is available to doctoral researchers in this department?
The College of Social Sciences, to which the Institute of Local Government 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.