PhD Local Government and Public Policy

with Integrated Study

Start date
September
Duration
4 years full-time
Course Type
Postgraduate, Combined research and taught
Fees

For 2023-2024
£10,170 (UK)
£21,960 (International students)

The Institute of Local Government Studies (INLOGOV) is the UK’s leading centre for interdisciplinary research on public policy in sub-national, urban and local governance.

We have a vibrant and close-knit international research community of early-career and established researchers. Our engaged scholarship is theoretically-driven, and demonstrates a commitment to methodological pluralism, with particular strengths in qualitative, collaborative and participative approaches.

This programme extends the PhD with a first year of research training that enables you to gain added value from taught, subject-based modules. It allows you to broaden and deepen your subject knowledge at the same time as undertaking your own research and developing a set of transferable professional skills in preparation for a variety of careers.

Your coursework in year 1 will be taken in the MA in Social Research programme, within the University’s Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) recognised Doctoral Training Centre. This programme provides postgraduate researchers with a thorough and advanced education in social research design and the most up-to-date training in methods of data collection and analysis. The combination of core modules and short courses on more advanced topics provides flexibility to relate training to the thesis topic.

If you pass the coursework component, you will progress to normal PhD study in years 2-4. You will work closely with your supervisors in designing and undertaking your own research project, leading to an 80,000 word thesis. You may also attend further courses offered by the Department or the University that enhance your personal discipline-specific and transferable skills.

INLOGOV 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 particularly interested in receiving applications on the following themes:

  • Governance, institutional design and leadership
  • Co-production, democratic and social innovation, and inclusion
  • Policy-making, implementation and service delivery
  • Smart, sustainable and creative approaches to policy challenges

Applications to study for a research degree on either a full- or part-time basis are welcomed. You might also be interested in our distance learning PhD in Local Government Studies.

Further information

Contact

Tricia Thomas
Doctoral Research Student Administration
Tel: +44 (0)121 414 3497, Email: gandspgr@contacts.bham.ac.uk

Modules

The core research skills elements of the year 1 taught programme are delivered by staff across the College of Social Sciences, many of whom are engaged in cutting-edge research in their own fields. You will also take subject/discipline specific modules taught by staff from INLOGOV.

Course requirements in Year 1 are:

1) Four core modules delivered by the MA Social Research programme:

  • Philosophy of Social Research (20 credits)
  • Research Design, Practice and Ethics (20 credits)
  • Fundamentals in Quantitative Research Methods (20 credits)
  • Foundations in Qualitative Research (20 credits)

2) Optional modules totalling 40 credits:

Fees

Fees 2023 - 2024

£10,170 (Home students)
£21,960 (International students)

Learn more about fees and funding

How To Apply

1 July 2023 is the application deadline for international students applying through the student route who wish to study in the United Kingdom. We are not able to consider applications for 2023 made after this date. The deadline for Home students is 31 August 2023.

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

Apply online

Our Standard Requirements

You should posses either an excellent undergraduate degree with evidence of research ability; or undergraduate and postgraduate degrees which are not necessarily in fields directly related to the intended area of research. Besides formal qualifications, a key factor determining whether the Department decides to accept a candidate is the quality of his or her research proposal and its relevance to our own interests. Successful completion of a research thesis demands a high level of self-discipline, motivation and commitment to the subject of research. Great importance is placed on work experience, when relevant. Please contact the Department for more details.

International Requirements



International Students

You can satisfy our English language requirements in two ways:


  • IELTS 6.5 with no less than 6.0 in any band
  • TOEFL: 88 overall with no less than 21 in Reading, 20 in Listening, 22 in Speaking and 21 in Writing
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE) including online: PTE Academic 67 with no less than 64 in all four skills
  • Cambridge English (exams taken from 2015): Advanced – minimum overall score of 176, with no less than 169 in any component

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
Social democratic parties; Other forms of left politics; Protest, and critical political economy - all especially within the EU context.

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

Dr Tendayi Bloom
Noncitizenship; Statelessness; Migration governance. 

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 Tereza Capelos
Political reactionism and ressentiment-ful politics; Affect and emotions (anger, fear, trust, hope, pride) in international crises; Core values as determinants of political attitudes; Psychological (affective & cognitive) processes of political decision making; Reputation management of political leaders, organizations and institutions; Psychological processes of radicalization, de-radicalization, terrorism and extremism; Determinants of tolerance and orientations towards minority groups.

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 Lorenzo Feltrin
Labour, Social Movements, Political Ecology, Deindustrialisation.

Dr Rita Floyd
Environmental and climate security; The ethics of securitisation relating to the natural environment. 

Dr Guiditta Fontana
Ethnic, religious and national conflicts; Conflict management and cultural institutions in fragile and divided societies. Education reform in conflict and post conflict societies.

Dr Emma Foster
Environmental politics; Gender and international development; Sexuality and international development; Gender and representation and queer theory.

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 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 Natascha Neudorfer
Causes of corruption; Causes of civil conflict (specifically ethnic wars) and quantitative empirical research designs.

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 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 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 Robert Watt
Military History, power and networks. 

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 - Please visit this webpage

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.

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
Political ecology; biodiversity conservation; natural resource and disaster management; zoonosis; postcolonial and settler colonial 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; Industrial development; Information management and finance. 

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; and the international politics of aid.

Dr Sheba Tejani
Inequalities, trade and gender; the governance of global value chains; automation and employment; feminist political economy; feminist epistemology and methodology; nationalism, authoritarianism and development; contemporary Indian politics

Dr Merisa Thompson
Gender, politics and power; feminist international political economy; food, agriculture and the environment; human and nonhuman actors; feminist epistemologies and methodologies.

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.

The Institute of Local Government Studies (INLOGOV)

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 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. 

The coursework involves a mix of group-work, lectures, laboratory exercises, and project work. The independent research stage in years 2 – 4 involves self-directed research with supervisory support.

The training enables graduates to develop advanced skills in designing and conducting research, in ways that are applicable to a variety of careers in academia, business, government and non-profit organisations.

Graduates from the School have gone on to work in a range of careers, with recent graduates working with organisations such as the United Nations, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, local authorities in the UK and overseas and the Department for International Development.

The School takes employability very seriously and as well as linking students to the central careers services, also incorporates opportunities to enhance their employment prospects, including highlighting work experience opportunities, encouraging volunteering in extra-curricular projects (such as student seminars and events) and by inviting backgrounds for students to meet.

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