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PhD German Studies (Social Sciences)

Start date
PhD – 3 years full-time, 6 years part-time
Course Type
Postgraduate, Doctoral research

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

Our research is multi-disciplinary across the arts and social sciences. It encompasses the culture, history, politics and economics of Germany in its European context.

We can offer research degree supervision in all of our main research areas. These are:

  • Germany in Comparative Context
  • The Politics and Policies of Unified Germany
  • The Role of Germany within the European Union
  • Economic Governance and Policy in Germany
  • Germany's Relations with Central and Eastern Europe
  • Germany within the European Security System  

Learn more about the research interests of staff


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.

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.

Apply now

Our Standard Requirements

We welcome applications from candidates with a relevant Masters and/or good undergraduate degree. While knowledge of the German language is not a prerequisite for entry, some level of competence or the potential to gain an adequate level of competence is desirable.

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

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

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.

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