PhD/MPhil Local Government Studies

Start date
September
Duration
PhD – 3 years full-time, 6 years part-time; MPhil – 2 years full-time, 4 years part-time
Course Type
Postgraduate, Doctoral research
Fees

Home/EU students:
Full time: £4,380*
Part time: £2,190
Overseas students (Band D):
Full time: £17,880
More Fees and funding details.

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. 

The School of Government 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 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.

Learn more about the research interests of our staff and how to contact them.

 

Fees

Standard fees apply.
Learn more about fees and funding.

Research degree fees 2018-19
Fee band Full time Part time
Home/EU students £4,380* £2,190
Overseas students (Band D) £17,880 -
*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.

Postgraduate scholarship and funding database

For further information contact the School directly or visit studenthelp.bham.ac.uk.

How To Apply

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 now

Our Standard Requirements

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 (PDF 236KB).

International Requirements


bottom-karin-20151113Dr Karin Bottom 
Email: k.a.bottom@bham.ac.uk

  • The role of small parties
  • Comparative politics
  • Policy analysis
  • Elections and quantitative methodologies

 

Dr Catherine Durose
Email c.durose@bham.ac.uk

Situated within a broader intellectual project exploring the intermediation of relationships between the state, the market, other social institutions, communities and citizens, Catherine's research focuses on the practices of community work and the politics of participation and co-production. She has 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. Dr Durose has a growing passionate interest in how to challenge traditional research practice, using co-productive and participatory approaches to innovate and generate progressive social change. 

jeffares-stephenDr Stephen Jeffares
Email s.r.jeffares@bham.ac.uk

Stephen is interested in supervising projects that draw on social media data to understand change or controversies in public policy. 

 

 

watt-peterDr Peter Watt
Email: p.a.watt@bham.ac.uk

  • 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

whiteman-philipMr Philip Whiteman
Email: p.whiteman@bham.ac.uk

  • 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
You will meet your supervisor approximately fortnightly (monthly for part-time students) over the course of your study. Supervisors are experienced in managing the research process and are chosen to complement your area of interest. You will discuss your research with a panel every six months (part-time: every 12 months). The panel is chaired by an experienced researcher from the department, and includes your supervisor and another member of staff. It provides an important opportunity to present progress on your research and to have a wider discussion about your work.

Your supervisor will read and comment on drafts of your thesis before it is finally submitted. An external and an internal examiner (who will not be your supervisor) will then examine it, and will normally meet with you for a viva. They will judge whether your thesis demonstrates:

  • Knowledge of the relevant academic literature
  • Skill in use of research methods
  • Independent investigation
  • Clear presentation of information
  • Arguments presented in a coherent and appropriate form

MPhil students must show original work of merit that is worthy of publication. The requirement for PhDs is that the work is an original contribution to knowledge that is worthy of publication.

Facilities

Departments from across the School of Government are all based within the Muirhead Tower. Following a £50million refurbishment, Muirhead Tower offers state-of-the-art teaching and research study facilities including free wifi throughout the building and dedicated study areas for postgraduate research students.

Muirhead Tower comprises 12,000sq.m of floor space between two towers. The tower includes a number of sustainable features including solar shading (known in the trade as brise soliel) to control temperatures, as well as low energy fans; timed lighting to reduce energy waste; natural ventilation systems and a heat source taken from the University’s combined heat and power generator.

The space has been designed to create modern, attractive spaces for teaching and research accommodating 150 academic offices, 230 "hubs" for post graduate research students, teaching rooms for up to 100 people and a 200 seat lecture theatre.

If I gain a postgraduate research degree in Local Government Studies, what are my career prospects?

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.