Political Science and International Studies PhD/MPhil

Course details: Details | Fees and funding | Entry requirements | How to apply | Academic staff research interests.

We are able to supervise a wide range of topics, in line with the research interests of the teaching staff listed below. In broad terms our research work is focused around eight research groups: Asia; Diplomatic Studies; European Politics; International Political Economy; Political Theory; Security Studies; International Relations Theory; and Political Sociology.

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.

We offer MA, MPhil and PhD research degrees on a full- and part-time basis.

Course details: Details | Fees and funding | Entry requirements | How to apply | Academic staff research interests.

The Department offers supervision leading to the research degrees of MPhil (minimum registration two years) allowing participants to complete a 40,000-word supervised thesis, and PhD (minimum registration three years) allowing participants to complete an 80,000-word thesis constituting a major piece of original research work.

We are able to supervise a wide range of topics, in line with the research interests of our teaching staff.

In broad terms our research work is focused around eight research groups:

  • Asia
  • Diplomatic Studies
  • European Politics
  • Political Economy
  • Political Theory
  • Security Studies
  • International Relations Theory
  • Political Sociology

Fees and funding

Standard fees apply.
Learn more about fees and funding.

Research degree fees 2018-19
Fee band Full time Part time
Home/EU students £4,260* £2,130
Overseas students (Band D) £15,720 -
*Research fees also apply to combined research and taught programmes unless otherwise indicated.

Scholarships and studentships
Scholarships may be available, please contact the Department directly.

International students can often gain funding through overseas research scholarships, Commonwealth scholarships or their home government.

Postgraduate scholarship and funding database

For more information visit studenthelp.bham.ac.uk.

Entry 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 (PDF 236KB).

International students:

We accept a range of qualifications from different countries – learn more about international entry requirements.

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

Dr Stephen Bates
Email: s.r.bates@bham.ac.uk  

  • Political change
  • Political representation
  • Public engagement
  • Political economy of the life science industries
  • Philosophy of the social sciences

Professor Peter Burnham
Email: p.burnham@bham.ac.uk

  • British politics (especially economic policy using National Archives material)
  • Radical approaches to IPE
  • State theory and Marxism

Professor David Dunn
Email: d.h.dunn@bham.ac.uk  

  • American foreign and security policies
  • Security studies
  • Diplomacy

Dr Adam Quinn
Email: a.j.quinn@bham.ac.uk  

  • American foreign policy
  • American history
  • Ideology
  • International relations
  • Security

Dr Julie Gilson
Email: j.a.gilson@bham.ac.uk  

  • East Asian politics and political economy

Dr Peter Kerr
Email: p.kerr@bham.ac.uk  

  • British politics
Cerwyn Moore

Email: c.moore.1@bham.ac.uk  

  • Political violence
  • International Relations theory
  • post-Soviet and post-Communist Security
  • interpretive approaches to global politics
  • Chechnya

Dr Jill Steans
Email: j.a.steans@bham.ac.uk  

  • International relations theory
  • Feminism

Asaf Siniver
Email: a.siniver@bham.ac.uk  

  • Security studies
  • Military change

Dr David Bailey
Email: d.j.bailey@bham.ac.uk  

  • European Union

Dr Emma Foster
Email: e.a.foster@bham.ac.uk

  • Environmental Politics
  • Gender and International Politics
  • Sexuality and International Politics
  • Queer Theory

Dr Richard Shorten
Email: r.c.shorten@bham.ac.uk  

  • History of political thought
  • 20th century political thought

Dr Nicola Smith
Email: n.j.smith@bham.ac.uk  

  • Political economy of globalisation
  • European integration

Professor Colin Thain
Email: c.thain@bham.ac.uk

  • Role of economic institutions
  • Politics of UK economic policy-making
  • Comparative budgeting
  • Comparative central banking
  • Role of the G7

Professor Mark Webber
Email: m.a.webber.1@bham.ac.uk

  • NATO
  • European security
  • Security studies

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.