Russian and East European Studies PhD/MPhil

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

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

We offer postgraduate research supervision in the following fields: Russian and Soviet History; Russian, Ukrainian and Central and East European Politics; Central and Eastern Europe and European integration; Nationalism and minority rights, ethnicity and migration issues; Economics of transformation, economic policy and regional economics of Russia; Science, technology innovation and the internet; Russian foreign and security policy; Contemporary East European culture and society.

Although students wishing to undertake postgraduate research in Russian and East European Studies need to register for a PhD or MPhil in Politics / IR the research undertaken will be focused on Russia and Eastern Europe and will be supervised by a member of CREES. 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 PhD and MPhil research degrees on a full- and part-time basis. 

We offer postgraduate research supervision in the following fields:

  • Russian and Soviet History
  • Russian, Ukrainian and Central and East European Politics
  • Central and Eastern Europe and European integration
  • Nationalism, identities and ethnic conflicts
  • Economics of transformation, economic policy and regional economics of Russia
  • Contemporary East European culture, media and society
  • Caucasus and Central Asia: politics, international relations, society and religion

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 £4,270* £2,135
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.

For more information visit

Entry requirements

Learn more about entry requirements and see our Guidance for applying for a PhD 2016 (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

Contemporary politics of Russia, Ukraine and Central and Eastern Europe

Dr Tim Haughton

  • Contemporary politics and political and international relations of Russia, Ukrainian, East-Central Europe and Eurasia Contemporary politics and political parties of Central and Eastern Europe
  • inter-relationships between political change and nationalism, minority rights, etc
  • the economics of transformation and the integration of this region into the European Union

Dr David White

  • Contemporary Russian politics

Dr Derek Averre

  • Russian foreign and security policy
  • Political relations between Russia and Europe
  • Security and arms control/non-proliferation issues in USSR successor states.

Dr Kataryna Wolczuk

  • Relations between the EU and the post-Soviet states in Europe in the context of the European Neighbourhood Policy and the Eastern Partnership
  • Impact of the EU on domestic change in the eastern partner countries
  • Regional integration in the post-Soviet space (with particular reference to the Customs Union/Eurasian Economic Union)
  • Institutional framework, constitutional politics and executive-legislative relations in the post-Soviet states 

Economics of transformation and economic policy

Richard Connolly

  • The economics of Russia and other ex-socialist countries, including current reforms and policies, issues of knowledge-based economic development, trade and investment, and the economics of the military and defence industry

Deema Kaneff

  • Developing markets, economic reforms and political resistance
  • The informal economy in former socialist states

Dr Derek Averre

  • Economics of the Russian defence industry and its relations with the civilian economy

Contemporary Russian and Central and Eastern European culture and society

Deema Kaneff

  • Political, social and economic exclusion
  • Forms of European transnational migration
  • The anthopology of post-socialist states

Interdisciplinary collaboration

Adjunct staff in the College of Arts and Law – Arfon Rees, Natasha Rulyova and Jeremy Morris – are also available for research supervision within CREES on the following topics:

Russian and Soviet history 16th–20th centuries

Dr Arfon Rees

  • Political and economic history of the Soviet Union and Russian Political Thought

Contemporary Russian and Central and Eastern European culture and society 

Dr Natasha Rulyova

  • New media, gender and sexuality, fieldwork methods
  • Russian language media, literature and society.

If I gain a postgraduate research degree in Russian and East European 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, 89.8% of Russian and Eastern European Studies postgraduates have been in work and/or further study six months after graduation.

Graduates from Birmingham’s Centre for Russian and East European Studies develop a broad range of transferable skills including: 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; the expertise to write clearly and concisely and to tight deadlines; critical and analytical ability; the capacity for argument, debate and speculation; and the ability to base conclusions on statistical research.

Due to the non-vocational nature of a postgraduate degree in Russian and East European Studies, many graduates choose jobs unrelated to their course of study, and have made their mark in a wide range of careers. A number of our PhD graduates stay in academia and forge successful teaching and research careers.

What type of career assistance is available to doctoral researchers in Russian and East European Studies?

The College of Social Sciences, to which the Centre for Russian and East European 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.