International relations and global politics

Qualifications Duration Start dates Application period
(MPhil also available)
Full time: 2–4 years
Part time: 3–8 years
February and October January to June
PhD (MPhil also available)
Full time: 3–4 years
Part time: 3–8 years
Start dates
February and October
Application period
January to April

Politics and International Studies (POLIS) researchers have expertise in theories of international relations as well as their applications to both Western and non-Western contexts.

Against the backdrop of an increasing challenge to a western-dominated international order, our research spans several areas, including global order and justice, development, international and regional society, global and regional governance; as well as a remarkably wide range of national foreign and security policies, such as those of the UK, Russia, the EU, Iran, the Middle East, China, Pakistan, South Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Exploring foreign policy and regional co-operation, from cultural and public interactions to, social media use and development, our research encompasses media organisations, religious foundations, militaries, NGOS and sub-state regional economic actors. POLIS members also supervise students interested in critical engagements with mainstream international relations theory, including constructivism, postcolonialism, post-structuralism, Marxism, cosmopolitanism and accounts of governmentality.

Entry requirements

Minimum 2:1 undergraduate degree (or equivalent). If you are not a UK citizen, you may need to prove your knowledge of English

Potential research projects

We welcome enquiries about PhD study in the broad field of International Relations, but are particularly interested in proposals on:

  • EU politics, British foreign, defence and security policy
  • Comparative democratization, populism and the crisis of democracy, transitional justice, regional organizations in Latin America and comparative regionalism
  • Rising powers, Chinese foreign policy, Indian foreign policy, the Belt and Road Initiative
  • Counter-terrorism and counter-radicalisation, national security politics, foreign policy, terrorism studies and critical security studies
  • Russian foreign and security policy, (Russian) national identity and nation building, memory politics/history politics/ historical narratives including commemoration
  • Populism and (social) media disinformation/propaganda/fake news/influence ops, public diplomacy/international broadcasting
  • (Critical) discourse analysis and narrative analysis, Iran’s domestic politics and foreign policy, Middle East politics.
  • Gender conflict resolution and peacekeeping
  • African International Relations

Potential supervisors

Fees and funding

UK fee International fee
Full time: £4,786 per year Full time: £12,146 per year
Part time: £2,393 per year Part time: £6,073 per year

Research students can apply for funding via the Grand Union Doctoral Training Partnership with Oxford and Brunel, or the Open-Oxford-Cambridge DTP in collaboration with Oxford and Cambridge universities. The Citizenship Studies pathway of the Grand Union DTP is hosted within the Department. Alternatively, many of our students are self-funded.

For detailed information about fees and funding, visit Fees and studentships.

To see current funded studentship vacancies across all research areas, see Current studentships.



How to apply

Get in touch

If you have an enquiry specific to this research topic, please contact:

Dan Taylor, Postgraduate Coordinator
Email: FASS-Polis-PG-Admissions
Phone: +44 (0)1908 654534/654435

Apply now

If you’re interested in applying for this research topic, please take a look at the application process.