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Research degrees
Research areas
Politics and international studies
International relations and global politics

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: 6–8 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 British Foreign and Security Policies as well as those of countries beyond the West, including Russia, Iran, the Middle East, China, Pakistan, South Asia, Africa and Latin America. Exploring foreign policy and regional co-operation, as well as cultural diplomacy, social media and development cooperation, 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, UK party 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.

Potential supervisors

Fees and funding

UK fee International fee
Full time: £4,596 per year Full time: £11,666 per year
Part time: £2,298 per year Part time: £5,833 per year

Some of our research students are funded via The Grand Union Doctoral Training Partnership; others are self-funded.

For detailed information about fees and funding, and to see current funded studentship vacancies across all research areas, visit Fees and studentships.



How to apply

Get in touch

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

Professor Jamie Gaskarth, PGR Convenor
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.