Area Studies postgraduate research degrees
Area Studies postgraduate research degrees
If you're ready to take your knowledge and expertise in Area Studies into a postgraduate research degree, Portsmouth is the perfect place to fulfil your ambitions.
Our research in Area Studies is exploring the fields of international relations, history, politics, economies, cultures, languages and geography across specific regions – and when you study for a postgraduate research degree with us, you'll have the chance to make your own contribution to the vital work we're doing.
From exploring the history of the American civil rights movement, investigating Europe's relationship with Russia, or seeking to understand the causes of conflict in West Africa, our research is helping us make sense of our increasingly connected – but fragmented – world.
Our research is breaking down barriers of poverty, disease, and civil turmoil caused by natural disasters and conflict – by investigating how aid workers, charities and non-government organisations (NGOs) can most effectively work within the cultures and communities of developing nations, and by understanding how gender, ethnicity or religion impacts the lives of people around the world.
In the the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014), 68% of our research was rated 'world leading' (25%) or 'internationally excellent' (43%), placing the University in the top 10 institutions nationally for research impact.
Find out about our PhD, MPhil and PhD by Publication opportunities in Area Studies below, including how to apply, entry requirements and funding your degree. For more detailed information about the application process, visit our How to Apply pages.
Area Studies PhDs and MPhils
Explore our pre-approved funded and self-funded PhD projects in Area Studies, or submit your own research idea.
PhD and MPhil projects
There are currently no funded projects available. For information on funding your research degree, please refer to the following funding your research degree page.
PhD by Publication
A PhD by publication is a postgraduate research degree based on research you've already undertaken and had published (excluding self-publishing) before registering with us.
Eligible research outputs include peer-reviewed academic papers, complete books or chapters in anthologies, and other materials accepted for publication, exhibited or performed. You'll have to submit these materials for examination between 6-12 months after registering with us.
For more information, please visit our PhD by Publication page.
I’m fortunate enough to call my PhD research my job and it feels like you get a lot of freedom with that... On top of earning my degrees, my work has been rewarded with competitive internal and external funding as well as a national undergraduate award for an essay and the opportunity to go and do a work placement with the BBC in Senegal.
Duration, fees and funding
What do my tuition fees cover?
If you're self-funding your PhD, you'll pay tuition fees to the University to cover course and university costs.
Your tuition fees cover:
- The cost of your postgraduate research programme* at the University as well as charges for registration, tuition, supervision, and examinations
- Bespoke training, professional development courses, networking, and research support through The Graduate School
- Research seminars and workshops (university-wide and faculty-specific)
- A contribution to funding to attend a conference or development activity in your research field
- Tailor-made weekly and monthly events, including weekly, themed experienced researcher-led talks and workshops
- Helping you become part of our thriving research community, including Research and Innovation services where 78% of our research impact was rated as world-leading or internationally excellent in REF 2014
- Your graduation ceremony
- Viva examination and administration costs
- The facilities and equipment you need to complete your studies, such as computer rooms, access to laptops, the Library, and laboratories
- Access to resources including electronic journals, alternative guide to funding, and thousands of hours of educational videos on LinkedIn Learning
- University support services including academic, financial, careers and wellbeing support and personal tutors
- Membership of the Students' Union (giving you the right to vote in elections, join clubs and societies, and get free independent advice)
- Access to software such as Microsoft Office, SPSS and Adobe Creative Suite (this includes Photoshop, InDesign, and Adobe Premiere Pro)
*Please note that some research programmes may come with additional bench fees.
How long will my research degree take?
- MPhil: 2 years full-time, 4 years part-time
- PhD: 3 years full-time, 6 years part-time
- PhD by Publication: 1 year part-time
How much will my research degree cost?
2021/2022 fees (applicable for October 2021 and February 2022 start)
PhD and MPhil
- Home/EU/CI full-time students: £4,500 p/a*
- Home/EU/CI part-time students: £2,250 p/a*
- International full-time students: £15,500 p/a
- International part-time students: £7,750 p/a
PhD by Publication
- External candidates: £4,500 p/a*
- Members of University of Portsmouth staff: £1,720 p/a
All fees are subject to annual increase. If you are an EU student starting a programme in 2021/22 please visit this page.
Some PhD projects may include additional fees – known as bench fees – for equipment and other consumables, and these will be added to your standard tuition fee. Speak to the supervisory team during your interview about any additional fees you may have to pay. Please note, bench fees are not eligible for discounts and are non-refundable.
MPhil full-time and part-time courses are eligible for the Government Postgraduate Loan.
PhD full-time and part-time courses are eligible for the Government Doctoral Loan.
For information on other sources of funding, visit our funding your postgraduate research degree page.
The entry requirements for a PhD or MPhil include a good honours degree or equivalent in a relevant subject, or a master’s degree in an appropriate subject. Equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications may be considered. All applicants are subject to interview.
If English is not your first language, you'll need English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.
If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.
Support and facilities
When you join us, you'll be supported by our Graduate School, alongside your assigned supervisory team, who'll help you get the most from our facilities. The Graduate School will help you become part of our thriving, collaborative research community, and help grow your skills as a researcher through the Graduate School Development Programme, which offers training, workshops and events.
What can a postgraduate research degree do for my career?
Once you complete your postgraduate research degree, you'll be a highly-skilled researcher with the knowledge and skills to make an impact in many different industries.
Your postgraduate research qualification demonstrates to potential employers that you're an intelligent, capable and motivated person, with provable abilities and experience in critical thinking, problem-solving, project management, communication, leadership and creativity.
After researching with us, our successful postgraduate research candidates have gone on to impressive positions in a variety of field – including as academic researchers, and political and security analysts for private organisations and governmental organisations.
We're building knowledge on conflict in West Africa, with a particular focus on issues in the West African Sahel.
We're exploring questions around the powers of the state, and the fight for civil rights in and beyond the context of US politics and society.
We're learning about the issues on the EU's eastern borders, and how the UK and EU should react.
We're using our expertise to tackle gender and ethnic inequality, shield the most vulnerable from turmoil, and find solutions to the sustainable growth challenges.