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Postgraduate research in Area studies & international development

Ready to start your research career? Explore our postgraduate research degrees in Area Studies & International Development

If you're ready to take your knowledge and expertise in Area Studies and International Development into a postgraduate research degree, Portsmouth is the perfect place to fulfil your ambitions.

Our research in Area Studies and International Development 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.

Research degrees

Find out about our PhD, MPhil and PhD by Publication opportunities in Area Studies and International Development 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 & International Development PhDs and MPhils

Explore our pre-approved funded and self-funded PhD projects in Area Studies and International Development, or submit your own research idea. 

PhD and MPhil projects

Self-funded projects

There are currently no pre-approved self-funded projects available in this subject area. If you'd like to submit your own PhD proposal, please read the information below.

Submit your own idea

If you already have a research idea, find a supervisor whose research interests match yours by searching our Find a PhD Supervisor page. Once you've identified someone suitable, contact them to discuss your idea.

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.

Duration, fees and funding

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?

PhD and MPhil

  • Home/EU/CI full-time students: £4,327 p/a*
  • Home/EU/CI part-time students: £2,164 p/a*
  • International full-time students: £14,300 p/a*
  • International part-time students: £7,150 p/a*

PhD by Publication

  • External candidates: £4,327 p/a
  • Members of University of Portsmouth staff: £1,550 p/a

*All fees are subject to annual increase

Funding support

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.

Entry requirements

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.

Apply for an Area Studies and International Development research degree

Apply for a research degree in Area Studies and International Development by completing our online form. 

Current research

Explore the work we're doing across our areas of research expertise in Area Studies and Development Studies.

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