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Postgraduate research in politics & International relations

Ready to start your research career? Explore our postgraduate research degrees in Politics and International Relations

If you're ready to take your knowledge and expertise in Politics and International Relations into a postgraduate research degree, Portsmouth is the ideal place to realise your ambitions.

We're working with organisations, governments and individuals to find solutions to pressing political challenges. We're finding new ways to reduce the impact of war and create a safer, more peaceful world. We're analysing how insecurity, conflict and political exclusion form in different regions. And we're looking at how to improve people's lives by better understanding the local, regional, national and transnational dimensions of their nation or region's politics.

Our research is collaborative and multidisciplinary, and as a postgraduate research degree student, you'll play your own part in turning our expertise into impactful research.

Research degrees

Find out about our PhD, MPhil, and PhD by Publication opportunities in Politics and International Relations 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.

Politics & International Relations PhDs and MPhils

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

PhD and MPhil projects

Fully-funded

There are currently no funded PhD projects available in this area – for more information on funding your own research project, visit our pages on funding your research degree.

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, MPhil or Professional Doctorate 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 fields, as academic researchers, security and intelligence analysts, political advisers and officials in national and international governmental organisations.

Apply for a Politics and International Relations research degree

Apply for a research degree in Politics and International Relations by completing our online form. 

Current research

Explore the work we're doing across our 4 areas of research expertise in Politics and International Relations.

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