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PhD in Politics and International Studies

The Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS) is dedicated to individual and collective research at the highest level. Its members maintain a very substantial output of publications and participate in, or lead, international collaborative research ventures with a global reach. The department maintains research groups amongst its staff and PhD students in most of the major areas of politics and international studies. Candidates for the PhD also benefit from a number of topical seminar series and other events within the Department and the wider University.

As the principal induction events and important aspects of the taught part of the course concerning methodology are held in Michaelmas Term candidates may only commence their studies in October.


The Department considers PhD students for a variety of topics within the field of Politics and International Studies.

Available topics depend on the research interests of the academic staff acting as PhD supervisors within the Department, and in the past have included:

  • Foreign policy analysis
  • Security and strategic studies
  • War and conflict
  • Peace-making, conflict transformation, state-building
  • International political economy
  • International trade and development
  • International organization
  • Public policy
  • Global/international politics (Anglo-America, Europe, China, S. E. Asia, Middle East, Africa, Latin America)
  • International law (rights of peoples, ethnic conflict regulation, use of force, environment)
  • Aspects of migration, diaspora and political identity
  • Political theory and its history
  • European integration, history, politics, policies
  • International history and the history of geopolitics
  • History of international relations
  • Political parties, democratization

A list of POLIS staff members and their profiles, which include their research interests can be found here

Professor Larry King and Dr Ella McPherson from the Department of Sociology are both affiliated with POLIS and are also available to supervise POLIS PhD students. 


Further Questions

All of the information you should need about this course should be available on this website and the Graduate Admissions website. In particular they have a very useful FAQs page . If after you have read through these sites you have any further questions please feel free to email