PhD/MPhil Politics and International Relations

The University of Nottingham - Faculty of Social Sciences

Program Description

PhD/MPhil Politics and International Relations

The University of Nottingham - Faculty of Social Sciences

PhD/MPhil Politics and International Relations

A PhD is the most advanced form of postgraduate study. It is awarded on the successful completion of a programme of supervised research and is assessed by a verbal examination and final thesis.

A MPhil requires research skills and training similar to a PhD yet its scope and complexity are less than that required for a doctorate. The MPhil is assessed by the submission of a thesis.

The school offers MPhil and PhD supervision in most subject areas of politics and students are encouraged to play an active role in the school's research centres and institutes as well as the activities of the school as a whole.

A weekly Research Student Colloquium runs during term-time, and serves to bring the research student community together on a regular basis. Organised by students and facilitated by the Director of Postgraduate Research, it acts as a supportive form for presenting work in progress and advancing research.

We organise our research around our centres and institutes and are proud of our wide-ranging expertise to supervise PhD topics covering the three major sub-fields of comparative politics, international relations and political theory. At Nottingham, you will be allocated two academic supervisors.


School facilities

In addition to the IT facilities provided by the University, the school offers all full-time postgraduate research students registered with the school their own workspace in rooms designated for use by research students. Students are provided with computer, printing and photocopying facilities and are given a generous printing and photocopying allowance.

Library facilities

The Hallward Library stocks a large number of politics related publications and journals. Our library facilities open long hours and include areas for group work, individual and silent study.

The Graduate School

The Graduate School is a unique facility that focuses on postgraduate education and represent the needs of postgraduate students within the University. It provides a world class research training and development environment for postgraduates and early career researchers.

The Social Sciences and Arts Graduate Centre is a space exclusively for postgraduate students and research staff in the faculties of Arts and Social Sciences. It offers networked computer stations and Wi-Fi access for laptops, a study area, a social area with comfortable seating, a quiet study zone, and kitchen facilities.

Midlands Graduate School

Nottingham is part of the Midlands Graduate School ESRC Doctoral Training Partnership, which offers funding opportunities for postgraduate students each year. For more information, visit the Midlands Graduate School website.

Research support


The school runs a weekly colloquium for postgraduate research students giving you the opportunity to present your work in front of other research students and staff with similar research interests to your own.

Research seminars

The school runs research seminars for staff and postgraduate research students. Postgraduate research students are encouraged to become members of one or more of the school's research centres. The research centres offer a full programme of workshops, reading groups, talks and conferences.

Teaching experience

In view of a possible future career in academia, postgraduate research students are encouraged to undertake some undergraduate teaching in their second and/or third year of postgraduate research. The University's Graduate School runs training sessions related to teaching - students who wish to teach are requested to attend a number of these during their first year of postgraduate research study.


Average starting salary and career progression

In 2015, 82% of postgraduates in the School of Politics and International Relations who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation.*

Career destinations for our graduates include economists, management consultants, researchers, statisticians and university lecturers. Companies and organisations our graduates have gone to work for include Channel 4, the European Union, GCHQ, Reuters and the Thailand National Police Department.

*Known destinations of full-time home higher degree postgraduates 2014/15.

Career prospects and employability

Our award-winning Careers and Employability Service will help you to plan your career throughout your time at the University and beyond. Services available include:

  • presentations and drop-in sessions with employers
  • one-to-one careers guidance and CV sessions with our advisers
  • careers events held each academic year
  • a specialist careers adviser for research postgraduates

Once you are a student with us, and even after you graduate, you will have access to our service for life.

Flexible paid placements

Postgraduate Placements Nottingham offers flexible paid placements with a range of employers from small local businesses to multinational organisations. These placements are open to all postgraduates and are designed to fit in with your studies and give you the opportunity to learn transferable skills, improve your CV and enhance your employment prospects during your postgraduate studies.

The University of Nottingham is the best university in the UK for graduate employment, according to The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017.

Entry requirements

  • Applicants typically require a masters degree (or international equivalent) in a relevant discipline, with an average mark of 60% or above
  • IELTS: 7.0 (no less than 6.0 in any element); if these grades are not met, English preparatory courses are available
This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated March 16, 2017
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Sept. 2017
3 - 6 years
Part time
Full time
4,183 GBP
United Kingdom - Nottingham, England
Start date: Sept. 2017
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Sept. 2017
United Kingdom - Nottingham, England
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
International fees: 15,570 GBP (HEU fees: 4,183 GBP)