Research course

Politics and History

Brunel University, London · Politics, History and the Brunel Law School

Entry requirements

The general University entrance requirement for registration for a research degree is normally a First or Upper Second Class Honours degree and additionally, for a PhD, a Master’s degree or equivalent. All international students must show evidence that they meet the English requirement for their course of study. This applies even if English is the native language of your home country. An appropriate level of English language competence is also expected as listed below. Find out which alternative English language qualifications we accept. Applicants may also be required to attend compulsory in-sessional English language support.

Months of entry

January, December, November, October, August, July, June, May, April, March, February

Course content

The PhD provides a strong theoretical and practical introduction to the world of Political Science research. A key aim is to expose the student to the range of general academic research skills and expertise expected of the professional researcher in Political Science. The College of Business, Arts and Social Sciences also embraces a number of other disciplines and research students are entitled to attend staff seminars where presentations are made, both by Brunel staff and prestigious external speakers.

As a joint section of Politics and History interdisciplinarity is a central part of our research strategy and helps us to produce innovative and outstanding research. We promote opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration within the Department, Brunel University, and other universities and institutes in the UK and abroad. Interdisciplinary research groups linked to Politics and History play a major role as contact points for international collaborative research and in facilitating an exchange of ideas and concepts.

Politics and History is linked with three research centres, two research groups and one inter-departmental research network:

  • Isambard Centre for Historical Research
  • Brunel Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies (BCISS)
  • Magna-Carta Institute
  • Brunel Social and Political Thought Research Centre
  • International Studies Research Group
  • Brunel Heritage Research Network

These centres, groups and networks promote international, interdisciplinary and high impact research by acting as key points of contact between academics, practitioners and the wider community, organizing major events, and hosting associated researchers.

Our PhD students and postdoctoral researchers are closely integrated into the academic community, its research activities and projects. They benefit from working and researching alongside internationally leading scholars across a diverse range of topics and take an active role in the organization of local, national and international events and workshops.

The Graduate School supports all Brunel Postgraduates and Early Career Researchers though the provision of a comprehensive skills development programme, workshops and networking events, research prizes and 24/7 study and social facilities.

Brunel University London REF2014 Submission: Politics and International Studies

The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is a system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The results of the REF2014 have been made public in December 2014, replacing the previous REF conducted in 2008. The next REF will be undertaken in 2020.

Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 - A Guide for PhD Students

Department specialisms

Public Policy; European Politics and History; International Relations; Security and Intelligence; Political Theory; Political Parties and Elections; British Politics and History; American Politics and History.

Information for international students

International students are welcomed. If English is not your first language you will normally be expected to have a score of IELTS 6.5 (min 6.0 in all sections). Please visit our dedicated web pages.

Fees and funding

UK students
Full time: £4,121, Part-time: £2,060
International students
Full time: £14,100, Part time: £7,050

Read more on research funding

Qualification and course duration


part time
60 months
full time
36 months


full time
12 months
part time
24 months


full time
12 months
part time
24 months

Course contact details

Research Administrator
Tel: +44 (0) 1895 267051