Research course

International Relations (PhD)

Lancaster University · Politics and International Relations

Entry requirements

An upper second class honours degree, or its equivalent, a Master's degree in a social science background and a viable research proposal.

Months of entry


Course content

Lancaster University is an excellent place to complete PhD research in the fields of politics and international relations. The Department of Politics and International Relations is innovative, interdisciplinary and post-disciplinary, and research proposals reflecting these approaches from those seeking to undertake MPhil or PhD research degrees are especially encouraged.

The MPhil is a two year programme that culminates in the writing of a 40,000 word thesis. The PhD degree scheme is a 3-4 year programme that culminates in an 80,000 word thesis. The PhD is organised in two distinct parts: The initial or probationary period occupies the first year of study and is devoted to research training and general preparation for the thesis. During this period you will take a number of courses covering research skills and key concepts, theories and approaches in the sub-field in which you intend to write your thesis. Preparation for the thesis entails writing a literature review or other relevant piece of work and preparing a detailed research proposal. Transfer to the final phase, when the thesis proper is completed, is subject to acceptance by the Upgrade Panel of work produced during the probationary period.

We have a lively research culture including regular research seminars. In addition, you are encouraged to participate in regular faculty-wide workshops, a range of other programmes that you are welcome to attend and we encourage all researchers to make links with other departments across the university.

Information for international students

IELTS 6.5 or equivalent.

We consider tests from other providers, which can be found here on our English language requirements page.

Fees and funding

Learn more at the fees and funding page.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • PhD
    full time
    36 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

PPR Course Enquiries
+44 (0) 1524 594262