Research course

British and comparative politics

Open University · Department of Politics and International Studies

Entry requirements

Minimum 2:1 (or equivalent)

Months of entry


Course content

Politics and International Studies (POLIS) at The Open University has an international reputation for research in the areas of British and comparative politics.

Within UK politics, supervision is available on the PM and the Core Executive, political leadership, Parliament, political participation, electoral campaigns, the construction of publics and public opinion, third sector and NGO politics, labour unions, environmental organisations, social movements, the politics of dissent and political protest.

We also supervise policy areas, drawing on the expertise from other departments, such as social policy, public bodies, local governance, third sector organisations, environmental issues, and social and environmental justice.

In comparative politics we have an interest in British, Italian, Spanish and US politics, but also focus on wider questions of global, regional and national governance. These include case studies and comparative research on executive government, executive-legislative relations, electoral systems, political parties, national party links with the European Union, transnational networks and citizen participation as well as on topics such as environmental action, organised protest and the effects of different kinds of borders.

Potential research projects

We welcome enquiries about PhD study in this subject area.

Potential supervisors

Fees and funding

For detailed information on current fees visit

Qualification and course duration


distance learning
variable months
full time
36 months
part time
72 months


distance learning
variable months
full time
15 months
part time
24 months

Course contact details

Postgraduate Coordinator
+44 (0)1908 654435