Research course


University of Bristol · School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies

Entry requirements

An upper second-class honours degree (or equivalent) and a master's qualification (or equivalent).

See international equivalent qualifications on the International Office website.

Months of entry

January, September

Course content

This degree provides an opportunity to conduct advanced political research in an interdisciplinary school. You will study with internationally renowned Politics and International Relations scholars in a dynamic and supportive research environment. Our research activity is guided by focusing on key themes:

  • critical security;
  • conflict, peace and violence
  • gender and sexuality;
  • race, colonialism, postcolonialism, and decolonialism;
  • global knowledge (including expertise, ignorance, and secrecy);
  • the climate crisis and green political theory;
  • political economy;
  • political and social inequalities;
  • popular culture and (global) politics;
  • political and international theory;
  • socio-technical systems and their politics;
  • Europe and European governance;
  • the Americas, politics and sociology;
  • African regional and state politics;
  • South and East Asian regional and state politics.

You will join an international community of students working on a range of politics and international relations issues. Our staff also have particular expertise across a range of cultural and social theory and champion diverse research methodologies. You will be assigned two PhD supervisors whose current research interests and expertise are relevant to your chosen research area.

We are committed to rigorous conceptual and empirical research that is politically and socially relevant and problem-orientated. We aim to advance theory, knowledge and methods at the cutting edge of Politics and International Relations. We produce leading research with an international focus that is relevant to the changing circumstances of an increasingly interconnected world. Our aim is not just to monitor the world but to contribute to a better understanding and to ways that might improve it.

Information for international students

See international equivalent qualifications on the International Office website.

Fees and funding

The Faculty of Social Sciences and Law has an allocation of 1+3 and +3 ESRC scholarships. Applicants may also be interested in applying for funding from the University of Bristol scholarship fund or the alumni PhD scholarship fund.

Further information on funding for prospective UK and international postgraduate students.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • PhD
    full time
    48 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    part time
    96 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Postgraduate Student Administrator
+44 (0) 117 331 7572