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).

Months of entry

January, September

Course content

The School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies is an interdisciplinary scholarly environment. We produce leading research with an international focus that is relevant to the changing circumstances of an increasingly interconnected world.

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 interface between sociology, politics and international relations. The questions addressed recognise that political structures are related in complex ways to the social conditions that underlie them; likewise, social conditions are affected in complex ways by political structures. Our aim is not just to monitor the global condition but to contribute to ways that might improve it.

Our research activity is guided by focusing on key themes:

  • critical security;
  • political economy;
  • global knowledge (including expertise, ignorance, and secrecy);
  • ethnicity, migration and citizenship;
  • gender and sexuality;
  • race, colonialism, postcolonialism, and decolonialism;
  • the climate crisis and green political theory;
  • political and social inequalities;
  • social, cultural, political and international theory;
  • socio-technical systems and their politics;
  • popular culture and (global) politics;
  • Europe, Europeanisation;
  • the Americas, politics and sociology;
  • African regional and state politics;
  • south and east Asian regional and state politics.

All researchers across the school identify with one or more of the themes. This enables collective identification over themes within the school and aims to generate further collaboration and interdisciplinarity in our research activities. In addition, the themes provide a basis for internal and external recognition of the main questions and topics that our research addresses.

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