Research course

Politics and International Relations

University of Nottingham · School of Politics and International Relations

Entry requirements

Masters (or international equivalent) in a relevant discipline, with an average of 63% or above, and 2:1 at undergraduate level (or international equivalent).

Months of entry


Course content

The School of Politics and International Relations has long been respected for the quality of its research and teaching. We have strong links with leading institutions in the UK and overseas and a diverse teaching team and student body. You will study in a dynamic research environment that will allow you to explore the political landscape by focusing on a specialism of your choice.

You will be encouraged to play an active role in our research centres and institutes as well as the activities of the school.

You will be assigned two supervisors. You must ensure that we have at least one supervisor who has expertise in your proposed area of research before applying and name that person in your application. Ideally, you should contact your proposed supervisor before applying.

We offer supervision in most subject areas within international relations and security, British and comparative politics, and political theory.

Potential PhD projects

The School of Politics and International Relations invites expressions of interest from suitably qualified candidates to undertake a PhD in Politics or International Relations.

Successful applicants will join a team of PhD researchers in the School of Politics and International Relations . You can find out more about our staff, their research interests and current doctoral supervision, as well as the pages of individual academics.

Prospective candidates are welcome to outline their own doctoral research topic, but we have identified a number of priority topic areas where we believe a PhD project would be particularly cutting-edge and where we strongly welcome expressions of interest. The topic areas are:

International Relations

  • Topic 1 Black propaganda and disinformation
  • Topic 2 Covert economic Influence
  • Topic 3 Britain and proxy wars
  • Topic 4 Struggles over water commodification
  • Topic 5 Alternative trade policy
  • Topic 6 The EU and the global South

British politics

  • Topic 7: The changing nature of election campaigns: Evidence from the OpenElections project

Political theory

  • Topic 8 Bullshit, bollocks, and bad thinking (in political discourse)
  • Topic 9 Conceptions of Liberal Socialism

Comparative politics

  • Topic 10 Federalism and the management of ethnic conflict
  • Topic 11 Gender and political representation in Asia
  • Topic 12 Public administration in post-communist Europe
  • Topic 13 Anti-corruption in developing countries

If you are interested in the priority topic areas listed above, our team will help you develop your ideas, offer feedback on your proposal drafts, and connect you with supervisors.

Information for international students

IELTS: 7.0 (no less than 6.0 in any element)

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

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

Course contact details

+44 (0)115 951 5559