Research course

Area Studies, History, Politics and Literature

University of Portsmouth · School of Area Studies, History, Politics and Literature

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Entry requirements

The entry requirements for a PhD, MPhil or Professional Doctorate include a good honours degree or equivalent in a relevant subject, or a master’s degree in an appropriate subject. Equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications may be considered. All applicants are subject to interview.
If English is not your first language, you'll need English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 7.0 with no component score below 6.5.

Months of entry

February, October

Course content

Our research in Area Studies and International Development is exploring the fields of international relations, history, politics, economies, cultures, languages and geography across specific regions – and when you study for a postgraduate research degree with us, you'll have the chance to make your own contribution to the vital work we're doing.
From exploring the history of the American civil rights movement, investigating Europe's relationship with Russia, or seeking to understand the causes of conflict in West Africa, our research is helping us make sense of our increasingly connected – but fragmented – world.
Within our History research, we're studying how everyday people have responded to upheaval, and how their experiences, culture, values and activities have shaped their identities and behaviour – and as a postgraduate research degree student, you'll play your own part in transforming our knowledge and expertise into action.
Across our areas of expertise – in early modern history, British social and cultural history, and urban cultures – we're exploring the lives of people at all levels of society, and the complex communities, cultures, and subcultures to which they belonged. Through our work, we're able to make sense of the world we live in today, and to understand how our own society may change in the future.
We're working with organisations, governments and individuals to find solutions to pressing political challenges. We're finding new ways to reduce the impact of war and create a safer, more peaceful world. We're analysing how insecurity, conflict and political exclusion form in different regions. And we're looking at how to improve people's lives by better understanding the local, regional, national and transnational dimensions of their nation or region's politics.
Our research is collaborative and multidisciplinary, and as a postgraduate research degree student, you'll play your own part in turning our expertise into impactful research.
Our researchers at the Centre for Studies in Literature are experts in early modern writing, with a particular strength in Victorian literature and culture, and twentieth- and twenty-first-century British and American literature. 58% of our English Language and Literature research outputs were rated as world-leading or internationally excellent in the Research Excellence Framework 2014.
In an increasingly globalised world where upheaval is rapidly becoming the new normal, we're studying how different literature can shed new light on issues such as corruption, war and justice. We're exploring how literature shapes our opinions on cultures, communities and people; how it can empower unrepresented and marginalised voices; and how it can be used as a weapon to repress and control.
What you'll experience
When you join us, you'll be supported by our Graduate School, alongside your assigned supervisory team, who'll help you get the most from our facilities. The Graduate School will help you become part of our thriving, collaborative research community, and help grow your skills as a researcher through the Graduate School Development Programme, which offers training, workshops and events.
Work experience and career planning
Once you complete your postgraduate research degree, you'll be a highly-skilled researcher with the knowledge and skills to make an impact in many different industries.
Your postgraduate research qualification demonstrates to potential employers that you're an intelligent, capable and motivated person, with provable abilities and experience in critical thinking, problem-solving, project management, communication, leadership and creativity.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MPhil
    part time
    48 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    full time
    24 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
  • 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

Admissions Team
023 9284 5566