Research course


University of Surrey · Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

Entry requirements

Applicants are expected to hold a bachelors degree with a minimum of 2:1 and a masters degree with a minimum of a Merit from a UK university or overseas equivalent in a relevant discipline.

Months of entry

January, April, July

Course content

The Department of Politics at the University of Surrey is a thriving space for cutting-edge research and advanced training on a range of political areas. The department has an active PhD community pursuing cutting-edge research around several major research themes and well-established research centres. Our students have the opportunity to work closely with their supervisor and other members of the academic community, in an active research environment.

  • Our department has two well established research centres bringing together our students, members of staff, and visiting researchers: The Centre for Britain and Europe
  • The Centre for International Intervention.

Our PhD students are undertaking cutting edge research in the areas of comparative politics; British politics; international relations; EU studies; political conflicts and interventions; parties and elections; public policy; American politics; public opinion; area studies.

During your first year you will undertake two modules in quantitative and qualitative research methods. You will also attend a series of seminars providing training and advice on research and professional development, as well as becoming a member of one of our research centres.

The Department of Politics is particularly interested in promoting a lively and active community between doctoral students and members of staff, and we hold regular social events.

Research assistant opportunities

During your PhD, you’ll have the opportunity to work alongside your research supervisor and other members of staff as a research assistant. You will be involved in activities such as: conducting literature reviews, helping with data analysis and interpretation for current research projects. You will play an active role in the research community of the Department and research centres.

Teaching opportunities

During your PhD you will be offered the opportunity to take on a range of teaching activities, fully supported by your academic colleagues. These teaching opportunities will further reinforce your personal and academic skills and help to enhance your understanding of your subject area as well as enhancing your CV significantly.

Graduate Certificate of Higher Education

In the first year of your PhD, you will have the opportunity to enrol on the Graduate Certificate of Higher Education programme offered at Surrey by our own highly regarded Department of Higher Education. You will learn about pedagogy, practice your teaching skills and receive an internationally recognised teaching qualification that will allow you to become a member of the Higher Education Academy.

The Department of Politics actively encourages visiting PhD students from other universities around the world. If you are interested in coming to Surrey as a visiting PhD student you may submit your application via the Doctoral College.

Research support

The professional development of postgraduate researchers is supported by the Doctoral College, which provides training in essential skills through its Researcher Development Programme of workshops, mentoring and coaching. A dedicated postgraduate Careers and Employability team will help you prepare for a successful career after the completion of your PhD.

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

+44 (0)1483 682 222