Research course

Contemporary European Studies

University of Sussex · School of Law, Politics and Sociology

Entry requirements

A Masters degree in any relevant social science, but applicants with other backgrounds may be considered. Applicants should submit an outline research proposal indicating the nature, ambition and primary questions of the research project.

Research training

If you’re applying for ESRC funding, you might need to do a Masters first. Find out about our Social Research Methods MSc.

English language requirements: IELTS 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each section.

Months of entry

January, October, April

Course content

  • PhD in Contemporary European Studies
  • MPhil in Contemporary European Studies

There are two common modes of entry for research students. First is the traditional entry to an MPhil or PhD. Second is the MSc plus PhD pathway, which is the 1+3 route supported by the ESRC for studentships.

All new research students are required to participate in a programme of research training modules and to take other modules that may be recommended by the supervisor of their research (exemption from research training modules can be granted to those who have already taken such modules at postgraduate level).

MPhil, PhD in Contemporary European Studies

Research students are based in the Sussex European Institute.

You can either choose to study for a research degree in contemporary European studies or in a particular discipline, for example anthropology, geography, economics, international relations or politics, while focused on a European topic. SEI also hosts visiting researchers.

Recent thesis titles
  • EUrope and the EUropeans: definition, identity and belonging
  • Explaining the emergence of Eurosceptic protest movements
  • Regionalist parties in Western Europe: a comparative study
  • Political participation and role of migrant organisations in Sweden and the Netherlands
  • Political strategy and ideological adaptation in regionalist parties in Western Europe
  • Punching above its weight? A case study of Luxembourg’s policy effectiveness in the EU
  • Shifting sands and changing minds: the role of the European Parliament in the area of freedom, security and justice
  • The impact of structural funds in Greece and Ireland

Fees and funding

UK students
£4,195 per year
International students
£15,100 per year

The University of Sussex aims to attract the most talented students to postgraduate study and offers one of the most generous scholarship programmes of any UK university. For full details of our scholarships please visit:

Qualification and course duration


full time
24-48 months
part time
36-72 months


full time
12-36 months
part time
24-48 months

Course contact details

Student Recruitment Services
+44 (0)1273 876806