Research course


University of Sussex · School of Law, Politics and Sociology

Entry requirements

MPhil in Politics :A first- or upper second-class undergraduate honours degree in any relevant social science, but applicants with other backgrounds may be considered. Applicants should submit an outline (two to three pages) of their research interests.

PhD in Politics : A Masters degree in political science, international relations, economics, history or sociology. Applicants should submit an outline research proposal indicating the nature, ambitions and primary questions of the research project.

Months of entry

January, October, April

Course content

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

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

MPhil, PhD in Politics

We supervise students in all areas in which our faculty specialise (refer to Faculty research interests).

Recent thesis titles:

  • The Effect of Internal Control Management on Corruption: The Case of Saudi Arabia
  • Corruption in Central and Eastern Europe: The influence of the European Union on the control of corruption in the Czech Republic, Macedonia and Romania
  • Narratives of Corruption and Anti-Corruption in Mexico
  • The Politics of Anti-Corruption in Nigeria
  • Anti-Corruption Policy in Hungary: Enforcing compliance with EU anti-corruption policy after Accession
  • Anti-Corruption Reform, Political Will and Collective Action in Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Obeying the iron law? Changes to the intraparty balance of power in the British Liberal Democrats
  • Organisational change in Western European communist parties since 1989
  • The development of post-war Conservative Party immigration policy in government and in opposition
  • The predominance of Prime Ministers: a comparative study of Britain and Australia
  • Young citizens’ political participation

Information for international students

Please see link for information on international students' entry requirements:

Fees and funding

UK students
See website for details
International students
See website for details

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