Politics PhD

I get a lot of support from my supervisors. They are just amazing.

Syeda Annie Waqar PhD Politics

Why Surrey?

The School of Politics researches and publishes on topics such as citizenship and policy studies, defence and security, terrorism studies, international intervention, European politics, political communication and the media, political psychology, electoral behaviour, political theory and social exclusion.

The School is rapidly making a name for itself as a lively and influential source of innovative thinking.

Our doctoral programme promotes high-quality research in politics, international relations and policy studies. At present we have about 20 doctoral students working on a wide range of issues.

Their work builds on the research expertise of the School, thus creating a lively research community in which academic staff and students engage in debates about current and future trends in politics as a discipline.

Programme overview

We welcome applications from students who would like to conduct research (leading to an MPhil or PhD degree) in any of our areas of expertise.

However, we are also interested in hearing about other areas in which you would like to conduct research, if they are broadly in line with the School’s areas of research.

Key research areas include:

  • European politics
  • International politics
  • Political theory and philosophy
  • Citizenship and policy studies
  • Educational politics and policy

Research students within the School are well supported; in addition to regular supervision sessions with supervisors, all students are able to take advantage of training opportunities at University and School level.

We also have a dedicated room for all research students with good ICT facilities.


Faculty Studentship Opportunities

The School of Politics also offers Faculty-funded studentships. All applications for a DTC award (see above) will also automatically be considered under this scheme, so a separate application is not necessary if you are applying for a DTC studentship. 

Faculty studentships are available for top-quality students, covering tuition fees at the Home/EU rate and maintenance at current research-council rates for full-time or part-time study.


The Asako Okukubo Prize for Politics

The Asako Okukubo Prize is awarded each year to a student who has completed a research degree programme within the School of Politics and who has produced a doctoral thesis of ‘excellence’.

Related research areas

Related departments/schools

Programme facts

Type of programme:


Programme length:

  • Full-time: 30-48 months
  • Part-time: 60-96 months

Start date:

October, January, April, July


Postgraduate Admissions Enquiries:

+44 (0)1483 686 509


Entry Requirements

A good Bachelors degree and preferably a Masters degree from a UK university or overseas equivalent in a relevant discipline. Students are initially registered for a PhD with probationary status and, subject to satisfactory progress, are subsequently confirmed as having PhD status.

View entry requirements by country

English language requirements

Non-native speakers of English will normally require IELTS 6.5 or above with a minimum of 6.0 in each component (or equivalent).

We offer intensive English language pre-sessional courses, designed to take you to the level of English ability and skill required for your studies here.

We offer intensive English language pre-sessional courses, designed to take you to the level of English ability and skill required for your studies here.


Study mode UK/EU fees Overseas fees
Full-time £4,120 £14,000
Part-time £2,060 £7,000

Please note these fees are for the academic year 2017/18 only. All fees are subject to annual review.

Overseas students applying for 2017 entry should please note that annual fees will rise by four per cent (rounded up to the nearest £100) for each year of study.

A complete list of all fees for our research programmes

Researcher Development Programme

Our researcher development programme provides a range of workshops and support mechanisms for our postgraduate researchers.

More info

Contact Us

General Enquiries:

+44 (0)1483 681 681


Code of practice for research degrees

Surrey’s postgraduate research code of practice sets out the University's policy and procedural framework relating to research degrees.

The code defines a set of standard procedures and specific responsibilities covering the academic supervision, administration and assessment of research degrees for all faculties within the University.

Download the code of practice for research degrees (PDF).

Our academic staff