Why choose this course
The Department of Politics at the University of Surrey is a thriving space for research and public engagement on a range of political areas. We’re home to roughly a dozen researchers working across politics and international relations.
We have a growing profile as a provider of outstanding practitioner and researcher training. There are frequent opportunities for discussion of ideas, presentation of work, and participation in the events organised within the Faculty and University. These events include research seminars, visits from regular external speakers, and opportunities to meet policy-makers and politicians. PhD students also benefit from a dedicated room for all research students with excellent IT facilities.
The Department has a strong focus on applied politics, and we are globally recognised for our work in European politics and on international intervention. This excellence is reflected in our two research centres: the Centre for Research on the European Matrix (CRonEM) and the Centre for International Intervention (Cii). We have a strong track record of securing funding from research councils and European funders.
Our doctoral programme promotes high-quality research in politics, international relations and policy studies. We encourage and support innovative thinking, and our postgraduate researchers play an important role at the heart of our thriving research environment.
What you will study
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.
Research students within the Department are well supported, with training opportunities and regular supervision sessions.
Your supervisor will meet with you regularly for meetings and to provide feedback on your work. using their specialist knowledge of the subject area. They will also guide you on how to access the University’s support services and help prepare you for your post-study career.
You will also attend group sessions with the postgraduate research programme director to discuss your progress and develop your professional skills, as well as Departmental activities relating to research.
Your PhD will be assessed by a viva. If you require development in particular skills or substantive knowledge, then it is possible to enrol in relevant masters modules in Year 1.
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.
- European politics: democracy, opposition, Euroscepticism, security, defence, populism
- Gender politics
- International politics
- British politics
- Electoral politics
- East and South-East Asian politics
- Ethno-territorial and multi-level politics.
Our academic staff
See a full list of all our academic staff within the Department of Politics.
PhD students benefit from a dedicated room for all research students with excellent IT facilities.
Applicants are expected to hold a good bachelors degree and preferably a masters degree from a UK university or overseas equivalent in a relevant discipline.
View entry requirements by country
English language requirements
IELTS Academics: 6.5 or above (or equivalent) with 6.0 in each individual category.
View the other English language qualifications that we accept.
If you do not currently meet the level required for your programme, we offer intensive pre-sessional English language courses, designed to take you to the level of English ability and skill required for your studies here.
Selection is based on applicants meeting the expected entry requirements, assessment of application, successful interview and suitable references where required.
Students are initially registered for a PhD with probationary status and, subject to satisfactory progress, are subsequently confirmed as having PhD status.
For fees payable in 2018/19, these will increase by 4 per cent, rounded up to the nearest £100 for subsequent years of study. Any start date other than October will attract a pro-rata fee for that year of entry (75 per cent for January, 50 per cent for April and 25 per cent for July).
Overseas students applying for 2018 entry should note that annual fees will rise by 4% rounded up to the nearest £100.
There are additional costs that you can expect to incur when studying at Surrey. Find out more.
We will be offering over 150 Doctoral College studentships for outstanding prospective postgraduate researchers starting in October 2020.
A Postgraduate Doctoral Loan can help with course fees and living costs while you study a postgraduate doctoral course.
Vice-Chancellor’s studentship award 2020
This competition funded studentship covers international fees and a stipend at UKRI Rate (currently £15,009), alongside a research training support grant of £1,000 per annum.
Find out more
International fee reduction studentship 2020
This competition funded studentship provides a reduction of the fee to the UK/EU rate for successful international candidates. This is not available to UK/EU students.
Find out more
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).
Terms and conditions
When you accept an offer of a place at the University of Surrey, you are agreeing to comply with our policies and regulations, and our terms and conditions. These terms and conditions are provided in two stages: first when we make an offer and second when students who have accepted their offers register to study at the University. View our offer terms and conditions and our generic registration terms and conditions (PDF) as a guide as to what to expect.
Please note: our offer terms and conditions will be available in the September of the calendar year prior to the year in which you begin your studies. Our registration terms and conditions will vary to take into account specifics of your course.
This online prospectus has been prepared and published in advance of the academic year to which it applies. The University of Surrey has used its reasonable efforts to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content or additional costs) may occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for a course with us. Read more.