Politics PhD

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

Syeda Annie Waqar PhD Politics

Why choose this course?

The Department of Politics is a thriving space for research and public engagement on a range of political areas. We focus most of our research activity through our research centres: the Centre for Research on the European Matrix (CRonEM) and the Centre for International Intervention (Cii).

With colleagues working across political and international relations topics, and an open and collegiate environment, we encourage and support innovative thinking and activities, with postgraduate researchers playing an important role in this.

This includes opportunities for researcher training, discussion and presentation of work and regular external speakers, as well as participation in the events organised within the Faculty and University. Our doctoral programme promotes high-quality research in politics, international relations and policy studies.

At present we have about 15 doctoral students working on a wide range of issues.

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.

Key research areas include:

  • European politics
  • International politics
  • British politics
  • Electoral politics
  • East and South-East Asian politics

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

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


Faculty Studentship Opportunities

The Department of Politics also offers Faculty-funded studentships. 

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 Department of Politics and who has produced a doctoral thesis of ‘excellence’.

Related research areas

Related departments/schools

Course facts

Qualification Study mode Course length Start date
PhD Full-time 30-48 months October, January, April, July
PhD Part-time 60-96 months October, January, April, July

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 be required to have IELTS 6.5 or above (or equivalent) with 6.0 in each individual category. 

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 £4195 £16,000
Part-time £2100 £8,000

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

Doctoral College

Our Doctoral College supports researcher excellence and employability across the doctoral and early career stages of the researcher journey.

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).

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