International Politics PhD / MPhil
The Department of International Politics at City University London was established in 2005. Since then it has expanded rapidly and is now an autonomous Department within the School of Arts & Social Sciences. The Department has nine permanent staff, as well as a number of visiting lecturers. We benefit enormously from our close relations with the Department of Sociology, within which we were initially located, and with whom we share a number of courses and modules as well as congruent research interests.
The Department was founded with the aim of pursuing research and teaching in the broad area of International Relations, but with a particular focus on the problems and possibilities of international politics in an era of globalisation. We have a particular concern with linking the study of contemporary political issues with the more general themes of agency, power and governance in the global order.
At the forefront of the discipline is our expertise within a diverse range of themes in international relations. These include development and globalisation, civil society and social movements, history and religion, global political economy, governance and international institutions.
In addition to our teaching excellence, we have a vibrant research culture and a growing group of scholars who are committed to building an excellent reputation in the discipline of international relations and related fields.
Our PhD community enjoy a dynamic, challenging and stimulating academic environment and we welcome, and encourage, students and visiting scholars from all backgrounds and all parts of the globe. Our research work aims to be inter-disciplinary, historically aware, and highly relevant for understanding the complex issues of power, social change and policy-making in the world today. We offer excellent facilities for accommodating visiting scholars and researchers. We also provide support for scholarship applications for PhD study at City.
Applicants should have a track record of high academic achievement, demonstrated by a good undergraduate degree with at least a second class (upper division) pass or equivalent; plus a good Masters-level degree with at least a pass with merit (or equivalent).
For students whose first language is not English, the following qualifications will meet the English language requirement for entry to a postgraduate course of study:
- A first degree from a UK university or from the CNAA.
- A first degree from an overseas institution recognised by the University as providing adequate evidence of proficiency in the English language, for example, from institutions in Australia, Canada or the USA.
- GCE O-level/GCSE English language or English literature, grade C minimum.
- Cambridge ESOL CPE (Certificate of Proficiency in English) at grade C or above.
- An overall score of 6.5 in the English Language Testing System (IELTS) with a minimum of 6.0 for each subtest.
- A score of 600 minimum (computer score 250, internet-based score 100) in the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).
- Satisfactory standard in the verbal section of the Princeton Test (GMAT).
- US SAT with 500 in verbal performance.
- Warwick English Language Test (WELT) with pass grades of BBC minimum.
- Other evidence of proficiency in the English language which satisfies the Board of Studies concerned.
City University London retains Highly Trusted Status from UKBA, enabling us to sponsor international students to study in the UK.
The way that you apply may vary depending on the length of your course at City, there are different rules for:
- Students on courses of more than 6 months
- Students on courses of less than 6 months
- Students on a pre-sessional English Language course
For more information see our main Visa page.
Admissions take place in late September each year.
Duration of Studies
The minimum period of registration is two years for full-time students and four years for part-time students. The maximum period of registration is four years for full-time students and seven years for part-time students.
Students on graduate research programmes are initially registered for an MPhil award. Promotion to registration to PhD is not automatic, but contingent on the satisfactory outcome of a review process. This normally takes place towards the end of the first year of registration for full-time candidates and towards the end of the second year for part-time candidates. Students submit a report to an academic panel and present at the annual research colloquium. If the outcome is satisfactory, the student will be upgraded to PhD.
The programme will conclude with submission of your research in the form of a PhD thesis and attendance at a viva voce examination in front of at least two examiners, at least one of whom will be external to the University.
For full details about the City PhD programme structure, please see the Guide for Research Students.
The current research interests of our staff can be found on our staff profile pages.
- Full-time EU: £4,200 per year (2013 entry)
- Part-time EU: £2,100 per year (2013 entry)
- Full-time Non EU: £10,000 per year (2013 entry)
- Part-time Non EU: £5,300 per year (2013 entry)
Fees for doctoral candidates are charged annually and cover registration, supervision and examination. Fees are subject to review each year and may vary during your period of registration.
You pay the above fees (which usually increase each year in line with inflation) annually until you are ready to go into 'writing up' status, whereby you are no longer researching your research topic and are solely writing up your thesis for examination. You will not be required to pay further tuition fees but you will be charged the writing-up fee of £300 which will cover you for the duration of the writing-up period (a maximum of 12 months for full-time and 18 months for part-time students).
If a student fails to submit their thesis within the maximum writing-up period, they will be reverted to full registration (full-time or part-time depending on their status before moving to writing up) and will be required to pay the full fees. Students will only be expected to pay for the time taken to complete the thesis and once the thesis has been submitted the remaining proportional fees will be refunded to the student.
The University offers a number of doctoral studentships on a competitive basis each year. For further information please visit http://www.city.ac.uk/research/research-degrees/fees/university-doctoral-studentships.
When considering potential applicants, we attach great importance both to the applicant's academic profile and record of achievement, and to the fit between the proposed research and the interests of the supervisor. It is therefore essential that potential applicants identify staff with relevant research expertise, and then contact an individual member of staff to discuss their willingness to offer supervision for their particular topic before submitting a formal application to undertake a research degree. Please consult individual staff webpages for our specialist research profiles and interests.
Please note that we will not consider applications unless the applicant has initially discussed their proposal with a member of staff.
How to Apply
We accept applications on an ongoing basis for entry in September. To apply, you should submit the following documents:
- one copy of the Research Degree Application Form;
- your research proposal;
- testimonials from at least two academic referees sent by email from an official work (not private) email account;
- copies of your degree transcripts and certificates (originals or certified copies). If your application is successful we will need to verify the original hard copies before a final offer is made;
- proof of your English language proficiency (if English is not your first language).
Completed applications should be submitted to Zazie Psotta either by email to email@example.com, or by post to:
Quality & Doctoral Administrator
School of Arts and Social Sciences
City University London
Please note that we will not consider incomplete applications. See the information below for advice about writing your research proposal.
Writing Your Research Proposal
While there is space on the application form for the proposal, you may prefer to attach a typed proposal. Please limit your proposal to no more than 3 sides of A4. It should address/demonstrate the following points:
- A description of your topic
- The significance and justification of the problem you have chosen to address; its place in the wider conceptual debate in the discipline of international relations and politics
- Your own theoretical framework
- Key research questions that would guide your thesis
- Methodology for your proposed study
- How your proposed research links up to the Department's core research interests. Please see http://www.city.ac.uk/social-sciences/international-politics/ for further details.
- That you can engage with the relevant literature and provide a preliminary bibliography (in addition to the 3 main pages of the proposal).
Please note: Candidates for the studentships should indicate their interest in a covering letter.
Research students are appointed a supervisory team consisting of at least two supervisors. One of these will be designated as the first point of contact with personal responsibility for ensuring that effective supervision is provided so that students can develop the skill and knowledge to contribute to research as professionals in a supportive research training environment.
Postgraduate training in the Department is facilitated by the availability of Masters Programmes in Social Research Methods. All research students take part in relevant Masters courses and are encouraged to develop their research skills by following specialist short courses if necessary. Details of our Social Research Methods modules can be found at http://www.city.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/social-research-methods.
The Department has an excellent record of encouraging students to carry out innovative empirical and theoretical research and provide them with a range of academic and training support in order to facilitate their research.
For further details about research degree training provision please visit http://www.city.ac.uk/research/research-degrees/development.
The Department has established a working paper series on transnational politics and a research seminar series.
Doctoral students are housed in shared rooms of the Social Sciences Building, and have direct access to staff members, research events in the School and beyond, as well as to state of the art research facilities.