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Political Science MPhil/PhD

Key Information

Modes and duration

  • Full-time: 3 years
  • Part-time: 5 years

Programme start date

September 2016

Tuition Fees (2016/17)

£4,770 (FT) £2,385 (PT)
£17,190 (FT) £8,755 (PT)

Application dates

Deadlines and start dates are usually dictated by funding arrangements so check with the department or academic unit to see if you need to consider these in your application preparation. In most cases you should identify and contact potential supervisors before making your application. For more information see our How to apply page.
Fees note: All fees quoted are for new students only for 2016 entry. Fees for subsequent years are subject to increase by approximately 3-5%.

Entry Requirements

As a minimum, an upper second-class Bachelor’s degree from a UK university (or an overseas qualification of an standard) and a merit at Master's level, with a minimum mark of 65% in the Master's dissertation.

English Language Requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.

The English language level for this programme is: Advanced

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

International students

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.

Select your country:

Research areas

Academic staff have a strong record of research and publication within all the main subfields of politics, including:
  • British politics: constitutional and parliamentary reform, devolution, freedom of information and electoral participation; alternative electoral systems
  • Comparative politics and government: democratisation and democracy promotion; the politics of ethnicity; political campaigns and electoral behaviour; comparative urban and local politics; public opinion
  • EU politics and public policy: EU decision making and institutions, regulation and delegation, lobbying, constitutionalism, citizenship and democracy
  • Human rights: human rights and non-state actors; corporate responsibility for human rights violations; theories of human rights and justice; adjudication and interpretation in international legal bodies; democracy, religion and human rights standards; trade and human rights; global poverty and human rights; militias, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and transnational corporations
  • International relations: international peace and security; globalisation and global governance; international migration; international finance and the political economy of development
  • Political economy: comparative and international political economy; distributive politics; public spending and budgeting; economics of happiness; behavioural genetics; political economy of energy and climate change
  • Public policy: business-government relations, including EU and the USA; formal models of executive and bureaucratic politics; and public ethics
  • Political theory: the history of modern political thought – particularly nationalism, liberalism and republicanism; multiculturalism, toleration and citizenship; democracy and constitutionalism within and beyond the nation state; contemporary political philosophy.


A departmental studentship and partial bursaries are available for research students applying for entry in 2016.

Several departmental postgraduate teaching assistantships are available annually for enrolled PhD students. The department has AHRC and ESRC Scholarships available for Master's and PhD study. Further details here.

Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed (where available) below. For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.


Our research students have entered a wide range of careers including leading academic positions in UK and overseas institutions (Universities of Oxford, and Tokyo), international organisations (United Nations, European Commission), private sector (BNP Paribas, GlaxoSmithKline), NGOs (Smithsonian Institution, Amnesty International) and government (Foreign & Commonwealth Office, House of Commons).

Top career destinations for this degree

  • Researcher to the Shadow Minister, Shadow Pensions Minister, House of Commons
  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Stanford Centre on Philanthropy and Civil Society (PACS)
  • Teaching Fellow, UCL
  • Lecturer in Global Energy and Climate Policy, SOAS
  • Research Associate, The European Centre for Minority Issues
  • Research Associate, Institute of Ismaili Studies


This is one of the few PhD programmes in the UK that provides training in quantitative and qualitative research methods as an intrinsic part of the programme.


Networking opportunities involve particular institutional and departmental connections with key external people and institutions. These are supplementary to the taught element and include speakers from Whitehall, lectures from policy-makers and academics, and alumni talking to current students.

Why study this degree at UCL?

Student / staff ratios › 32 staff › 525 taught students › 40 research students

Department: Political Science

Degree reviews

Student review

"I chose to apply for graduate study at UCL because the programme was extremely attractive, the supervisors that I was going to work with were great, and because the environment at my department fosters healthy competition and self-development."

Javier Sajuria

Political Science PhD

Application and next steps


Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

Application deadlines

Deadlines and start dates are usually dictated by funding arrangements so check with the department or academic unit to see if you need to consider these in your application preparation. In most cases you should identify and contact potential supervisors before making your application. For more information see our How to apply page.

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

Contact Information


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