MPhil/PhD degrees in all aspects of politics and international relations
Doctoral Programme at the Department of Political Science
This programme at a glance
||Supervision and research training for MPhil/PhD degrees in all aspects of political science.|
||Full-time: 3 years + 12 months at Completing Research Student status. Part-time: 5 years + 24 months at Completing Research Student status.|
||£4,400 (full-time EU students) or £15,750 (full-time Overseas students). Funding available (see Funding tab).|
||Dr Slava Mikhaylov|
The School of Public Policy offers supervision and research training for MPhil/PhD degrees in all aspects of political science, on both a full-time or part-time basis. For more information see our Structure and Training tabs.
We welcome applications in all fields of politics. Prospective students should consult Supervisors tab for more detailed information and in order to identify prospective supervisors. The application procedure is described on our Apply tab.
Brief information about our past students is available under Past Students tab. Information about our present PhD students including their research topics can be found under Research Students.
The School/College has a number of funding opportunities available for students. Further information can be found under the Funding tab.
It is not possible to undertake PhD studies at the Department of Political Science by distance learning. Students must be in residence for the first three years of the programme (excluding fieldwork, university exchanges, etc.).
Additional information about the programme can be found under the Video tab. Informal enquires and questions about the MPhil/PhD Programme should be directed to Dr. Slava Mikhaylov at email@example.com.
The School’s MPhil/PhD degrees are programmes of research study which aim to train individuals to conduct research of high academic merit and to make original contributions to their subject.
The expected start date for research degrees is the end of September (the official start of the academic session). All students are initially registered as MPhil students, and the upgrade to PhD registration is an important step in the degree programme which takes place after 12 months of full time registration (24 months for part-time students). The full-time programme of study for a PhD is 3 years with up to an additional 12 months at Completing Research Student status (CRS). The thesis must be submitted within 48 months of initial registration for a research degree with the School. For part-time students, the programme is 5 years with up to 24 months CRS.
The School of Public Policy requires that all research students attend a regular programme of study at UCL and applications for non-resident MPhil/PhD study are not accepted. It is not possible to undertake PhD studies at the Department of Political Science by distance learning. Students must be in residence for the first three years of the programme (excluding fieldwork, university exchanges, etc.).
Further details on the general structure of PhD programmes at UCL can be found in the Graduate School Code of Practice for Research Degrees (PDF) and Academic Regulations for Research Degree Students (PDF).
The Department of Political Science/School of Public Policy places a high priority on the provision of appropriate research and skills training to graduate research students. Students are required to complete the following programmes during their period of study:
- Depending on the field of study students are required to complete in the first year Qualitative and Quantitative Research Methods courses or Applied Methods in Political Theory (for student who have not taken these courses as part of Masters training in the School of Public Policy or equivalent).
- The Department’s Research Seminar is required of all research students for the first three years of the programme. The seminar includes invited speakers, skills presentations, and the opportunity for students to present and discuss their work.
- UCL Graduate School Skills Development Programme. Students are required to select courses according to an appropriate programme of skills training agreed with their supervisors.
By the end of the first year in the programme, students are required to complete a comprehensive review of the literature and write a paper that develops the methodology of their dissertation. The Methodology Paper is expected to reflect the mandatory training in research methods students receive in the programme.
Academic staff across the School have a strong record of research and publication across a range of policy areas. The School of Public Policy offers supervision and research training for MPhil/PhD degrees in all fields of politics.
Prospective students should consult the following staff member’s personal webpages for more detailed information about individual areas of interest and expertise and in order to identify prospective supervisors.
||Areas of research|
|Dr M. Rodwan Abouharb||Quantitative approaches to the study of Human Rights Violations, Economic & Social Rights Realisation, World Bank & IMF Program Lending, and Rebellion.|
|Professor Richard Bellamy||Legal and political philosophy; public ethics; democracy, citizenship and constitutionalism; political legitimacy and the EU, history of political thought 1750-present.|
|Dr Kristin M. Bakke||Political violence, intrastate conflicts, separatism, decentralization and conflict, conflict resolution, post-war developments.|
|Dr Basak Cali||Theories of international law, international law and international relations, legitimacy of international law and courts,international law compliance, humanitarian intervention and peacekeeping, domestic impact of international human rights law, the European Court of Human Rights.|
|Dr Alex Braithwaite||Terrorism, Political Violence, Space-Time Patterns in Conflict, Quantitative Methods, GIS.|
|Professor David Coen||European Interest Groups, Business and Government Relations, Regulatory Networks, European Agencies, European Public Policy Analysis.|
|Professor Robert Hazell||
British politics, Constitutional reform, Comparative government, Coalition government, Civil service and machinery of government, Law and the legal system, Freedom of information and data protection, Federalism and decentralisation and Parliament and parliamentary reform.
|Dr David Hudson||Public Attitudes and Development, Development Studies, Global Finance, Global Poverty and Inequality, Political Economy Analysis, Network Analysis.|
|Dr Jennifer (van Heerde) Hudson||Campaign/party finance, campaigns and elections, public opinion and opinion-policy linkages, political communication, political trust.|
|Professor Peter John||Policy agendas, quantitative public policy, field experiments, urban political economy.|
|Dr Roland Kappe||
Political Economy, Quantitative Methods, Public Opinion, Economic Voting, Comparative Politics of Welfare and Social Policy, Education Policy and Politics, German politics.
|Professor Cécile Laborde||Secularism and religion in legal and political theory; republican theory; political liberalism and public reason; global justice.|
Dr James Melton
Comparative politics, economic and political development, constitutional design, democracy, judicial politics, institutional power, human rights, measurement, quantitative methods.
|Professor Neil Mitchell||Human rights, security (militias), leadership and accountability, non-state actors and business.|
|Dr Jan-Emmanuel De Neve||Political Economy, Behavioral Sciences, Well-being.|
|Dr Saladin Meckled-Garcia||Human rights theory, international justice theory/global ethics, legal theory and legal interpretation, international legal theory, theories of toleration and neutrality, religion, accommodation and liberal neutrality, accounts of political and legal obligation, judicial review, constitutionalism and democratic values, social distributive justice theory, development theory, accounts of legal differentiation, penal justice theory, theories of international law, the work of John Rawls, the work of Ronald Dworkin, the political philosophy of Marx, moral methodology and political philosophy (including ethical intuitionism, ordinary language approaches, reflective equilibrium and Dworkinian interpretivism), human rights indicators and normative presuppositions.|
|Dr Slava Mikhaylov||Energy politics and policy, international & comparative political economy, public spending and budgetary politics, EU structural funds, economic voting and European Parliament elections, quantitative text analysis.|
|Dr Colin Provost||Regulatory policy, Public Sector Management and Performance, Environmental Policy, Financial Regulation, Policy Implementation, Organizational Design and Change, Judicial Politics.|
|Dr Christine Reh||EU institutions, decision-making and legitimacy, informal governance, international negotiation, constitutional politics.|
|Dr Meg Russell||British and comparative politics, in particular: parliaments and legislatures (organisation, policy impact, member behaviour, bicameralism, reform); political party organisation; constitutions and constitutional reform.|
|Dr Sherrill Stroschein||Ethnic politics, ethnic parties, governance institutions for divided societies, autonomy structures (territorial and non-territorial), federalism and devolution, comparative study of political processes, civil society and mobilization processes, mobilization and identity-based domestic conflict, Eastern Europe, Former Soviet Union.|
|Dr Laura Valentini||Global justice, ideal vs. non-ideal theory, the justification of democracy, theories of freedom, human rights.|
|Dr Lisa Vanhala||Comparative politics, law and courts, human rights, environmental politics, social movements, socio-legal theory and methods and qualitative methods.|
|Professor Albert Weale FBA||Political theory and public policy, social contract theory, social Justice, democracy, political legitimacy and the EU, health and environmental policy.|
Each research student will have a principal supervisor, a member of staff whose area of expertise is closely aligned with the student’s chosen research topic. It is a UCL requirement that each student will also have a second supervisor. The roles of the principal and second supervisor are explained in the Graduate School Code of Practice for Research Degrees (PDF) which also outlines the responsibilities of both staff and students.
Research with other departments at UCL
Students can also apply to carry out research jointly supervised by the School of Public Policy and another Department at UCL if the subject area would benefit from expertise across disciplines.
UCL Department of Political Science Funding (CLOSED)
The department offers a number of studentships. All applicants to the PhD programme who have submitted their applications to the online UCL Admissions system by January 14th 2013 are automatically considered for studentships.
Upon admission to the programme (see Apply tab for details), principal supervisors will nominate candidates for studentships. In February, the PhD Committee evaluates all nominations and ranks all candidates based on the following criteria:
- Grades (undergraduate and masters) and awarding institutions
- Research proposal
- Letters of recommendation
- Relevant work experience (if applicable)
For studentships administered by the department, offers are made immediately (Departmental studentships, ESRC quota award). For several studentships, the PhD Committee nominates candidates to the administering body (UCL GRS/ORS awards, ESRC DTC pool competition, UCL Global Excellence Scholarship), with offers normally being made in spring. All studentships are extremely competitive and only candidates with an excellent academic record and strong research proposal are usually awarded.
Studentships are typically tenable for three years (subject to satisfactory progress). Successful candidates will have their fees covered and receive an annual maintenance grant (offers made will contain specific details depending on the studentship scheme). In the 2nd and 3rd years, studentship holders are expected to make a contribution to teaching at the Department.
Departmental Teaching Assistantships
All PhD students who are registered on the School's MPhil/PhD programme and who have successfully completed the first year in the programme are eligible to apply for a Departmental Teaching Assistantship. All eligible PhD students are considered for these positions. The duties of a Teaching Assistant include seminar teaching and coursework/examination marking.
Global Excellence Scholarship (CLOSED)
UCL Global Excellence Scholarships aim to reward academic excellence among new UCL students. The value of the scholarship is £5,000 and is tenable for one year only. Global Excellence Scholarships are awarded on the basis of academic excellence, achievement and potential. Financial circumstances of the candidates are not taken into account.
There is no formal application process for this scholarship as all students who apply for study (Masters or MPhil/PhD) in the School of Public Policy before 14th January 2013 in the year they wish to commence study are eligible and will be considered by the department for nomination to the Faculty/College selection committees.
AHRC Funding - Masters Research Preparation Award (CLOSED)
The department has funding for one Masters Research Preparation award under the
Block Grant Partnership Scheme with the Arts and Humanities Research Council
(AHRC). The deadline for applications is January 14th 2013.
Please note that applicants can be nominated for an AHRC studentship by one department or programme only.
MPhil/PhD Research Proposal Form
If you are interested in applying to the PhD programme, you should read this carefully and follow the steps outlined below:
Minimum academic requirement for entry to the PhD Programme are a. Upper Second class in undergraduate and/or b. Merit in masters, with minimum 65% mark for the masters dissertation
- Students satisfying the minimum academic requirements and interested in applying to the PhD Programme need to decide whether the department can offer adequate supervision for their desired research project. In order to do that, we suggest that interested students study research interests of academic members of staff who can serve as potential supervisors in the department (see `Supervisors’ tab and corresponding `Staff Profile’ pages including publication record). Please note that only members of academic staff listed under the `Supervisors’ tab are eligible to supervise PhD students.
- If the student identifies one or two potential supervisors whose research interests overlap their proposed project, the student should proceed to develop a research proposal that is central to the PhD Programme application. We provide a template for a PhD research proposal, outlining what we expect to see in a typical proposal. The key section in any proposal is the proposed methodology of PhD research, and we pay particular attention to the degree of development of this section. We expect the research proposal to be written independently by the applicant, as it presents the key test of potential for future PhD.
- Students can next submit an application through the UCL Admissions online system. On the application form students are required to put down the names of one or two proposed supervisors. The departmental admissions staff and PhD Programme director review the applications. The department reviews only complete applications containing all relevant information, particularly the research proposal and names of one or two proposed supervisors clearly identified in the relevant text box on the application form. Due to high number of applications to the department we reserve the right to reject any incomplete application and applications that do not contain names of one or two potential supervisors and the research proposal.
- Complete applications are forwarded to the nominated supervisors. If only the principal supervisor is identified on the application form, he or she may nominate a suitable second supervisor if any are available in the department. Both supervisors review the application on academic merit. Applicants showing high academic potential and whose projects are deemed relevant for the research agendas of both supervisors will be invited for an interview. Conditional on the interview, supervisors may or may not recommend the applicant to UCL for admission to the programme.
A staff/student discussion on studying for a Research Degree.
A panel of SPP academic staff offered advice on what to expect if students chose to continue studying for an MPhil /PhD after the completion of their current Masters course.
After her PhD in political philosophy (2008), Laura has held postdoctoral fellowships at Princeton University, and The Queen’s College, Oxford, and visiting fellowships at the Australian National University, and the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study (in Uppsala). From January 2012, she will be lecturing in political philosophy at her former Alma Mater, UCL.
During her years as a postdoctoral fellow, Laura has had the opportunity to present her work at conferences and departmental seminars in Europe, the US, Canada, and Australia.
Laura’s first book, Justice in a Globalized World, is due to appear at the end of 2011 with Oxford University Press. Her work has been published/is forthcoming in political science, philosophy, and IR journals including American Political Science Review, British Journal of Political Science, Economics & Philosophy, Journal of Political Philosophy, and Review of International Studies.
Yannis graduated from UCL with a PhD in Political Science in 2011. He is currently an Alexander von Humboldt Post-doctoral fellow at Mannheim University, Germany (2011-2013), where he also lectures on Internet and Politics. His research interests include political behaviour, internet politics, social captial and contentious politics and his work has been published in political science and communication journals including Parliamentary Affairs, Representation and the New Media & Society.
After his PhD in Political Science from University College London (UCL), has been employed at the Institute of Ismaili Studies in the Department of Academic Research and Publications, as a Research Associate. His research interests include regime transitions in post-Communist Central Asian countries, the process of democratisation, and the re-emergence of nationalism and Islam.
Katerina holds a PhD on minority rights from University College London, where she was supervised by Cecile Laborde.Katerina is a Senior Consultant in GHK’s European Social Policy group, specialising in equal opportunities in the European Union. In her role she conducts policy research for various Directorates General of the European Commission (e.g. DG Justice, DG Employment) and its agencies (e.g. European Institute for Gender Equality), as well as for the World Bank and the United Nations.Since joining GHK, she has been involved in several studies related to gender equality and human rights in Europe. Examples of her recent projects include the Second Ex-Ante Evaluation of the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) and a study on sex discrimination in access to education in EU Member States that was recently published by DG Justice. She also co-authors a comparative report on gender and human rights for the World Bank.
Graduated 2011 (human rights responsibilities and global poverty).
Sample publications whilst a PhD candidate:
Graduated 2011 (egalitarian theory and the private- public distinction) and AHRC scholar
Currently a post-doctoral research fellow at the Standford Centre on Philanthropy and Civil Society (PACS), 2011-201
Sample publications whilst a PhD Candidate:
Graduated 2010 (non-state actors and human rights responsibilities). Currently Lecturer in Politics, School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Glasgow.
Sample publications whilst a PhD Candidate (2009).
Graduated 2009 (Thesis: Justice and the quality of work in egalitarian theory)
Winner of the Research Incentive Award, awarded by the Japanese Conference for the Study of Political Thought
Currently: Researcher in Political Theory
(2006- 2010) ‘The HIV prevention puzzle: Inter-organizational cooperation and the structural drivers of infection’
Currently - Research Associate, Health Systems Strengthening Unit, PATH
(2006-2010) ‘The governance of financial derivatives in China: Policy convergence and explanations for change’
(2007-2011) – ‘A Theory of outlaw emotions: Post-heroic creativities and disciplinary change in International Relations’ (funded by a UCL Graduate School Research Scholarship