Postgraduate (Research)

IMESS students

UCL SSEES offers research degree programmes leading to PhDs (or MPhils) in Economics & Business, History, Languages & Culture and Politics & Sociology. We currently have over 70 research students working across our four key subject areas.


UCL SSEES is a large ,multidisciplinary department that provides research supervision in all of its programme areas (Economics & Business, History, Languages & Culture, Politics & Sociology) and offers expertise in all of the countries of Central and Eastern Europe and beyond. 

We also offer two MRes programmes that provide ideal preparation for a career in research.

SSEES hosts a large and vibrant community of postgraduate students, and your research studies will be supported not only by expert supervisors, but also by a great variety of seminar series, conferences, lectures, workshops and other opportunities.

Find out more about the SSEES research areas, individual expertise, current research students and the potential range of supervision that SSEES offers:

Head of Postgraduate Research: Professor Martyn Rady 

Postgraduate Research Administrator: Anastasia Barsukova


Recognising the increasing demand for and importance of training postgraduate students in research methods, UCL SSEES offers two exciting MRes programmes:a one-year MRes fast-tracking students in social science (Economics and Politics) research methodologies and a two-year programme, incorporating an innovative core in interdisciplinary studies:

MRes Programme Coordinator: Prof Martyn Rady

MRes Programme Administrator: Anastasia Barsukova

Doctoral Programme

SSEES offers two advanced research degrees (full- or part-time) requiring the submission of a thesis: the MPhil (40-60,000 words) and the PhD (80-100,000 words).

  • The PhD thesis must provide a distinct and original contribution to the knowledge of the subject.
  • The MPhil thesis should form a record of original investigation or an ordered and critical exposition of existing knowledge.

All MPhil/PhD students at SSEES follow the Skills Development Programme of the UCL Graduate School and must fulfill the requirements of the UK Research Councils (SSEES is an active part of UCL's ESRC Doctoral Training Centre).

Further information can be found in the SSEES PhD Handbook:

Head of Postgraduate Research: Professor Martyn Rady 

Postgraduate Research Administrator: Anastasia Barsukova


A minimum of an upper second-class UK Bachelor’s degree, and usually a Master’s/ MSc degree in a relevant subject, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.

Students intending to seek Research Council funding are required to undertake a Master’s degree first.

Overseas students will be expected to hold an equivalent qualification and demonstrate mastery of the English language at 'Good' level (as described by the UCL Graduate English Language Requirements).

It is recommended that overseas students without educational experience at an Anglo-American university complete a relevant MA in the first instance. Not only will these studies help students to acquire the very high level of language competence necessary for the successful completion of the research degree; they will also give students a better grounding in the norms and expectations of British academic culture in their given discipline.


Students interested in applying for a Research programme at UCL SSEES can find the application form and further information on the How to Apply pages.

Applications for MPhil/PhD must include a formal research proposal of 1,000-1,500 words. Interested applicants are strongly encouraged to review the research profiles of SSEES staff and to contact the academic with the appropriate specialization to discuss their application. Applicants are also advised to take a look at the guidelines for writing a good research proposal.

Applications for the MRes programmes must include a dissertation proposal of 250-400 words, including references.  Please see the MRes proposal form for further details.

Questions about the application process can be directed to the Postgraduate Administrator, Anastasia Barsukova. Questions about potential supervision can be directed to the Head of Postgraduate Research, Professor Martyn Rady.

Applications are accepted throughout the year but students usually begin their studies in September. In exceptional circumstances students are allowed to start in January.

Students interested in applying for funding MUST submit their initial application for admission to UCL by early January of the year they wish to enroll. Please check the website for updates.

Why Research at UCL SSEES?

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Page last modified on 22 may 15 10:24