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Studying for a PhD

Pursuing a PhD with the Unit is a great way to build your own research project, develop your research skills, and make a major contribution to our work. It is a significant commitment of time and energy (3 – 4 years), but can be very rewarding, and of course results in a formal qualification.

Admission for PhD study supervised by one of the Unit’s researchers is governed by the rules of the UCL School of Public Policy. The academic entrance requirements are quite demanding, so do please doublecheck that you meet those requirements (by clicking the preceding link) before getting in touch. You can also find a research proposal template via the same link.

You should think carefully about how your PhD would be funded. Details of funding opportunities and deadlines can also be found on the School of Public Policy page. Competition for funded places is fierce, with assessments based on the strength of your prior academic qualifications and strength of your research proposal. If you do not win funding, you will need to pay tuition fees.

Supervision by researchers within the Unit would be under either:

  • Professor Meg Russell, whose supervision areas include British and comparative politics, in particular parliaments and legislatures (organisation, policy impact, member behaviour, bicameralism, reform), political party organisation, constitutions and constitutional reform.
  • Dr Alan Renwick, whose supervision areas include electoral systems, electoral reform, referendums, deliberative democratic institutions, and democratic reforms and innovations.

If you are interested in being supervised in one of these areas we encourage you to consider the entrance requirements, research proposal template and funding, and then if you think you can proceed get in touch with your preferred supervisor. You should provide a short CV which lists your existing qualifications, and an indication of your proposed research topic.

PhD students are encouraged to play a full part in the Unit’s activities, for example contributing to our planning meetings, events, newsletter and blog. You can find details of some of our current PhD students and their projects here: