Politics and International Relations

  • MPhil/PhD Politics (Exeter and Cornwall)
  • MPhil/PhD European Politics (Exeter only)
  • MA by Research Politics (Exeter and Cornwall)
  • MPhil/PhD Advanced Quantitative Methods (AQM) in Social Sciences (Exeter only)
Degree typesTypes of research degrees explained
DurationDegree duration details
LocationCornwall (Penryn), Exeter (Streatham)
Study modesFull time and part time Study mode details
Start date MPhil/PhD: September or January
MA by Research: September

Research overview

As one of the top-ten departments in the UK, Politics at Exeter provides an ideal place to undertake a MPhil/PhD in Politics and International Relations, Security, Conflict and Human Rights, or Strategy and Security. There are opportunities at both the Streatham Campus in Exeter and at the Penryn Campus near Falmouth.

The MA by Research in Politics has been developed to allow you to undertake a research project in an area that interests you, within a shorter timeframe than the MPhil or PhD.

With over thirty members of faculty engaged in world-leading research and more than ninety research students currently enrolled, we offer a challenging but friendly and supportive environment in which to pursue your own research interests.

One of the advantages of an excellent all round department is that we can offer supervision across a wide range of subject areas at both our Streatham Campus in Exeter and in Cornwall, depending on the research interests of staff.

Our research led teaching is organised in clusters of faculty with specialisms in:

  • Comparative Political Behaviour & Institutions
  • Public Policy
  • International Studies
  • Political Theory

All academic staff in the department are active within at least one of these groups.  Postgraduate students, whether working on their own or within larger projects led by staff members, are also integral members of clusters. Public Policy and Political Theory have journals associated with them and operate their own research seminars. 

In addition to the clusters, there are also a number of University and School research centres which are more focussed and integrated, in many cases with external funding.

There is a joint departmental research seminar which hosts visiting speakers and provides a forum for discussion of staff research papers. There is also a dedicated Postgraduate seminar series that acts as a forum for discussion of current PGR research being conducted within the Department.

The College of Social Sciences and International Studies also has its own Graduate Research School which provides practical help and advice to prospective and current students.

“My project is exploring youth participation and more importantly how a compulsory political education could improve this for the future of UK’s democracy. The university agreed that this was a priority subject area and I was honoured to receive the Vice Chancellors Scholarship for Academic Excellence in 2017.

The Politics Department is currently 5th in the UK for world-leading research which means that you get to collaborate with academics who are at the forefront of your field. In terms of the supervision process here at Exeter the really great thing is that you’re given two fantastic supervisors. Doing a PhD is both the most amazing and terrifying thing you’ll do as an early career academic so having a really supportive team to guide you through these often confusing or uncertain steps is really useful.”

Rebecca, Politics PhD.

Entry requirements 2018

Requirements for international students

If you are an international student, please visit our international equivalency pages to enable you to see if your existing academic qualifications meet our entry requirements.

English language requirements

IELTS (Academic)

Overall score 7.0 with a minimum score of 6.5 in the writing component and all other sections no less than 6.0.


Overall score 100 with minimum scores of 25 for writing, 21 for listening, 22 for reading and 23 for speaking.

Pearson Test of English (Academic)

65 with no less than 58 in all communicative skills.

Other accepted tests

Information about other acceptable tests of linguistic ability can be found on our English language requirements page.

Pre-sessional English

Applicants with lower English language test scores may be able to take pre-sessional English at INTO University of Exeter prior to commencing their programme. See our English language requirements page for more information.

Finance: fees and funding

Tuition fees per year 2019/20

  • UK/EU: £4,320* full-time; £pro-rata part-time
  • International: £17,100 full-time

Following your registration, tuition fees for subsequent years of study may increase to take into account inflationary pressures – this will not exceed 5 per cent per year of study.

*This is the expected UK/EU fee. The UK/EU tuition fees are set in line with Research Councils UK fee levels which have not yet been set for 2019 entry. Once these are set in March 2019 we will email to confirm the tuition fees for your programme. The 2019/20 fee will not increase by more than 3% from the 2018/19 fee.

Tuition fees per year 2018/19

  • UK/EU: £4,400 full-time; £2,200 part-time
  • International: £16,400 full-time

Following your registration, tuition fees for subsequent years of study may increase to take into account inflationary pressures – this will not exceed 3 per cent per year of study.

Current available funding

Contact us

The College of Social Sciences & International Studies has a dedicated Graduate Research School which is committed to supporting its vibrant postgraduate research student community.

The Graduate Research School helps to support both intellectual and social contact between graduates of different disciplines and from different backgrounds and countries. Our team supports both prospective and current postgraduate research students.

Web: Enquire online

Apply online How to apply Politics research pages Staff profiles Ask a question Print page

PhD student Becca tells us about her research. View full size.

Kiran, Poliitics research student. View full size.

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