MPhil/PhD Politics

Duration MPhil: Full time 2-3 years; Part time 4-5 years
PhD: Full time 3-4 years; Part time 6-7 years
Discipline
  • Politics and International Relations
LocationCornwall (Penryn), Exeter (Streatham)
Start date September or January

Overview

One of the advantages of an excellent all round department is that we can offer supervision across a wide range of subject areas. We are able to take research students in Exeter and Cornwall, depending on the research interests of staff.

As a postgraduate research student you will have the support of both a supervisor and mentor, to make sure you get the one-to-one contact needed. We also run a Buddy scheme; a mentoring programme which links incoming first year research students with more established students.

Research methods training is a core component in the early stages of the PhD. We strongly encourage students to give papers at major conferences and help them to publish their work. Research students participate in the lively seminar series organised by our research groups with past speakers including leading academics from around the world. There are also teaching opportunities.

We accept graduate students for the degree of MPhil leading to a PhD. Transfer to PhD status takes place in the second year and depends on satisfactory progress. Students are required to complete their PhD in three years and take an appropriate programme of research training.

1+3 scheme: If you do not yet have a Masters degree, we offer a '1+3' scheme i.e. a one year Master of Research (MRes) followed by a three year PhD that incorporates a research training component that has been designed to meet the ESRC 2001 postgraduate research training guidelines.

It has been a great experience studying international relations at Exeter. There is much to benefit from, including the range of skills-based courses offered by the Graduate School, and the very active post-graduate community (the annual school Post-Graduate Conference is an example of this). I have also greatly benefited from the strong research culture and interaction in the department, and the opportunity to teach during my PhD.

Jodie Anstee, PhD Politics.

Our academics

With an annual research income in excess of £1m, we enjoy the support of the Economic and Social, the Arts and Humanities, and Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Councils, European sources such as EU and European Science Foundation, and Charitable Foundations such as Nuffield, Cadbury and Leverhulme.  The results of our research has been published in all the major political science journals and by the major Anglophone and continental academic and University Presses such as Blackwell, Sage, Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, Columbia, Maison des Sciences de l'Homme, Amsterdam, Kluwer, Peter Lang, etc.

Our reputation for high quality has helped us recruit staff with excellent records, who have been engaged in international collaborative research on electoral democracy, citizenship and identity, radicalisation, cities in conflict, ethical statecraft, global governance and regulatory policy - providing us with a breadth and depth of expertise across all political disciplines.

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

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

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. There is a joint Departmental Research Seminar which hosts visiting speakers and provides a forum for discussion of staff research papers.

In addition to the clusters, which are the basis on which our teaching informed by research is organised, there are also a number of University and School research centres which focus on research themes and provide additional institutional structures for facilitating research. Most receive substantial external research funding and work across disciplinary boundaries. Currently there are centres for:

Faculty work closely with other centres across the college and university, especially the  Strategy and Security Institute (SSI), the Centre for Turkish Studies and the Centre for Intermedia.

Most of us also work with groups of scholars in other institutions, and within international networks. Details of many of these can be found on our projects page or individual staff pages.

There is a strong research culture in the department, which is reflected in our regular seminars and workshops and visits from internationally renowned scholars.

We welcome enquiries from prospective PhD students. Please initially contact the staff member closest to your interests. The Department has been successful in securing Scholarships from a range of research councils and there are some bursaries and scholarships available from within the university and school.

Facilities

Politics is an inclusive department with a diverse and lively student community. Both in Exeter and Cornwall the department offers a welcoming atmosphere where it’s easy to make new friends and where staff and students know each other well.

There is a strong research culture in the department, which is reflected in our regular seminars and workshops and visits from internationally renowned scholars.

You will also be part of the wider College of Social Sciences and International Studies Graduate Research School and will have plenty of opportunity to mix with students and staff from other disciplines and take part in events or hear visiting speakers’ seminars. The Graduate School team also provides a friendly point of contact for any queries you have about the application process, orientation or life within the Institute.

Entry requirements 2017

Our online learning resource 'Considering a UK PhD?' provides lots of helpful advice and information from staff and students about the PhD experience at Exeter.

You may wish to read our general advice for PhD applicants webpages, which give tips on how to put together a successful research degree application.

Applicants for research programmes are also advised to visit the College's webpages to check for specific advice (see further information link). Here you will be able to find out about staff research interests and make preliminary enquiries about supervision. We advise that you do this before applying.

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.

TOEFL IBT*

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.

Research in Cornwall

Politics in Cornwall offers an exciting combination of the modern and the traditional. We are situated in brand new facilities at the heart of the campus in a building which houses the latest facilities for teaching and research. By contrast, there is also an intimacy that comes from a small, tightly-knit research community. In addition to the research seminars run by Cornwall Politics staff, there are also research seminars, both single- and inter-disciplinary, arranged by the other departments at the Cornwall Campus.

The main research strengths lie in the areas of environmental politics, international studies and comparative politics with a focus on nationalism and ethnopolitical conflict, international security, campaigns, media and electoral behaviour. Staff publish in esteemed political science journals and have been awarded major research grants from British and European funding councils. Postgraduates encounter a unique interdisciplinary approach to research in political science due to the strong research links with scholars from related disciplines working on similar themes.

Please check individual staff profiles for research areas available in Cornwall.

Finance: fees and funding

Tuition fees per year 2017/18

  • UK/EU: £4,400 full-time; £2,200 part-time
  • International: £15,950 full-time

Funding

Our Postgraduate Funding webpage provides links to further information. If you are considering a PhD in the future, in addition to University of Exeter funding, we have been successful at securing postgraduate funding for PhD research through our Funded centres.

Funding opportunities

Find out about current funding opportunities for our Politics research programmes.

Fee information

Fees can normally be paid by two termly instalments and may be paid online. For further information about paying fees see our Student Fees pages.

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.

Phone: +44(0) 1392 724490
Email: ssis-researchadmissions@exeter.ac.uk

Research in Cornwall

Politics in Cornwall offers an exciting combination of the modern and the traditional. We are situated in brand new facilities at the heart of the campus in a building which houses the latest facilities for teaching and research. By contrast, there is also an intimacy that comes from a small, tightly-knit research community. In addition to the research seminars run by Cornwall Politics staff, there are also research seminars, both single- and inter-disciplinary, arranged by the other departments at the Cornwall Campus.

The main research strengths lie in the areas of environmental politics, international studies and comparative politics with a focus on nationalism and ethnopolitical conflict, international security, campaigns, media and electoral behaviour. Staff publish in esteemed political science journals and have been awarded major research grants from British and European funding councils. Postgraduates encounter a unique interdisciplinary approach to research in political science due to the strong research links with scholars from related disciplines working on similar themes.

Please check individual staff profiles for research areas available in Cornwall.