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Postgraduate Study - PhD and Research Degrees

Politics and International Relations


Degree types explained

  • 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 duration details

Start date

September or January

Locations Streatham Campus
Penryn Campus
Study modes

Study mode details

Full time and part time


  • 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.
  • Our seminar series and highly successful annual postgraduate conference brings together researchers from across all humanities and social sciences disciplines
  • 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.

View 2024 Entry

How to apply

Apply online

Ask a question


Web: Enquire online

Phone: +44 (0)1392 72 72 72


Web: Enquire online
Phone: 0300 555 6060 (UK)
+44 (0)1392 723044 (non-UK)

Top 15 in the UK for Politics

14th in The Complete University Guide 2023

Top 100 worldwide for the subject in the QS World University Rankings 2022

Research overview

Our research is structured around University and Department research centres which focus on research themes and provide additional institutional structures for facilitating research.

The department's strong research culture is reflected in our regular seminars and workshops and visits from internationally renowned scholars.

How to apply

ou should have a good first degree either in Politics or another subject that could prepare you for a research project within the Department.

You should have a good first degree, and a Master's degree with Merit or equivalent either in Politics or another subject that could prepare you for a research project within the Department. We also consider applications from candidates who can demonstrate professional or other relevant experience that would make them suited to undertake an MPhil/PhD with us.

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

International students need to show they have the required level of English language to study this course. The required test scores for this course fall under Profile E: view the required test scores and equivalencies from your country.

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Fees and funding

Tuition fees per year 2024/25

For those studying for more than one year, our fees are expected to increase modestly in line with Consumer Price Inflation measured in December each year. More information can be found on our Student Finance webpages.

Tuition fees per year 2023/24

For those studying for more than one year, our fees are expected to increase modestly in line with Consumer Price Inflation measured in December each year. More information can be found on our Student Finance webpages.

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.

Current available funding


You can expect:

  • High-quality research supervision to develop and nurture your potential
  • A tailored supervision approach to help best suit your requirements
  • Accessible supervisors who are enthusiastic about working directly with postgraduate research students
  • Regular timetabled meetings with your supervisor
  • 'Open door' policy to all postgraduate students - instant access to world-leading researchers who will share their expertise and ideas with you
  • Regular meetings with your supervisory team, other members of your research group, and mentors

You will only be able to apply for a PhD when you have received a letter from potential supervisors stating that they are willing to supervise your PhD thesis. You therefore need to initiate contact with faculty who are working on topics that you are interested in and present them with a proposal of no more than 2000 words.

> Find a supervisor


Below are some examples of initial jobs undertaken by Politics and International Relations postgraduates who studied with us in recent years.

Please note that, due to data protection, the job titles and organisations are listed independently and do not necessarily correspond.

Job Title Organisation
Assistant Professor
Associate lecturer
Associate Teaching and Research Assistant
CEO Social Enterprise
Chief Inspector (Operations)- Police Officer
Civil Servant (Director)
Communications Officer
Cover Supervisor
Creative Kernow
Desk Officer
Environmental and institutional economist
Head of Unit and Research Fellow
Lecturer in International Relations
Lecturer in Political Theory
Lecturer in Politics and International Relations
Legislative Researcher
Migration consultant
Policy Officer
Politics Lecturer
Politics Lecturer
Postdoctoral Fellow
Post-doctoral research associate
Post-Doctoral Research Fellow
Programme Manager
Research Fellow
Research Fellow
Senior Lecturer; Research Coordinator
Senior Political Affairs Officer
Senior Researcher
Teaching Fellow
Teaching Fellow
University Teaching and Research Fellow

3 Pillars Project
Central European University
Centre for European Policy Studies
China University of Political Science and Law
Civil Service
Cranfield University
Creative Kernow
Devon and Cornwall Police
Dr Jerry Thomas CB DSO
European Commision
Falmouth University
Federal Demographic Center Abu Dhabi, UAE
GIGA Hamburg, Germany
Hamid Alkifaey
Internet Governance Forum
King's College, London
National Secular Society
Okehampton College
The Ministry of Education
The National Assembly of the Republic of Korea
United Nations Administration Mission in Kosovo
University of Bath
University of Central Asia
University of Exeter
University of Leicester
University of Sheffield
University of South Florida
University of St.Gallen, Switzerland
University of Vienna
Victoria University of Wellington
VU University Amsterdam

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