• £5m in research funding since 2020

    From funders including UK Research and Innovation, and the European Research Council

  • UK top 20

    politics department

    Source: The Times Good University Guide 2021

  • 100%

    of our research impact

    judged outstanding or very considerable

    Source: Research Excellence Framework, 2021

About Southampton Politics and International Relations

We teach our students to analyse global political issues. As expert educators we support them to become influential leaders and informed citizens. According to the Graduate Outcomes survey (2017 to 2018), 98% of our undergraduates are employed or in further study 6 months after graduating.

We offer a supportive research and teaching culture. We employ nearly 30 permanent members of staff. As part of our expansion strategy we've recruited 8 new team members, with plans for more over the next 3 years.

Our research themes include public opinion and behaviour; democratic innovations; comparative politics; environmental justice; global health; migration; and development. We also explore new ways to carry out politics research.

Knowledge exchange and enterprise are key aspects of our departmental strategy. We offer consultancy, enterprise, and executive education, as well as social impact activities and policy engagement.

Our commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion lies at the heart of all our work.

Our growth strategy

We're making significant investments to expand our academic team and enhance our research impact.

We aim to:

  • consolidate our education and research excellence in the UK and globally
  • enhance our research activities from impact to income streams
  • foster an inclusive community supporting diverse research agendas, researcher backgrounds and research approaches

We'll do this by:

  • Enabling high quality teaching and education. For example, by developing specialist modules that link research with teaching and expanding our suite of postgraduate courses.
  • Producing excellent research that increases income, encourages knowledge exchange partnerships and influences civic, national and international agendas. Including:
    seed funding opportunities, with feedback to enhance work
    dedicated research support to develop funding proposals
    an agreed engagement strategy with the University's public policy unit
  • Embedding equality, diversity and inclusion practices in everything we do. For example, by improving career progression opportunities for all.

Research and teaching environment

Research environment

We offer a stimulating research community. We invite speakers from inside and outside the University to present at our weekly seminar series where we also encourage informal collaboration.

You can apply to the University, and our school and faculty for seed funding to cover expenses including:

  • direct research costs 
  • workshops 
  • interdisciplinary research sandpits

From small grant awards to larger projects and mid-career fellowships, funding allows us to conduct research like our work tackling health inequality in Central and South America. Our funding achievements include:

  • a UKRI Future Leaders’ Fellowship
  • a European Research Council Consolidator Grant
  • three large Economic and Social Research Council grants
  • two Leverhulme Fellowships
  • a Fulbright Fellowship
  • a Jean Monnet Chair

We host and work with a number of research centres including:

  • Behavioural Experimental Action and Research
  • Democratic Futures
  • English Identity and Politics
  • Political Ethnography

Teaching environment

We run 7 taught undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. Over 200 students study on the degrees we host with around 600 on joint honours programmes. The Master’s of Public Administration recruits over 100 students a year. 

If you join us as an early-career academic, we support you with a reduced teaching workload for your first 3 years. You can gain a Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice with us. We support you to work towards fellowship of the Higher Education Academy. 

We teach a range of modules across all subfields of politics and international relations. We encourage staff to develop specialist modules in their fields of interest.

Knowledge exchange and enterprise

Knowledge Exchange and Enterprise (KEE) is a key part of our strategy. It helps staff and students:

  • gain relevant KEE skills and experience
  • celebrate and promote KEE successes
  • develop and sustain relationships with external partners and stakeholders

Our work is supported by the University’s public policy unit which we co-founded. They help researchers:

  • connect with policymakers
  • embed impact throughout their work
  • attract ESRC Impact Acceleration Funding

In the 2021 Research Excellence Framework, the majority of our research was judged internationally world-leading or excellent. Examples of our research impact include:

Equality, diversity and inclusion

We're an inclusive department guided by principles of equality and diversity. Our bronze Athena Swan award shows our commitment to this. Athena Swan is a national charter recognising progression of gender equality in higher education.

Whatever your background, we'll help you:

  • flourish in your career
  • enrich your learning
  • gain an indepth understanding of global politics
Athena Swan bronze award logo
The Athena SWAN Bronze Award shows our commitment to gender equality.

Our courses

Research and public policy

Get to know our research centres and groups, and find out about our impact. We also have close ties to the University’s public policy unit, which we co-founded.

Our research community

Research groups bring together specialists to share knowledge and solve problems.


Collegiality, inclusion, vision and leadership are at the core of everything we do. Our growth strategy will strengthen our thriving research, education, and knowledge exchange culture.
Head of Department
I'm the Research Excellence Framework Champion. I work on global justice, climate justice, and ocean justice and politics.
Professor of Political Theory
I'm PAIR's Impact Champion. I study children's rights, child migration, and public policy in the European Union and beyond.
Associate Professor
My research focuses on political economy and political behaviour with applications to public policy. Methodologically, I use experiments and
causal inference methods.
Lecturer in Public Policy/Administration
I explore psychological processes, mechanisms, and dynamics that explain political behaviour. My recent work focuses on resentful emotionality and reactionary orientations as determinants of anti-democratic and authoritarian political preferences.
Associate Professor in Politics and IR
My research focuses on Latin American politics. I investigate how poor people’s perception of politics affects their vote choice, the resilience of corrupt electoral practices, and the underrepresentation of candidates from marginalised groups.
Lectureship in Politics and Int Relation

Work with us

  • Student talking with microphone during a lecture.

    Jobs at Southampton

    We’re hiring. Find out about job vacancies in the Department of Politics and International Relations.

Contact us

Talk to us, we’re happy to help

You can contact us by:
Politics and International Relations, Social Sciences, Building 58, University of Southampton, University Road, Southampton SO17 1BJ
We’re open Monday to Friday 09:00 to 17:00 GMT

Useful links