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The University of Southampton
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Politics and International RelationsPart of Economic, Social and Political SciencePostgraduate study


The degrees of PhD and MPhil are awarded to students who complete a programme of research, present the findings in a thesis and defend it successfully in an oral examination. The object of such research is to examine a single area or problem in depth, under the supervision of an experienced member of staff, as a training programme in advanced research. It is expected that you will also acquire a rounded, overall knowledge of aspects of political science related to your proposed topic and undergo training in a variety of research methods. Teaching opportunities on our undergraduate programmes may also be available.

We are always willing to discuss research proposals with applicants and to give guidance on their scope and focus. We have no dominant or preferred approach and can offer supervision using a range of approaches: quantitative, qualitative and critical theory. We encourage applications in those areas of strength identified above and where we have particular expertise. Our scholars are active across our five C2G2 research themes and many are internationally acclaimed in their respective specialism. Our PhD students therefore benefit from academic supervisors who are at the forefront of their fields. In addition, our Division enjoys ESRC recognition for its PGR programmes. We encourage and support student applications for ESRC funding and have a good record of success. Our Division also offers a number of competitive scholarships.

To enter a research programme, you must be well qualified, able and willing to work on your own over long periods, and capable of relating your research findings in such ways as to extend the body of theoretical knowledge open to other students and scholars.

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