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Postgraduate research

Politics and international relations

Peaceful protesters holding placards at a climate change rally

We supervise research across a range of areas, from political science and philosophy to public policy and global politics. Join a tight knit group of scholars exploring the latest events, theories, systems and policies shaping our world.


Politics research at Southampton is ranked fifth in the UK for outputs in the latest Research Excellence Framework, 2014. You'll work alongside experts who are among the 20 most cited political scientists in the world.

Gain a grounding in the aspects of political science related to your proposed topic. At least 2 academic supervisors will support and guide you along with other members of the supervisory team as you need them. You'll undergo training in a variety of research methods to help you think critically about your work.

You'll hear visiting speakers from around the world at research seminars and the annual lecture. The department's weekend conference is a chance to practice your presentation skills and explore contemporary political issues in a relaxed environment.

We also encourage you to submit articles to journals and you may be able to apply for teaching opportunities. 

We have been recognised by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) for our research programmes. We can support you to apply for ESRC funding.

Main areas of research

We cover a wide range of topics, including:

  • democratic engagement
  • local governance
  • policy studies
  • political accountability
  • global justice
  • theories of citizenship
  • development
  • nuclear security
  • world government
  • globalisation

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