Research Degrees in


in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities

Opportunities are available to study for the degrees of MA by Research and PhD on a full or part-time basis and by distance learning.
Staff in the Politics section are engaged in a diverse range of research topics, with the primary areas of interest being: International Relations theory, political theory, US foreign policy, British political history, Latin American Politics, Social Theory and Communal Studies and comparative European politics.

Topic areas include:

  • US foreign policy post-1945; partisan polarization and US foreign policy; explaining foreign policy change; contemporary American domestic politics
  • International Relations theory; ideology in international relations; philosophy of social science/international relations; folklorist approaches to IR theory and pedagogy; literature, narrative and IR theory
  • Latin American politics; social movements and civil society; visual politics and aesthetics
  • British politics since 1900; popular music and politics; British foreign policy
  • Energy and environmental security, EU-Russia energy relations, Russian foreign policy, EU politics
  • Political theory; contemporary social and cultural theory; critical thought and Marxist philosophy; theories of subjectivity; Antonio Gramsci; Georg Lukács; Pierre Bourdieu; Alain Badiou
  • Political participation, Pierre Bourdieu (habitus), structure / agency, riots, race, ethnicity, multiculturalism, and Islam
  • Comparative public policy; history of Irish emigration
  • Comparative European politics; Brexit; political behaviour; public opinion; electoral politics; Irish politics; quantitative methods

Research students benefit from an extensive programme of postgraduate student and research seminars, with contributions from distinguished political scientists, philosophers and historians from outside the University.

Research degrees are available to study on-campus or through distance learning.

→ How to apply for a distance learning PhD


Before applying for a research degree, applicants should have a preliminary discussion with a member of staff to discuss a proposed research project.
To arrange this please contact Dr Sadiya Akram, Politics Research Degrees Coordinator.

For further information on the application process, contact the Research Degrees Office:
Tel: +44 (0)161 247 6673

How to Apply

The quickest and most efficient way to apply for this course is to apply online. This way, you can also track your application at each stage of the process.

Apply online

Please complete the additional Postgraduate Research Degree Supplementary Information document and upload it to the Student documents section of your online application. This collects important information about your research application and there may be delays if you do not submit this document.

Before you apply, we recommend that you:

  • Contact the relevant Research Degrees Co-ordinator within your chosen area of interest to discuss the project or your ideas.
  • Ensure that you have gathered the necessary supporting documents required and submit them along with your application where possible: references, passport copy, qualification transcripts and certificates, English language proficiency evidence where relevant.
Next Stages of Your Application

We will contact you to let you know the initial outcome of your application, and invite you to attend an interview where appropriate.

Once the university is satisfied with the following, we will send you an offer letter informing you that you have been offered a place of study:

  • Your research proposal
  • The entry requirements have been met
  • You have satisfactory references
  • We have the expertise and resources to be able to supervise you
  • And you have had a successful interview

Some offers may be conditional upon achieving certain grades in your examinations, or successfully completing a particular programme. You must satisfy these conditions before we can confirm your unconditional place.

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Postgraduate Study