Politics and International Relations
Politics and International Relations at Cardiff University has achieved considerable success in national and global rankings and was deemed “excellent” by the Centre for Higher Education Development.
We are now accepting applications for the Economic and Social Research (ESRC) Wales Graduate School for the Social Sciences (WGSSS) studentship. The closing date is 13:00 on the 12 January 2024. Please see our latest PhD studentships and projects for further information.
We pride ourselves on creating an engaging environment for postgraduate study with highly motivated academic supervision.
We offer supervision and/or research projects in the following areas:
- Comparative Politics, Policy and Governance
- Public Policy
- Wales, Territorial and Devolutionary Politics
- European Politics and Area Studies
- Political and International Theory
- Critical Global Politics
- Gender and International Relations
- International Law and International Relations.
- The Cold War
- Security Studies
- Critical Military Studies
- Intelligence and Security
- Nuclear Politics
- Digital Technologies, Internet Governance and Cyber-Security
- Global Environmental Politics
- Development and Post colonialism.
- We play a leading role in Language-based Area Studies, and are involved in Politics & International Relations, within the Wales Doctoral Training Partnership, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).
- All research students are entitled to call upon a personal allocation of funds which may be spent on legitimate research related activities.
- Our Research in Progress seminar series provides students with the opportunity to present papers in a non-intimidating environment. The series is designed to be preparatory to presenting papers at conferences, and also plays a vital role in the dissemination of subject-specific skills.
- We encourage our PhD students to gain teaching experience, however applicants are asked to note that the allocation of teaching is dependent on which modules are running at an Undergraduate or Postgraduate level and may not be available to everyone.
|Mode of study||Full-time, part-time|
|Full-time duration||PhD 3 years; MPhil 1 year|
|Part-time duration||PhD 5 years; MPhil 2 years|
|Start dates||January, April, July, October|
Full-time students are expected to devote at least 39 hours per week for 46 weeks a year to their PhD work (part-time 21 hours per week).
Research students will need to produce and submit a thesis which will be examined by an oral examination.
Our students will acquire a broad mix of generic research skills, transferable skills and subject-specific skills. By ‘generic’ research skills, we signify the skills that are essential for undertaking any type of research project: mastering information technology, for example, or improving writing styles. Transferable skills are those which improve employability in the broader labour market: these can range from mastery of a foreign language to good communication skills. Discipline-specific skills are more squarely focussed upon the academic discipline you are studying.
The School has an exceptionally strong research culture with a strong reputation for the quality of the research produced and the growing number of research grants it is attracting. We are home to the Wales Governance Centre and to the European Governance, Identity and Public Policy Research Unit, attracting visiting scholars from all over Europe and the world.
We are at the cutting-edge of our field, delivering unique, interdisciplinary research projects.
The combination of established researchers with international reputations and young scholars has meant that we have been able to develop a dynamic and forward-looking research ethos. Many of the materials we use for our courses are written by academics and teaching staff within the department.
Areas of special strength include
- International Relations,
- British, Welsh and devolutionary politics,
- European and comparative politics
- Political Theory.
Careers include teaching, universities, civil service/ Foreign Office, European Commission, journalism, business, politics, and NGOs. Our alumni include Huw Edwards (BBC), Neil Bentley (CBI), and Leri Edwards (European Commission).
UK government postgraduate doctoral loans
Candidates for the Professional Doctorate programme may be eligible to apply for a UK government postgraduate doctoral loan.Find out more about UK government postgraduate doctoral loans
We have had ESRC-funded PhD studentships for UK and EU students in the past.
Students from the UK
Students from the EU, EEA and Switzerland
Students from the rest of the world (international)
- Read carefully about our programme’s structure, entry criteria, funding opportunities.
- Explore our research and faculty, and identify potential supervisors to include in your application.
- Ensure that all documents required as part of your application are included.
How to apply
On this page please select:
- Qualification: Doctor of Philosophy or Master of Philosophy
- Mode of study: Full time or Part time
- Start date: As applicable
Click on apply now and complete the online application procedure.
Please include a:
- detailed research proposal of about 5,000 words. Read our guidance on how to write a research proposal.
- clear statement of research problem and research questions
- review of key literature
- proposed methodology
- proposed contribution (why your research is valuable and to whom)
- Those whose first language is not English must obtain a score of at least 7.0 in IELTS (with no less than 6.5 in the Writing element and no less than 5.5 in Listening, Speaking and Reading). Please read our English language requirements for more details.
- Copies of both Bachelor and Masters (if applicable) degree certificates and transcripts
- Two Academic References
It is very important that you provide all the relevant information when you apply as incomplete applications will not be considered.
After your application
Applications will be vetted by the Postgraduate Office and reviewed by the Admissions Tutor. Applicants who do not meet the necessary entry requirements will be rejected outright and cannot re-apply for the same start date.
Applications from candidates who meet the entry requirements will be shared with potential supervisors. Once supervisors express interest towards a candidate, a supervisory panel is formed. Candidates may then be invited to an interview (via Skype/Phone or in person) to discuss their Research project. If the interview is successful, an offer will be made.
There are no official closing dates however as the application process takes around 2-3 months, we ask that completed applications are submitted for consideration at least 3 months before your requested start date.
Applicants should have a good Honours degree in Politics or International Relations (2:1 or equivalent) or overseas equivalent in a relevant subject.
We will consider all individual applicants on their specific merits. If you do not have the standard qualifications for the course, you may still apply. Your application will be considered if you have the following;
- Masters’ degree in Politics or International Relations (or equivalent) with an average mark of at least 65%.
- Applicants with appropriate professional experience.
Interviews (via Skype/Phone or in person) may be conducted to identify and assess the academic merit of prospective students.
English language requirements
Those whose first language is not English must obtain a score of at least 7.0 in IELTS (with no less than 6.5 in the Writing element and no less than 5.5 in Listening, Speaking and Reading).
Please read our English language requirements for more details.
MPhil/PhD Enquiries, Cardiff Law School