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PhD in Politics and International Studies (2023 Entry)

Students of Politics and International Studies at the University of Warwick

Find out more about our PhD in Politics and International Studies.

The University of Warwick's Politics and International Studies department (PAIS) offers the PhD in Politics and International Studies. Gain a unique opportunity to undertake a research project in one of the UK's largest Politics and International Studies departments.

Course overview

PAIS has a vibrant PhD community and our doctoral research covers a broad range of interests. The programme is structured around achieving distinct milestones in order to support your progress.

In your first year, you will be required to attend the PAIS first-year training module PO961: Doctoral Thesis Writing in Politics and International Studies, which will help you to prepare for upgrade process at the end of the first year.

As you progress through the course, you are also expected to attend advanced training workshops. Additional research training and personal and professional development are available through the department, the Graduate School, IT Services and the Careers and Skills Office.

PAIS has a keen interest in fostering networking between doctoral researchers of all stages as well as between PhD students and staff, and we therefore hold regular academic events.

Application Closing Date

Applications for the programme will close on 31 May 2023 for an Autumn 2023 start.

Teaching and learning

  • PO961: Doctoral Thesis Writing in Politics and International Studies
  • Advanced Training Workshops

Visiting PhD students

If you are currently a PhD student at another university anywhere in the world, it is possible to attend Warwick as a visiting researcher for up to one year. PAIS welcomes applications from students already undertaking postgraduate research at another institution, who wish to join us in a visiting capacity in order to participate in, and benefit from, the research culture and resources of the department and the university.

We recommend that you contact us prior to submitting an application in order to discuss your needs; the best starting point is to approach academic staff researching in your area to discuss your proposed visit dates and research plans. Please note that although members of the department’s academic staff are happy to arrange meetings with visiting students to discuss research and offer advice and suggestions, you would not be formally supervised during your visit.

Should you wish to submit an application, you will need to do this through the University's online postgraduate application system. Your application must include:

  • The proposed start and end dates of your visit
  • The name of the academic staff member who will oversee your visit in the department
  • A reference from your current supervisor which confirms your current student status and suitability for undertaking research at Warwick as a visiting student
  • A brief outline of the research you intend to undertake while you are with us.

You will also need to meet PAIS’s English language requirements (Band B IELTS 7.0).

Before you submit your application, you should also consult the Doctoral College's information about visiting as a research student; their pages contain further information about fees, links to visa information if required, and a link to the relevant application form.

Part-time study

The PhD programme in PAIS is designed to be taken on a full-time basis. However, for a small number of candidates, studying part-time may offer a way to balance life and study commitments.

Learn more about part-time study.Link opens in a new window


Postgraduate FAQs (PAIS specific)
Postgraduate FAQs (general)

General entry requirements

Minimum requirements

A Master’s degree (or equivalent) with a minimum degree classification of merit/2:i in a relevant subject area; a strong research proposal; explicit support from at least one potential PAIS supervisor.

Read our department specific advice on applyingLink opens in a new window to ensure your application has the best chance for success.

English language requirements

You can find out more about our English language requirementsLink opens in a new window. This course requires the following:

  • Band B
  • IELTS overall score of 7.0, minimum component scores of two at 6.0/6.5 and the rest at 7.0 or above.

International qualifications

We welcome applications from students with other internationally recognised qualifications.

For more information, please visit the international entry requirements pageLink opens in a new window.

Additional requirements

There are no additional requirements for this course.

Our research

Areas for PhD supervision

By research groups:

  • International Political Economy
  • International Relations and Security
  • Comparative Politics and Democratisation
  • Political Theory.

By theme:

  • Development
  • Gender
  • Cyber Security
  • Intelligence
  • Justice
  • Democratic Theory
  • US/EU/UK Foreign Policy
  • East Asia
  • South Asia
  • Europe
  • Africa
  • Middle East
  • Latin America
  • US
  • Democratisation
  • Elections
  • Political Institutions
  • Environmental Policy
  • Ethics
  • International Finance
  • Global Governance
  • Trade
  • Migration
  • Terrorism and Counter-terrorism
  • War Studies
  • Conflict studies
  • Peace keeping
  • Religion

You can also read our general University research proposal guidance.

Find a supervisor

Find your supervisor using the link below and discuss with them the area you'd like to research.

Explore our Politics and International Studies Staff Directory where you will be able to filter by research cluster, region or topic.

You can also see our general University guidance about finding a supervisor.

Tuition fees

Tuition fees are payable for each year of your course at the start of the academic year, or at the start of your course, if later. Academic fees cover the cost of tuition, examinations and registration and some student amenities.

Taught course fees  Research course fees

Fee Status Guidance

The University carries out an initial fee status assessment based on information provided in the application and according to the guidance published by UKCISA. Students are classified as either Home or Overseas Fee status and this can determine the tuition fee and eligibility of certain scholarships and financial support.

If you receive an offer, your fee status will be stated with the tuition fee information, however we are awaiting guidance from the UK government regarding fee status for EU, other EEA and Swiss nationals and their family members living in the UK for academic year 2021/22 onwards. We are not able to confirm the fee status for these students until the relevant eligibility criteria have been confirmed. Once we have received further information from the UK government, we will provide you with an update on your fee status and let you know if any additional information is required. If you believe your fee status has been incorrectly classified you can complete a fee status assessment questionnaire (follow the instructions in your offer) and provide the required documentation for this to be reassessed.

The UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) provides guidance to UK universities on fees status criteria, you can find the latest guidance on the impact of Brexit on fees and student support on the UKCISA website.

Additional course costs

Please contact your academic department for information about department specific costs, which should be considered in conjunction with the more general costs below, such as:

  • Core text books
  • Printer credits
  • Dissertation binding
  • Robe hire for your degree ceremony

Scholarships and bursaries

Scholarships and financial support

Find out about the different funding routes available, including; postgraduate loans, scholarships, fee awards and academic department bursaries.

PAIS Funding Opportunities

Find out more about the various funding opportunities that are available in our department.

Living costs

Find out more about the cost of living as a postgraduate student at the University of Warwick.

Department content block about careers

Taught course applications

Here is our checklist on how to apply for taught postgraduate courses at Warwick.

Research course applications

Here is our checklist on how to apply for research postgraduate degrees at the University of Warwick.

After you’ve applied

Find out how we process your application.

Applicant Portal

Track your application and update your details.

Admissions statement

See Warwick’s postgraduate admissions policy.

Join a live chat

Ask questions and engage with Warwick.

Postgraduate Open Day

Our Postgraduate Virtual Open Day will help you find out more about your course of interest, as well as general topics like applying to Warwick, accommodation, careers and funding.
Please register your interest to be the first to hear when booking opens.

Postgraduate fairs

Throughout the year we attend exhibitions and fairs online and in the UK. These events give you the chance to learn about our Master's and PhD study routes, and the wider context of postgraduate study.

Find out more

Live chats

Every week, you can connect directly with representatives from Warwick, who will be answering your questions on applying to and studying postgraduate studies at Warwick.

Sign up for Live Chats

Departmental events

Some academic departments hold events for specific postgraduate programmes, these are fantastic opportunities to learn more about Warwick and your chosen department and course.

See our online departmental events

Connect with us

Want to hear more about postgraduate study at Warwick? Register your interest and find out more.