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PhD in Politics and International Studies (2024 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 Doctoral College and IT Services.

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 2024 for an Autumn 2024 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/2:1 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.

Find your research course fees

Fee Status Guidance

We carry out an initial fee status assessment based on the information you provide in your application. Students will be classified as Home or Overseas fee status. Your fee status determines tuition fees, and what financial support and scholarships may be available. If you receive an offer, your fee status will be clearly stated alongside the tuition fee information.

Do you need your fee classification to be reviewed?

If you believe that your fee status has been classified incorrectly, you can complete a fee status assessment questionnaire. Please follow the instructions in your offer information and provide the documents needed to reassess your status.

Find out more about how universities assess fee status

Additional course costs

As well as tuition fees and living expenses, some courses may require you to cover the cost of field trips or costs associated with travel abroad.

For departmental specific costs, please see the Modules tab on the course web page for the list of core and optional core modules with hyperlinks to our Module Catalogue (please visit the Department’s website if the Module Catalogue hyperlinks are not provided).

Associated costs can be found on the Study tab for each module listed in the Module Catalogue (please note most of the module content applies to 2022/23 year of study). Information about module department specific costs should be considered in conjunction with the more general costs below:

  • Core text books
  • Printer credits
  • Fieldwork costs
  • 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

How to apply

The application process for courses that start in September and October 2024 will open on 2 October 2023.

Applications for the programme will close on 31 May 2024 for an Autumn 2024 start. 

How to apply for a postgraduate research course  

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.

Warwick Hosted EventsLink opens in a new window

Our hosted events run throughout the year, with a mixture of virtual and in-person sessions. These events are a great way to learn more about our courses and departments, chat to current students and staff, and find out more information about accommodation, careers, and how to apply.

Postgraduate Fairs

Throughout the year we attend exhibitions and fairs online and in-person around the UK. These events give you the chance to explore our range of postgraduate courses, and find out what it’s like studying at Warwick. You’ll also be able to speak directly with our student recruitment team, who will be able to help answer your questions.

Live chats

Join a live chat with our staff and students, who are here to answer your questions and help you learn more about postgraduate life at Warwick. You can join our general drop-in sessions or talk to your prospective department and student services.

Warwick Talk and Tours

A Warwick talk and tour lasts around two hours and consists of an overview presentation from one of our Recruitment Officers covering the key features, facilities and activities that make Warwick a leading institution. The talk is followed by a campus tour which is the perfect way to view campus, with a current student guiding you around the key areas on campus.