Coronavirus (Covid-19): Latest updates and information
Skip to main content Skip to navigation

PhD in Politics and International Studies (2020 Entry)

Group of pais students



  • Course Code
  • P-M1P5
  • Course Type
  • Postgraduate Research
  • Qualification
  • PhD
  • Duration
  • Full-time: 3-4 years
  • Part-time: up to 7 years


The University of Warwick's Politics department, ranked 1st in REF 2014, offers the PhD in Politics and International Studies. Gain the unique opportunity to undertake a research project one of the UK's largest Politics and International Studies departments.


PAIS has a vibrant PhD community, and our doctoral research have a very broad range of research interest. The programme is structured around achieving distinct milestones centred on 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.

As you progress through the course, you are also expected to attend a series of tailored two-day workshops in year one, two, and three of the programme. Additional research training and personal and professional development are available through the department, the Graduate School, IT Services, and the Careers & 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 social events.

Find a Supervisor

Research proposal guidance


Areas for PhD supervision

By research groups:

International Political Economy; International Relations and Security; Comparative Politics & Democratisation; Political Theory.

By theme:

Development; Gender; Performance and Politics; Cyber Security; Intelligence; Food Security; Justice; US/EU/UK Foreign Policy; East Asia; Europe; Democratisation; Political Spaces; Environmental Policy; North-South Relations; Ethics; International Finance; Global Governance; Migration; Terrorism and Counter-terrorism.


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

Entry 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 potential PAIS supervisor(s)

English language requirements 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 Students
We welcome applications from students with other internationally recognised qualifications. For more information please visit the international entry requirements page.

Department advice

Department specific advice on applying to ensure your application has the best chance for success.


For up-to-date information concerning fees, funding and scholarships for Home/EU and Overseas students please visit Warwick's Fees and Funding webpage.


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 visit dates and research plans, whilst at Warwick. 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 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 (IELTS 7.0); however, if you only plan to stay for a short period, a test waiver may be available. In that case, please email paispgadmissions@warwick.ac.uk for details.

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.


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 offers a way to balance life and study commitments.

More about part-time study >