Politics, History and International Relations MPhil, PhD

Politics, History and International Relations
Entry requirements:
2:1 +
3 years (PhD), 2 years (MPhil)
6 years (PhD), 4 years (MPhil)
Start date:
January, April, July, October 2018
UK/EU fees:
International fees:



in the UK for research intensity

REF 2014


total ESRC research grants


The Department of Politics, History and International Relations is committed to delivering outstanding research that has the potential to transform policy, raise new questions and inspire academic and public debate.

The Department of Politics, History and International Relations (PHIR) is a vibrant and convivial centre for advanced research. Our aim is to stimulate innovative research that has the potential to transform academic and public debates.

We conduct research in: contemporary politics and political theory, early modern and modern history, international organisation, and critical security studies. Most of our research falls between the humanities and the political and social sciences, but we also produce a substantial body of interdisciplinary work, notably in the history of ideas, radical movements and activism, in gender politics, international history, and international politics, government and governance, art and politics, religion and politics, media studies and history, and digital humanities.

Our focus on research is reflected in the results of the latest Research Excellence Framework (2014), where the Department was ranked in the UK top 10 for research intensity.

The Department is a supportive environment for postgraduate study, and we foster strong research links between academics and students.

As a student in the Department of Politics, History and International Relations, you will participate in seminar planning and receive tailored advice on fellowships and publication.

Our graduates have secured prestigious positions in academic institutions, including the Wiesenthal Institute in Vienna, Exeter University, Queen’s University in Belfast and University College Dublin. Others have pursued careers in academic publishing, with international and UK-based campaign groups and civil society organisations.

Entry requirements

PhD: an honours degree (2:1 or above). Applicants without a postgraduate qualification will be required to complete research training in tandem with their research.

MPhil: an honours degree (2:1 or above).

IELTS: overall 6.5 with minimum 6.0 in each component.

Our facilities

As a student in the Department of Politics, History and International Relations, you will have access to state-of-the-art facilities and support throughout your research degree. As a PhD student in the department, you will also have your own workspace (in a shared research student office) and access to library and IT services.

Research areas

Anarchism Research Group

Founded in 2008 the Group provides an informal space for the discussion, exploration and analysis of anarchist ideas and practices, in order to support anarchism research across scholarly disciplines in the University and to help raise the profile of anarchist studies through scholarship and public engagement.

Critical Citizenship, Activism and Art

A collaboration of the Anarchism Research Group and the Politicised Practice Research Group based in the School of the Arts, English and Drama, that exhibits and reflects on diverse forms of art to question prevailing political, economic and cultural orthodoxies.

Ethics in Public Life Research Group

A network of academics from departments across Loughborough and beyond committed to debating issues concerning ethics in public life. The Group hosts conferences, symposia, and public lectures from high profile speakers on a range of issues, from the role of MPs, political lobbying, and economic inequality, to public health, international aid, and the ethics of scientific research.

Loughborough University Nationalism Network

Founded in 2014, this network is a cross-disciplinary research group which promotes the study of the nation(al) through sociological, psychological, geographical, organisational, literary and artistic perspectives.

Sexual Politics Research Network

A multidisciplinary group whose work encompasses historical, empirical, theoretical and practical research across the broad areas of feminism, sexual difference, gender identity and queer theory, especially as these pertain to the arts and humanities, sciences and social sciences.

Your personal and professional development

Support from your supervisor

You will receive guidance from two supervisors. The Department offers opportunities to teach undergraduate seminars and students will be able to apply for funding to take part in seminars and workshops. You will have your own workspace in a shared research student office and access to library and IT services.

Skills and experience

A PhD programme will give you the opportunity to develop new and highly sought after skills which can set you up for a range of careers. It’s a chance to make a novel contribution to knowledge, to become a world expert in a particular field, and it can open a range of doors with different employers. You'll also enhance your interpersonal skills, such as networking and relationship building, which will be invaluable in your future career.

Future career prospects

Recent graduate destinations include:

  • Trinity College Dublin, Research Assistant
  • National Citizens Advice, Policy Researcher
  • Nottingham Trent University, Lecturer
  • IB School Teacher, Costeas Geitonas IB World School, Greece.

Fees and funding


Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessment and operating University facilities such as the library, IT equipment and other support services. University fees and charges can be paid in advance and there are several methods of payment, including online payments and payment by instalment. Special arrangements are made for payments by part-time students.

Who you'll be working with

How to apply

If you can't find a suitable PhD opportunity that fits your interests and experience from our funded (studentships) and unfunded opportunities, you can submit a research proposal to the Department of Politics, History and International Relations in the hope of finding a supervisor who will work with you on your dream project.

If you are interested in applying for a PhD in the Department of Politics, History and International Relations through this method, you should prepare a research proposal giving details of the research they wish to undertake. Detailed information about what the proposal should include can be found on our website.