International Relations, Politics and History

We are committed to delivering outstanding research that has the potential to transform policy, raise new questions and inspire academic and public debate.

Top 5 in the UK for International Relations Guardian University Guide 2024
Top 15 in the UK for History Complete University Guide 2025
top 15 in the UK for Politics Complete University Guide 2025
100% of research impact rated ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ REF 2021

International Relations, Politics and History at Loughborough

International Relations, Politics and History, a department in the School of Social Sciences and Humanities, is an exciting interdisciplinary study area. Migration, populism, war and peace-building and international history are some of the topics we study to understand our world and how it is challenged by factors such as climate change, urbanisation and technological innovation.

Research degrees

In addition to our exciting range of taught programmes, there are also a variety of funded and unfunded opportunities to us as a doctoral researcher. You can develop your own unique research proposal or browse our current list of PhD opportunities – either way, we’d love to hear from you.

Browse our PhD opportunities

Research and teaching

Experts within this department research and teach across areas relevant to contemporary politics and international studies with an emphasis on migration, populism, development politics and security and defence issues. We have a particular strength in the study of regional politics in Africa, Europe and the Arctic. Colleagues work and teach on issues such as gender and militarism, climate change and security, terrorism and urban warfare. The department is also home to a strong teaching and research base in contemporary and international history with colleagues teaching slavery, empire, post-colonial politics and post-1945 Britain.

Our research focuses on contemporary politics and political theory, modern and international history, international organisation and security studies. We emphasise our policy-relevant work which is linked to practical work for government, NGOs and public debate. Whilst most of our research is linked to humanities and the political and social sciences we also have a fascinating portfolio of interdisciplinary research into the history of ideas, radical movements and activism, gender politics, international politics and history, government and governance, politics and the arts, media studies, history, and digital humanities.

Career opportunities

We offer a supportive environment for postgraduate study and foster strong research links between academics and students. Students participate in seminar planning and receive tailored advice on fellowships and publication. Graduates from this area have secured prestigious positions in academic institutions, whilst others have pursued careers in academic publishing, in international and UK-based campaign groups, and with civil society organisations.