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PhD Politics
Examine the political landscape focusing on a research specialism of your choice.

PhD Politics / Overview

Year of entry: 2018

Degree awarded
36 Months full-time
Entry requirements

Candidates MUST normally have;

  • Bachelors (Honours) degree (or overseas equivalent) at 2:1 level or above in a cognate subject, and
  • Normally a Masters degree at 65% overall average with minimum 65% in dissertation and with no mark below 55% (or overseas equivalent) in a relevant cognate subject, preferably one with a substantial research methods component. Transcripts will be carefully scrutinised to ensure that applicants have the required background.
  • Cognate subjects include: politics, anthropology, economics/political economy, geography, history, languages/cultures, law and sociology.
  • Note; due to the volume of applications received each year, and limited spaces, regrettably offers cannot be made to all applicants who satisfy the academic entry criteria.
  • All applicants who pass the initial assessment stage will be interviewed before any offer is confirmed.

Having an expert supervisor is extremely important for success in Research degree programmes and part of the application process is that we seek suitable supervision. With 74% of our research output ranked as world and nationally leading at the last REF (2014), we boast a number of exceptional scholars available for supervision. The best way to find a suitable supervisor is to look at the websites of the research clusters in Politics.

Feel free to make direct contact with any academics to discuss your proposed research topic. Please note that such contact can only be informal and no decision can be made on your application until it is submitted and processed through the Postgraduate Admissions Office. If you make a positive contact with an academic, please make sure to include their name on your application form when you submit it.

Full entry requirements

Number of places/applicants

Expert supervision is key to research degree programmes. We cannot provide supervision across all areas and we are therefore sometimes unable to offer admission to excellent applicants.

How to apply

Apply online

Non UK/EU applicants are strongly advised to submit their application by July to ensure sufficient time for applying for a Visa.

Politics applicants SHOULD provide the names of two supervisors on their application form .  Please record the name of the first preferred supervisor under Proposed Research Supervisor and the name of the second supervisor should be entered in the Details tab under the Research Title section.

Information on staff interests and research areas can be found here .

Research proposals must adhere to the requirements as detailed here .  The maximum word limit (including references and bibliography) is 1500 words.

FUNDING APPLICATION DEADLINE - for those who wish to be considered for funding, either from the School or the ESRC/NWSSDTP, you MUST have submitted a complete on-line programme application form by Friday 2 February AT THE VERY LATEST (please do not leave it until the deadline to apply - if your application is complete please submit it as soon as you can).   If you wish to be considered for ESRC/NWSSDTP funding, the deadline to complete the separate application form is 5 February 2018.   Click here to download the form and see the guidance notes.  NWSSDTP applications must be emailed to

We  strongly encourage  students who seek funding to submit an on-line programme application, including an initial proposal, 2 academic references, degree transcripts and CV), as soon as possible so that we can identify the strongest applications and offer support in revising and strengthening these before final shortlisting takes place.

Programme options

Full-time Part-time Full-time distance learning Part-time distance learning

Programme overview

PhD programme in Politics benefits from a global reputation, lively PhD student body, multiple research seminar series, and expertise in a diverse set of areas of politics grouped in our five research clusters. Politics is the biggest post-graduate community in our School. We welcome students from all around the world. Our students form a vibrant community both socially and academically.

Manchester Politics is one of the top Politics departments in the country, and in the top fifty globally. This offers many career opportunities for our PhD students, in terms of networking internally, and externally, support for many diverse research methods and approaches, overseas and fieldwork visits, internships and career development.

Open days

For details of the next University Postgraduate open day, visit open days and visits


For entry in the academic year beginning September 2018, the tuition fees are as follows:

  • PhD (full-time)
    UK/EU students (per annum): £4,260
    International students (per annum): £18,000
  • PhD (part-time)
    UK/EU students (per annum): £2,130
    International students (per annum): £9,000


Please see the School's funding page for further information (please note that the School's funding web page is not fully updated yet, any queries please email )

To be considered for funding please submit a full on-line programme application by 1 December 2017.

Contact details

Academic department
School of Social Sciences
Contact name
Vicky Barnes
0161 275 4743
0161 275 2450
Academic department overview

Programmes in related subject areas

Use the links below to view lists of programmes in related subject areas.

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