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Studying for a PhD

PhD Studies in the Department of Politics, Philosophy and Religion

The University of Lancaster is an excellent place to complete postgraduate research in the fields of politics and international relations. The University's Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences is one of the best in Britain and PPR is an emerging force within it. Innovative, interdisciplinary and post-disciplinary research proposals are especially encouraged.

In addition we offer many attractions:

  • opportunities to undertake research under the supervision of key scholars in one of Britain's leading research Universities
  • wide range of courses and subjects
  • flexible degree schemes
  • the chance to study abroad
  • the opportunity to study the many aspects of politics and international relations
  • the chance to develop skills and abilities useful to you in both your academic studies and future career
  • a lively and cosmopolitan graduate school
  • a well-stocked library and excellent IT facilities
  • a safe, attractive and well designed campus, with a purpose-built graduate college
  • proximity to some of Britain's most beautiful countryside

Reflecting its wide range of expertise, PPR has a lively research culture including regular departmental and PhD seminars together with an annual Graduate Presentation Days where research students present work in progress to fellow students and staff. In addition, research students are encouraged to participate in the regular Faculty-wide workshops, presentations and training sessions. The University also has a wide range of other programmes that research students are welcome to attend, and we encourage all researchers to make links to other departments in the faculty as well as to departments and research centres in other faculties.

If you choose to come to Lancaster, we can offer you an experience that will be academically stimulating and rewarding, in a friendly and attractive environment.

Research degrees in Politics and International Relations, Philosophy and Religious Studies (MPhil/PhD)

The MPhil and PhD research degrees are both based predominantly on a sustained piece of research (a dissertation) and are ideally suited for those contemplating a career in research or teaching at an advanced level. Admission to the MPhil/PhD programme is dependent on your showing evidence of your capacity to work at the appropriate level.

All research students at Lancaster are initially registered as taking an MPhil and then after a period of successful progress are transferred to a PhD registration. However, an MPhil is a postgraduate qualification in its own right and students can decide to register for this with the intention of completing a smaller study (a thesis of 40-60,000 words) over two years. At the end of your second, (final) year of the MPhil (if you are a full-time student), if your work has reached the appropriate level, you may transfer from a MPhil to a PhD registration. A PhD is now a basic requirement for any career in teaching and research in universities. The PhD takes a minimum of three years' full-time study (including the work done on the MPhil) or up to five years part-time. It is awarded on the basis of a substantial thesis (60 - 80,000 words), which must be seen as making an original contribution to its field.

Our research culture and code of practice for supervisors ensures that research students are well supported and can become actively involved in the research life of the department and the wider academic field relevant to their chosen study. The student and supervisors are at liberty to work out the most appropriate training package or style of support that the student needs and a structured programme of meetings and research targets including the presentation of papers to the department's friendly 'work in progress' sessions. PhDs are available part time and changes of registration from part-time to full time (or the reverse) can be accommodated.

Research students are encouraged to attend the department in order to take part in, and indeed to help constitute, the lively research atmosphere. Reflecting its wide range of expertise, the Department has a lively research culture including regular departmental and PhD seminars together with an annual Graduate Presentation Days where research students present work in progress to fellow students and staff. In addition, research students are encouraged to participate in the regular Faculty-wide workshops, presentations and training sessions. The University also has a wide range of programmes that research students are welcome to attend, and we encourage all researchers to make links to other departments in the Faculty as well as to departments and research centres in other faculties. However, we do have the facilities to make arrangements to support students who live at a distance and wish to take their PhD in 'distance' mode.

Please use the links on the left to find out more about staff research expertise in PPR.

Funding Opportunities 2015

Find out more about bursaries and other postgraduate funding opportunitites»

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Department of Politics, Philosophy and Religion County South, Lancaster University, LA1 4YL, UK
Tel: +44 (0) 1524 594260  Fax: +44 (0) 1524 594238 Email: ppr@lancaster.ac.uk

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