Postgraduate Research

Lancaster University has been named ‘International University of the Year, 2020’ in The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide. The Department of Politics Philosophy and Religion (PPR) is one of the most highly ranked departments in the country. 

In the last Research Excellence Framework (2014) it was ranked 1st in the country for research impact, 2nd for its research environment, and 3rd for its overall contribution to research. Consequently, it is an outstanding department for postgraduate researchers in the following areas:

  • Politics and International Relations
  • Philosophy
  • Religion
  • Interdisciplinary research involving one or more of the above areas. (Many scholars in PPR are engaged in creative interdisciplinary research within and beyond the department.)

As a researcher within PPR:

  • you will be supervised by leading scholars in their area;
  • you will be stimulated by an enthusiastic, research intensive environment;
  • you will develop skills that will be useful to you, both in your academic work and in your future career;
  • you will be able to attend stimulating weekly research seminars led by key thinkers from around the UK and beyond;
  • you will have access to a world class library and excellent IT facilities;
  • you will be able to participate in regular faculty-wide workshops, presentations, and training sessions;
  • you will belong to a lively and cosmopolitan graduate school;
  • you will study on a safe, attractive, and well designed campus, with a purpose-built graduate college;
  • and, last, but certainly not least, if you choose to live in Lancaster, you will be close to some of Britain’s most beautiful countryside, including the Lake District National Park (just north of the University).

The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) has a well-established Research Training Programme (RTP) which offers both campus-based modules and distance learning courses. These are tailored both for PhD students in the early stages of their studies and also for more experienced researchers.

The Department is a member of

In conclusion, if you choose to become a researcher within PPR, we can offer you an experience that will be academically stimulating and personally rewarding in a friendly and attractive environment.

To apply for PhD study in PPR please complete the online application.

When completing the application, please note that there is considerable demand for doctoral places in PPR. Consequently, we will only consider applications with proposals that are coherent and cogent. While there is no single way of producing such a proposal, we expect you to include the following:

  • A clear rationale for your project that makes it clear why it’s important. How will it contribute to knowledge in the area?
  • A literature review that establishes the disciplinary context of the project. What key works have been published in the area and why are they important?
  • A clear statement about the method to be employed and why this makes sense for your project.
  • A provisional plan for the shape of the thesis.
  • An academic bibliography.

Before applying please scrutinise the research areas of PPR staff, in order to satisfy yourself that PPR at Lancaster University is the right department for you. You may already have an idea of which member of PPR you would like to work with, but, even so, it’s worth familiarising yourself with the type of research we do. While members of staff welcome informal contacts from potential PhD students to discuss proposed research, applications will not be considered until they are submitted with full documentation via the online system.

Finally, if you have any queries, please contact:

Sheila Constantine - Postgraduate Co-ordinator

Professor Christopher Partridge - Director of Postgraduate Research