International Relations PhD - 2019 Entry

Entry Year

Full time 36 Month(s)

Course Overview

Lancaster University is an excellent place to complete PhD research in the fields of politics and international relations. The Department of Politics and International Relations is innovative, interdisciplinary and post-disciplinary, and research proposals reflecting these approaches from those seeking to undertake MPhil or PhD research degrees are especially encouraged.  

The MPhil is a two year programme that culminates in the writing of a 40,000 word thesis. The PhD degree scheme is a 3-4 year programme that culminates in an 80,000 word thesis. The PhD is organised in two distinct parts: The initial or probationary period occupies the first year of study and is devoted to research training and general preparation for the thesis. During this period you will take a number of courses covering research skills and key concepts, theories and approaches in the sub-field in which you intend to write your thesis. Preparation for the thesis entails writing a literature review or other relevant piece of work and preparing a detailed research proposal. Transfer to the final phase, when the thesis proper is completed, is subject to acceptance by the Upgrade Panel of work produced during the probationary period.

 We have a lively research culture including regular research seminars. In addition, you are encouraged to participate in regular faculty-wide workshops, a range of other programmes that you are welcome to attend and we encourage all researchers to make links with other departments across the university.


Key Information

Details of the research areas can be found on the website here 

 If you submit an application you should include the names of the potential supervisors and any associated correspondence that you have received from them.  

Master’s Degree

Successfully completed a Master’s degree in a social science background

Undergraduate Degree

2:1 (UK Hons) degree or equivalent in a relevant social science subject.


If you have studied outside of the UK, you can check your qualifications here:

IELTS: Overall score of at least 6.5, with no individual element below 5.5

We consider tests from other providers, which can be found here:

If your score is below our requirements we may consider you for one of our pre-sessional English language programmes

Pre-sessional English language programmes available:

10 Week – Overall score of at least 5.5, with no individual element below 5.0

4 Week – Overall score of at least 6.0, with no individual element below 5.5

Longer pre-sessional courses are available, please contact the Admissions Officer for more information

Assessment: Original research and thesis

Funding: University Studentships and Departmental Teaching Assistantships may be available, ESRC, AHRC. All applicants should consult



Location Full Time (per year) Part Time (per year)
UK/EU £4,327 n/a
Overseas £14,630 n/a

The University will not increase the Tuition Fee you are charged during the course of an academic year.

If you are studying on a programme of more than one year's duration, the tuition fees for subsequent years of your programme are likely to increase each year. The way in which continuing students' fee rates are determined varies according to an individual's 'fee status' as set out on our fees webpages.

What are tuition fees for?

Studying at a UK University means that you need to pay an annual fee for your tuition, which covers the costs associated with teaching, examinations, assessment and graduation.

The fee that you will be charged depends on whether you are considered to be a UK, EU or overseas student. Visiting students will be charged a pro-rata fee for periods of study less than a year.

Our annual tuition fee is set for a 12 month session, which usually runs from October to September the following year.

How does Lancaster set overseas tuition fees?

Overseas fees, alongside all other sources of income, allow the University to maintain its abilities across the range of activities and services. Each year the University's Finance Committee consider recommendations for increases to fees proposed for all categories of student and this takes into account a range of factors including projected cost inflation for the University, comparisons against other high-quality institutions and external financial factors such as projected exchange rate movements.

What support is available towards tuition fees?

Lancaster University's priority is to support every student in making the most of their education. Many of our students each year will be entitled to bursaries or scholarships to help with the cost of fees and/or living expenses. You can find out more about financial support, studentships, and awards for postgraduate study on our website.