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Different course options

Full time | Colchester Campus | 4 years | OCT-23

Study mode

Full time


4 years

Start date


Key information

Qualification type

PhD/DPhil - Doctor of Philosophy

Subject areas

Government / Parliamentary Studies

Course type


Course Summary

A PhD at Essex makes you a member of the best political science department in the UK. We are renowned especially for our expertise in the areas of political behaviour, comparative politics, ideology and discourse analysis, international relations, and conflict resolution. Whatever the field, politics at Essex is all about moving from opinions to evidence. Always seeking out cause and effect, in our research we cast light on important questions across the political range, and some that you might never ordinarily connect to politics or government.

Our PhD programme provides you with advanced research training and supervision by globally leading scholars. We work with you to analyse and explain significant political outcomes such as war and peace, transitions to democracy, the way governments shape the economy, and the results of the elections.

Our dedicated staff don’t just teach you politics; they teach you how to think and write about politics, and our PhD students are successful as a result. They present findings at international conferences, they have published in acclaimed political journals such as the Journal of Politics, International Organization, Electoral Studies, International Studies Quarterly, the Journal of Conflict Resolution, the Journal of Peace Research, and the Journal of Education. They’ve also won several of prestigious prizes for their work, including the Peace Science Society’s Stuart Bremer Award and the Cedric Smith Prize for Conflict Research).

Your future

Many of our graduate’s secure post-doctoral research or teaching positions within universities. For example, recent graduates are now research fellows and academic staff at Oxford, University College London, Mannheim, ETH Zurich (Switzerland), Amsterdam, and Duke University in the US.

Other graduates go on to enjoy influential careers in British, European, and international politics. This includes working as political lobbyists or researchers for MPs and MEPs. Our graduates also work in the Civil Service and in local government, for the World Bank, the United Nations, NATO, YouGov, or work in the armed forces, finance, or business.


Government - Research - Core

Tuition fees

UK fees
Course fees for UK students

For this course (per year)


International fees
Course fees for EU and international students

For this course (per year)


Entry requirements

You will need a good honours degree and a Masters degree in a relevant social science. A well-developed research proposal is also essential.