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  6. Considering undertaking a PhD in Politics and International Studies at the OU?

Considering undertaking a PhD in Politics and International Studies at the OU?

Politics and International Studies is a growing department and keen to take on high quality postgraduate researchers.

Completing a PhD in the UK typically takes 2-4 years full time, and 3-8 years part time. It involves undertaking your own research project, with the supervision of experts in your chosen area. You will also be expected to complete training designed to support you through the transition into becoming an independent researcher, and help you develop academic and professional skills. When applying for a PhD in Politics, you will normally hold an undergraduate degree (minimum 2.1 or above) and a Masters degree (though the latter might be waived in exceptional circumstances).

We've curated our most frequently asked questions about applying for and studying a PhD with POLIS. If you have any queries, please don’t hesitate to contact Prof Jamie Gaskarth who will be happy to answer them.

As expert supervision is key to successful completion of a PhD, your application will be considered both on the strength of the application and proposal, and on the specialist resources available to supervise the proposed project. If you are thinking about submitting an application for a PhD in Politics and International Studies, you are advised to research the expertise available, for example by considering the supervision areas listed below and reading the profiles of the academic staff, including looking at some of their publications.

All postgraduate research students are provided with two supervisors for the duration of their studies. Supervisors meet regularly with students, acting as academic advisors, providing guidance on research topics, on the skills needed to successfully complete a research degree, on planning research and on writing a thesis. They read and discuss students' work, helping to develop ideas and to encourage critical and independent thinking.

Politics staff are specialists in a wide range of research interests and will consider supervising topics in a number of areas, including: international relations, foreign policy, global politics, feminist theory and practice, Russian and British politics and government, the theory and practice of democracy and citizenship, security studies (including issues of borders and migration), environmental politics and justice, as well as the regional politics of Europe, the Middle East, South Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, Latin and South America.

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