Postgraduate research programmes

The School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies (SPAIS) is an interdisciplinary scholarly environment producing leading research which is international in its focus and relevant to the changing circumstances of our increasingly interconnected world.

We are committed to rigorous conceptual and empirical research that is politically and socially relevant and problem oriented. We aim to advance theory, knowledge and methods at the interface between the disciplines of sociology, politics and international studies. Our aim is not just to monitor the global condition but to contribute to advancing ways that might improve it.

Postgraduate study is a key part of this scholarly environment. We have a thriving postgraduate culture, and continually seek to maintain our strong reputation for producing high quality work in our PhD programmes. The School is committed to academic excellence, rigorous, independent research and intellectual diversity, and to providing graduate teaching and supervision of the highest standard to a diverse international student body.

In teaching provision the School aims to provide a stimulating environment, enriched by our research culture, which fosters student choice and self-development. Our research excellence is demonstrated through publications and contributions to international scholarly debates. As a result, our postgraduates are taught and supervised by leading scholars and research-active staff, with whom there are numerous opportunities for discussion, in seminars as well as informally. SPAIS research informs our curriculum in two ways. First, all postgraduate units are designed and validated by our lecturers who share their knowledge through the design of the academic content of units. Second, staff who teach you will be passionate about their subject. They will have generated new knowledge about an issue and many have shaped their academic fields of interest. Through active engagement in key debates they will therefore be able to offer additional insights into the issues you will be learning about.

As a School, we are embarking on a new and exciting phase of development, with ever-increasing intellectual exchange between staff and students in the fields of sociology, politics and international studies. We warmly invite you to join, and contribute to, this vibrant atmosphere of achievement and collectivity.

Professor Gregor McLennan (Head of School)

Staff research interests

Staff research interests are diverse and extend beyond the major research clusters within and the research centres affiliated with the School. If you are interested in perusing the research, teaching and supervisory interests of individual members of staff, please consult the list of staff supervisory interests.

Our research
View the PhD course structure