Security, Conflict and Justice

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Run by Faculty of Social Sciences and Law
Awards available PhD
Programme length Four years full-time
Seven years part-time
Part-time study available Yes
Open to international students Yes
Number of places Not fixed
Start date September 2016

Programme overview

Security, Conflict and Justice is a new interdisciplinary pathway that recognises that traditional approaches to security studies must now be complemented with new perspectives of issues more widely, in order to develop better strategies for resolving conflicts and securing social justice.

This programme is one of five South West Doctoral Training Centre (SWDTC) interdisciplinary pathways delivered in partnership with the Universities of Bath and Exeter.

Violence has, for the most part, shifted from organised inter-state war to protracted warfare fought by irregular units and local militias. Weak states are prone to collapsing, either by the fragmentation of authority, or by external intervention. Climate change, forced migration, gender-based violence, radicalisation, humanitarian emergencies, terrorism, WMD proliferation, have all, to varying degrees, been securitised by states, intergovernmental institutions, and by nongovernmental organisations. The broadening of the global security agenda has to date not been accompanied by an increase in the capacity of local, regional, and global actors to respond to these new challenges. What is now required is the development of new theoretical and empirical research on security governance. A vital ingredient in addressing the complex agenda of security governance is an interdisciplinary pooling of knowledge and expertise that draws together sociological and socio-legal research on human rights, gender, violence and ethnopolitics; area studies expertise on language, culture and practice; and political and legal research on sovereignty, institutions and intervention.

The pathway will be of interest to those with backgrounds in politics, economics, geography, sociology, law, history, international relations, policy studies, women's studies, development studies and area studies.

Fees for 2016/17

Full time fees


Part time fees


Fees quoted are provisional, per annum and subject to annual increase.

Funding for 2016/17

The Faculty of Social Sciences and Law has an allocation of 1+3 and +3 ESRC scholarships. Applicants may also apply for funding from the University of Bristol Scholarships and Alumni PhD Scholarships.

Further information on funding for prospective UK, EU and international postgraduate students.

Entry requirements

A Masters qualification with appropriate research training, or equivalent.

See international equivalent qualifications on the International Office website.

Application method Online application form
English language requirements Profile E
Further information about English language requirements
Admissions statement Read the programme admissions statement for important information on entry requirements, the application process and supporting documents required.

Research groups

The Security, Conflict and Justice pathway works with research groups and centres across the Universities of Bristol, Bath and Exeter.

You can find further information on some of our research groups and staff at the School for Policy Studies Research website.

All students have two supervisors from different institutions and disciplinary perspectives. Your supervisors convene joint meetings on a regular basis, and will attend the annual one-day workshop for all pathway students.


The PhD in Security conflict and Justice offers useful preparation for a number of careers. Our students go on to employment in areas of academia, international security, development and conflict issues, the Department for International Development, policy researchers, consultants, policy civil servants or the military. The Security, Conflict and Justice pathway will train researchers who are equipped with the interdisciplinary skills to impact the research, policy and practice needed to avoid and mitigate security risks.

Staff profiles

Further details of the current research and supervision interests of individual members of staff are available on the School website.

How to apply
Application deadline:

Funded places: February 2016 (ESRC and Bristol funding application deadline to be confirmed)

Unfunded places: 1 August 2016

International students

Find out more about becoming a student at Bristol, and the support we offer to international students.

I chose Bristol because of its outstanding academic reputation. It's reassuring to be taught by people who truly love their subject - their passion becomes contagious.


REF 2014 results

Results are from the most recent UK-wide assessment of research quality, conducted by HEFCE. More about REF 2014 results.

Bristol Doctoral College

The Bristol Doctoral College facilitates and supports doctoral training and researcher development across the University.

Get in touch

Postgraduate Student Administrator Phone: +44 (0) 117 331 7572 Email:

School for Sociology, Politics and International Studies
University of Bristol
11 Priory Road
Bristol BS8 1TU


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