Security, Conflict and Human Rights

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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
Location of programme Clifton campus
Part-time study available Yes
Part-time study may require daytime attendance
Open to international students Yes
Number of places Not fixed
Start date September 2017

Programme overview

PhD Security, Conflict and Human Rights is an interdisciplinary pathway. It explicitly recognises that traditional approaches to security and conflict must encompass different disciplinary perspectives on issues of human (in)security to develop better strategies for resolving conflicts and protecting human rights.

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

Globalisation has altered the security environment, and violence has shifted from organised inter-state war to protracted warfare fought by non-state actors and local militias as well as state militaries. Climate change, forced migration, gender-based violence, radicalisation, humanitarian emergencies, terrorism and WMD proliferation have - to varying degrees - been securitised by states, intergovernmental institutions, and non-governmental organisations. This broadening of the global security agenda has highlighted the limits of existing local, regional and global responses to these new challenges, and although human rights are codified within international law, their implementation is often inhibited.

This PhD responds directly to these challenges and equips researchers with the interdisciplinary skills required to shape the research, policy and practice needed to prevent conflict and mitigate security risks.

Fees for 2017/18

Full-time fees


Part-time fees


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

Funding for 2017/18

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 scholarship fund or alumni PhD scholarship fund.

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

Entry requirements

A Master's 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 Human Rights pathway works with research groups and centres across the Universities of Bristol, Bath and Exeter. All students have two supervisors, who are from different institutions and disciplinary perspectives. 


The PhD in Security, Conflict and Human Rights 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.

Staff profiles

Further details of the current research and supervision interests of individual members of staff are available on the School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies website.

Dr Columba Peoples, (Pathway Lead)

How to apply
Application deadline:

Funded places: February 2017 (the ESRC and Bristol funding application deadline is still to be confirmed)

Unfunded places: 1 August 2017

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

  • 16% of research is world-leading (4 star)
  • 44% of research is internationally excellent (3 star)
  • 33% of research is recognised internationally (2 star)
  • 7% of research is recognised nationally (1 star)

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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