Sociology, Politics and International Studies

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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 requires daytime weekday attendance in the first year.
Start date Most students will start in September 2021 or January 2022, however other dates can be considered. Please contact the postgraduate student administrator to discuss the options available.

Programme overview

The School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies is an interdisciplinary scholarly environment. We produce leading research with an international focus that is relevant to the changing circumstances of an increasingly interconnected world. We offer the following programmes:

  • PhD in Politics
  • PhD in Sociology
  • PhD in East Asian Studies.

We are committed to rigorous conceptual and empirical research that is politically and socially relevant and problem-orientated. We aim to advance theory, knowledge and methods at the interface between sociology, politics and international relations. The questions addressed recognise that political structures are related in complex ways to the social conditions that underlie them; likewise, social conditions are affected in complex ways by political structures. Our aim is not just to monitor the global condition but to contribute to ways that might improve it.

Our research activity is guided by focusing on key themes:

  • critical security
  • ethnicity, migration and citizenship
  • Europe and Europeanisation
  • gender
  • political and social inequalities
  • social, cultural and political theory
  • south and east Asia.

All researchers across the school identify with one or more of the themes. This enables collective identification over themes within the school and aims to generate further collaboration and interdisciplinarity in our research activities. In addition, the themes provide a basis for internal and external recognition of the main questions and topics that our research addresses.

Fees for 2021/22

We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2021/22 are as follows:

UK: full-time
UK: part-time
Overseas (including EU): full-time
Channel Islands/Isle of Man: full-time

Fees are subject to an annual review. For programmes that last longer than one year, please budget for up to a five per cent increase in fees each year. Find out more about tuition fees.

Alumni scholarship

University of Bristol students and graduates can benefit from a ten per cent reduction in tuition fees for postgraduate study. Check your eligibility for an alumni scholarship.

Funding for 2021/22

The Faculty of Social Sciences and Law has an allocation of 1+3 and +3 ESRC scholarships. Applicants may also be interested in applying 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

An upper second-class honours degree (or equivalent) and a master's qualification (or equivalent).

See international equivalent qualifications on the International Office website.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you need to meet this profile level:
Profile B
Further information about English language requirements and profile levels.

Admissions statement

Read the programme admissions statement for important information on entry requirements, the application process and supporting documents required.

Admissions statement

Research groups

The school houses three dedicated research centres and networks:


Bristol graduates are in high demand and have an excellent record of employment following graduation. Please visit the school website for statements from our former graduates.

Staff profiles

Professor Bridget Anderson, (Professor of Migration, Mobilities and Citizenship)

Dr Will Atkinson, (Reader)

Professor Terrell Carver, (Professor)

Dr Egle Cesnulyte, (Lecturer)

Dr Katharine Charsley, (Reader)

Dr Ryerson Christie, (Senior Lecturer)

Professor Michelle Cini, (Professor)

Dr Alix Dietzel, (Lecturer)

Dr Filippo Dionigi, (Lecturer)

Dr John Downer, (Lecturer)

Dr Ana E Juncos Garcia, (Reader)

Professor Tim Edmunds, (Professor)

Dr Magnus Feldmann, (Lecturer)

Dr Adrian Flint, (Senior Lecturer)

Dr Jonathan Floyd, (Lecturer)

Dr Tim Fowler, (Lecturer)

Dr Jon Fox, (Senior Lecturer)

Professor Susan Halford, (Professor of Sociology)

Dr Jo Haynes, (Senior Lecturer)

Professor Eric Herring, (Professor)

Dr Saffron Karlsen, (Senior Lecturer)

Dr Winnie King, (Teaching Fellow)

Dr Lee Marshall, (Reader)

Dr Neil Matthews, (Lecturer)

Dr Siobhan McAndrew, (Lecturer)

Professor Gregor McLennan, (Professor)

Dr Peace Medie, (Senior Lecturer)

Dr Torsten Michel, (Lecturer)

Dr Sveta Milyaeva, (Lecturer)

Professor Tariq Modood, (Professor)

Dr Marcus Morgan, (Lecturer)

Dr Michael Naughton, (Reader)

Professor Julia O'Connell Davidson, (Professor)

Dr Therese O'Toole, (Reader)

Professor Thomas Osborne, (Professor)

Dr Jessica Paddock, (Lecturer)

Dr Columba Peoples, (Senior Lecturer)

Dr Nieves Perez-Solorzano, (Senior Lecturer)

Dr Maud Perrier, (Senior Lecturer)

Dr Mircea Popa, (Lecturer)

Professor Judith Squires, (Pro Vice-Chancellor)

Ms Paula Surridge, (Senior Lecturer)

Dr Leonidas Tsilipakos, (Lecturer)

Dr Karen Tucker, (Lecturer)

Dr Elspeth Van Veeren, (Lecturer)

Professor Jutta Weldes, (Professor)

Professor Mark Wickham-Jones, (Professor)

Dr Andrew Wyatt, (Senior Lecturer)

Dr Junko Yamashita, (Senior Lecturer)

Professor Yongjin Zhang, (Professor)

How to apply
Application deadline:

The application deadline is not fixed for self-funded applications.

If you are interested in applying for a scholarship, please check the school website for details of funding opportunities and deadlines.

The closing date for ESRC studentship applications (September 2021 start) is January 2021. For further details on applying for ESRC funding, please visit the SWDTP website.

Open days and visits

Watch on-demand recordings from November's virtual open week.

Get in touch

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

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

International students

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

Bristol Doctoral College

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

REF 2014 results

Please see full REF 2014 results for the University of Bristol; in particular, the scores for subject areas 21 and 23.

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


Important disclaimer information about our programmes.

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