Postgraduate study

Politics & International Relations

Awards: PhD, MScR

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Funding available

Research in Politics and International Relations explores the theory, practice and ethics of politics and governance.

We cover a broad area of expertise, from local policy to global governance, political theory to empirical studies, constructivism to rational choice approaches.

Our Politics & International Relations group has close links with cross-disciplinary and internationally recognised research centres.

Major research focuses include:

  • sub-state and supranational dimensions of politics and public policy
  • the impact of devolution in the UK and elsewhere, and the constitution and governance of the European Union
  • international politics: changing relations, the new security agenda, transatlantic relations, political economy, migration politics and global governance
  • nationalism, democratic transition, civil society and institution-building
  • health, welfare, environment, competition, migrations and citizenship, and equal opportunities policies
  • political theory, especially war ethics, environmental ethics and theories of freedom

Find out more about compulsory and optional courses

We link to the latest information available. Please note that this may be for a previous academic year and should be considered indicative.

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MScRPolitics1 YearFull-timeProgramme structure 2017/18
MScRPolitics2 YearsPart-timeProgramme structure 2017/18

This programme includes courses in research design and methodology skills. The Graduate School provides a suite of ESRC-recognised research training courses for social science students across the University. We have an exciting package of flexible, web-based training courses in line with the increased emphasis on advanced training throughout the course of doctoral studies.

A UK 2:1 honours degree or its international equivalent, and a UK masters degree with an overall mark of 65% or its international equivalent.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

All applicants must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of their English language ability:

  • an undergraduate or masters degree, that was taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country as defined by UK Visas and Immigration

  • IELTS: total 7.0 (at least 6.0 in each module)
  • TOEFL-iBT: total 100 (at least 20 in each module)
  • PTE(A): total 67 (at least 56 in each of the "Communicative Skills" sections)
  • CAE and CPE: total 185 (at least 169 in each module)
  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with a pass in all four components

Degrees taught and assessed in English must be no more than two and a half years old at the beginning of your degree programme. Language tests must be no more than two years old at the beginning of your degree programme.

Find out more about our language requirements:

A non-refundable application fee of £50 must be paid after you submit your application. Your application will not be processed until we have received your application fee.

Find out more about tuition fees and studying costs:

  • Graduate School of Social & Political Science
  • Chrystal Macmillan Building
  • 15A George Square
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9LD
Programme start date Application deadline
10 September 2018 13 July 2018

We strongly recommend you submit your completed application as early as possible, particularly if you are also applying for funding or will require a visa. We may consider late applications if we have places available.

You must submit two references with your application.

We encourage PhD applicants in particular to contact potential supervisors before applying to discuss their research proposal so we can ensure there is adequate supervision.

Application fee

A non-refundable application fee of £50 must be paid after you submit your application. Your application will not be processed until we have received your application fee.

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • Graduate School of Social & Political Science
  • Chrystal Macmillan Building
  • 15A George Square
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9LD