Faculty of Business, Law and Politics

Politics, Security and International Studies research degrees

Postgraduate - Research


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About our programmes

Politics at the University of Hull is recognised globally as contributing to the cutting-edge of research. Our research has impacted on legislation and social issues, including Parliamentary procedures and debates; public policy; professional standards; economic models; public environmental awareness; conservation policy and resource management practices; and professional body test practice.

Our impressive staff includes political scientists, social and political theorists and historians. International and interdisciplinary research projects and collaborations are regularly undertaken and staff members are supported to build upon the existing expertise within the school.

Research is broadly themed around the following research centres and groups: British Politics; European Union Studies; Idealism and the New Liberalism; Legislative Studies; Political Economy; Security Studies; Middle East Study Group; Poetry and Politics; ERCS; and the South Asia Project.

During your PhD, you will research and write a dissertation of 70,000 to 100,000 words on a topic chosen in conjunction with your supervisor.

Apply for a research programme in Politics

Research supervisors


Open for admission in 2024/25

Qualification Full time
PhD 3 years*

* The length of programme registration will be longer as it includes the maximum writing-up phase.

Start in January, May or September


Centre for British Politics

This expert-led research centre for the study of British politics concentrates on the parties, ideologies and public policies that dominate UK politics. Established in 2007 as the first of its kind in UK higher education, the Centre for British Politics has made a distinctive impact in its field of study through its annual Norton Lecture, international workshops, symposiums, media interviews, expert submissions to parliament and, of course, through its publications.


Centre for European Union Studies

Designated as a ‘Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence' in teaching and research by the European Commission since 1999, the CEUS is one of the longest established and most research-active centres dedicated to the study of European Union (EU) governance and politics. CEUS researchers have a wide range of expertise and have produced a large number of well-regarded publications on European and EU governance and politics issues.


Centre for Idealism and the New Liberalism

The CINL, formerly the Centre for the Study of British Idealism, conducts research and teaching on the work and influence of the philosophical and reforming movement known as the British idealists, as well as into the thought of the New Liberals to whom they gave rise, including L.T. Hobhouse and J.A. Hobson. The CINL also provides a source of expertise and resources, as well as producing publications and running conferences.


Centre for Legislative Studies

Founded in 1992, the centre acts as a catalyst for international and interdisciplinary research in the field of Legislative Studies, by bringing together world-class scholars with legislative specialists and legislators from across the globe. Recent topics covered by research students included budgertary oversight of the Sierra Leone Parliament; the role of unofficial groups in the Parliamentary Conservative Party; and the legislative role of Parliament in the democratization process - a case study of the Iranian Parliament.


Centre for Security Studies

Researching a wide range of security issues, the CSS is internationally noted for its work on war studies and military ethics. Reflecting the expertise of its members, it supports a variety of academic approaches, emphasising the point that security is a practical subject informed by theory. Staff specialities include strategy, military ethics, air power, maritime strategy, intelligence, defence policy, military history, international law, and international relations.


Middle East Study Group

This think tank brings together people from different disciplines, academic and non-academic, to discuss Middle Eastern affairs. The Middle Eastern Study Group provides forums to consolidate and promote understanding of current affairs, serves as a meeting point for people of different nationalities to converse and debate, and supports freedom of expression and academia.


Poetry and Politics Project

Founded in September 2012, this project explores the connections between poetry, culture, and politics, with a strong emphasis on engagement and outreach events. This has resulted in three international conferences, four public lectures, a heritage open day and a number of media outputs. We are currently working on a volume of essays looking at contemporary warfare from a range of perspectives.

Common Good: Ethics and Rights in Cyber Security (ERCS)

ERCS seeks to understand where the balance lies between security and ethics in digital governance. If the recent controversies of U.S governmental surveillance and implicated technology companies demonstrated anything, it is the need for proportionate, just and effective cybersecurity in digital governance that is committed to the common good.

The South Asia Project

The key objective of this project is to conduct and promote research on South Asian affairs with an emphasis on India. The project defines South Asia as the member countries of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC). It initiates research projects, holds workshops and conferences and provides conference and research fellowships to South Asian scholars.


Fees and funding


Full time:
£4,712 per year


Full time:
£16,250 per year

These fees are for all research degree programmes on this page. For courses lasting more than one year, annual increases apply. For more information, please visit the fees and funding page. 

Postgraduate research programme structures


  • Full-time: 3 years of research, with up to 12 months writing up if required
  • Part-time: 5 years of research, with up to 20 months of writing up if required


  • Full-time: one year of research, with up to 12 months writing up if required
  • Part-time: 2 years of research, with up to 24 months of writing up if required

Writing-up and thesis submission

A standard full-time PhD programme comprised three years of research plus up to 12 months of writing-up. Part-time is five years plus up to 20 months writing-up if needed. Full-time standard Masters programmes are comprised one year of research plus up to 12 months of writing-up if needed; and part time Masters programmes have two years of research with up to two years of writing-up.

For full-time students, the writing-up phase typically takes about three months but may be extended to one year without further paperwork. For part-time students, writing-up typically takes one year, but may be extended to two years without further paperwork. The maximum writing-up period is included in your overall programme length, which means that international PGRs will not need to apply for an additional visa to cover the writing-up phase.

If you need to move into the writing-up period of your research degree, you must enrol for this phase and you will be liable to pay a continuation fee.

The fees for the writing-up period for 2023/24 are:

Full time

  • Writing-up fee £345
  • Rebate for submission within first 3 months of the research period end date 100%
  • Rebate for submission between 4- 6 months of the research period end date 50%
  • Rebate for submission between 7-9 months of the research period end date 25%

Part time

  • Continuation Fee £170
  • Rebate for submission within first 3 months of the research period end date 100%
  • Rebate for submission between 4- 6 months of the research period end date 50%
  • Rebate for submission between 7-9 months of the research period end date 25%

Thesis submission timelines

It is expected that you will submit your thesis within the timeframes outlined below:

Masters degrees

  • Submission by one year and 3 months full-time.
  • Submission by 2 years and 6 months part-time.

Doctoral degrees

  • Submission by 3 years and 3 months full-time.
  • Submission by 5 years and 6 months for part-time.

Doctoral Loan

UK students who haven’t secured a scholarship can take out a Doctoral Loan to help with tuition fees and living costs. They provide up to £29,390 for full-time and part-time PhDs in all subject areas.

EU students starting a course on or after 1 August 2021 must have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme to get student finance. Irish citizens do not need to apply for a visa or to the EU Settlement Scheme.

Additional costs

There are some extra costs that you may have to pay, or choose to pay, depending on your programme of study and the decisions you make. The list below has some examples, and any extra costs will vary:

  • Student visas (international students).
  • Books (you’ll have access to many books through the University library, but you may want to buy your own copies).
  • Optional conference/field/archive/library trips (Faculties support some travel and conference attendance financially. Details vary. Please check with the Department/School to which you are applying).
  • Laptop (you’ll have access to laptops and PCs on campus, but you may want to buy your own).
  • Printing and photocopying (There is a printing allowance in place for all students, currently £20 a year. Some Faculties grant PGR students access to printing and photocopying as staff. Please check with the Department/School to which you are applying).
  • Professional-body membership.
  • Graduation (gown hire and photography).

Remember, you’ll still need to take into account your living costs. This could include accommodation, travel and food – to name just a few.

For information about bursaries and how to fund your studies see our money page, or take a look at our PhD scholarships page for specific funded PhD opportunities.

Watch: find out more about postgraduate study at the University of Hull.

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The University’s Postgraduate Training Scheme (PGTS) provides a range of generic and discipline-specific modules to support research students through their programme.

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The library has an exclusive lounge for postgraduate research students and a dedicated Skills Team to provide a wide range of study and research skills help.

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The Doctoral College provides support to postgraduate research students. Offering skills development opportunities and dedicated facilities, the school is here to help you achieve your potential.

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Research at Hull tackles big challenges and makes an impact on lives globally, every day. Our current research portfolio spans everything from health to habitats, food to flooding and supply chain to slavery.

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Entry requirements

You should normally have, or expect to obtain, at least a 2:1 Honours degree (or international equivalent) in a discipline related to the topic of your proposed research. With your application, you should submit a research proposal of between 1,000 - 1,500 words, addressing the key research questions, the strengths and weaknesses of the existing literature, the proposed methodology and how the thesis will be an original contribution to the existing literature.

International students

If you require a student visa to study or if your first language is not English you will be required to provide acceptable evidence of your English language proficiency level.

  • For 2024 entry, this course requires IELTS 6.0 overall, with no less than 5.5 in each competency.
  • For 2025 entry, this course requires IELTS 6.5 overall with no less than 6.0 in each competency.

See other English language proficiency qualifications accepted by this University.

If your English currently does not reach the University's required standard for this programme, you may be interested in one of our English language courses.

Visit your country page to find out more about our entry requirements.