Dept of Politics | Study here | MPhil/PhD study
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MPhil/PhD study

The Department of Politics provides a uniquely supportive and stimulating environment for full-time and part-time PhD studies. Building on two centuries of radical tradition, we encourage our students to push the frontiers of politics both as an academic discipline and as an arena for public engagement. Our graduates excel in a variety of careers, including academic positions in leading universities in Europe and North America, policy roles in government, international organisations and NGOs and elected office.

PhD graduation photo


The Department of Politics offers expert supervision by world-renowned academics, and welcomes applications from potential research students wishing to study in areas aligned to our staff research interests.

At any one time, around 20 research students are registered in the various sub-fields of British politics, comparative politics, international relations, public policy and political theory. For more details about staff research interests, please see here.


Our PhD students become part of a vibrant academic community. The Department of Politics has over 500 undergraduate and postgraduate students, 18 full-time faculty members and 18 visiting or sessional staff.

We run regular events with leading academics and policy-makers from the UK and beyond and host Birkbeck’s Centre for the Study of British Politics and the Public Life and Population, Environment and Resources Group.

The Department of Politics is part of Birkbeck’s School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy (SSHP). Within SSHP there are currently over 260 postgraduate research students working across the departments of Applied Linguistics and Communication, Geography, Environment and Development Studies, History, Classics and Archaeology, Philosophy, Politics and Psychosocial Studies.

Westminster Photo


Birkbeck’s location in the heart of Bloomsbury – London’s intellectual quarter – brings a range of benefits for PhD students. This includes access to the Bloomsbury Postgraduate Skills Network (BSPN) along with King's College London, the London School of Economics, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, School of Advanced Study, School of Oriental and African Studies, the Royal Veterinary College. Birkbeck is within walking distance of Westminster, Whitehall and numerous think tanks and NGOs, which brings significant advantages to PhD students conducting fieldwork on political issues.

Further information

The Department of Politics is interested in MPhil/PhD applications from suitably qualified candidates who wish to be a part of our distinctive academic community. For details about how to apply, please see here.

We offer self-funded places and a limited number of studentships funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and Birkbeck’s School for Social Sciences, History and Philosophy. For more details on funding, please see here.

If you would like to talk to someone about doing an MPhil/PhD in our Department, please contact the PhD Programme Director, Dr Dermot Hodson or our Department administrators.