Dept of Politics | Study here | MPhil/PhD study | Funding for MPhil/PhDs
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ESRC Studentships

Birkbeck is a member of the UCL, Bloomsbury, East London (UBEL) Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP). The Politics and International Relations pathway of this DTP brings together three departments with world-class reputations for research excellence: Birkbeck’s Department of Politics, the School of Oriental and African Studies’ Department of Politics and International Studies and UCL’s Department of Political Science/School of Public Policy.

Together, these departments span more subfields of politics and international relations and more geographical foci than any other ESRC doctoral training partnership in the UK. Between 2008-2013, the three departments had in excess of £4.7 million in research funded by the ESRC, AHRC, EC and other bodies, and supervised more than 80 doctoral students to successful completion.

Applicants who are offered a place on Birkbeck's MPhil/PhD programme have an opportunity to apply for an Economic and Social Research Council studentship via the Politics and International Relations pathway of the UBEL DTP.

Applicants can apply for a Full Award or a Fees-Only Award or full-time or part-time study subject to residency requirements.

Students that do not hold a recognised ESRC masters degree can apply for a +3 ESRC studentship to cover the costs of a Masters before moving on to a PhD.

The studentship also brings access to extensive research and training opportunities and funding to cover expenses related to fieldwork, language training courses…etc.

In addition to provision within Birkbeck, students following the Politics and International Relations pathway will have the opportunity to take modules across SOAS and UCL.

Applicants who wish to be considered for an ESRC studentship for MPhil/PhD studies at Birkbeck must apply to the Birkbeck Politics MPhil/PhD Programme by 11 December 2018.

A covering letter should be included with this application stating that you wish to be considered for an ESRC studentship. This letter should make clear that Birkbeck and the UBEL DTP are your first choice in applying for an ESRC studentship and explain why your academic studies to date and proposed research project make you a suitable candidate for this highly competitive source of funding.

If you are shortlisted by the Department of Politics for an award, you will be invited to complete an application to the DTP's Politics and International Relations pathway by 4pm (GMT) on 8 January 2019.

For further details about applying to this pathway, please see here.

If you intend to apply for an ESRC studentship, it is strongly recommended that you contact the Politics PhD Director, Dr Dermot Hodson, well in advance of the December departmental deadline.

AHRC Studentships

Competition for AHRC CHASE studentship for October 2019 is now open

Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) studentships are available for PhD studies in the School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy, Birkbeck, beginning in Autumn 2019. These studentships are a result of recently announced funding for the Consortium for the Humanities and the Arts South-east England (CHASE) doctoral training programme. Please visit the website ( for full details of CHASE studentship, in particular, the benefits of CHASE studentship and eligibility.

Applicants are advised to make contact, well in advance of the application deadline, with the Politics CHASE lead: Dr Dermot Hodson (

Closing date for applications:

Applicants must first apply to an MPhil/PhD programme in the school.  The deadlines for applying to departments/programmes vary between 1 December 2018 and 11 January 2019 and late applications will not be accepted. Please contact the pathway leads listed above for details about these deadlines and further information.

SSHP Postgraduate Research Scholarships

The School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy will offer up to 6 fully funded MPhil/PhD Postgraduate Research Scholarships for October 2018 entry.

Closing date for applications: Friday, 8 March 2019.

Find out more about the SSHP research scholarships.

Bonnart Trust PhD Scholarship

A fully funded three year postgraduate Bonnart Trust PhD Scholarship, to commence in October 2019, will be awarded by the School to an outstanding candidate whose research topic explores one of the following themes:

  • Diversity and Belonging
  • Minorities and Social Justice.

Closing date for applications: Friday 1 February 2019.

International Scholarships

We offer a number of scholarships specifically for international students. Some are offered directly by Birkbeck; others are offered in partnership with other organisations.

Find out more about our International scholarships.

Other funding sources