Postgraduate

Politics MPhil, PhD

Politics MPhil, PhD

MPhil - full time: minimum 12 months, part time: minimum 24 months
PhD - full time: minimum 36 months, part time: minimum 72 months

Profile

At the School of Geography, Politics and Sociology, we conduct research and offer PhD and MPhil supervision in all major fields of politics, including: international and global politics, governance and political organisations, and political theory.

We can offer you excellent supervision for your Politics PhD or MPhil, in a vibrant and supportive research environment.

We have a Politics Postgraduate Society, which organises:

  • the 'New Voices' seminar series, with both internal and external presenters
  • Round table discussions on topical issues
  • professional development workshops led by politics staff

You are encouraged to attend conferences to present papers, partial funding for this is available from the School.

Our main research themes are:

The politics of difference

We examine the issues thrown up by the social and political differences of humanity from a variety of perspectives including: analytical and continental political philosophy; comparative politics and international politics; post-colonialism. Our work includes research on:

  • multiculturalism and issues of identity
  • inequality and social justice
  • disability
  • competing discourses of national identity
  • ethnic-nationalism
  • political violence
  • socio-political exclusion and discrimination
  • global norms and cultural difference
  • free speech - toleration and recognition

Popular culture and political communication

Our research addresses various key issues including:

  • representation
  • aesthetics
  • identity
  • cultural political economy
  • memory
  • control

We also assess the processes and depiction of political struggles, such as:

  • armed conflict
  • everyday life
  • political organising and identity formation
  • elections

Political participation and elections

We examine the differing forms of political participation that link society to the political systems of the world. We look at both the formal electoral process and non-electoral politics (social movements, protest groups etc). Our research on the emergence of virtual political participation means that some of our work intersects with popular culture and political communication. We investigate:

  • citizen involvement and (dis)engagement
  • social capital
  • non-participation
  • the role of civil society

Political ideologies and political thought

We focus on the history of political thought as well as how these ideas are embedded in programmes for political action. Our research incorporates both historical and contemporary political thought prominent in the Western tradition as well as Asian philosophy and post-colonial thinking. This is an interdisciplinary theme, serving as a bridge between empirical political science and political theory.

Global economic and environmental challenges

We study the importance of political ideas such as sustainable development and globalisation, as well as the struggle to define the core problems that society faces. These challenges pose questions to the nature and reform of global governance, and generate tensions between the state and transnationalising forces in global politics and political economy. Our work has already led to findings on:

  • the implications for global justice
  • the policy challenge for governments and non-governmental actors
  • the empowerment of various actors

Democracy, the modern state and political organisations

Our work examines the role of interest groups, social movements, political parties, third-sector actors and charities, community organisations and postcolonial nationalism in relation to the modern state. We draw from ancient and modern political thought to understand the interpretation of democracy (including democratic rights and the foundations of democracy). Our research interrogates the forms democracy takes, including:

  • elite theories of democracy
  • deliberative democracy
  • cosmopolitan democracy
  • democracy in divided societies

Political economy of development

Our research focuses on the interaction of economic forces and principles with political power in the development of societal economics and welfare, as well as on theories of development and post-development. We cover a range of geographic areas in Africa, the Americas, Europe and Asia. We explore questions such as:

  • the impact of the ongoing financial and economic crisis
  • the role of communities and individuals in the face of global political economic forces
  • the impact of the emerging economies (for example Brazil and China) on the global political economy

Critical geopolitics and security

Our research focuses on thinking critically about the political dynamics, consequences and discourses of historical and contemporary geopolitics. We cover both historical and contemporary questions of security, including:

  • the territorialisation/de-territorialisation of identity and political agency
  • political cartography
  • the role of fear and identity in shaping geopolitics
  • sovereignty and nationalism - the role and impact of the military
  • notions of terrorism and the war on terror
  • the geographies of international boundaries
  • the war on the trade in illegal substances
  • the city and security
  • the threat of biological weapons and infectious disease
  • the vertical dimension in geopolitical and security studies
  • visual culture and world politics
  • technologies and architectures of security and insecurity
  • the human body and security

Theory of international relations

We take an active role in the global debate on the units, actors and structures that shape the dynamics of international politics. Our research covers the political consequences of the constitution of the international as a distinct kind of relation. We examine political concepts including:

  • the world system
  • international diplomacy
  • networks
  • notions of empire
  • regional integration
  • non-governmental actors
  • the (nation) state

Governance in Britain and wider Europe

Our research investigates the dynamics driving public policy-making at national, EU and international levels. We focus on the challenges multi-level governance offers for concerns about legitimacy and accountability. This includes the changing relationship between the governing and the governed over matters of politics and policy. Our geographic scope includes the United Kingdom, Western Europe, Eastern Europe and Russia, and the Mediterranean

Global justice and human rights

Our work in political philosophy reflects the increasing need to tackle issues at a global rather than a state-only level. We cover issues such as:

  • the formulation and justification of human rights
  • the competing claims of relativism, particularism, and cultural diversity
  • the extension of ideas of distributive justice from states to humanity as a whole
  • proposals to secure global democracy
  • the application of just war theory to modern conflicts and to humanitarian intervention
  • environmental justice, especially climate change

We tackle questions of justice from an issue perspective as well as surveys of nationalism, statism, and various non-cosmopolitan theories of global justice.

Political research and methods

We conduct qualitative and quantitative research reflecting both empirical and critical political methodologies. We use quantitative methods, including rational choice theory and experiments, to make sense of topics as diverse as party systems and transitional justice. Our aim is to push innovation in research methods in ethnography, hermeneutics and discourse analysis. We use concepts that challenge traditional notions of politics to investigate methods for research into new challenges, including:

  • the rise of life sciences
  • the focus on the relationship between the human body and security
  • emergent forms of subjectivity and politics

Research skills development

The University's Humanities and Social Sciences Graduate School provides a full range of research training in the social sciences, which meets the requirements of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). This training includes:

  • bibliographical techniques
  • philosophy of social science
  • quantitative and qualitative methods

The Graduate School also hosts postgraduate events, including open days, and supports personal development.

A sample of job titles our graduates now hold

No Data Available

A sample of employers our graduates now work for

No Data Available

Data based on responses from 444 UK, EU and International postgraduate leavers (2011/12, 2012/13) studying in the School of Biology, School of Geography, Politics and Sociology, School of Marine Science and Technology, School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences. See more about what our graduates do.

Related Degrees

  • International Political Economy MA

    This course provides training in the discipline of international political economy. It includes an understanding of contemporary debate on globalisation and its effect on states, economies and societies in both advanced and developing countries.

  • Politics (Research) MA

    This course provides you with the skills, knowledge and understanding to enable you to proceed to doctoral research. The social and political science research training is also valuable for many non-academic careers, including those in national and local government, international organisations, non-governmental organisations, social research and the media.

All related programmes

Training & Skills

As a research student you will receive a tailored package of academic and administrative support to ensure you maximise your research and future career. The academic information is in the programme profile and you will be supported by our doctoral training centres, Faculty Training Programme and Research Student Support Team.

Research training

Our Faculty Training Programme provides a community made up of postgraduate social sciences and humanities students and staff. It is a unique blend of cross-disciplinary and generic researcher development training, recognised by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) as providing a solid basis for doctoral study.

Although your focus will be on your specialist study, our aim is for you to develop a broad range of research and project management skills that will support you in your career ahead. We have nurtured a multi-cultural, multi-disciplinary and supportive environment where staff and students from across the world can come together and share their research experiences. You can also choose to register for a Postgraduate Certificate in Research Training, which accredits the core foundation modules on the training programme.

You will study in our Doctoral Training Suite with purpose-built facilities for lectures, workshops, seminars and computer access to specialist software required for doctoral research in the social sciences and humanities. Each year we have two student-led research postgraduate conferences and we have a variety of prizes and awards to celebrate the successes of our students.

ESRC Northern Ireland/North East (NINE) Doctoral Training Partnership

The ESRC Northern Ireland/North East (NINE) Doctoral Training Partnership is a joint venture between Durham University, Newcastle University, Northumbria University, Queen’s University Belfast, University of Sunderland, Teesside University and Ulster University . We are a centre of excellence for postgraduate social sciences. We offer a world-class, interdisciplinary environment for doctoral training and research.

Funded and accredited by the ESRC, we are one of the most innovative of the national network of doctoral training centres with a strong track record of partnership working with public, private and community organisations.

Northern Bridge doctoral training partnership

Based at Newcastle University, Northern Bridge brings together the expertise and exceptional resources of Newcastle University, Durham University, Queen’s University Belfast and their partners for the training and development of outstanding arts and humanities postgraduate researchers.

Northern Bridge is funded by the AHRC to provide doctoral studentships and has been commended for the strength of its research base, shared vision, and its successful track record of partnership working.

EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Digital Civics

 The EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Digital Civics offers MRes plus PhD studentshipsYou will be trained in the design, deployment and evaluation of community driven digital technologies and services.
 
The CDT in Digital Civics brings together a wealth of expertise and is a collaboration between five of the University’s leading research centres in the following areas: Human Computer Interaction and Ubiquitous Computingsecurity, privacy and trust ; teaching and learning; planning and public health and social care.
 
It is a unique partnership between Newcastle University, Newcastle City Council, Gateshead Council and Northumberland County Council, as well as a range of local, national and global industry and third sector partners

Postgraduate research student support

Our award winning Research Student Support Team is dedicated to providing you with information, support and advice throughout your research degree studies. The team can help and advise you on a variety of issues from registration to producing your transcripts.

Fees & Funding

2017-2018 fees

The fees displayed here are per year.

MPhil, PhD

UK/EU

Full time: £4,540
Part time: £2,270

International

Full time: £12,680

You can read more about our tuition fees and discounts available.

Tuition fees for 2018-19 have not yet been confirmed.

EU students starting at Newcastle in 2017 and 2018 will pay the UK (Home) tuition fee for the full duration of their course.

Funding opportunities

Non EU students Number of awards Value of awards
Indonesia Endowment Fund for Education (LPDP)

Not specified.

The scholarship covers tuition fees and living expenses.

Newcastle University Overseas Research Scholarship (NUORS)

Tuition fee scholarships of typically £7,800 - £11,700 per year. The award covers the difference between fees for UK/EU students and international students.

Our students/graduates Number of awards Value of awards
20% Alumni Tuition Fee Discount

Discount varies by level of tuition fee.

Our students/graduates Number of awards Value of awards
20% Alumni Tuition Fee Discount

Discount varies by level of tuition fee.

UK/EU students Number of awards Value of awards
PhD Studentship in Epidemiology and Public Health using Population-based Cohorts of Ageing in the UK and USA

1

100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid and annual stipend of £14,553. Additional funding is available for research costs and national and international travel (conferences and exchanges)

PhD Studentship in Chemical Engineering and Advanced Materials: Next generation of composite molten salt-ceramic membranes for selective separation of NOx, SO2 and CO2

1

Depending on how you meet the EPSRC’s eligibility criteria, a full award covers tuition fees at the UK/EU rate for the duration of your PhD and an annual stipend £14,553 (2017/18).  A partial award covers fees at the UK/EU rate only.

PhD Studentship in Chemical Engineering and Advanced Materials: The Use of Perovskite-type Oxygen-carriers for Hydrogen Production via Chemical Looping

1

Depending on how you meet the EPSRC’s eligibility criteria, a full award covers tuition fees at the UK/EU rate for the duration of your PhD and an annual stipend £14,553 (2017/18).  A partial award covers fees at the UK/EU rate only.

PhD Studentship: Health monitoring for wide-bandgap power modules

1

£56,244 in total (over 3 years). Funding covers the cost of annual fees at £4,250 and provides annual maintenance of £14,553 (2017/18 figure). UK applicants will be eligible for a full award paying tuition fees and maintenance. European Union applicants will be eligible for an award paying tuition fees only, except where UK residency has been established for more than 3 years.

PhD studentship – underwater sensor networks

1

100% of UK/EU tuition fees
UK students – annual tax-free stipend (living allowances) of £20,000.
Non-UK EU students - annual tax-free stipend (living allowances) of £15,000.

Postgraduate Master’s Loan Scheme (students from England and non-UK countries)

Maximum of £10,280 (2017 entry)

Two PhD Studentships in Environmental/Animal Science/Clean Technology - Assessment of Environmental Impact of European Pig Systems

2

100% tuition fees at the UK/EU rate for the duration of your PhD and an annual stipend of £14,533  

Disabled Students' Allowances

Varies

Professional and Career Development Loans

Varies

Industrial CASE PhD Studentship in Chemical Engineering and Advanced Materials: Data-driven modelling of glass durability and glass pouring rate in nuclear waste vitrification process

1

Depending on how you meet the EPSRC’s eligibility criteria, a full award covers tuition fees at the UK/EU rate for the duration of your PhD and an annual stipend £14,296 (2016/17).  A partial award covers fees at the UK/EU rate only.

EPSRC Studentship – Electrical and Electronic Engineering

1

100% tuition fees and UK/EU rate for 4 years of study (MSc year + 3 years PhD), plus an annual stipend of £14,533.

PhD Studentship in Cell and Molecular Biosciences - Virulence factors of human and bird Trichomonad parasites targeting host proteoglycans: integrating evolutionary genomics and molecular cell biology

1

100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid and annual living expenses of £14,553 (full award). A partial award covers fees at the UK/EU rate only. 

BBSRC CASE PhD Studentship in Cellular Medicine - Investigating the impact of insulin resistance on ageing, appearance and wellbeing using sleep as a model system

1

100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid and annual living expenses of £14,553 (full award).  A partial award covers fees at the UK/EU rate only.

PhD Studentship in Chemical Engineering and Advanced Materials: Development of novel proton – oxygen ion – electron conducting ceramics

1

Depending on how you meet the EPSRC’s eligibility criteria, a full award covers tuition fees at the UK/EU rate for a three year duration of your PhD and an annual stipend £14,533 (2017/18).

The Elsie Jeffery Memorial Bursary

1

£1,000

Subsea UK Subsea Engineering MSc Scholarship

1

£8,000

EPSRC CASE PhD Studentship: Next generation loop heat pipe wick technology for thermal management of Space and Terrestrial applications

1

This award will cover a full PhD studentship of £18,748 per year. This includes RCUK standard UK/EU tuition fees, and a stipend of at least £14,553 per year. Additional funding will be provided by the Industry sponsor to support the placement position. 

PhD Studentship - Systems and Methods for Foot Drop Correction

1

The successful candidate will receive a generous studentship of £20,000 per annum for three years (tax-free). The student will also benefit from additional allowance for attendance at conferences and training workshops. 

PhD studentship in Northern Institute for Cancer Research: Investigation of the effects of DNA repair inhibitors in pre-clinical models of neuroblastomas with ATM, MYCN and TP53 abnormalities

1

100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid and annual living expenses of £14,683 in the first year rising to £14,958 in year 3. Also significant additional funding to cover research costs and local, national and international travel (conferences and exchanges). Total value of award is £99,999.53.

PhD Studentship in Computing Science - Verification of Portable Synthetic Biocircuits (EPSRC Portabolomics)

1

100% of UK/EU tuition fees and an annual stipend of £14,553 (full award).

PhD studentship - Use of cell based therapy in ex-vivo reconditioning of donor organs prior to transplantation

1

100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid and annual living expenses of £14,553.  Also significant additional funding to cover research costs.

International (Non EU) students Number of awards Value of awards
School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape - Postgraduate International Scholarship Scheme (2017)

Not specified

£2,000 tuition fee scholarships

Vice-Chancellor's International Scholarships

255

£3,000

International Family Discounts (IFD)

10% of the tuition fee per year.

Fulbright Scholarships

Varies

British Marshall Scholarships

40

Varies

Newcastle University Overseas Research Scholarship (NUORS)

Tuition fee scholarships of typically £7,800 - £11,700 per year. The award covers the difference between fees for UK/EU students and international students.

Chinese Business Excellence Scholarships

Tuition fees scholarships from £5,000 for a range of Business School postgraduate courses.

Indonesia Endowment Fund for Education (LPDP)

Not specified.

The scholarship covers tuition fees and living expenses.

USA Athlete Scholarship

10

£5000- £8000 payable towards the first year of tuition fees and a comprehensive support package (see Overview for further details).

All students Number of awards Value of awards
PhD Studentship - Tracked Electric Vehicles

1

£56,244 in total (over 3 years). Funding covers the cost of fees and provides an annual maintenance of £14,553 (2017/18 figures).  UK, EU and international applicants will be eligible for a full award paying tuition fees and maintenance.

PhD Studentship in Computing Science - A Computational Systems Biology Approach to Psoriasis Treatment (Rosetrees Trust)

1

100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid and an annual stipend of £14,553 (full award).  Successful international candidates will be required to make up the difference between the UK/EU fees and international fees.

MSc Funding - 1st Class Scholarship (School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences)

Not specified

£2,000

Clinical Research Funding - various

Varies

Health Education England Bursaries (Physician Associate Studies, PGDip)

20 awards for 2017 entry

£18,000 bursary (£9,000 per year) and a contribution towards travel costs. The Bursary is paid as a tuition fee discount direct to the University.

School and Research Institute Studentships, Bursaries and Scholarships

Varies

Postgraduate Tuition Fee Instalments
2% Tuition Fee Discount

2% off annual tuition fee

Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan (CSFP)

Varies

Varies.

Sir Mark Waller Postgraduate Law Scholarships

6 for international students, 2 for home/EU students.

Full and partial (£2,500-£3,000) tuition fee scholarships.

Charities and Trusts

Varies

Allergy Module Funding

Varies

Employer Sponsorship

Varies

FindAMasters.com and FindAPhD.com Postgraduate Scholarships

Not specified.

FindAMasters.com and FindAPhD.com are offering £12,000 in scholarships for postgraduate study.

Postgrad Solutions Study Bursaries

15

£500 payable towards tuition fees.

Teacher Training (PGCE programmes)
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy PGDip Bursaries

£2,000

The North of England P and I Association Limited (NEPIA) Studentship

1

£2500

Sport Scholarships

Varies

£500 - £10,000

PhD Studentship in Chemical Engineering and Advanced Materials: Mathematical modelling studies of rhythmic hydrogels for medical applications

1

Depending on how you meet the EPSRC’s eligibility criteria, 100% tuition fees at the UK/EU rate for the duration of your PhD and an annual stipend £14,296 (2016/17).  A partial award covers fees at the UK/EU rate only.

Business Excellence Scholarships

Tuition fees scholarships from £2,000 - £5,000 for a range of Business School Master’s courses.

MBA Business Excellence Scholarships

Tuition fee scholarships of £6,000 will be awarded to high achieving MBA candidates.

MBA Leadership Scholarships

Tuition fee scholarships of £10,000 will be awarded to high achieving MBA candidates.

Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation MLitt/PhD Studentships for Studies Relating to Japan

Up to 3 (MLitt or PhD)

£10,000,contributing towards your MLitt/PhD tuition fees and living costs. 

MastersCompare Postgraduate Scholarship

1

£5,000

PhD studentship in Biochemistry and Structural Biology – The Molecular Structure of Meiotic Chromosomes

1

100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid and annual living expense of £14,553.  Successful international candidates will be required to make up the difference between the UK/EU fees and international fees.

PhD studentship - Long-term training load management and recovery strategies in elite rugby union players (Newcastle Falcons Rugby Club and Newcastle University)

1

100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid and annual living expenses of £14,533. Successful international candidates will be required to make up the difference between the UK/EU fees and international fees.

PhD Studentship in Computing Science - Data Driven Computer Modelling of Brain Injury Recovery

1

100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid and an annual stipend of £14,553 (full award).  Successful international candidates will be required to make up the difference between the UK/EU fees and international fees.

Hodcroft Larsen Postgraduate Scholarship

1

£3,000

NIHR Newcastle Biomedical Research Centre - Biomedical Scientist PhD Studentship

1

The award is available to UK/EU and non-EU international students, however the award only covers fees at the UK/EU rate and international students will need to fund the difference between UK/EU and international fees. Support includes a stipend of £14,553 per year (equivalent to the Research Council rate), and funds for travel and conference attendance (£5,000 per year).

Entry Requirements

A 2:1 honours degree and a master's degree, or international equivalent, in politics or a related subject.

International Students

To study this course you need to meet our Band 8 English Language requirements:

Direct Entry: IELTS 7.0 overall (with a minimum of 6.5 in all sub-skills)

If you have lower English Language scores, you may be accepted onto a pre-sessional English course. 

Our typical English Language requirements are listed as IELTS scores but we also accept a wide range of English Language tests.

The equivalent academic qualifications that we accept are listed on our country pages.

How to Apply

Use our Applicant Portal to apply for your course. We have a step-by-step guide to help you.

You need to submit a research proposal with your online application. Read our guidelines for producing a research proposal (PDF: 41.5KB) from the Faculty of Humanities and Social Science Graduate School.

Start dates

There are usually two possible start dates, although in some circumstances an alternative start date can be arranged:

  • January
  • September

There is no application closing date for this course, but specific deadlines for funding may apply.

We suggest international students apply at least two months before the course starts. This is so that you have enough time to make the necessary arrangements.

Deposit

If you live outside the UK/EU you must:

  • pay a deposit of £1,500
  • or submit an official letter of sponsorship

The deposit is payable after you receive an offer to study at Newcastle University. The deposit is non-refundable, but is deducted from your tuition fees when you register.

Contact

Jenny Dawley
Postgraduate Secretary
School of Geography, Politics and Sociology
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 5200
Email: gps@ncl.ac.uk