School of Global Studies

Research degrees

List of research degrees offered by Global Studies

The School of Global Studies is a large and vibrant academic community concerned with the analysis of key issues in contemporary culture and society. The School also houses a number of interdisciplinary research centres.

We offer the following PhDs:

  • Social Anthropology
  • Development Studies
  • Geography
  • International Relations
  • Migration Studies
  • Human Rights
  • African Studies


Making an online application

To make an online application, please follow the links from:

Make sure you provide an indicative research proposal of at least three pages.  The proposal should indicate the areas of research you are interested in, summarise what you intend to do, give an indication of the research methodology you propose to use and provide a brief literature review.

If you are interested in International Relations, please consult the specific guidelines and related information available from the Department’s own website.

Applications should also include two academic references, transcripts giving details of your current and past studies and the IELTS result or equivalent (as appropriate.)  Some applicants also choose to include a Curriculum Vitae/Resume although this is not usually necessary.

Sources of information on funding

For information on scholarships, fees and living costs see:

If you are an applicant from the UK/EU please take a look at the following website which includes information on the ESRC funding process:

What about supervision?

Each Doctoral Researcher will be allocated two supervisors, with the primary supervisor providing advice at every stage in the planning and conduct of research as well as the writing of the thesis.

It is not mandatory to identify a supervisor before you apply, but we would normally expect that you consider the research expertise of the staff available for supervision in the school by exploring their web profiles. If you have someone in mind please make sure you mention it in your application. All doctoral researchers are allocated two supervisors. Please be advised that it is not always possible for supervisors to agree to supervise new postgraduate researchers and we are not able to find appropriate supervisors for all proposals, irrespective of quality.

Note that we normally expect anyone applying for Research Council funding to be in contact with proposed supervisors in advance of any formal application.

In particular, as Development Studies spans many different disciplines, it is advisable to identify an appropriate supervisor for your project when applying. 

A good starting point is the list of faculty research interests in the prospectus. See the “faculty interests” tab under each subject area.

If you are thinking of applying to the Institute of Development Studies, please remember that our colleagues in IDS offer a separate PhD and you should make sure you have chosen the correct degree on the online application system.

What can I expect during the first year?

PhD registration starts in Year 1 but all Doctoral Researchers must submit an extended research outline during their first academic year (two years for part-time registrations) before they can progress to the next stage.

Further enquiries

Feedback on applications

The School receives a large volume of applications and consequently we are not always in a position to provide detailed feedback, unless stipulated by the selectors. 

For general guidance, here is a list of the factors that often lead to rejection of applications:

  • The selectors were unable to match the proposal with two supervisors.  (See the section on supervision above.)
  • The proposal itself does not form the basis for a successful research project or the overall structure, research design, or research objectives are flawed.  (For further information please see “making an online application” above.)
  • The understanding of the relevant literatures in the proposal is under-developed, there are inadequate references, or the literature review does not demonstrate the applicant’s suitability for study at doctoral level. 
  • References are not provided at the time of application or in time by a referee. Please remind any referee of the need to provide their letter in a timely fashion.
  • Other key documents are missing eg. Transcripts.
  • Existing qualifications do not meet our entry requirements, particularly once we have assessed comparability with UK qualifications.