4 years full time, 6 years part time
Choose to start in September 2017, January 2018 or May 2018
Social and Political Thought
Politics is inextricable from human society and our teaching reflects this. Our interdisciplinary approach goes beyond the academic divisions between sociology and social theory, and political theory and political philosophy.
Areas of study
You have the opportunity to work on a wide range of research projects, including:
- various European traditions of social theory, political sociology, and Marxist and Frankfurt School critical theory
- Anglo-American political theory, constructivist theory from Kant to Rawls, and communitarian or neo-Aristotelian theory
- figures of social and political thought, from Aristotle to Habermas
- issues in postcolonialism, feminism and race critical theory.
PhD or MPhil?
You can choose to study for a PhD or an MPhil. PhD and MPhil degrees differ in the length of the course and therefore in the extent of the research work you can undertake and incorporate in your thesis.
- An MPhil typically takes three years full time and four years part time. You’ll conduct an independent piece of research but in less depth than for a PhD. You will graduate with the degree title Master of Philosophy.
- A PhD typically takes four years full time and six years part time. You will undertake a piece of research that makes a substantial original contribution to knowledge or understanding in your chosen field.
If you choose an MPhil, you might be able to change to a PhD during the course of your studies.
How to apply
If you’d like to join us as a research student, there are two main routes:
- browse scholarships and funded projects in this subject area
- find a potential supervisor and propose your own research project.
Full-time and part-time study
Choose to work on your research full time or part time, to fit around your work and family life. For details about part-time study, contact Dr Gordon Finlayson, Graduate Convener for Philosophy, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Explore our research interests and find a potential supervisor.
- Faculty profiles
Prof David Berry
Professor of Digital Humanities
Research interests: Algorithms, Code, Computation, Critical Digital Humanities, Critical Reason, Critical Theory, Digital Humanities, History of the University, Philosophy, Political economy, Post-digital, postdigital, Social and political theory, Software Studies, University
Dr Anthony Booth
Senior Lecturer in Philosophy
Research interests: Applied Philosophy, Epistemic Normativity, Epistemology, Ethics, Ethics of Belief, Gettier Cases, Islamic Epistemology, Philosophy Of Mind
Dr Andrew Chitty
Senior Lecturer in Philosophy
Research interests: Collective action, collective intentionality, constructivism in ethics, Ethics, Fichte, Hegel, Marxism, Philosophy, Political Philosophy, political theory, recognition theory
Prof Gerard Delanty
Professor of Sociology & Social & Political Thought
Research interests: capitalism, Cosmopolitanism, democracy, historical and political sociology, history and philosophy of the social sciences, modernity, Nationalism, Social and political theory, the european cultural and political heritage
Dr Gordon Finlayson
Reader in Philosophy
Research interests: Critical Theory, German Philosophy, Habermas, Hegel, History Of Philosophy, Philosophy, Social and Political Philosophy
Dr Tarik Kochi
Research interests: Critical Legal Theory, Critical Theory, Hegel, History and Theory of War, History of political economy, History of Political Thought, International Law, International Political Theory, Jurisprudence/Philosophy Of Law, Social and political theory
Dr Darrow Schecter
Professor of Critical Theory and Modern European History
Research interests: Critical Theory, critique of instrumental reason, Foucault, Gramsci, legitimacy, Libertarian socialism, Pasolini, systems theory
A Masters degree, or its equivalent, in a subject relevant to your chosen area of research.
English language requirements
IELTS 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each section.
English language support
Don’t have the English language level for your course? Find out more about our pre-sessional courses.
Additional information for international students
We welcome applications from all over the world. Find out about international qualifications suitable for our PhD degrees.
Visas and immigration
Scholarships and fees
How can I fund my course?
Postgraduate Masters Loan
MPhil students might be eligible for a Postgraduate Masters Loan. This is not available for students registering for a PhD.
Our aim is to ensure that every student who wants to study with us is able to despite financial barriers, so that we continue to attract talented and unique individuals.
We advertise around 2,500 part-time jobs a year so you can make money and gain work experience. We have a special scheme to employ students on campus, wherever possible.
How much does it cost?
Fees for self-funding students
Home: £4,195 per year
EU: £4,195 per year
Channel Islands and Isle of Man: £4,195 per year
Overseas: £15,100 per year
Our fees follow the indicative fee level set nationally by Research Council UK and may be subject to change.
Life at Sussex
Dr Gordon Finlayson
Graduate Convenor for Philosophy
+44 (0)1273 876629
- Admissions enquiries