PhD
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.

This gives you 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.

Full-time and part-time study

You can choose to work on your research full time or part time. For details about part-time study, contact us.

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:

Find out how to apply for a PhD at Sussex

Faculty

Explore our research interests and find a potential supervisor.

  • Faculty profiles

    Prof David Berry
    Professor of Digital Humanities
    D.M.Berry@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Algorithms, Code, Computation, Critical Digital Humanities, Critical Theory, Digital Humanities, Philosophy, Political economy, Post-digital, Social and political theory, Software Studies, The University

    View profile

    Dr Anthony Booth
    Senior Lecturer in Philosophy
    A.R.Booth@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Applied Philosophy, Epistemic Normativity, Epistemology, Ethics, Ethics of Belief, Gettier Cases, Islamic Epistemology, Philosophy Of Mind

    View profile

    Dr Andrew Chitty
    Senior Lecturer in Philosophy
    A.E.Chitty@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Collective action, collective intentionality, constructivism in ethics, Ethics, Fichte, Hegel, Marxism, Philosophy, Political Philosophy, political theory, recognition theory

    View profile

    Prof Gerard Delanty
    Professor of Sociology & Social & Political Thought
    G.Delanty@sussex.ac.uk

    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

    View profile

    Dr Gordon Finlayson
    Senior Lecturer in Philosophy
    J.G.Finlayson@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Critical Theory, German Philosophy, Habermas, Hegel, History Of Philosophy, Philosophy, Social and Political Philosophy

    View profile

    Dr Tarik Kochi
    Senior Lecturer
    T.Kochi@sussex.ac.uk

    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

    View profile

    Dr Darrow Schecter
    Reader in Critical Theory
    D.Schecter@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Critical Theory, critique of instrumental reason, Foucault, Gramsci, legitimacy, Libertarian socialism, Pasolini, systems theory

    View profile

    Dr Kenneth Veitch
    Senior Lecturer
    K.J.Veitch@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: health care law, legal theory, medical law, neoliberalism, Social policy, Social Theory, Socio Legal Studies, solidarity, Welfare state

    View profile

Entry requirements

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.

Find out about other English language qualifications we accept.

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

Find out how to apply for a student visa


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.

Scholarships

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.

Alfred Bader Scholarship Programme - PhD Scholarship in Modern Jewish History and Culture (2017)

3-year PhD scholarship - UK/EU tuition fees (non EU students will need to fund the difference in fees), as well as a maintenance payment.

Application deadline:

3 May 2017

Find out more about the Alfred Bader Scholarship Programme - PhD Scholarship in Modern Jewish History and Culture

Asa Briggs PhD Scholarship (3 year) (2017)

This scholarship celebrates the key role in the foundation of Sussex by Lord Asa Briggs.

Application deadline:

2 May 2017

Find out more about the Asa Briggs PhD Scholarship (3 year)

Collaborative Doctoral Project Studentship- Sussex University and the British Library: American Political Pamphlets 1920-1945 (2017)

The University of Sussex and the British Library intend to make a PhD studentship appointment under the AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Partnership scheme

Application deadline:

1 June 2017

Find out more about the Collaborative Doctoral Project Studentship- Sussex University and the British Library: American Political Pamphlets 1920-1945

Commonwealth Scholarship (2017)

Commonwealth Scholarships for Master’s and PhD study in the UK are offered for citizens of developing Commonwealth countries.

Application deadline:

29 March 2017

Find out more about the Commonwealth Scholarship

Dr John Birch Music Scholarship (2017)

Four scholarships of £800 to reward talented musicians and encourage music performance whilst studying at Sussex.

Application deadline:

19 May 2017

Find out more about the Dr John Birch Music Scholarship

Einhorn Oestreicher MPhil Scholarship (2017)

A £10,000 scholarship for students of any nationality wishing to pursue MPhil research in Resistance Studies commencing full-time in September 2017

Application deadline:

31 May 2017

Find out more about the Einhorn Oestreicher MPhil Scholarship

Part-time work

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.

Find out more about careers and employability

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.


Contact us