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Postgraduate Research Degrees

Postgraduate Studentships and Bursaries  

The School of Politics, International Studies and Philosophy welcomes enquiries from students who wish to continue their studies in these subjects with a view to obtaining a higher degree. A graduate may pursue research, on a full-time or part-time basis, and submit a thesis for the degree of Master of Philosophy (MPhil) or Doctor of Philosophy (PhD).

The School of Politics, International Studies and Philosophy has more postgraduate research students than any other Humanities or Social Sciences subject at Queen's. In recent years many new members of staff have been appointed, substantially increasing the range of research supervision available within the School. All members of staff are qualified to supervise research students. Currently, there are research students dealing with topics on Irish and British history and politics, international relations, European integration, gender, political theory and popular culture, electoral systems and parties, comparative ethnic conflict, the Middle East, and many other areas.

A friendly and supportive atmosphere exists among the postgraduates in Politics, International Studies and Philosophy. Each student is given a primary and a secondary supervisor and is encouraged to consult the members of staff working in his/her area of research. Every year the School runs a series of public lectures with many prominent speakers from academia and practical politics. There also exists a lively postgraduate research seminar series.

For questions regarding the application procedure, please contact the Postgraduate Secretary Caroline Cullen who will be pleased to advise you on the procedure for submitting applications. For further information, see the University admissions information website .

The school has expertise in a number of areas including Governance and Public Policy, International Relations, Ethnic Conflict, Contemporary Irish History, Political Theory and Philosophy. You are STRONGLY encouraged to familiarize yourself with staff members working in your area of interest in advance of submitting a proposal.

Access to the research interests and supervisory areas of the School’s members of staff can be accessed  here

Postgraduate Research

The normal entry requirement consists of the following:

  • The school normally requires applicants for research degrees to have successfully completed a taught postgraduate degree (MA) in Politics, International Studies, European Studies, Philosophy or a cognate subject area, before proceeding to either MPhil or PhD, although candidates having demonstrated exceptional achievement at undergraduate level may be considered. 
  • Good references indicating that the candidate has the academic ability to undertake doctoral research.
  • A viable proposal as determined by the advice of independent assessors in the School. (Viable here pertains to the scope of the project, its originality, and its potential to be completed within the relevant time limit for full-time or part-time students respectively.)
  • Above all, prospective applicants’ ability to conduct postgraduate research successfully will be evaluated on the basis of the detailed Research proposal submitted with the application form.  The School requires a detailed research proposal (1500 - 2000 words) which will outline the research topic, the methodology, the theoretical context within which the research will be carried out (if appropriate), and an indicative bibliography. Please note that this is a particularly important part of your application, and will decisively influence the decision about your admission.  If you have consulted with any members of staff within the School of Politics, International Studies and Philosophy, please mention this in your proposal outline as well. 
  • Where appropriate, an application needs an IELTS score of 6.5 (candidates must be fully proficient in written and spoken English) and a CGPA of 3.3 or above to be considered.
  • Availability and suitably qualified staff to supervise the research project (i.e. at least one specialist in the chosen field). In the absence of such staff the application will be rejected.


To apply for any of our postgraduate courses, you should submit an online application.

Postgraduate Research Studentships – 2015 Entry

For information on available funding for September 2015 admission please click here