Research and education in the School are driven by a concern to encourage innovative and critically incisive ways of thinking about a wide range of problems we encounter as citizens and as human beings.
The subjects we research in the School all contribute to the scholarly investigation of these challenges. The School is proud to be part of the driving force in Northern Ireland’s cultural, political and intellectual renaissance.
We pride ourselves on our global outlook within the School. This is reflected in our wide range of international partners and in the diverse nationalities represented across the staff and student bodies. The School hosts international visitors and speakers throughout each academic year and students benefit from the wide range of national and international topics being discussed and researched within the school.
We Are World-Leading
Research Excellence Framework – REF 2014 assessment confirmed the School’s standing as one of the leading centres in the UK for world-class research in Politics, International Studies and Philosophy.
In terms of ‘research intensity’ – a measure of the quality of the research across all academic staff in the School – both Politics and International Studies and Philosophy were ranked by Times Higher Education in the top ten units in the United Kingdom
About the Programme
The aim of the programme is to produce students who are fully-fledged independent researchers, and students are from the outset given encouragement to disseminate their work at seminars and conferences and by publishing in high-quality locations. The programme culminates in the submission of an 80,000-word dissertation.
The School has a strong international reputation for innovative research, across a wide range of specialist research strengths:
• Contemporary Irish Political History
• Governance and Public Policy, with a particular emphasis on European Union politics, public opinion, gender studies, governance.
• Security, Terrorism and International Relations.
• Political Theory, particularly green political thought, post-structuralism, democratic political theory and the politics of recognition.
In each of these, important and pioneering work has been published by members of staff and major projects of research are ongoing. In addition, the School is committed to the supervision of high-quality research students in all areas.
A flourishing programme of events, seminars, and research groups complements our postgraduate courses and doctoral supervision.
Our world-class academics provide research students with excellent supervision. Learn more about our expertise and click here to find a Phd supervisor and explore research areas.
The School boasts the Centre for Advancement of Women in Politics works to promote women’s contribution to politics, government and public decision making in the UK and Ireland.
Mode of study/duration
Registration is on a full-time or part-time basis, under the direction of a supervisory team appointed by the University. You will be expected to submit your thesis at the end of three years of full-time registration for PhD, or two years for MPhil (or part-time equivalent).
You will be a member of a vibrant graduate community which hosts regular lectures, seminars and conferences and will be encouraged to present the results of your research at these events and more widely at international conferences and workshops.
Queen’s students also have the opportunity to attend rich variety of public lectures and research seminars available within the School and in other parts of the university. Postgraduates thus have the opportunity to become fully part of a programme of active political research in an atmosphere of wide ranging intellectual interchange and enquiry.
We provide a challenging intellectual atmosphere for our postgraduates. You’ll see our thriving research culture yourself, through visits and talks, conferences and workshops, reading groups and the staff seminar series.
Our PhD student body reflects a growing and diverse global community giving you near unrivalled opportunities to make new friends, debate aspects of your research with a substantial peer group, and begin making those networks that will stand you in good stead throughout you careers.
You’ll become part of our vibrant postgraduate research culture, focused on areas including contemporary Irish political history, governance and public policy, security, terrorism and international relations, and philosophy and political theory.
The postgraduate community within the School is lively, energetic and diverse and, contribute enormously to the research culture of the school. It includes many of our own graduates, as well as graduates of British and Irish universities such as Edinburgh, Glasgow, Oxford, and UCD, and international institutions such as Princeton, Georgetown and Minzu University Beijing.
We are proud of the students who have graduated with their doctorates. Where possible we stay in touch so that the link and relationships remain long after a student has left the School. View our alumni here.
Employability is at the heart of the Queen’s curriculum. Key to this is the delivery of a programme that fully equips all of its students to succeed in their careers and give them a competitive edge in the graduate job market. Social science graduates are in demand for their critical thinking skills as they are equipped to question received views and explore new approaches and solutions. Graduates of the School have found success in a wide range of careers including journalism, PR, marketing, policy research, social work, teaching, civil service and government posts.
- THIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY
Contemporary Irish Political History
Governance and Public Policy, with a particular emphasis on European Union politics, public opinion, gender studies, governance.
Security, Terrorism and International Relations
Philosophy, with a particular emphasis on metaphysics, philosophy of mind, logic, epistemology, moral and political philosophy
Political Theory, particularly green political thought, post-structuralism, democratic political theory and the politics of recognition.
For further information on career development opportunities at PhD level please contact the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Career Development Team on email@example.com / +44 28 9097 5175
Development Officers Cathy Wilson and Aileen Carson will be happy to provide further information on your research area career prospects.
Professor John Barry
The minimum academic requirement for admission to a research degree programme is normally an Upper Second Class Honours degree from a UK or ROI HE provider, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University. Further information can be obtained by contacting the School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics.
For information on international qualification equivalents, please check the specific information for your country.
Evidence of an IELTS* score of 6.5, with not less than 5.5 in any component, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University is required (*taken within the last 2 years).
International students wishing to apply to Queen's University Belfast (and for whom English is not their first language), must be able to demonstrate their proficiency in English in order to benefit fully from their course of study or research. Non-EEA nationals must also satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) immigration requirements for English language for visa purposes.
For more information on English Language requirements for EEA and non-EEA nationals see: www.qub.ac.uk/EnglishLanguageReqs.
If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this degree programme, INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for admission to this degree.
INTO - English Language Course(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)
|Northern Ireland (NI)||£4,407|
|England, Scotland or Wales (GB)||£4,407|
|Other (non-UK) EU||£4,407|
Tuition fees for students from Northern Ireland, England, Scotland, Wales and the EU have not been set for 2020-21. The tuition fees for 2019-20 was £4,327. This normally increases by inflation annually and will be set in January 2020. The international fee quoted above is for the academic year 2020-21.
There are no specific additional course costs associated with this programme.
Depending on the programme of study, there may also be other extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies . Students can borrow books and access online learning resources from any Queen's library. If students wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow them from the University Library, prices per text can range from £30 to £100. Students should also budget between £30 to £100 per year for photocopying, memory sticks and printing charges. Students may wish to consider purchasing an electronic device; costs will vary depending on the specification of the model chosen. There are also additional charges for graduation ceremonies, and library fines. In undertaking a research project students may incur costs associated with transport and/or materials, and there will also be additional costs for printing and binding the thesis. There may also be individually tailored research project expenses and students should consult directly with the School for further information.
Find PhD funding opportunities and studentships by subject area.
Find out more >
Queen's has seven outstanding competitive Doctoral Training Centres, with each one providing funding for a number of PhD positions and more importantly a hub for carrying out world class research in key disciplines.
Find out more >
The UK Government will introduce new doctoral loans of up to £25,000 for PhDs and equivalent postgraduate research programmes from 2019.
Loans will be offered to English-resident students to study all types of doctorate at universities across the UK.
Find out more >
Information on scholarships for international students, is available at www.qub.ac.uk/International/International-students/International-scholarships.
If you're interested in a particular project, we suggest you contact the relevant academic before you apply, to introduce yourself and ask questions.
To find a potential supervisor aligned with your area of interest, or if you are unsure of who to contact, look through the staff profiles linked here.
You might be asked to provide a short outline of your proposal to help us identify potential supervisors.
Fees and Funding
Queen's University Belfast is committed to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.
For more information please read our Equality and Diversity Policy.
Queen's University Belfast is registered with the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland NIC101788
VAT registration number: GB 254 7995 11