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Guidance for Applicants

PhD applications

The Department of Political Economy offers four PhD programmes:

Please visit King's Centre for Doctoral Studies to find out more about our postgraduate training facilities.

If you have any questions, visit our FAQ page

Departmental requirements

To apply for a PhD in the Department of Political Economy, you will need:

  • A good Master’s degree in a relevant subject and/or relevant practical experience. We normally look for at least high Merit grades (high 60s) at the MA level, or overseas equivalent.
  • Transcripts of your academic performance.
  • A proposal of up to 3,000 words plus references.
  • Two references, preferably both academic, at least one of who taught you on your Master's (your referees will be contacted by King's and asked to submit a reference electronically).
  • A sample of relevant written work, in English (e.g MA dissertation).
  • A good supervisory fit.

The university has other criteria (e.g. visa eligibility, language qualifications) but these are dealt with by the Admissions Office  and not by the department.

Prospective Supervisors

Before applying for a PhD with the department you will need to consider a potential supervisor, see the department’s academic profiles for more information on the supervisory interests of our academic staff.

It is best to look at our research groups to narrow down which staff are likely to be most suitable. Note that each PhD student is requested to join at least one research group.

The two largest research groups are:

There are also small groups that are focused on some thematic or area like Public Policy and RegulationBritish Politics and Government, and Global South

If, after looking at the groups, you are still not sure which supervisor fits your research interest you can contact the PhD Director, Dr Damien Bol.

Please only e-mail one prospective supervisor at a time. 

You will need to send:

  • A proposal of up to 3,000 words plus references.
  • A summary of your academic performance so far (e.g 2:1 from Warwick in Economics, MA in Democracy and Governance from Georgetown with a GPA of 3.865).

Note that a 'yes' from a supervisor can only be provisional.


Your proposal should be up to 3,000 words plus references (Appendices and substantive footnotes do count towards the word limit).

There are many ways of structuring proposals but in one way or another your proposal should cover the following things:

  • what you want to study
  • why it matters
  • how you want to study including (where relevant) theoretical framework, methodology/methods, case selection, dependent and independent variables etc
  • how other people have studied it and how your approach differs.

Please note, in this Department we often ask for revisions to the proposal at the application stage.

To apply

To apply for a PhD please visit the King's registration page.

You can also find information on the main King's website regarding fees and funding for postgraduate programmes.