Show/hide main menu

PhD Studies

Guidance for Applicants

PhD applications

The Department of Political Economy offers four PhD programmes:

Please visit the King's Doctoral Training Centre (KISS-DTC) to find out more about our postgraduate training facilities.

If you have any questions, visit our FAQ page. 

For any other questions (e.g. visas, online application issues), please email the Centre for Arts and Sciences Admission (CASA).

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.
  • 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 Centre for Arts and Sciences Admissions and not by the department.

Prospective Supervisors

Before applying for a PhD with the Department you will need to consider a potential supervisor. It is best to look at our research groups to narrow down which staff are likely to be most suitable, which includes links to the Department's academic profiles for more information on the supervisory interests of our staff. If you are not sure which supervisor fits your research interest you can contact the PhD Director, Dr James Scott.

Please only email one prospective supervisor at a time. 

You will need to send:

  • a proposal of up to 3,000 words
  • 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. 

Sitemap Site help Terms and conditions  Privacy policy  Accessibility  Modern slavery statement  Contact us

© 2020 King's College London | Strand | London WC2R 2LS | England | United Kingdom | Tel +44 (0)20 7836 5454