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International Relations Joint PhD with the Institute of International Relations at the University of São Paulo

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The units at King’s College London that are participating in the joint PhD are the Brazil Institute and the departments of War Studies and Political Economy. At USP, the departments affiliated to IRI are Law, History, Economics and Political Science.

For the PhD student starting at King’s, access to IRI at USP offers a wealth of courses and expertise. Areas covered include regional economic integration in South America; South Atlantic security issues; and global environmental challenges from a Brazilian perspective. For the PhD starting at USP, our specialists in War Studies, Political Economy, Geography and the Brazil Institute can offer expertise in areas that may not be covered at IRI. We believe that institutionalizing the flow of students between our universities could lead to exciting opportunities for collaborative research. 

The programme began at King’s College London in September 2015 and its first students began their studies at USP in August 2016.

King's students will be expected to spend a minimum of 12 and a maximum of 24 months at USP, pursuing studies outlined in their research proposal.



Key information

Duration Expected to be MPhil two years FT, three years PT. PhD three years FT, four-six years PT.

Study mode Full-time, Part-time

Further details

Awarding institution King's College London and the University of São Paulo

Faculty Faculty of Social Science & Public Policy

Department Brazil Institute



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Course detail


The units at King’s College London that are participating in the joint PhD are the Brazil Institute and the departments of War Studies and Political Economy. The departments of Geography and History may become part of the programme. At USP, the departments affiliated to IRI are Law, History, Economics and Political Science.

The Brazil Institute is able to draw on academic expertise in a range of disciplinary departments across the College, and supervision may be provided from within the Institute or  with other staff of the College in the departments above. To give you an idea, staff research interests in the Brazil Institute include the following:

Professor Anthony Pereira:
Comparative politics; democracy and authoritarianism; political regimes and regime change; military rule; social movements; citizenship and human rights; new institutions of accountability in Brazilian public security; Brazil's political, economic, and social transformation in the 20th and early 21st century.

Dr Jeffrey Garmany:
Brazil in the twenty-first century; the geographies of religion and their connection to governance and globalisation; emergent forms of civil association relative to state-based rule; the relationships between drugs, violence, and death in contemporary urban space; governance in favelas; globalisation; the environment.

Dr Sónia Gonçalves:
Her main research interests are in the fields of development economics and political economy. She has worked on research projects that analyse the links between public service delivery and participatory democracy in Brazil, as well as between media and political accountability.

Dr Vinicius De Carvalho:
Brazil in peace keeping operations; internal stabilization policies; literature and violence in Brazil; Brazilian music; Brazilian religions; the epistemology of Brazilian Studies.

Applicants accepted at King’s for this joint degree will spend their first year at King’s and then spend at least a year at USP after completing their upgrade examination.

Specific questions can be directed to the Brazil Institute Director Anthony Pereira (anthony.pereira@kcl.ac.uk) or +44 (0)20 7848 2146.

Information is current, but staff members can change.

Course study environment

King's College London & University of São Paulo

Head of group/division

Anthony Pereira is the convenor for this programme.

Contact for information

Postgraduate Officer, Postgraduate Admissions Team, Admissions Office
tel: +44 (0)20 7848 7429
fax: +44 (0)20 7848 7200

Contact email

Course website

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

IR Research Entry Requirements
Minimum UK requirements  
  • A Masters degree is usually required.

  • In exceptional circumstances only, an undergraduate degree with 1st Class or high 2:1 honours degree (or international equivalent) will be considered.

International requirements   Visit our admissions webpages to view our International entry requirements.
English Language requirements Band B Visit our admissions webpages to view our English language entry requirements.

Students must have a research proposal that focuses on the changing role of Brazil in the world and be fluent in Portuguese or, if not fluent, capable of reaching a good standard in their first year of the PhD programme.

Application procedure

Before applying, please visit our website and read carefully the information about our research interests, making sure that your research topic falls within one of these areas. You are welcome to contact a potential supervisor directly to discuss your research topic, and we also encourage you to contact the Brazil Institute PhD admissions tutor with a draft research proposal before submitting a complete application through the online system. The admissions tutor will advise whether your research can, in principle, be carried out with us.

Admission will initially be for the MPhil but students are expected to transfer to the PhD proper by the end of the first year, and no later than the end of the second year, on the recommendation of the departmental graduate upgrading panel.

The evaluation of applications will be the responsibility of a Joint Academic Committee (JAC) consisting of academic staff from both IRI/USP and the Brazil Institute, War Studies, and Political Economy at King’s College London. The JAC will supervise all of the academic, administrative and operational issues related to the programme, working within the regulations of each university.


Personal statement and supporting information

You will be asked to submit the following documents in order for your application to be considered:

IR research checklist
Personal Statement  Yes A personal essay describing the candidate’s suitability for the course, including a description of the studies and research that the applicant would like to undertake while at IRI/USP.
Research Proposal Yes The proposal (3 - 5 pages in length) should explain in some detail precisely the field of study that you want to contribute to and current research gaps, what you want to do and how you propose to do it. For advice on how to write a winning application, please visit the following page.
Previous Academic Study Yes A copy (or copies) of your official academic transcript(s), showing the subjects studied and marks obtained. If you have already completed your degree, copies of your official degree certificate will also be required. Applicants with academic documents issued in a language other than English, will need to submit both the original and official translation of their documents.
References Yes One academic reference is required. A professional reference will be accepted if you have completed your qualifications over five years ago.
Travel Plan Yes (Joint Programme only) If applying for the joint programme please include the names of your supervisors from both institutions and include a completed travel plan form.
Other Optional Applicants may also wish to include a CV (Resume) or evidence of professional registration as part of their application


Course intake

No set number

Joint PhDs - Application advice

Applicants for this Joint PhD programme must contact the relevant departments at both universities before submitting an application in order to discuss the suitability of their topic for the joint programme and to locate potential supervisors. Applications should initially be submitted to the proposed home institution only, ie where the student will start and finish their programme. Students should note that acceptance onto the programme may take slightly longer than for single-institution PhDs because of the additional steps involved. Further details, including FAQs, can be found on the King’s Worldwide web pages.

Applicants who choose King’s as their home institution should apply through the online system, selecting the appropriate Joint PhD option from the drop-down list. In addition to the standard supporting documentation, applicants should submit a Travel plan form indicating how they intend to divide their time between the two partner institutions. Students must spend a a minimum of 12 and a maximum of 24 months at the University which is not their home Institution.  

Application closing date

We recommend that you submit your application as soon as possible as we may need to request further information from you to assess your application. This is also important if your application is successful and you are required to meet any offer condition, and/or you need a Student Visa to study here at King's.

The final application deadlines are detailed below; on these dates, the programme will close at 23:59 (UK time) and we will open for the corresponding intake in 2023 soon after the same intake has passed in 2022.

  • February 2022 entry – 12 November 2021 for Overseas fee status and 6 December 2021 for Home fee status

  • October 2022 entry – 29 July 2022 for Overseas fee status and 26 August 2022 for Home fee status

  • February 2023 entry – 21 October 2022 for Overseas fee status and 22 November 2022 for Home fee status

Please note that funding deadlines may be earlier than the application deadlines listed above.

Help and support

If you don't have a suitable qualification for direct entry to a UK university, or if English isn't your first language, our academic preparation courses can help you get ready for study in the UK.

International Foundation

Fees and funding

UK Tuition Fees 2021/22

Full time tuition fees: £5,820 per year

International Tuition Fees 2021/22

Full time tuition fees: £21,870 per year

UK Tuition Fees 2022/23

Full time tuition fees: £6,120 per year

International Tuition Fees 2022/23

Full time tuition fees: £22,980 per year

EU Students starting their programme in the academic year 2021/22 will pay international tuition fees.

These tuition fees may be subject to additional increases in subsequent years of study, in line with King's terms and conditions.

Financial help and support

Visit the fees and funding webpages to find out more about bursaries, scholarships, grants, tuition fees, living expenses, student loans and other financial help available at King's.

Career prospects

While many graduates may go on to a university-based academic career, others may pursue careers in both the public and private sector.

Career destinations

This programme could allow students go on to become lecturers and research assistants, directors and senior managers of international consultancies, or consultants for environmental agencies, governments, charities, research organisations, and NGOs.


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Next steps

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Learn more about postgraduate degree programmes at King's.

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