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Politics Research MPhil / PhD

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Overview

Here at the Department of Political Economy we foster an interdisciplinary approach to understanding the interaction of people, ideas and institutions and how they shape the outcomes of political processes and government decision-making at global, national, regional and local levels.  Undertaking a PhD in Politics with us places you within a unique institution in which you will be part of a vibrant and growing set of world-leading scholars, who are committed to understanding the intertwining of politics and economics and applying those insights to solving problems at all levels of governance.

We have an open an inclusive research culture that encourages debate between the contesting theories, approaches and ideologies. Our vision of what political economy is lends itself to an interdisciplinary approach, and there is a wide range of methodological and theoretical approaches used across the department. This provides a stimulating environment for PhD research that fosters open-minded and critical scholarship.

Examples of research projects

For examples of current staff research projects and PhD projects, see academic profiles and PhD student profiles. We also have a variety of research groups that each lead some specific research activities. 

Partner organisations

DPE works with a number of partner organisations both within KCL and outside, helping to bring together scholars interested in a particular theme. These include Inside King’s: Centre for Public Policy Research (CPPR), Centre for Conflict Security and Development (CSD), the Social Care Workforce Research Unit (SCWRU), and the King's Centre for Risk Management (KCRM). Outside King’s: Centre for the Study of Science Policy at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, and the Faculty of Social Sciences, Hong Kong University.

 

Information is current, but staff members can change.

Key information

Duration MPhil: 2 years full-time/3 years part-time. PhD: 3 years full-time/4-6 years part-time. Research degree registration may begin in September or January.

Study mode Full-time, Part-time

Further details

Awarding institution King's College London

Faculty Faculty of Social Science & Public Policy

Department Department of Political Economy

Locations

 

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Course detail

Description

All students on the doctoral programme are initially registered for an MPhil. At the beginning of the programme you will work with your supervisors to assess your individual training needs. You will use this to develop a personalised training schedule that draws on foundational and advanced courses made available to you through the King’s Centre for Doctoral Studies, the London Interdisciplinary Social Science Doctoral Training Partnership (LISS-DTP) and the Bloomsbury Postgraduate Skills Network. These courses will hone your academic skills and prepare you for the demands of your specific research project.

After around 12 months (or the part time equivalent), you will demonstrate that you are ready for formal upgrade to the PhD programme. This involves the examination of a substantial document that shows (i) you have identified an original and interesting research problem and (ii) you have the skills and expertise to tackle it within the time available.

You will be supported throughout your PhD by two academic supervisors, who will provide expert advice and guidance on your progress and your project. Your project will culminate in the submission of a thesis of up to 100,000 words in length. Full-time students must submit their thesis within four years of the start of their registration. Part-time students must submit within seven years.

Course study environment

Each student has two supervisors and meets regularly with both, though typically more frequently with the primary supervisor. The department provides office space and computer equipment on the Strand campus. The department runs seminars for PhD students on topics such as publication strategy, and to discuss actual research. PhD students are also encouraged to attend research seminars in DPE and related departments, and are expected to present at one such seminar in their time at King’s.

Postgraduate training

Students have full access to training opportunities at King’s via the King’s Centre for Doctoral Studies and the London Interdisciplinary Social Science Doctoral Training Partnership, depending on their needs. These cover research training, research methods and wider issues such as publication strategy.

Head of group/division

The Post-Graduate Research Director is Dr Damien Bol, who can be contacted for specific enquiries. General questions about the application process should be directed to the Postgraduate Admissions Team.

Contact for information

Postgraduate Admissions Team, Admissions Office
tel: +44 (0)20 7848 7429
fax: +44 (0)20 7848 7200 
https://www.kcl.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/apply/enquiry-form.aspx

Contact email

Course website

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

Politics Research Entry Requirements
 Minimum UK requirements   Masters degree with at least a Merit including a dissertation mark of no less than 65% (UK marking scheme)
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.

 

Application procedure

Our minimum requirement for entry is a good master’s degree in a relevant subject or practical experience in the field of study (these are only minimum requirements: competition for places is intense).

When you have a draft research proposal, please look at our academic staff members on the following website:

https://www.kcl.ac.uk/political-economy/about/people?role=Academics

Note that you can also be supervised by an academic staff member from the Department of European & International Studies: https://www.kcl.ac.uk/eis/about/people?role=Academics

and contact ONE OR TWO academics at most, to ask if this is a topic they might be interested in supervising; please email them your CV and your draft proposal too. Having the support from one academic willing to supervise you is a necessary condition for being accepted. When you are ready, please apply via the Portal.

If you want a PhD scholarship, note that the applications to the main funding scheme (LISS DPT, see https://www.kcl.ac.uk/study-legacy/postgraduate/fees-and-funding/student-funding/postgraduate-research-funding/economic-and-social-research-council-studentships) is at the end of January. You are encouraged to contact potential supervisors well in advance of the deadline – ideally by end of November.

Personal statement and supporting information

Applicants are encouraged to approach potential supervisors prior to application.To identify a supervisor please look at our academic staff members on the following website

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

Politics research checklist
Personal Statement Yes

A personal statement is required. This can be entered directly into the online application form (maximum 4,000 characters) or uploaded as an attachment to the online application form (maximum 2 pages).

Research Proposal Yes The proposal (up to 3,000 words plus references) 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.
Writing Sample  Yes A sample of relevant written work, in English (e.g MA dissertation).
Other Optional You may also wish to include a CV (Resume) or evidence of professional registration as part of your application.

Course intake

No set number.

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 (MPhil/PhD)

£5,820 per year (MPhil/PhD in Politics with National University of Singapore)

Part time tuition fees: £2,910 per per year

International Tuition Fees 2021/22

Full time tuition fees:

£21,870 per year (MPhil/PhD) 

£21,870 per year (MPhil/PhD in Politics with National University of Singapore)

Part time tuition fees: £10,935 per year

UK Tuition Fees 2022/23

Full time tuition fees:

£6,120 per year (MPhil/PhD)

£6,120 per year (MPhil/PhD in Politics with National University of Singapore)

Part time tuition fees: £3,060 per per year

International Tuition Fees 2022/23

Full time tuition fees:

£22,980 per year (MPhil/PhD) 

£22,980 per year (MPhil/PhD in Politics with National University of Singapore)

Part time tuition fees: £11,490 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.


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Next steps

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Learn more about postgraduate degree programmes at King's.

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