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Public Policy Research MPhil / PhD

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Overview

We are the only dedicated Department of Political Economy in the UK. Situated within the broader Faculty of Social Science and Public Policy, we see the understanding that Politics and Economics are inextricably linked as being central to fully comprehending public policy issues. Undertaking a PhD in Public Policy 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 local, national and global policy problems.

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 current staff research projects

  • Gender & Politics in Eastern Europe: The substantive representation of women in Poland. Dr Anna Gwiazda is seeking to address the central question: To what extent do women representatives influence policy outputs promoting women’s interests?  

  • Trusted and Transparent Voting Systems - Prof Amrita Dhillon. This project aims to explore applications of distributed ledger technologies (DLT) in domains involving voting and collective decision making. It investigates how the necessary security and transparency in designing such systems is impacted by the underlying design of any particular choice of DLT.

  • The Centre for the Study of Governance and Society, founded by a John Templeton Foundation award, examines how both formal and informal rules of governance operate and evolve, and how these rules facilitate or imperil peaceful, prosperous, and ecologically secure societies. It is run by Prof Mark Pennington but involves a number of other scholars both within DPE and beyond.

Examples of current PhD projects

  • The Mechanism, Extent and Effects of Fiscal Illusion Among UK Taxpayers

  • The Politics of Change in Thailand's Health System

  • Understanding bureaucratic cooperation and effectiveness under contexts of political instability

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.

Key information

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

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. PhD students are 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. Our large undergraduate programme offers opportunities for PhD students to earn money and valuable teaching experience. PhD students have the opportunity to spend part of their PhD working at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and at the National University of Singapore.

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. We are also a member of the Bloomsbury Postgraduate Skills Network. These cover research training, research methods and wider issues such as publication strategy.  

Head of group/division

The Post-Graduate Research Director is Dr James Scott, 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

james.m.scott@kcl.ac.uk

Course website

http://www.kcl.ac.uk/sspp/departments/politicaleconomy/study/pgr/index.aspx

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

Public Policy 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

Applications are made to the Head of the Department and are reviewed by two members of the teaching team, in conjunction, where appropriate, with a subject specialist from among the departments of the School. All candidates are invited for interview and are expected to submit substantial written material in support of their application.

Personal statement and supporting information

Applicants are encouraged to approach potential supervisors prior to application. To identify a supervisor please see: https://kclpure.kcl.ac.uk/portal/en/

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

Public Policy checklist
Personal Statement  Yes A personal statement of up to 4,000 characters (maximum 2 pages) is required
 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 Two references are required with at least one academic. Professional references will be accepted if you have completed your qualifications over five years ago.
Writing Sample Yes Please include a sample of your previous written work (typically, your Masters dissertation) as part of your application.
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

The deadlines for applications are detailed below. We will open applications for an intake in 2020 after the final deadline passes in 2019.

  • October 2019 entry – 26th July 2019 for International students and 30th August for Home/EU students
  • January 2020 entry – 25th October 2019 for International students and 2nd December 2019 for Home/EU students

Please note that funding deadlines may be earlier.

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.

Preparation courses

Fees and funding

UK/EU Tuition Fees 2019/20

Full time tuition fees: £5,300 per year

Part time tuition fees: £2,650 per year 

International Tuition Fees 2019/20

Full time tuition fees: £19,850 per year              

Part time tuition fees: £9,950 per year

Students starting their programme in 2019/20 who are eligible to pay EU fees will pay the same rate of tuition fees as UK students. This will apply for the duration of their programme, but may be subject to change by the UK Government for subsequent cohorts from 2020/21.

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

View our postgraduate guide

Learn more about postgraduate degree programmes at King's. Download or view our guide in PDF format.

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