What will I learn?

About us

We have more than 40 PhD students pursuing cutting-edge research, and undertaking advanced training, in the areas of new political communication; elections, public opinion and parties; comparative politics; politics of Africa, Asia and the Middle East; international relations; political theory, ancient philosophy, and modern and contemporary continental philosophy.

Royal Holloway is ranked 9th in the UK for international outlook in the Times Higher World Rankings. The academics in the Department come from 10 different countries and our students represent countries from across the globe. Overseas students play a vital role in ensuring that our department benefits from a diversity of experience and skills.


As a first-year doctoral student you will attend compulsory training courses in quantitative methods, qualitative methods and the foundations of contemporary political theory. You will also attend fortnightly research and professional development seminars that provide training and advice in writing book reviews, getting published, achieving impact, entering the academic job market and more, and in which students develop and present their research to one another and to staff.

We are committed to ensuring that you are well-equipped, not only to complete your studies but also to develop your future careers.

A PhD is awarded to students who produce a substantial piece of original research in the form of a thesis of up to 100,000 words.

Your future career

Many of our postgraduate students, even before they complete their studies, are presenting their work at international conferences and publishing in top-ranked journals. Our students are also deeply committed to public engagement, not only in the UK but also around the world.

Which department am I in?

Politics and International Relations

Study options

Full Time (4 years)

Tuition fees
£17,800.00 (US$ 24,125) per year
There are no individual costs greater than £50 per item.

This is a fixed fee

*Price shown is for indicative purposes, please check with institution

Start date

Expected September 2022


Royal Holloway, University of London



TW20 0EX, England

Entry requirements

For international students

You will normally be required to have successfully completed a postgraduate degree (MA/MRes/MSc) in a relevant field. We will also consider applications from those with long-term relevant work experience. Students need to have: IELTS: 6.5 overall. Writing 7.0. No other subscore lower than 5.5; TOEFL ib: 88 overall, with Reading 18 Listening 17 Speaking 20 Writing 26.

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.


About Royal Holloway

Located among 135 acres of beautiful Surrey parkland, Royal Holloway, University of London is a world-class research institution.

  • Research is top 25 in the UK (Research Excellence Framework)
  • Located on a beautiful 135-acre parkland.
  • Ranked 34th best UK university (Times Higher Education 2020)
  • Just 19 miles from central London

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