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Politics and International Studies

Partner Institutions: Birkbeck and SOAS, University of London
Cluster Leaders:  Dr Dermot Hodson (Birkbeck) and Dr Felix Berenskoetter (SOAS)


 Competition for studentships for 2016 entry is now closed.


This cluster is run by the Department of Politics at Birkbeck and the Department of Politics and International Studies at SOAS. In the 2008 RAE, 45% of research activity at Birkbeck in politics and international studies was rated at 3* (internationally excellent) or 4* (world leading); at SOAS the figure was 60%, placing it in the top 10 departments in the discipline. The work of both departments addresses directly the ESRC’s Strategic Challenges in Global Economic Performance, Policy and Management and Security, Conflict and Justice.

The doctoral programmes in the cluster have an unusual combination of breadth of coverage and depth of research expertise in specific subfields. The SOAS department is renowned for its coverage of Asia, Africa, the Middle east, postcolonial political theory and international politics. The Birkbeck department has particular strengths in US, European and british politics, public policy, international relations and political theory. Further, there is excellent synergy, both methodologically and substantively, between the two departments’ international/global politics streams.


Pathways in the International Development cluster

Global Politics and International Relations

1+3 route:      MRes in Global Politics and Governance plus MPhil/PhD
+3 route:        MPhil/PhD
4 Year route:  Integrated PhD (Research training plus MPhil/PhD)

Political and Social Theory

1+3 route:      MRes in Social and Political Theory plus MPhil/PhD
+3 route:        MPhil/PhD
4 Year route:  Integrated PhD (Research training plus MPhil/PhD)

Public Policy

1+3 route:      MRes in Government Policy and Politics plus MPhil/PhD
+3 route:        MPhil/PhD
4 Year route:  Integrated PhD (Research training plus MPhil/PhD)

Comparative Politics

1+3 route:    MRes in Nationalism and Ethnic Conflict plus MPhil/PhD
2+3 route:    MRes Politics (with language) plus MPhil/PhD
+3 route:     
MPhil/PhD
4 Year route: 
Integrated PhD (Research training plus MPhil/PhD)

For examples of current DTC research, take a look at student profiles from the Politics and International Studies cluster