Research Degress - Study alongside outstanding academics

Sheffield is one of the best places in the UK to undertake an MPhil or PhD in Politics. Our Department is internationally renowned for its excellence in research practice, and has a friendly and inclusive culture where you’ll be part of the team from day one. Taking a PhD here in Politics means embarking upon an exciting and novel research agenda, and joining a large community of scholars, both those currently at Sheffield and others around the rest of the world.

Photo: Discussion with tutorTop-rated for research

Our Department has an outstanding reputation for research, and it is at the heart of all the work we do. At the last Research Assessment Exercise in 2008, 75% of our research was classed as world leading or internationally excellent, ranking us joint first in the UK. Our academic staff are all active researchers, and are committed to helping you to achieve research of the highest quality.

Postgraduate Research Scholarships
Our staff

Your career

A PhD is the basis of any academic career, and is also a vital advantage to your employability in many third sector organisations such as thinktanks, consultancies and NGOs. Because the PhD is a highly specialised programme, you can think of your PhD as a unique opportunity to gain an internationally-recognised expertise on a specific topic.

Our Graduate School brings students into regular contact with Sheffield academics and visiting experts, through a busy programme of activities run from the Department. These include masterclasses, teach-ins, research seminars, networking events and the annual postgraduate colloquium. The Department has links with a number of prominent Research Centres, and you will also be encouraged to get involved with research groups related to your subject.

We host the Politics pathway of the White Rose Doctoral Training Centre, a network of around 1,300 research students at the Universities of Leeds, York and Sheffield. Through the Centre, our PhD researchers have access to a wide range of training and networking opportunities.

Subject to certain considerations of progress in your research, you will be offered the opportunity to teach undergraduates in seminars. Politics offers subject-specific training in preparation for teaching, and there are other course available within the Faculty of Social Science on teaching in Higher Education.

Graduate School
Our research activities
White Rose Doctoral Training Centre

Support and supervision

We recognise that postgraduate research is a major commitment, and know that our students need a commitment from us, too. That’s why we take your supervision very seriously, and offer extensive academic and departmental support. This is done mainly through supervision – a one-to-one personal mentoring and advising role. You will also have a second supervisor, a tutor, and support and guidance through our research training modules.

All of our academics supervise PhD students, and we strive to create the best possible match between students and their two supervisors. We’re proud that our students have an excellent track record for successful completion.

We offer opportunities for either full-time or part-time study, giving you the maximum flexibility to combine your research with paid work or other commitments.

Departmental areas of expertise in research
Recently completed PhD and MPhil degrees

The Doctoral Development Programme

The Doctoral Development Programme (DDP) is a training component that accompanies your doctoral research. It is designed by you to suit your needs. With support from your supervisors, you can ensure that you attain all the necessary skills to be an excellent researcher in the Social Sciences. You will be invited to attend a series of introductory meetings about the DDP.

DDP Information Portal

Next steps

Entry requirements and how to apply


Funding, scholarships and bursaries

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