PhD: What we offer


World-recognised research strengths

We welcome research proposals across the broad range of political science and international relations. The Department has considerable strength in the following fields:

  • International Political Economy
  • Comparative Political Economy
  • International Relations
  • Political Development and/or Democratisation (including in Latin America, Africa, the Caribbean and South Asia)
  • European Politics including the European Union
  • British Politics
  • Governance and Public Policy
  • Political Sociology
  • Political Theory

We can offer supervision using a range of approaches: quantitative, qualitative, critical theory and gender.


Respected academic supervisors for a huge range of topics

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.

Staff Research Supervision Interests

You might also find it useful to look at:

Research Students | Recent Research Graduates


The best training and development

White Rose Social Science DTC logo

  • You are enrolled in the White Rose Doctoral Development Centre
    The White Rose consortium brings together about 1,300 research students from the University of Sheffield, the University of Leeds and the University of York. As a student in our department you are enrolled in the Doctoral Training Centre, giving to access to research training and networking. We are the lead department for the Politics pathway of the White Rose Doctoral Training Centre. Find out more.

  • You are enrolled on to the University of Sheffield's Doctoral Development Programme
    Access to training modules, research events, networking, and development of specific skills like making presentations, drawing on expertise from across the University. Find out more.

A warm welcome to our Graduate School Community

Our community of postgraduates numbers approximately 140 Masters and research students. Ours is a cosmopolitan community, reflecting a significant proportion of international students from different parts of the world, notably China, Latin America, North America and continental Europe.

Picture of Graduate School students

We recognise that that our postgraduates have diverse goals – from securing better professional qualification to training for an academic career – and this diversity is reflected in the Graduate School's range of activities.

For those seeking a career in academia or research our training has been recognised by the UK Economic and Social Research Council, and the ESRC quota awards we are able to make reflects the high regard in which our training is held. Our Department has a very well-established reputation for an inclusive research ethos and for its research excellence, which finds expression in research-led teaching at Masters level.

The Graduate School offers Masters and research students a variety of ways in which to participate in the Department's intellectual community:

  • Masterclasses: targeted at MA students but open to all in the Graduate School.
  • 'Teach-ins': addressing topics of major contemporary interest, such as the US presidential elections (open to all).
  • Research Training Groups: targeted at research and '1 + 3' students.
  • Activities organised by our Research Centres (open to all)

We also offer support for student-led activities, such as those of the Politics Society or of research-led groups organised by our students (for instance the Postgraduate Global Development Group).

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