PhD programme

PhD Programme Director Dr Ana Ines Langer

Welcome to the PhD programme in Politics & International Relations (IR) at the University of Glasgow. In this page you will find information about current PhD students and information for prospective research students.

Current PhD Students

Within Politics & IR we have an active and engaged community of doctoral students, about a third of whom are from the UK with the rest coming from countries around the world. We work to foster this community through an Annual Retreat early in the academic year, the Postgraduate Research Seminar and periodic staff-student social events (including the annual Munro Challenge). Over the past years our PhD students have organised and hosted the Political Studies Association’s annual Northern Graduate Conference; a workshop on Energy Security in Europe (sponsored by the University Association of Contemporary European Studies, the Scottish Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence, the Centre for Russian, Central and East European Studies, the Faculty and the Department); the 2007 British Association for Slavonic and East European Studies Postgraduate Conference (December); and a seminar series on Latin America.

Along with Edinburgh and St. Andrews we form the Politics and International Relations pathway of the Economic and Social Research Council-funded Scottish Doctoral Training Centre (S-DTC).

Most research in Politics is grouped within one of three research clusters: Comparative Politics, International Relations and Political Theory. PhD students are actively encouraged to affiliate themselves with at least one research cluster. There are also numerous research centres in whose activities PhD students can participate.

Information for prospective PhD students


Within Politics & IR there are 20 research-active, full-time staff. Members of Glasgow Politics have recently received research grants from the British Academy; the Economic and Social Research Council; the Ministry of Defence; the Nuffield Foundation; and the Norwegian Research Council; and have undertaken research for the European Commission; Oxfam; the Scottish Executive; and the UK’s Department for International Development and Her Majesty’s Treasury. Click here for more information about our staff

Topics for supervision

We offer supervision across a wide range of subjects, reflecting the Department’s strength in depth in Comparative Politics, International Relations and Political Theory.

Comparative Politics topics for which supervision is available include: political parties, institutions and change; elections and voting; comparative constitutionalism; gender; lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) politics; human rights; political communication; political economy; politics and popular culture; environmental policy; energy policy; migration policy; welfare policy. We have particular expertise in the politics of USA; China; Europe, including Scotland, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Greece, the European Union; Russia; Latin America.

In International Relations we offer supervision with respect to: war, violent conflict and strategic studies, philosophical approaches to war and peace, including the just war tradition; international security; post-war conflict and violence; international cooperation and international organisations; international political economy; international development; international security; securitisation theory; human rights; gender and development; foreign aid; foreign policy analysis; humanitarianism; post-war conflict and violence; legitimacy and communicative ethics; just war tradition; the English School of IR Theory; transnational politics (non-state actors).

In Political Theory we can supervise PhD theses on: contemporary Anglo-American political philosophy; contemporary social theory; the history of political thought; human nature and politics; ethics and international politics; cosmopolitanism; distributive justice; feminist theory.

How to find a topic and supervisor

If you want to read for a PhD, this is how you should proceed:

  • Identify a broad subject area you find deeply interesting, with which you are prepared to live for 3-4 years. Then:
  • Identify a potential supervisor: a university lecturer who works on this subject area. You can find the research interests of our lecturers by clicking on staff profiles here:
  • Write to that lecturer and ask them if they would be interested in supervising you and ask them to help you draw up a good research proposal
  • Only then should you apply

How to apply

For general questions, please contact the Director of the Politics & International Relations PhD programme Dr Ana Ines Langer.