PhD Global Political Economy: Transformations & Policy Analysis
Qualifications and durations
The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) programme comprises a significant piece of research which will enable you to contribute to the academic community through a large written thesis (typically up to 90,000 words). You can complete your PhD in 2 to 4 years (full-time) or up to 6 years (part-time).
If you have a limited grounding in the research methods relevant to this subject, we strongly recommended you apply after first completing a relevant one-year MRes (referred to as a ‘1+3’ route to PhD).
This programme is centered on supporting research into current global political and economic transformations, along with their social and policy implications at global, national and a local level. It seeks to promote research that contributes to bring together the nationally-grounded assumptions and discourses on which much social science continues to be predicated with global perspectives seeking to transcend these assumptions.
We encourage applications from students who aim to analyse the diverse experiences and impacts of economic globalisation, examine the relationship between global governance and inequality, and contribute to a better understanding of how many of the key problems that confront humanity in the 21st century require new and inter-disciplinary academic approaches, innovative methods, policy agendas, creative thinking and transnationally comparative datasets.
This is an interdisciplinary programme and therefore you may choose to affiliate with a range of academic departments, including:
- Department of Economics
- Department of Education
- Department of Politics Languages & International Studies
- Department of Social & Policy Sciences
- School of Management
South West Doctoral Training Centre
This programme is also delivered collaboratively with the University of Bristol, as part of the South West Doctoral Training Centre (SWDTC). You will have a second supervisor based at the University of Bristol, enabling you to also draw on those institution's resources and expertise.
Your proposal should address a problem or question with a strong global dimension, even if proposed empirical work is focused on a particular country or countries. You should also set out one or a set of optional theoretical and methodological approaches to address the problem.
Wherever possible you should try and match your research interests with those of a potential lead supervisor. Potential supervisors with relevant research interests to this theme include:
- Dr Aurelie Charles
- Professor James Copestake
- Dr Ana Dinerstein
- Professor Hugh Lauder
- Dr Oliver Walton
The proposal itself should include;
- a brief review of relevant background literature (to contextualise the issue)
- a core research question or theme
- an outline of the possible methods that could be used to address this question.
Interdisciplinary approaches are very much welcomed, particularly if this reflects a strong political economy understanding of the issue. Interdisciplinary approaches are those that seek to approach a common question by drawing on methods, approaches, and epistemologies from different disciplinary perspectives.
View further guidance on developing your research proposal.
- A good first degree in a social science subject, or
- an equivalent degree in another subject, together with substantial relevant work experience.
Underlying these conditions is a belief that students must bring a minimum combination of theoretical knowledge and practical experience to the programme. Marginal cases are often dealt with at interview, and it is not uncommon for relatively inexperienced students to be asked to defer entry.
- IELTS 7.0 (with not less than 6.5 in each of the four components)
- PTE Academic of 69 with no less than 62 in any component
You will find details of available University postgraduate research funding opportunities by checking the Graduate School funding pages. We also welcome applications from candidates who are able to self-fund or who have funding from elsewhere.
Unique funding opportunities
- This is an Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) recognised programme, suitable for ESRC-funded 1+3 awards or subsequent +3 applications.
ESRC-funded students are able to claim (during their studies) for three additional allowances:
- Overseas Fieldwork Allowance
- Difficult Language Training
- Overseas Institutional Visits
For more information on these allowances please see the ESRC Postgraduate Funding Guide. Please note that if you anticipate such activities you should outline the details in your application.
You can find our more about funding opportunities by viewing our webinar.
How to apply
Applications must be made through the Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences Graduate School.
Two references are required for this programme (at least one of these should be an academic reference).
Tel: +44 (0)1225 38 6180
Main areas of research
We are an internationally-recognised research-intensive department with a strong focus on policy and practice and a commitment to contribute to social wellbeing and social justice.
We draw together academic staff with backgrounds in Social Policy, Sociology, Social Work and International Development and work closely with colleagues in Psychology, Economics, and Health.
We also have an active and vibrant community of research students undertaking their own research alongside our academic staff.
- Centre for the Analysis of Social Policy (CASP)
- Centre for Death and Society (CDAS)
- Centre for Development Studies (CDS)
- Wellbeing in Developing Countries Research (WeD)
- History of Technology Research Unit (HOTRU)
Our five research themes are:
- Children, young people, families
- Lifelong health and wellbeing
- Work, welfare, and poverty
- Global transformations and insecurity
- Governance and policy design
Find out more about our staff and their research interests.
The Department of Social & Policy Sciences includes academics from social policy, sociology, social work and international development.
The international excellence of our research was recognised by the award of the prestigious Queen's Anniversary Prize in 2011.
We are committed to advancing learning and knowledge through teaching and research. Our Department collaborates with a wide range of users at the local, national, European and global levels.
We offer a wide range of postgraduate programmes. Our postgraduate teaching strongly reflects our research and our links to policy-makers and development institutions at the national, European and global level.
Our Department also has an active MPhil/PhD research programme. We take great pride in fostering a friendly and supportive learning environment.
We run a lively and well attended postgraduate research seminar series. Each of the Research Centres run seminar series and conferences associated with their research activities. The University of Bath also has a Research in the World public lecture series where key national and international academics are invited to speak.
We are committed to ensuring that postgraduate students acquire a range of subject-specific and generic skills during their training. Our graduates generally go on to work in a wide variety of organisations, for example:
- social research in universities and research institutes, government, business, voluntary organisations and international organisations
- public policy analysis at local, national and international levels
- public information and campaigning within organisations concerned with wellbeing, sustainability and social justice.