Politics, Languages and International Studies MPhil and PhD
Qualifications and durations
The Master of Philosophy (MPhil) programme will enable you to conduct supervised research into your chosen topic and produce a written thesis (typically up to 70,000 words). You can complete the MPhil in 1 to 3 years (full-time) or up to 4 years (part-time).
The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) programme comprises a more significant piece of research which will enable you to contribute to the academic community through a larger 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).
Dr Susan Milner provides an overview of the PhD in Politics, Languages and International Studies at the University of Bath. Current students Milena Romano and Syed Shah share their PhD experience.
Most students are registered in the first instance for the degree of MPhil. Students are expected to carry out supervised research at the leading edge of their chosen subject, which must then be written up as a substantial thesis. The transfer from MPhil to PhD is subject to students passing an assessment process which normally involves submission of written work and an oral examination.
The final stage of the PhD degree is the oral or viva voce examination, in which students are required to defend the thesis to a Board of Examiners.
Doctoral Training Centres
This programme is recognised as being part of the following ESRC-funded South West Doctoral Training Centre (SWDTC) Political Science & International Studies discipline-specific pathway.
This programme also forms a core part of the South, West & Wales Doctoral Partnership (SWWDTP).
- First or 2:1 Honours degree (or equivalent) in an appropriate subject, from a recognised university.
- When considering applications, we also take the following into account: extended and responsible experience in a relevant field in commerce, or industry, or in teaching, or in a government establishment, together with authorship of papers or other work of an acceptable academic standard, e.g. published translation.
English Language requirements
Certificates must be dated to within two years of the start of the programme of study.
- IELTS 6.5 (with no less than 6.0 in each of the four components)
- PTE Academic of 62 with no less than 59 in any component
If you wish to improve your English proficiency before commencing your studies, pre-sessional language training can be arranged through the Academic Skills Centre.
- Two references are required. At least one of these should be an academic reference.
How to apply
You can must apply to study through the Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences Graduate School.
If developing your own proposal (as opposed to applying for a pre-defined research project) the Department of Politics, Languages & International Studies recommend that you develop the draft 2,500 to 3,000 word Research Proposal before contacting the prospective supervisor which will form the basis for discussing your research project.
Potential sources of funding
- Studentships and Scholarships and How to apply for research postgraduate funding
- Guide to searching for postgraduate funding
You can find our more about funding opportunities by viewing our webinar.
- Funding deadlines for Studentships and Scholarships
Tel: +44 (0) 1225 38 5233
Experts from our department are publishing regularly in the most highly ranked international journals.
Our academic expertise and research activities are organised into three broad Research Clusters:
- Conflict, Security & International Order
- Governance, Citizenship & Policy
- Memory, History & Identity
Many staff are internationally leading scholars in their field. We are involved in a wide range of research activities, including collaborative projects at both national and international levels.
Projects are funded by a variety of bodies such as:
- Economics & Social Research Council (ESRC)
- European Commission Framework Programme
- Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
Stimulating cutting edge research
Our diversity and the disciplinary mix of political science, political theory, policy analysis, social anthropology, political sociology and others make for a very stimulating environment for students to develop their own research projects.
The integration of our research community is further enhanced through the International Relations & European Politics (IREP) postgraduate group.
The Department of Politics, Languages & International Studies (PoLIS) is one of the largest departments in the University.
Many staff are leading scholars in their field and are involved in a wide range of research activities, including collaborative projects at both national and international levels.
International and industrial links
- Our department has links with 22 Erasmus partner institutions, as well as universities in Russia and Mexico.
- Research students regularly engage in fieldwork abroad, especially in the countries of the European Union, but also in Russia, Latin America and the United States.
- Students on the Euromasters programme study at two or three different sites in either Europe or the USA.
- In the case of the MA Interpreting & Translating and the MA Translation & Professional Language Skills, a number of work placements in Western Europe are made available to students in the language services of international organisations, government departments and commercial enterprises.
Our graduate prospects have been consistently ranked among the best in the UK.
Our wide-range of programmes enables graduates to find employment in many different fields. Some examples include:
- Diplomatic service
- International organisations
- Multinational corporations
- Policy-forming institutes
- The language services of the United Nations and European Union
Many of our undergraduate programmes include a year abroad or placement year. These are highly valued by employers and will give you an edge in the competitive job market when you graduate.
- Specialist interpreting laboratories
- Language laboratories
- Online international TV streaming service
- Self Access Language Centre (SALC)
- European Community and European Union publications
- Extensive local archive collections relating to research programmes in French and German politics
- Departmental film library
Our Foreign Languages Centre offers a wide range of language courses at different level that students can also choose to follow.
The Academic Skills Centre (ASC) provides Academic English classes and support for international students.