Key Information

Full-time

Dependent on award.

Part-time

Dependent on award.

Campus

Brayford Pool

Validation Status

Validated

Fees

View

Course Code

ISTISTRP

Key Information

Full-time

Dependent on award.

Part-time

Dependent on award.

Campus

Brayford Pool

Validation Status

Validated

Fees

View

Course Code

ISTISTRP

MPhil/PhD International Relations MPhil/PhD International Relations

The School of Social and Political Sciences aims to combine high quality teaching and learning with high quality research. We provide a friendly and supportive environment and a great deal of our work features the characteristic hallmark of co-operation and interdisciplinarity.

Key Information

Full-time

Dependent on award.

Part-time

Dependent on award.

Campus

Brayford Pool

Validation Status

Validated

Fees

View

Course Code

ISTISTRP

Key Information

Full-time

Dependent on award.

Part-time

Dependent on award.

Campus

Brayford Pool

Validation Status

Validated

Fees

View

Course Code

ISTISTRP

Professor Hugh Bochel - Programme Leader

Professor Hugh Bochel - Programme Leader

Hugh Bochel is the lead for postgraduate research in the School of Social and Political Sciences. Hugh is Professor of Public Policy and has wide-ranging interests in research and teaching.

School Staff List Make an Enquiry

Welcome to MPhil/PhD International Relations

The School of Social and Political Sciences benefits from an active research base ensuring that staff are involved in current debates and that you are made aware of relevant developments and issues.

Each research student is supported by a programme of research training and will be expected to identify an original area of academically relevant research and agree an approved programme of research with the tutor.

Current students’ areas of research include Sino-Zambian relations, preventive diplomacy and peacekeeping.

Welcome to MPhil/PhD International Relations

Postgraduate research in the School of Social and Political Sciences is informed by the expertise of its team of academics, who have long-standing links to government, research organisations, and the voluntary sector.

Opportunities for research are available across a range of topics in social and political sciences. Current students’ research projects include:

  • Oil and gas infrastructure security problems in the Niger Delta area
  • Understanding China’s aid and investment in Zambia
  • The politics of nuclear energy in the European Union.


Each research student is supported by a programme of research training and will be expected to identify an original area of academically relevant research and agree an approved programme of research with the tutor.

Current students’ areas of research include Sino-Zambian relations, preventive diplomacy and peacekeeping.

How You Study

Research students can enrol for MPhil or PhD awards. These degrees are normally undertaken wholly by thesis and can be carried out either on a full-time or a part-time basis.

The School aims to provide considerable support to enable students to become independent researchers. Students are required to follow a structured pattern of activity during which their progress can be monitored and encouraged. Students are allocated two supervisors and the emphasis is on providing whatever training is required. Students are asked to contribute to the department's research seminar series, are able to apply for funding to attend conferences, and are encouraged to publish their work including in the department's Social Research Paper series and in journals. Students may also have the opportunity to contribute to teaching, subject to the necessary training.

Due to the nature of postgraduate research programmes, a significant portion of time will be spent in independent study and research. Students will meet with their academic supervisors, however the regularity of this will vary depending on individual requirements, subject area, staff availability, and the stage of programme.

What You Need to Know

We want you to have all the information you need to make an informed decision on where and what you want to study. To help you choose the course that’s right for you, we aim to bring to your attention all the important information you may need. Our What You Need to Know page offers detailed information on key areas including contact hours, assessment, optional modules, and additional costs. For research programmes this includes research fees and research support fees.

Find out More

How You Study

Research students can enrol for MPhil or PhD awards. These degrees are normally undertaken wholly by thesis and can be carried out either on a full-time or a part-time basis.

The School aims to provide appropriate support to enable students to become independent researchers. Students are required to follow a structured pattern of activity during which their progress can be monitored and encouraged. Students are allocated two supervisors and the emphasis is on providing whatever training is required, as well as the development of knowledge. Students are asked to contribute to the School's research seminar series, are able to apply for funding to attend conferences, and are encouraged to publish their work and to develop links with appropriate external networks.

Research students normally have two internal supervisors with specialist knowledge relevant to the student’s subject area and research methods, and have regular meetings with them for advice, monitoring, and other support. Students can engage with external experts and advisors as necessary.

Students may also have the opportunity to contribute to teaching, subject to the necessary training.

Due to the nature of postgraduate research programmes, a significant portion of time will be spent in independent study and research. Students will meet with their academic supervisors at least once a month for full-time students, and every two months for part-time students.

What You Need to Know

We want you to have all the information you need to make an informed decision on where and what you want to study. To help you choose the course that’s right for you, we aim to bring to your attention all the important information you may need. Our What You Need to Know page offers detailed information on key areas including contact hours, assessment, optional modules, and additional costs. For research programmes this includes research fees and research support fees.

Find out More

How you are assessed

A PhD is usually awarded based on the quality of the student’s thesis and ability to present and successfully defend their chosen research topic in an oral examination (viva voce). They are also expected to demonstrate how their research findings have contributed to knowledge or developed existing theory or understanding.

A PhD is usually awarded based on the quality of the student’s thesis and ability to present and successfully defend their chosen research topic in an oral examination (viva voce). They are also expected to demonstrate how their research findings have contributed to knowledge or developed existing theory or understanding.

Fees and Scholarships

Postgraduate study is an investment in yourself and your future, and it's important to understand the costs involved and the funding options available before you start. A full breakdown of the fees associated with this programme can be found on our course fees pages.

Course Fees

There are more ways than ever before to fund your postgraduate study, whether you want to do a taught or research course. For those wishing to undertake a Master's course, you can apply for a loan as a contribution towards the course and living costs. Loans are also available to those who wish to undertake doctoral study. The University offers a number of scholarships and funded studentships for those interested in postgraduate study. Learn how Master's and PhD loans, scholarships, and studentships can help you fund your studies on our Postgraduate Fees and Funding pages.

Postgraduate study is an investment in yourself and your future, and it's important to understand the costs involved and the funding options available before you start. A full breakdown of the fees associated with this programme can be found on our course fees pages.

Course Fees

There are more ways than ever before to fund your postgraduate study, whether you want to do a taught or research course. For those wishing to undertake a Master's course, you can apply for a loan as a contribution towards the course and living costs. Loans are also available to those who wish to undertake doctoral study. The University offers a number of scholarships and funded studentships for those interested in postgraduate study. Learn how Master's and PhD loans, scholarships, and studentships can help you fund your studies on our Postgraduate Fees and Funding pages.

Entry Requirements 2020-21

MPhil: First or upper second class honours degree or Master’s degree.

PhD: Master’s degree with a research component.

Entry Requirements 2021-22

MPhil: First or upper second class honours degree or Master’s degree.

PhD: Master’s degree with a research component.

Teaching and Learning During Covid-19

At Lincoln, Covid-19 has encouraged us to review our practices and, as a result, to take the opportunity to find new ways to enhance the student experience. We have made changes to our teaching and learning approach and to our campus, to ensure that students and staff can enjoy a safe and positive learning experience. We will continue to follow Government guidance and work closely with the local Public Health experts as the situation progresses, and adapt our teaching and learning accordingly to keep our campus as safe as possible.

Research Areas, Projects and Topics

Research supervision is available across the range of the department's subjects. Staff have expertise for postgraduate supervision in the following areas:

  • international relations
  • minority rights
  • human rights
  • women in politics
  • policy making
  • nationalism
  • political economy
  • post-colonial studies
  • construction of sexual identities
  • global citizenship
  • conflict resolution
  • the United Nations

How to Apply

To support your experience within the postgraduate research community, new students are encouraged to enrol in October, February, or May.

In addition to meeting peers across the University who are starting their research programme at the same time, there is access to a central training programme designed around the first three months of study, and targeted support aligned to each stage of the postgraduate research journey. Alternative enrolment dates may be agreed with your supervisor on an individual basis.

Career and Personal Development

Occupations associated with international relations include roles within the civil service, diplomacy, multi-national and international non-governmental organisations, political research, public affairs, the non-governmental sector, journalism, the armed forces, and education.

Discover More

The University intends to provide its courses as outlined in these pages, although the University may make changes in accordance with the Student Admissions Terms and Conditions.
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