Politics and International Relations

Politics and International Relations


The Department of Politics and International Relations offers internationally-recognised expertise and postgraduate supervision across the various fields of our discipline.

Study Information

At a Glance

Degree Qualification

Want to know more?

Contact by Phone
+44 (0)1224 274242
Email Us
Enquire Now
Via our online form
Next Steps
Find out how to apply

We are a medium-sized Department of Politics and International Relations (PIR) with 18 members of staff who investigate some of the world’s most pressing political problems at several levels of analysis: sub-state, state, regional and international. Often adopting an interdisciplinary perspective across the social sciences, the department’s research can be grouped into four key themes: Democracy and Representation; Conflict and Security; Comparative Politics and Policy; and Political and International Relations Theory. PhD study can be undertaken either on campus or at a distance.

Our Research

Often adopting an interdisciplinary perspective across the social sciences, the department’s research can be grouped into four key themes:

  • Democracy and Representation
  • Comparative Politics and Policy
  • Political and International Relations Theory
  • Conflict and Security

Research Interests

Political and International Relations Theory

Several staff members specialise in political and IR theory. This focus includes expertise on postcolonial theory, precarity and affect, aesthetics and politics, temporality, globalisation and global governance, knowledge production in social science, Michel Foucault.

Supervisors: Dr Philippe Beauregard, Dr R Vij

Comparative Politics and Policy

The department has a long-established background in Comparative Politics with expertise on multilevel governance, devolution and constitutional change, migration policymaking, democracy promotion and energy politics. Staff have expertise in areas including the UK, the EU, China, Latin America, the Middle East, Russia and post-Soviet states, Scandinavia and the Western Balkans.

Supervisors: Dr L Bennie, Prof M Bain, Dr N Danilova, Dr J McEvoy, Dr Judith Sijstermans, Dr Digdem Soyaltin Colella, Dr E Tabur, Dr K Thomas, Dr A Widfeldt

Democracy and Representation

Our staff research central areas of politics relating to elections, political organisations and emerging challenges to modern liberal democracies. This theme includes expertise on political participation, including party membership, party change and electoral behaviour. We also have expertise on constitutional politics (including independence referenda), energy politics, far-right politics and green politics.

Supervisors: Dr L Bennie, Dr M Harvey, Dr Judith Sijstermans, Dr K Thomas, Dr A Widfeldt

Conflict and Security

Several staff members have expertise on themes relating to conflict and security, including post-conflict peacebuilding, terrorism and counter-terrorism, civil-military relations, cybersecurity, immigration and asylum, memory studies, political apologies, international security, strategic studies and EU conflict resolution. Supervisors: Dr D A Anagnostakis, Dr M Bain, Dr T Bentley, Dr N Danilova, Dr S Durkin, Dr James Johnson, Dr M Lekunze, Dr S May, Dr J McEvoy, Professor Michael Smith, Dr E Tabur, Dr I Xypolia

Entry Requirements

Applicants for admission will normally be expected to hold a relevant Honours degree with a 2:1 standard from a recognised university or body

Applicants to the PhD and MRes must provide a detailed research proposal and two academic references from their most recent academic institution.


Please see PhD Supervision which details our research interests and our leaflet: Guidelines for writing a Research Proposal.

Fees and Funding

View the tuition fee rates

Our Funding Database

View all funding options in our Funding Database.


Recent successful postgraduates have gone on to posts in the Scottish Parliament and civil service, the House of Commons, the UK civil service including the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the UK Ministry of Defence, international organisations including the United Nations and the European Union, research consultancies, international business and banking, and lobbying.

Others have moved into academic careers or drawn on their Politics and IR degree to undertake Postgraduate qualifications in other disciplines and career paths.

Get in Touch

Contact Details

Postgraduate Research School
University of Aberdeen
Crombie Hall
AB24 3TS