The department gives you a number of staff interests to draw upon.

Staff in the Department of Politics and International Relations (PIR) investigate some of the world’s most pressing political problems at several levels of analysis: sub-state, state, regional and international.

Research Area marketing image

Key Programme Information

At a Glance

Degree Qualification
MPhil or PhD

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

Research Interests

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, Professor M Keating, Dr D Toke, 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, and EU conflict resolution.

Supervisors: Dr D A Anagnostakis, Dr M Bain, Dr T Bentley, Dr N Danilova, Dr S May, Dr J McEvoy, Professor Michael Smith, Dr E Tabur, Dr A Teti, Mr J Wyllie, Dr I Xypolia

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, Dr M Bain, Dr N Danilova, Dr J McEvoy, Dr E Tabur, Dr A Teti, Dr D Toke, Dr A Widfeldt

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 A Teti, Dr D Toke, Dr R Vij

Entry Requirements

Applicants to the PhD and MRes must provide a detailed research proposal and two academic references from their most recent academic institution. Applicants are strongly advised to contact potential supervisors before making an application.

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


The information below is provided as a guide only and does not guarantee entry to the University of Aberdeen.

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 Foreign and Commonwealth Office, MoD, foreign government and military services, research consultancies, international business and banking, parliamentary research, and marketing, lobbying. Others have moved into academic careers.

Get in Touch

Contact Details

Business School
University of Aberdeen
Edward Wright Building
Dunbar Street
AB24 3QY