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PhD opportunities in Politics and History at Brunel University London

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Profile Description

Qualification type: MPhil / PhD
Location: Uxbridge, London
Mode of study: Full-time and Part-time

Welcoming environment for research students

You are very welcome to undertake your PhD or MPhil in one of our research areas and work alongside our researchers. As a research student you'll benefit from the latest work by internationally-renowned academics and the support of our Graduate School. Many of our research initiatives involve successful collaborations with industry, the public sector, business and government, both in the UK and overseas. Our NSS results have placed us as best in the UK over the last two years for student satisfaction.

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Working with your supervisory team
Research environment for PhD students
Life as a research student at Brunel University London

Research strenghts

We have a superb research record with 64% rated as being World Leading or Internationally Excellent in REF2014, placing us 12th in the UK for REF Intensity. Internationally we are in the QS ranking top 150 for Politics & International Studies.

Research  areas

Politics and History at Brunel has established a substantial body of cutting-edge research across both subject areas. Six broad themes provide the foundation on which much of this research can be categorized.

  • Modern and Contemporary History, with special focus on the rise and fall of empires, regimes, nations and states
  • The political structures and processes of advanced capitalist states, especially Britain, the US, Asia, countries within the EU, and the EU itself
  • The history of political thought, with special interest in theories of violence and revolution
  • Intelligence and Security Studies, with a key focus on the institutions and processes of intelligence gathering
  • War and Conflict, including military history from the ancient to the modern period, counterinsurgency, peace-building, and border conflict
  • International relations, including specialisms in the modern Middle East and the politics of intervention

The impact of our research is achieved through extensive networks involving other researchers and scholars, engagement with civil society actors and advice to the policy-making community. Members of staff also serve on the councils of scholarly bodies and act as panel members for a range of funding bodies, including the ESRC, AHRC, British Academy and Royal Historical Society.

Working across disciplines is a central part of our research strategy and helps us to produce innovative and outstanding research. Our research centres include:

Brunel Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies 

  • Political sociology as it applies to institution-building and organisational design of intelligence agencies and communities
  • Theories of ‘intelligence culture' and the practice of intelligence around the world
  • Military doctrine of intelligence, with a focus on UK practices
  • Analytical methods: the tools and practices of intelligence analysts
  • Intelligence history: how states have organised and practiced intelligence in the period since the bureaucratisation of intelligence, and earlier

Magna-Carta Institute

  • Rights of individuals and the responsibilities of governments and institutions
  • Good governance of public and private institutions
  • Public understanding of the processes by which societies are governed
  • Key political and social issues

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Britain in Europe PhD
Intelligence and Security studies PhD
Magna Carta PhD
Politics and History PhD


For general enquiries, please contact: [email protected]


Funding Notes

We offer a range of PhD studentships, partial scholarships, and academic prizes, to help with your research fees. Find out more here:

How good is research at Brunel University London in Politics and International Studies?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 23.80

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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