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The award
PhD

How long you will study
3 - 4 years

Domestic course fees
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How you will study
full-time

Course starts
January, September

International course fees
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All study options

About Comparative Politics at University of Kent Brussels School of International Studies

Brussels is an excellent place to do doctoral research. Host to hundreds of international organisations, of which the European Union and NATO are the most prominent, PhD students do research literally around the corner of important places of decision-making. This offers an array of opportunities to attend conferences with high-level policy-makers, to consult the specialised libraries of institutions like the European Commission, or to interview diplomats. The Brussels School of International Studies (BSIS) seeks to create an environment not only of academic reflection, but also one where researchers and practitioners meet and exchange views. This creates a stimulating research environment for all topics in the broad field of international studies.

Degrees and practicalities

The University of Kent offers the following PhD degrees at BSIS:

  • PhD in International Relations
  • PhD in International Conflict Analysis
  • PhD in Comparative Politics
  • PhD in Political and Social Thought
  • PhD in Law

All programmes can be done full-time or part-time. New PhD students enrol either in September or January. Full-time PhD students can be registered for up to a maximum of four years on a doctoral programme, but are expected to submit their doctoral dissertation as soon as possible following the completion of the third year.

Research Seminars

At the heart of the PhD programme is the weekly research seminar (during terms). In these sessions one PhD student presents his/her research findings or latest chapter. Other PhD students and staff members give feedback. On a regular basis visiting researchers are invited to present at the research seminar. Because of the different PhD programmes and backgrounds of the academic staff, this fosters an interdisciplinary approach.

Study options for this course

Entry requirements

Applications to the PhD programme follow the regular procedure (see Admissions page), but also require the submission of a research proposal of around 3000 words. We recommend trying to align your research proposal with the research interests of one of our academics. It is not necessary to contact a supervisor before submitting your application.

In this proposal the candidate presents the research topic, research question and/or hypotheses, the theoretical framework and methodology envisaged, as well as a brief bibliography. Through the research proposal candidates demonstrate their research skills, their acquaintance with the field and its most salient debates. They aim to convince the Admissions Committee of their potential to make an original contribution to scholarship and of the feasibility of their research project. The research proposal is not a blueprint for the next years of research, but serves as a starting-point. In the interaction between supervisors and students, it will inevitably undergo change.

The following documents need to be submitted:

While there is no strict deadline, it is recommended to submit the application a couple of months before the date you wish to start the PhD programme (September or January).

For entry, we generally require a bachelor and master degree in a relevant field with a strong academic performance. All applications will be evaluated individually and entry is dependent on strong academic merit and a relevant research proposal.

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