PhD History and Politics
Types of study
Full time /
3 years full time；6 years part time
February or September each year
The PhD in International Studies is a programme of doctoral study for students who would like to undertake advanced research in preparation for an academic or related career. The PhD programme can be taken full-time over 3 years (for primary research) plus up to one year for writing up of the thesis, or part-time over 6 years for primary research plus up to 2 years for writing up. If admitted to this degree, students will conduct their own research under the guidance of two academic supervisors, one based at the University’s China campus and another at the UK campus. Graduates will be awarded a University of Nottingham UK degree, which is also recognised by the Chinese Ministry of Education.
Taking a research degree allows you the freedom to study a topic of interest in-depth, with the help of two academic supervisors. The School's international environment and its world-class research provide an ideal home for postgraduate research. Please see the areas of supervision offered by staff members of the School.
PhD students are encouraged to play an active role in the School's activities and events, as well as in the Institute of Asia and Pacific Studies (IAPS), which is based at the School. IAPS seminars and other School research events provide a major part of the intellectual life of the School. The School and IAPS also offer an ideal framework for students to undertake supervised research by attracting Visiting Fellows from other leading universities and guest speakers from across the globe, as well as hosting a wide range of events, conferences and workshops.
The School of International Studies welcomes applications from prospective PhD students in the following areas.
||International Relations Theories and Global Studies
Public and cultural diplomacy
The role and effect of the media in international relations and foreign policy
Belt and Road Initiative and new world making
Belt and Road Initiative and global governance
China - Central and Eastern Europe relations
China - Europe relations
China - Central Asia relations
China - India relations
UN peacekeeping, peace enforcement, peacebuidling
Canada/United Kingdom foreign policy
Evolving Space programs and policies in Asia in comparison
Foreign Policy Analysis
Regional Order/Regional Integration
International Political Economy
International Trade and International Relations
Technology and International Relations
Chinese foreign policy
China-Southeast Asian Relations
US foreign policy
Canada Foreign Policy
UK Foreign Policy
EU Foreign Policy
Russian Foreign Policy
International Security Studies
Traditional and Non-Traditional Security Studies
Global, Imperial and Transnational history from the early modern period through Decolonisation
Late Medieval, Early Modern and Modern European History
China, Japan and Northeast Asia
The Middle East
Europe – Asia relations
Historical International Relations
Economic and Trade history
Social and Cultural History
History of Political and Social Thought
Christianity and Mission
History of Childhood and Welfare
Gender and Agency
International Relations theory beyond the West
International Relations and climate change
Imagining the past to frame the future of global order
Sub-state actors/non-central governments engaging in international affairs
Classical realism/Neoclassical realism
Platforms and the reconstruction of digitalized orders
Migrant identity, belonging and settlement
Migration of healthcare workers, especially from South and Southeast Asian countries
Feminization of migration, transnational families and the ‘global care chain’
Human agency and social/gender inequality
Diasporic cultural practices
International Relations Theory
Realism (replace classical realism)
Cultural Politics of contemporary China
Meat consumption and reduction in China
Nationalism and national identity in China
China's cultural diplomacy post 1949-present day
Infrastructures and Chinese investments in the Global South
The role of history and historical narratives in Chinese foreign policy and diplomacy
Construction of a „global China”
Chinese Foreign Policy
Chinese International Relations History
China's Approach to FTA/IPE/Trade Policy
Please also check the staff listings for detailed research expertise of members of the School.
Programme structure introduction
In the course of their PhD, students will not only complete an academically recognised work of independent research, they will also gain a large set of academic and transferable skills, such as world-leading expertise in a specific field and particular methodological techniques. Supervisors will discuss training needs with each research student at the start of their studies and draw up a programme of individually tailored training which will be reviewed and revised during their research degree. The University's Graduate School offers a broad and comprehensive range of research training courses and Doctoral Training Centres based at the University provide more specific events and training opportunities. The School also occasionally organises workshops on particular methodological approaches and issues, such as oral history or statistical analysis. Close cooperation with the School of Politics and the Department of History in Nottingham allow students to draw on an even wider range of training opportunities, for instance through events co-organised with the Methods and Data Institute (http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/mdi/index.aspx).
Postgraduate Research Seminar
A weekly Postgraduate Research Student Seminar runs during term time and brings the research student community together on a regular basis. Organised by students and facilitated by the Doctoral Programme Director, it provides a supportive forum for presenting work in progress and advancing students’ research.
Career Prospects and Employability
Those who take up a postgraduate research opportunity in the School of International Studies will not only receive support in terms of close contact with supervisors and specific training related to their area of research, students will also benefit from dedicated careers advice from our Career Support. Individual guidance appointments, career management training programmes, access to resources and invitations to events including skills workshops are just some of the ways in which they can help students develop their full potential, whether they choose to continue within an academic setting or are looking at options outside of academia.
Applicants for research programmes would normally be expected to a bachelor degree at Upper Second Class level and have graduated or be about to graduate from a Masters degree (at Merit level) in a relevant subject, with an average of over 60% (or its equivalent).
English language requirements
- IELTS: 6.5 (minimum 6.0 in all elements)
- PTE Academics: 71 (minimum 65)
- TOEFL (IBT): 87 (minimum 20 in Speaking and 19 in all other elements)
* Grades/scores are valid for a maximum period of two years prior to the date of registration.
Applicants from the following countries or have studied for a degree there (excl. split site degree programmes) are NOT required to submit any further evidence of English language ability:
- Antigua and Barbuda; Australia; The Bahamas; Barbados; Belize; Canada; Dominica; Grenada; Guyana; Jamaica;
- New Zealand; St Kitts and Nevis; St Lucia; St Vincent and the Grenadines; Trinidad and Tobago; United Kingdom; United States of America.
How to apply
Our step-by-step guide contains everything you need to know about applying for postgraduate research.
Fees and funding
Tuition fees are adjusted annually and are set for each individual degree. Please follow the Gradaute School's fee information for details.
The School awards a full PhD scholarship once a year. Note that competition for this scholarship is very strong and students are advised to explore additional external sources of funding. Please see the University's PhD scholarships pages for further information. For further details about the School’s scholarship scheme, please contact the Doctoral Programme Director, Dr. Rosaria Franco (Email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
If you are considering applying to the School’s PhD programme please contact the Doctoral Programme Director, Dr. Rosaria Franco (Email: email@example.com) to discuss areas of research and potential supervision.
Student Recruitment and Admission Office (before application submission)
Room 231, Trent Building
University of Nottingham Ningbo China
199 Taikang East Road, Ningbo, 315100, China
T. +86 (0) 574 8818 0182
Graduate School (after application submission)
Room 451-2, Trent Building
University of Nottingham Ningbo China
199 Taikang East Road, Ningbo, 315100, China