Applying for Postgraduate Research in Politics

You should follow the procedure set out by the Faculty of Arts and Humanities Graduate School, while following the additional guidelines below.

Research Topics and Initial Contact

Before making an official application, you are strongly encouraged to discuss your research ideas informally with at least one member of academic staff in the School. This is to ensure that you write a proposal which aligns as far as possible with the research interests and priorities of the department, and to help refine your ideas. It thus increases the chances that any subsequent official application will be well-received. 

The research and postgraduate supervision interests specified on staff pages are the best place to start.

As a general rule, when making initial contact with staff, a 500 word summary of your research idea, and a statement on why you want to do postgraduate research, is normally sufficient. 


If following your initial discussions you decide to submit a full application, you are required to submit a 500 word research proposal as part of the application. In addition, for the subjects outlined above (Politics and Public Policy; Cultural Politics, Communications and Media; Critical Global Politics), please submit an expanded research proposal up to 10,000 characters (including spaces) in length. While we recognise that these ideas are likely to change and develop over time, it is important to produce a coherent and well-argued piece of writing. The 10,000 character proposal should:

a) identify the problems that you want to explore and explain why it is important to do so

b) set your proposed research within a broad field of study: What are the key arguments, areas of literature and approaches in the field? What does your project contribute to existing work in the field? How does it extend understanding of particular questions or topics?

c) Set out your research questions

d) explain the methods you plan to use and why – what sources will you use?, how will you analyse them? – and reflect on some of the potential barriers to your strategy and ways you might overcome these

e) an initial plan for the project

f) a bibliography 

Your submitted 500 word proposal should summarise the key points of all these elements.

More detailed advice can be sought through contact with the academic(s) you are particularly interested in working with.


Studentships are available through UEA via a competitive process to fund part or all of your postgraduate research. More details of the studentships available can be found here: