Become part of an intellectually stimulating, high quality research environment Become part of an intellectually stimulating, high quality research environment

The School of International Development aims to provide research students with high quality research supervision, in an intellectually stimulating, rigorous and supportive multi-disciplinary academic environment.

We aim to help research students to flourish intellectually and attain high standards of academic achievement, while fostering an environment in which postgraduate research students, their peers and supervisors are able to share and extend their knowledge. This includes creating opportunities for teaching and publication, and for post-doctoral studies. The School achieves this by facilitating appropriate and timely guidance from supervisors, diligence and creativity from the student, and excellent services and infrastructure from the School and University.

The results of the Research Excellence Framework (REF2014) rank the School of International Development 4th (Times Higher Education) in the country for overall research, with 74% of our research ranked “world-leading” or “internationally excellent”.

We have PGR Directors responsible for managing the professional progress of PhD students through their 3-4 years in DEV, supported by the team in the administrative PGR Office (PPE)


DEV is committed to the international body of research students studying in the School, currently numbering around 70, and we offer a range of full-time, part-time and flexible research programmes designed to meet the needs of students at varying stages of their careers, and in varying circumstances. Arrangements can be made to suit those who find it difficult to spend long periods of time away from their employment, but there is a compulsory taught element for all first-year research students in the two-semester module – Research Skills Workshop.

All candidates will be expected to have gained a good taught Master's qualification, including minimally having satisfactorily concluded a taught module on research methods or the equivalent in research experience. Candidates are required to present a focused research proposal to the School as part of the application process.  They are also required to submit a piece of written work in the form of a published article, masters dissertation, or essay. A small number of studentships are awarded through the university. These are highly competitive. For more information please see:

Upon acceptance, we will allocate as supervisors two members of faculty familiar with your chosen area of research. Your supervisors will advise you on relevant taught units to be taken at the start of your study period, as well as on the direction and structure of your research thesis. The School makes every effort to allocate a personal working space to all new research students, with computer facilities. We have a lively research community and all research students automatically join one of the School's research groups, thus making you all part of the wider research community within the school.

A typical research degree pattern would consist of one year working with your supervisors in the School, a second year on fieldwork gathering data, and a final year back at the University writing up your thesis. Reduced fees are charged for your fieldwork year for periods lasting three months or more.

As a general rule, research students may begin their Research Degree only from 1st October each year.

Applicants are registered directly onto the PhD programme, the first year of which will be considered a probationary period. Probation must be confirmed within the first twelve months of full-time study (twenty-four months for part-time students) by a School review panel composed of members and non-members of your supervisory team.