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MPhil/PhD in International Relations

Programme Code: RPIR

Department: International Relations

For students starting this programme of study in 2018/19

Guidelines for interpreting programme regulations

In addition to progressing with their research, students are expected to take the listed training and transferable skills courses. Students may take courses in addition to those listed, and should discuss this with their supervisor.


Course number, title (unit value)

Year 1

Training courses

Compulsory (not examined):


IR501 Methods in International Relations Research (0.0)


IR509 International Relations Research Design Workshop (0.0)

Year 2

Training courses

Compulsory (not examined):


IR509 International Relations Research Design Workshop (0.0)


Optional (examined/not examined):

The subject workshops offered by the International Relations Department comprise international relations theory; security and statecraft; international institutions, law and ethics; international political economy; Asia-Pacific; and the Middle East.

Relevant courses provided by the Methodology Institute and agreed with supervisor, including:


DV560 Bayesian Reasoning for Qualitative Social Science: A modern approach to case study inference (0.5) #


MY400 Fundamentals of Social Science Research Design (0.5)


MY521 Qualitative Research Methods (0.5)


MY530 Advanced Qualitative Research Workshops (0.0) #


MY551 Introduction to Quantitative Analysis (0.5)


MY555 Multivariate Analysis and Measurement (0.5) #


MY559 Special Topics in Quantitative Analysis: Quantitative Text Analysis (0.5) #


MY591 Computing Packages for Applied Analysis (0.0)


MY599 Department of Methodology Seminar (0.0)

Transferable skills courses

MY592 Workshop in Information Literacy: finding, managing and organising published research and data (0.0)

# means there may be prerequisites for this course. Please view the course guide for more information.

Progression and upgrade requirements

Early in the Summer Term first- and second-year research students will have their progress reviewed by a Research Panel. They may also be held at the end of the third or subsequent years of registration at the request of a supervisor or student. Supervisors will not attend Research Panels but will provide reports on progress. Panel members may attend student presentations at the Research Design Seminar (IR509). Students are expected for the first Panel to submit an outline of their proposed research and one draft chapter. Students who are deemed not to have made satisfactory progress will either be refused permission to re-register or will be required by the Research Panel to produce written work over the summer as a condition for re-registration in the autumn. In the event of conditions to re-registration being set, a further Research Panel may be reconvened in the September prior to re-registration.

For the second Panel, which will decide on the question of upgrading from MPhil to PhD, students will be expected to submit two additional draft chapters. The two chapters should be substantially new work, but may include revised material from year one. Students who have not made sufficient progress to be converted from MPhil to PhD registration by the end of their second year will normally have re-registration made conditional on further progress (details to be decided by the Panel) or may, exceptionally, be prohibited from re-registering.

Note for prospective students:
For changes to graduate course and programme information for the next academic session, please see the graduate summary page for prospective students. Changes to course and programme information for future academic sessions can be found on the graduate summary page for future students.