PhD in Social and Political Science - from cohort 2021-22

PhD program Director
Prof. Arnstein AASSVE

PhD Administrative Assistant
Silvia Acquati 


Placement highlights

Michal GULCZYNSKI, Max Weber Fellowship, European University Institute.
Carlotta VARRIALE, Junior Economist, OECD 
Paula Carollina RETTL, Assistant Professor, Harvard Business School 
Selin KOKSAL, Senior Research Officer, Institute for Social and Economic Research, University of Essex
Yuxi WANG, Marie Skłodowska-Curie post-doctoral fellowship (Horizon Europe), INED
Leo AZZOLLINI, Postdoctoral Research Officer, University of Oxford
Naila Maya SHOFIA, Assistant Professor in Social Sciences, National University of Singapore
Renee Nicole MADDOX, Program Manager, Center for Disease Control and Prevention, USA
Paolo BELARDINELLI, Assistant Professor in Public Management, Indiana University-Bloomington Campus
Eleanor Florence WOOKHOUSE, Assistant Professor, UCL


The PhD in Social and Political Science is a 4-year PhD program completely taught in English. The program is designed for highly qualified and motivated students who wish to pursue a career in academia and research. A core theme of the program is inequality, its causes and consequences, both in the domestic and the international arena. A key feature of the program is the combination of multi-disciplinary training in theory and methods combined with an evidence-based approach. The program emphasizes the interconnections between social and political science, recognizing that political processes, social dynamics and economic factors interact. Students will specialize in one or more of the core areas covered by our world-renowned faculty, including demography of family and fertility, economic history, international relations, gender,  political science and political economy, public and global health as well as public administration and public policy.

In the first year, all students take a common set of courses to acquire or hone basic skills in mathematics, research methods and statistics, as well as develop a multi-disciplinary base of knowledge in the social and political sciences. Between the first and second year, students are expected to attend research internships where they will be working with one of our world class faculty. The second year includes a common set of advanced courses highlighting state of the art research finding while paying attention to both social and political dynamics. The second year ends with a choice of three elective courses, giving students the opportunity to developed even more specialized insights. Students will then design and execute their own research project and produce a journal length paper. The third and four years are dedicated solely to dissertation research and include participation in a research workshop, participation in a field specific reading group, and attendance of department seminars with leading scholars from around the world. Students will be working closely with their mentor, and given practical training in implementing scientific research. In the third and fourth years, students will also have opportunities for international exchange. At the end, students will be offered training in presenting their job market paper(s) and given advice about how to manage the job market. 

The program is open to Master’s level graduates in the social and political sciences (e.g., economics, political science and sociology), but also accepts applicants with other backgrounds (e.g., engineering, life sciences, philosophy) as long as students have demonstrated abilities for successful completion of the program.

Following the links on the left-hand side of this page, you will be able to access full info on the program. 
Find out more on how to apply and the admissions process.