Study this programme anywhere in the world and receive a fully accredited University of London degree

MPhil with the Institute of Commonwealth Studies

PhD Programmes

Available to study anywhere in the world

The Institute of Commonwealth Studies (ICwS) is the only postgraduate academic institution in the UK devoted to the study of the Commonwealth. The Institute has been supervising interdisciplinary doctoral degrees for over half a century.

PhD In Human Rights
Undertaking doctoral research allows you to develop in-depth knowledge, while making a meaningful contribution to your chosen field.

The Institute of Commonwealth Studies offers doctoral research supervision in the following broad areas:

  • Human rights
  • Ecocide, environmental destruction and human rights
  • Genocide studies
  • African politics, governance and development
  • Ethnicity: conflict and accommodation in plural societies
  • Protection of refugees
  • Minority and Indigenous rights protection
  • Dynamics of armed conflict and forced displacement
  • Twentieth-century British and Commonwealth History
  • Globalisation, security and conflict
  • The Commonwealth as an international organisation
  • British Imperial history, including decolonization
  • European colonialism in comparative perspective
  • Post-colonial legacies in the Commonwealth and beyond
  • Non-governmental public actors, civil society and development
  • British and Commonwealth intelligence communities.

How to apply

Before agreeing to accept you, the School will require you to submit a research proposal, so it is worthwhile having this drafted ahead of a formal application. Once you have contacted the School, you will be put in touch with a potential supervisor.

Distance learning

Students are required to attend our London campus at set intervals to complete an intensive research training module, for upgrade, and for the viva but will otherwise study at their own location. This option is available to UK, EU and international students on the same basis as our on-campus PhD programmes (three years full time, six years part time). Fees are the same as for our on-campus PhD programmes. Please note that not all institutes and supervisors offer this option, and that some topics are not appropriate to be studied this way.

This programme is also available to be studied on campus in London. Visit the School of Advanced Study website to find out more about potential supervisors and subject areas, as well as details about available funding opportunities and more information about distance learning research degrees.

Next steps