MA by Research

Students sat outside the Parkinson Building

If you have a longstanding interest or connections in a particular political or international studies field, perhaps related to your professional occupation or other significant experience, then an MA by Research may be suitable for you.


This type of study works through close one-to-one supervision, tailored specifically to the needs of the project and the researcher. You will research and write a thesis of approximately 30,000 words on a subject of your choice. 

The School offers no broad research training for candidates that register for this degree. MA by Research candidates are not eligible for transfer to a PhD.


The MA by Research can be taken full-time (one year) or part-time (two years).

Areas of supervision

Our research supervision offers a wide breadth of activity across several key academic teams. 

The School has a thriving research community, supported by more than 50 academic and research staff. Explore our research centres to discover the themes and supervisors relating to your field of study:  

Centre for Democratic Engagement

Centre for Global Development

European Centre for the Responsibility to Protect

Centre for Global Security Challenges

Centre for Contemporary Political Theory

Many of our academic staff are also involved in the Leeds Social Science Institute which fosters interdisciplinary research collaborations and provides training for our postgraduate researchers.