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    Hi all!

    Long time no see

    It'd be great if someone could help me out here as I'm in the dark a little. I'm looking at Masters (or 1+3s, as I intend on doctoral study) for 2015 entry (so, not this cohort) in political theory/philosophy. I have always focused on quantitative political science, but I did my BA dissertation in political theory and received a very high mark, and would like to pursue it further. However, because of my quantitative focus I am not sure what funding is available for Pol Theory, or where is good for this area?

    So, if anyone has any experience in this area or knows where to look, I'd really appreciate the help so I have time to prepare a proposal.

    Cheers!
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    I wouldn't worry about your degree being more quantitative, particularly if your dissertation is on political theory. Is your BA in politics and do you have a first class?

    Generally, political theory is covered by the AHRC, although there are very niche areas that would be closer aligned to politics proper and therefore it may be worth reading this from the ESRC. However, as you've put 'philosophy' in the thread title and seem to want to follow on from your BA dissertation, I doubt this will be a concern.

    In terms of where's best: LSE, Essex, York, Edinburgh, St Andrews, Sheffield, Oxford and Cambridge are all top departments for political philosophy. However, it will largely depend on your research area as they all have specialities, e.g. St Andrews and Edinburgh focus on international political theory, Cambridge takes a very historical perspective, Essex and Sheffield focus on contemporary, and LSE is probably the broadest in terms of periods, and also quite inter-disciplinary which may compliment your background.
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    Thanks for your reply!

    My BA is politics, and I came third in my year, so I'm not too worried about hitting the academic eligibility except at somewhere like Oxford. And, actually, my BA is from Essex! I would not like to go back there, but my supervisor was great so it's certainly a consideration - I'm interested in why you think Essex is good for theory though? Sheffield is certainly a consideration. I've also been looking at York, and the southern universities (as my family live down there): Sussex, Surrey and Southampton. Opinion on those, if you have one?

    I am considering two topics, both quite divergent, so your link is definitely good for one of them. Many thanks.

    Regarding funding, aside from the research councils, do any particular Universities offer good amounts? The problem I am having is that, by heading for theory, I definitely cut down funding options as opposed to if I stayed with quantitative methods. Finally, my impression is that the AHRC funds either Masters or PhDs, but not in a 1+3 system like ESRC?

    Cheers!
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    (Original post by CUFCDan)
    Thanks for your reply!

    My BA is politics, and I came third in my year, so I'm not too worried about hitting the academic eligibility except at somewhere like Oxford. And, actually, my BA is from Essex! I would not like to go back there, but my supervisor was great so it's certainly a consideration - I'm interested in why you think Essex is good for theory though? Sheffield is certainly a consideration. I've also been looking at York, and the southern universities (as my family live down there): Sussex, Surrey and Southampton. Opinion on those, if you have one?

    I am considering two topics, both quite divergent, so your link is definitely good for one of them. Many thanks.

    Regarding funding, aside from the research councils, do any particular Universities offer good amounts? The problem I am having is that, by heading for theory, I definitely cut down funding options as opposed to if I stayed with quantitative methods. Finally, my impression is that the AHRC funds either Masters or PhDs, but not in a 1+3 system like ESRC?

    Cheers!
    I was referring more to the competitive nature of funding than academic eligibility - with BA politics you have nothing to worry about in terms of subject relevance; they're not expecting a political theory degree.

    Essex is good simply because it has one of the best politics departments in the UK - political theory is a bit of an oddball subject in that it doesn't know where to sit (which also makes high impact articles a little trickier), so I don't think there is any department that stands out massively compared to others, perhaps except LSE/Oxbridge who have made a focused push for political theory. It's difficult to categorically say who exactly the top academics are and therefore which the top departments are, partly because of the above confusion, partly because theorists tend to write books rather than journal articles, and partly because the more famous academics are often theorists themselves rather than traditional critics/scholars. There is certainly no modern day Hannah Arendt though unfortunately. The names that spring to my mind immediately are mostly in the US, but Jonathan Wolff is at UCL, Quentin Skinner is at QMUL and David Miller is at Oxford. If your interest is in, for example, the political philosophy of Plato - you may very well end up in a classics department as much as a philosophy one, but probably not in politics. I think the best way to go about it is to decide who you would most want to work with and let that decide the university and department for you.

    Sussex/Surrey/Southampton - they are not known for their philosophy or politics research but, as above, perhaps there is someone there who has similar research interests as your own?

    You're right about the levels of funding, but ultimately you would have to leave political theory altogether and head for political science to make a notable difference (and I don't know what you plan on doing after the PhD but quantitative research is more favourably looked upon in industry, e.g. consulting).

    And that's correct concerning the 1+3 funding:

    In particular, the AHRC does not support the 1+3 model, i.e. funding the same student for 1 year of Master’s level study, immediately followed by 3 years of doctoral study, without the student needing to reapply in a competitive process for the doctoral funding. This is because the AHRC believes this locks students either into or out of funding, meaning that the best quality students may not be supported as a result. It may also be necessary for a student to transfer to a different RO to complete their doctoral studies, which should be encouraged if it is in the best interests of the student.
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    (Original post by CUFCDan)
    Hi all!

    Long time no see

    It'd be great if someone could help me out here as I'm in the dark a little. I'm looking at Masters (or 1+3s, as I intend on doctoral study) for 2015 entry (so, not this cohort) in political theory/philosophy. I have always focused on quantitative political science, but I did my BA dissertation in political theory and received a very high mark, and would like to pursue it further. However, because of my quantitative focus I am not sure what funding is available for Pol Theory, or where is good for this area?

    So, if anyone has any experience in this area or knows where to look, I'd really appreciate the help so I have time to prepare a proposal.

    Cheers!
    It's very difficult to say without knowing the specifics of your research interests. What's your intended thesis and/or area? When it comes to postgraduate, the principal concern is nearly always the adequacy of your intended supervisor. In light of that fact, it makes little sense to try and generalise departments; you only need once relevantly excellent supervisor. That said, if you were to try and estimate leading departments by quality and quantity of faculty, it might be something like: Oxford & Cambridge; LSE & UCL; York & Warwick; Sheffield & Manchester. I'm sure this is woefully incomplete to be honest, i.e. I know at least that Edinburgh and QMUL should be added somewhere.
 
 
 
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