Postgraduate Study


We offer a wide range of  postgraduate courses in Economics and Finance; Politics and History; Social Anthropology; Psychology and Sociology and Communications. Whether it is the study of the politics of the European Union or cognitive psychology that makes you tick, we have the course for you.
Why study for a postgraduate qualification?

Postgraduate qualifications are not just a great way of satisfying your enquiring mind, they are also increasingly valued in the work place as they offer the opportunity to:

  • Develop specialist expertise
  • Enhance skills and develop new ones (independent study, research skills)
  • Demonstrate to employers an ability to cope with heavy workload and a strong ability to cope under pressure
  • Gain an internationally recognised qualification


The Graduate School provides a range of facilities open to students from the essential coffee machine to a space to work and socialise. In addition the library offers excellent facilities and space. In addition computer rooms are available for student use throughout the campus.

In each subject group, the staff are also always on hand to assist students with their work. We offer personal development planning activities via the school and the Graduate School to assist students with developing the extra skills they need to complete the course or to prepare for professional life. Pastoral care is also provided via our support and welfare facilities (including counselling services, medical and dental care, chaplaincy, etc.)

Research/PhD Programmes

Social Sciences is a vibrant, multidisciplinary and research-intensive School. The disciplines within the School have been established since the early 1970s and cover an impressive breadth, including research in political science, political theory, international relations, history, economics, finance, sociology, media & communications, anthropology, cognitive psychology, evolutionary psychology and social psychology

The School provides high quality research training in a stimulating, intellectually-intensive environment.  Academic colleagues offer expert supervision and take an active and ongoing interest in the research being conducted.  In addition to regular meetings with supervisors, research students participate in research seminars, and a variety of skills and methodology training sessions.  Students are actively encouraged to present at disciplinary research seminars, and are encouraged to participate in national and international academic conferences.

We have excellent facilities, including Brunel’s Graduate School, where postgraduate students can socialise and work, as well as departmental offices and a well-resourced library.

The School of Social Sciences offers two routes to a research degree: PhD, and New Route PhD. Supervision is offered for PhDs in subject areas comprising Economics & Finance, Politics & History, Psychology, Sociology & Communications, and Anthropology. In addition, we offer the taught New Route PhD in Human Sciences, embracing psychology, social anthropology, sociology and communications. All graduate degrees can be undertaken on a full-time or part-time basis.

Research students may apply to commence their study at the start of any term during the year (September, January or April); however, the usual time to start is at the beginning of the academic year in September.  For detailed information and advice on the application process and FAQ's click here.  Applications for all research degrees should be made as early as possible by submitting the relevant documentation:

UK/EU Applicants
Applications can now be made online
We also require copies of transcripts of previous studies; a Research Proposal and two satisfactory references (at least one of which must be academic) on institution headed paper in signed, sealed envelopes.

International applicants
Applications can now be made online
We also require copies of transcripts of previous studies; a Research Proposal; two satisfactory references (at least one of which must be academic) on institution headed paper in signed, sealed envelopes and certified proof of English language - further information available: English language requirements


We currently offer five Master's level courses in Anthropology:

    Anthropology of Childhood, Youth and Education MSc

    This MSc was the first degree of its kind in the world when it was established and is still unique in its thorough-going anthropological perspective on what it is to be a child or to be young. Its key organising principle is that understanding children requires the study of how their relations with others -...
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    Anthropology of International Development and Humanitarian Assistance MSc

    Anthropology at Brunel has an international reputation for excellence in research and training. The course will appeal to graduates from a variety of backgrounds, including: anthropology, sociology, economics, politics, geography, law and development studies. It will provide the necessary training to enable students to seek employment with NGOs (such as Oxfam and Save the Children Fund), international agencies (such as the World Health Organisation and the World Food...
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    Medical Anthropology MSc

    This is the first taught masters degree dedicated to medical anthropology in Europe, and is the largest MSc medical anthropology programme in the UK. Anthropology at Brunel has an international reputation for excellence in research and teaching. Brunel was the first University in Europe to establish a Master's degree in Medical Anthropology, and since then we have continued to develop our programme to reflect the changing world in which we live. In short, Medical Anthropology can be described as the study of cultural beliefs and practices associated with the origin, recognition and...
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    Psychological and Psychiatric Anthropology MSc

    Anthropology at Brunel has an international reputation for excellence in research and teaching. Do our categories of behaviour – normal and abnormal – translate across cultures? Why do ethnic minorities have different experiences of mental health? Is there a ‘human nature’ underneath all the cultural differences? Anyone interested in psychological processes, feeling and expression, memory and trauma, culture and personality, will have asked themselves questions of this kind....
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    Social Anthropology MRes

    Academics have worked in locations across the world and are engaged in research and writing that have made significant contributions to anthropology's understanding of the body, personhood, emotion, learning, childhood and youth, medical beliefs, among others. Anthropology at Brunel has an international reputation for excellence in research and teaching. This MRes is a taught postgraduate degree that provides high quality training in anthropology and anthropological research. The degree is of particular relevance for those who wish to use such training as a foundation for PhD study or who are keen to enhance their careers through the acquisition of advanced knowledge and research skills. Accordingly,...
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Economics & Finance

Our Masters degree programmes at Brunel University prepare students for careers in banking, business, finance and accounting and we also provide a PhD research degree in economics.

Postgraduate degree programmes:

    Banking and Finance MSc

    Photo of The Gherkin in London. Study Masters in Banking and Finance at Brunel University in West London. This innovative Banking and Finance MSc programme provides you with postgraduate training designed to develop your career in the banking and financial services sector. You will gain a thorough understanding of this field through practical and theoretical application, addressing financial economics, the economics of banking, quantitative methods as well as financial regulation both within the...
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    Business Finance MSc

    Academic staff are involved in international-standard research, which is reflected by a rating of 4a in the last RAE. The MSc in Business Finance is designed to enhance students' understanding of the operation of the firm, with a special focus on the financing decisions it must make. This requires an evaluation of the firm’s relationship to financial markets. It also requires an understanding of the theory and practice underlying corporate finance and investment decisions....
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    Finance and Accounting MSc

    MSc Finance & Accounting The Finance and Accounting Masters programme includes topics such as the theory of finance, company valuation, the assessment of corporate risk, international accounting standards, corporate governance and financial statement analysis. Although designed for students interested in a career in business and consulting, accountancy firms, financial institutions and government, this MSc in Finance and Accounting also...
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    Finance and Investment MSc

    Academic staff are involved in international-standard research, which is reflected by a rating of 4a in the last RAE. This Finance and Investment Masters programme is a specialised postgraduate degree course focusing on security/portfolio investment decision making. As such, it is structured around the syllabus of the Chartered Financial Analysts Institute. The emphasis of this postgraduate course is on issues related to investment in capital markets, such as investment strategies, the evaluation of investment...
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You will experience an excellent learning environment, as our teaching is informed by our internationally acclaimed research in financial markets and institutions, macro- and microeconomics, development, financial accounting, corporate governance and econometrics. Many of our academics advise governmental and intergovernmental organisations on economic policy and bring this real-world experience to their teaching, read more »

MSc Finance courses in London

For those looking for a future in a wide range of careers in the financial sector, our four masters degree programmes: MSc Banking and Finance, MSc Business Finance, MSc Finance and Accounting and MSc Finance and Investment at Brunel University London will provide you with the knowledge needed to succeed.
Whether you are looking at developing a successful career in financial institutions, banking regulatory organisations or investment banks, our postgraduate courses in economics and finance will set you on the right track to conquer the competitive world of finance. Even if you are yet to decide which specialised area of finance you wish to focus on, our range of courses will provide the ideal start to your financial career.
Studying in London, you will find yourself in one of the world’s leading financial centres and only a short journey away from The City – London’s famous financial district. If you are striving to reach the top in banking and finance, where could be more inspiring than the square mile? By studying in London you’ll be able to make the right connections at Brunel University and gain the industry know-how to see you through to your next step in your career.
By making use of our links with financial institutions and making the most of the contacts and experience you gain during your time here, you’ll increase your chances of being able to establish yourself in the country’s leading financial institutions.
The ability to prove yourself to be the very best for your chosen financial career is of vital importance, especially in these difficult times. Competition for jobs is higher than ever, and the more experience and knowledge you can demonstrate will enable you to have a higher chance of establishing yourself in the industry.
An MSc in Finance and Accounting will provide you with all the information you need to tackle the financial world with confidence and remain one step ahead of the crowd. You will be able to strive for highly sought after careers in accounting and finance by arming yourself with the knowledge to tackle even the most difficult of questions and problems in these sectors.

Accounting is a vital part of any business and our MSc in Accounting provides a solid platform to develop a career in financial accounting. A masters in accounting will allow you to develop skills to determine corporate risk and company valuations, providing an essential part of a company team.
By developing your knowledge in accounting and ability to problem solve and face financial tasks head on, you’ll be able to demonstrate key qualities for accounting job roles. By establishing your education at Brunel University London, you’ll stand head and shoulders above the rest.

Our MSc in Finance and Investment provides a solid understanding and approach to the industry and is structured around the syllabus of the Chartered Financial Analysts Institute. The MSc Investment course will enable you to enter the industry with knowledge of investment strategies, the evaluation of investment performance, and the use of financial statement information in evaluating company performance.
You could also specialise in investment banking and finance by studying our masters degree in banking and finance. The MSc Banking and Finance programme stands out from other MScs banking courses, as 95% of our academics are nationally and internationally recognised for their research. We also have excellent training facilities with access to a number of professional databases such as Bloomberg.
If you are interested in financial decision making, financial analysis and corporate finance, our MSc in Business Finance offers rigorous training to equip you with the skills needed for a successful career in the financial sector. You will gain more specialised knowledge in company valuation and business economics, and you will have the opportunity to build your knowledge and a portfolio of techniques through our innovative business finance workshop.
Hence, our portfolio of finance masters degree courses offer high quality training in each of their specialist fields in this exciting and challenging sector.

New Route PhD Economics and Finance

This programme aims to educate graduates not only to the high academic standards expected from PhD research but also in generic personal, business and communication skills. Because it extends the usual PhD from three to four years, it develops an integrated range of skills and knowledge that both broaden and deepen the individual’s subject expertise beyond the bounds of the usual research degree.

Politics & History

The Department of Politics and History offers both taught and research modes of postgraduate study.

Taught postgraduate courses

    Globalisation and Governance MA

    Academic staff are involved in international-standard research, which is reflected by a rating of 4a in the last RAE. The term ‘Globalisation’ embraces a range of deeply transformative political, economic and social processes. Understanding these - or the meaning, significance and implications of globalisation - presents major theoretical and practical challenges for those working or intending to work in the realms of government, business, civil society or academia. The Brunel MA not only equips...
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    Intelligence and Security Studies MA

    The Brunel Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies is Britain's first academic centre dedicated to intelligence scholarship and policy-analysis and is led by one of the founding figures of intelligence studies in Britain. Intelligence and security policy issues are now one of the fastest growing areas of academic and public concern, especially since '9/11' and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Today more than ever before national governments, international agencies and most major international corporations have an identified need for staff with a strong grasp of intelligence and...
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    International Relations MA

    Academic staff are involved in international-standard research, which is reflected by a rating of 4a in the last RAE. Research-led teaching: courses on the International Relations MA are designed and taught by international renowned researchers in International Relations, Contemporary History, and Law. The department hosts an active guest lecture series featuring leading scholars and thinkers in the area of International Relations, Politics, and History. Students takings the Brunel MA in International Relations will have...
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    Modern World History MA

    Among the historians at Brunel University are experts on the history of the United States, the Caribbean, Australia, China, Russia, and the United Kingdom. The MA in Modern World History is the only one of its kind in the UK to be endorsed and promoted by the internationally recognised World History Association. It examines the transnational influences, connections and conflicts that intersect in world history and seeks to foster a holistic approach to historical problems that have had cross-cultural...
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    Public Affairs and Lobbying MSc

    Academic staff are involved in international-standard research, which is reflected by a rating of 4a in the last RAE. Public affairs, lobbying and political consultancy are attractive areas for many graduates. Careers in this field are either in dedicated departments within large companies or, more commonly, within specialist consultancy firms. This programme will provide both academic and practical training to assist you in pursuing a career in these exciting professions....
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    War and Conflict in the Modern World MA

    The programme also draws upon Brunel's expertise in intelligence studies, offering students the chance to take optional modules in this area from the University's Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies. The MA in War and Conflict in the Modern World combines the disciplines of History and International Relations to provide students with multi-disciplinary, advanced study from both humanities and social science perspectives. The course covers the period from the French Revolution to the present. It examines the impact of the French and Industrial Revolutions on...
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PhD Degrees by Research

The Department of Politics and History supervises graduate research degrees (PhD's and MPhils) for students from around the world, and from all walks of life and careers. We work on a process of twinned supervision, where each graduate student has two supervisors from the faculty to ensure that they progress successfully. In post-graduate or higher research degrees, one's supervisors are the most important characters other than yourself when it comes to success – this is someone you will have to work with intimately over at least three years, so it makes sense that you'll need to have a good working relationship. So, if you wish to come to Brunel to undertake a PhD, try to get in touch with the member of staff that seems most aligned with your intended field of study. From there, and with their help, you can develop an appropriate research proposal to submit for consideration.

The first year of study for full-time research students on our PhD Programmes is a research training year, in which the development of the thesis is combined with undertaking and completing a range of research relevant modules. The entire research study programme requires a minimum of three years full-time study or longer (4-8 years) for part-time study.

Please click here to apply


Taught Postgraduate Courses

The Psychology department offers a number of Master's level courses, please follow the links below for more information.

    Cross-Cultural Psychology MSc

    Teaching on the course is by renowned international experts on culture and ethnicity, with the Brunel teaching team being complemented with visiting speakers from around the world. Do people fall in love in the same way in every country? What makes a good leader in Chinese (and other, non-Western) societies? How might we help migrants best settle into their new culture? This course provides you with an understanding of how basic psychological processes may vary across cultures, and gives you the skills...
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    Evolutionary Psychology MSc

    At Brunel we have extensive facilities for human subjects research (including EEG, fMRI, motion capture, 3D body scanning). How can evolutionary theory help us understand human behaviour? Do humans have a species-typical psychological design? What learning mechanisms would have been favoured by natural selection in ancestral environments? This programme provides an exciting opportunity for advanced study in Evolutionary Psychology, ie psychological science informed by explicit consideration of the fact that the human mind,...
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    Functional Neuroimaging MSc

    Psychology is an expanding, research-led group with expertise in Social, Developmental, Health, Cross-Cultural, Psychoanalytic, Cognitive, and Applied Psychology, as well as in Neuropsychology and Neuroimaging. How does brain scanning equipment work? What can brain scanners tell us about brain function? How do differences in brain structure affect brain function? Recent years have been characterised by a rapid development of functional imaging technology, with increasing availability worldwide of high resolution scanners for research and clinical applications. Functional brain imaging requires an...
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    Psychoanalysis and Contemporary Society MA

    Academic staff are involved in international-standard research, which is reflected by a rating of 5 in the last RAE. How are our behaviours influenced by unconscious motives? Which conflicts lie at the heart of contemporary individual and social problems? What explains our cultural and ideological obsession with power and violence? This MA is designed to provide you with a training in classical and contemporary psychoanalytic theory. It maintains a constant attention to the relation...
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    Psychology, Health and Behaviour MSc

    The course will guide the student through a journey of health, illness, adjustment and rehabilitation. How can we change risky health behaviours (such as smoking, drinking)? Why don’t people take medicines as directed, even when the medicines are prescribed for serious illnesses? What psychological and social factors influence physical health? This course is aimed at a variety of graduates; people working in the health who wish to further their understanding...
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For further information, please contact:

Veronica Johnson
Tel: +44 (0)1895 265951

PhD Degrees by Research

The first year of study for full-time research students on our PhD Programme is a research training year, in which the development of the thesis is combined with undertaking and completing a appropriate research and skill relevant modules, as required. The entire research study programme requires a minimum of three years’ full-time study or four years’ part-time study.


For further information, please contact:

The Research Office
Tel: +44 (0)1895 266310

Sociology & Communications

Brunel Sociology and Communications is proud of its international reputation as a centre for teaching and research excellence, and is keen to develop this reputation further through new projects and innovative thinking. Postgraduate students play a vital role in Sociology and Communications at Brunel. Whether you are studying for one of our Master’s degrees or are a research student working in one of our areas of special expertise, you will find Brunel a lively and productive environment in which to work.

Our Masters degrees programme attract students from all over the world. We currently offer degrees in:

Media and Communications MSc

Students in classHow do the media shape culture and society? What role does the media play in people's lives? Is the media creating a global culture? Are audiences now producers? Do social networking sites influence personal communication? Are young people disconnected from traditional politics? This well established course offers students an interdisciplinary approach to the study ...
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For further information, please contact:

Veronica Johnson
Tel: +44 (0)1895 265951

PhD Degrees by Research

Brunel Sociology and Communication’s supervises graduate research degrees (PhD's and MPhils) for students from around the world. We aim to fully support your work, where each graduate student has two supervisors and annual reviews to ensure that you progress successfully.

Our aim is to provide you not only with careful supervision but also with a rigorous and appropriate training. The PhD programmes have an initial training year which you will need to take unless you have followed an equivalent programme elsewhere. This involves following the taught components of the MSc in Social and Cultural Research, which include methods training and seminars as well as workshops in which you will meet both Master’s and researchstudents from other disciplines in the School.


The School of Social Sciences may fund a number of School Research Studentships each year.

These are designed to support excellent research projects and offer a level of fees and maintenance support equivalent to a basic research council studentship for a home-based student.


We welcome enquiries from potential PhD candidates in any of the areas in which we specialise. Initially you should write either to the Research Office or to an individual member of staff, outlining your research proposal and giving an indication of your qualifications.

See our listing of current doctoral students and their research topics in sociology and communications.


For further information, please contact:

The Research Office
Tel: +44 (0)1895 266310

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Page last updated: Wednesday 13 July 2011