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CHINA - Mainland CHINA - Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan GLOBAL


We hope to welcome you to the Department of International Relations as a doctoral researcher. Students will be joining a new and energetic department eager to make a difference.

We welcome supervisions in most areas of International Relations, Area Studies, and Politics focusing on any part of the world.Both theoretically and empirically driven, our departmental research explores the changing practices of global and transnational governance and international organization across the domains of international trade, investment and finance; democracy, human security, humanitarian intervention and public health; the environment and environmental politics; and the politics of diplomacy and war.

Within several of these domains, we focus on China’s socio-economic interactions with the rest of the world, and how China is both impacted by and impacting recent developments in the global political economy. Regarding China’s internationalization, our research also explores the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and its effects on China’s economic and foreign relations with Asia, Europe, the Americas and Africa. Our regional expertise spans the European Union, the Americas, Africa and Asia.

Within China, we have a special interest on the interactions of the Jiangnan Region (embracing the city of Shanghai, the southern part of Jiangsu Province, southeast Anhui Province, and the northern parts of Jiangxi Province and Zhejiang Province) with the rest of the world.

Key benefits of PhD study at XJTLU:

  • The Department of International Relations PhD programme enables you to work with dynamic and active researchers who are making an impact in their respective fields
  • Supportive processes and supervisors will provide a strong basis for the successful navigation of your intellectual project
  • The Department will offer opportunities to ensure professional development and enhance employment opportunities
  • The Department offers bridging Writing Fellowships. Upon submission of your PhD you will be able to apply for a three-month Fellowship to enable you to work on placing an academic article in a peer-reviewed journal
  • PhD students have dedicated travel budgets for participating in international conferences
  • The chance to apply for a research visit to the University of Liverpool for up to three months
  • Opportunities to work as a teaching assistant and develop teaching and communication skills. Training is provided.

Please check the FAQ for further studies of PhD at XJTLU

Potential supervisors

Find out potential supervisors from Department of International Studies.



Scholarships are available to candidates who wish to pursue a research degree at the Department of International Relations in the following areas:

  • China’s international relations including security, foreign policy and economics; the foreign policies and international relations of states and regional organizations in Africa, the Americas, the Asia-Pacific, and the European Union; international and global political economy; peace and state-building; critical security studies; post-structural approaches to IR; development studies; international communication; propaganda studies; political ideology; soft power studies; Cold War international history; intelligence studies; ethnic minorities.

There will be two application rounds for each academic year:

First round – applications submitted by 17:00 CST(UTC+8), 15 October will be reviewed in the first round and the decision will be announced in December.

Second round – applications submitted by 17:00 CST(UTC+8), 15 April will be reviewed in the second round and the decision will be announced in June.

Go to Scholarship page and find more information about how to apply for the scholarships.