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Kings College London Course/Program Name
Application closes on
National :15 Jan 
International :15 Jan 
EU :15 Jan 

MPhil Contemporary India Research

 Course Level
Masters / PG
Full Time

2 Years
 Start month

 Tuition fee

17000 GBP
4600 GBP
4600 GBP

Application fee

International 0 GBP
National 0 GBP
India Institute
Scores accepted
IELTS (min)7
TOEFL-IBT (min)100

World University Ranking

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About this course

Current number of academic staff: 10 (with 20 affiliates in other departments).


Current number of research students: 27

Recent publications:

o The Idea of India

o Atomic State: Big Science in Twentieth Century India

o Remapping India: New States and their Political Origins

o Forged in Crisis

o Comparative Constitutionalism in South Asia

o The Measure of a Tribe: The Cultural Politics of Constitutional Reclassification in North India

o Muslims in Indian Cities: Trajectories of Marginalisation

o Does Access to Institutional Agricultural Credit Depend on Caste?

o Evolution of India's Agni-V Missile Bureaucratic Politics and Nuclear Ambiguity

o 1971: A Global History of the Creation of Bangladesh
Current research projects:
o Democracy and democratic politics in India;

o Jawaharlal Nehru;

o Legal understandings of culture in India;

o Approaches to Twentieth Century Science in China and India

o The politics of regionalism and federalism in India

o Learning achievement in private and government schools in India

o Mobilization of the lower castes and untouchables in India

o India and the Second World War

o Diplomatic and Contemporary history of South Asia and India

Partner organisations: The Institute is closely involved in the College’s key partnership with Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, with a programme of research exchanges for postgraduate students in addition to a joint PhD programme with the National University of Singapore. In addition, we regularly host visiting fellows from institutions such as the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), Brookings India, and the Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi.

Check further details on University website

Eligibility Criteria

A Master's degree (or international equivalent) is usually required. 

In exceptional circumstances only, a Bachelor's degree with first class or high 2:1 honours (or international equivalent) will be considered. 

Applicants to the Joint programme are encouraged to contact an academic at King's to develop research links with the partner institution.

English language requirement:

  • IELTS: 7.0
  • TOEFL-IBT: 100

Check further details on University website

Course Modules


The King’s India Institute offers a unique and exciting environment for the in-depth study of India. Promoting an inter-disciplinary understanding of India in a comparative global context, the Institute coordinates and develops India-related research capabilities. Students can draw on academic expertise in a range of disciplines, and supervision may be provided from within the Institute or jointly with other faculty within the College. Staff research interests include:

Dr Rudra Chaudhuri
Diplomatic and contemporary history of South Asia and India; India's foreign relations

Prof Christophe Jaffrelot
Theories of nationalism and democracy; mobilization of the lower castes and untouchables in India; Hindu nationalist movement; ethnic conflicts in Pakistan.

Professor Sunil Khilnani:
Intellectual history and political thought; the history and politics of modern India; democratic theory and non-Western experiences; strategic thought on India's place in the world.

Dr Kriti Kapila:
The law in contemporary India; the politics of recognition and the category of 'tribe' in India; the historical DNA of population groups; the interface of national and transnational legal regimes.

Dr Sunil Mitra Kumar
Indian economic development; the role of caste in access to resources; microeconometrics and survey data; causal inference and economic methodology.

Prof Harsh Pant
International relations theory; security studies; proliferation of weapons of mass destruction; Asia-Pacific security; South Asian politics.

Dr Jahnavi Phalkey:
The history of science and technology; the roles of science in the transformation of independent India; the laboratory as a social institution; statistical practices; nuclear physics research and education in India; state power in independent India.

Dr Srinath Raghavan
Contemporary history of India, international politics of South Asia, Indian military history, and India's foreign and defence policies since 1947.

Dr Louise Tillin:
Politics and development in contemporary India; the operation of India's federal system; the creation of India's newest states; agrarian political economy.

Course study environment

The India Institute offers a lively and thought-provoking programme of seminars, workshops and colloquia, all of which encourage interaction between graduate students, research staff and a wider audience. Together with the Institute's core staff and associate faculty across various departments at King's, PhD students add to the multi-disciplinary and vibrant intellectual atmosphere of the Institute. The Institute also regularly hosts internationally renowned visiting fellows who add an important dimension to our stimulating academic environment.

Postgraduate training

We offer two dedicated PhD modules viz. Interpreting India and Methods in the Social Sciences and Humanities besides a weekly Writing Up seminar. In addition, students are encouraged to audit relevant MA modules at the India Institute and across College, and can take dedicated doctoral training courses run by the KISS-DTC. We also host a weekly seminar series India@King's.

Head of group/division

Professor Sunil Khilnani, Director, King's India Institute

Contact for information

Postgraduate Admissions Team, Admissions Office
tel: +44 (0)20 7848 7429
fax: +44 (0)20 7848 7200 

Dr Sunil Mitra Kumar

Contact email


Course website


Check further details on University website

How to Apply

Application procedure

Before applying, please read carefully the information about our research interests, and make sure that your research topic falls within one of these areas. You are welcome to contact a potential supervisor directly to discuss your research topic, and we also encourage you to contact the India Institute PhD admissions tutor with a draft research proposal before submitting a complete application through the online system. The admissions tutor will advise whether your research can, in principle, be carried out with us.

Admission will initially be for the MPhil but students are expected to transfer to the PhD proper by the end of the first year, and no later than the end of the second year, on the recommendation of the Institute’s graduate upgrading panel.

September, January, and April start dates available. Applicants are strongly encouraged to start their degree at beginning of the academic year in September, when the College offers a full induction programme.

Personal statement and supporting information

In addition to a 3-5 page research proposal, applicants should submit a personal statement outlining their reasons for pursuing further research.

Course intake

No set number.

Joint PhDs - Application advice

Applicants for the Joint PhD programme must contact the relevant departments at both universities before submitting an application in order to discuss the suitability of their topic for the joint programme and to locate potential supervisors. Applications should initially be submitted to the proposed home institution only, ie where the student will start and finish their programme. Students should note that acceptance onto the programme may take slightly longer than for single-institution PhDs because of the additional steps involved. Further details, including FAQs, can be found on the King’s Worldwide web pages.

Applicants who choose King’s as their home institution should apply through the online system, selecting the appropriate Joint PhD option from the drop-down list. In addition to the standard supporting documentation, applicants should submit a Travel Plan form indicating how they intend to divide their time between the two partner institutions. Students must spend a specified amount of time in each institution, details of which can be found in the ‘Notes’ section of the Travel Plan form.

The application deadline to start in September 2016 is 29th July 2016 for overseas students and 2nd September 2016 for Home/EU students.

The application deadline to start in January 2017 is 31st October 2016 for overseas students and 2nd December 2016 for Home/EU students.

The application deadline to start in April 2017 is 19th February 2017 for all students.

Application closing date

There is no specific deadline for applications. Applications will be considered subject to the availability of places, thus we encourage you to submit your application as soon as possible. Please note funding applications may be subject to specific deadlines.

Check further details on University website

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