Loughborough University Department of Politics, History and International Relations
PHIR evolved from the Department of European Studies, which was established in 1972.
In 2001 in the Research Assessment Exercise PHIR was awarded a grade of 5B and in the same year it scored 23/24 in the External Subject Review.
It wasn't until 2003 that the Department took the decision to invest in the study of Politics and International Relations and began to offer undergraduate degrees in International Relations. It was after this that the Department had a change of name and became the Department of Politics, International Relations and European Studies.
In 2005 the Department greatly expanded in size and added a further three members of staff. It added a further three lecturers to its number in 2007.
As of 2009 PHIR now offers History as one half of a selection of joint honours degrees. As History has become a major component of the department it was renamed to reflect this fact. European Studies was dropped from the name and replaced by History, the Department of Politics, International Relations and European Studies (PIRES) becoming the Department of Politics, History and International Relations or 'PHIR'.
The Department currently offers seven undergraduate courses, three Masters courses and provides research possibilities (with the Department being recognised by the ESRC).
PHIR is the center for the University-wide Languages Programme. This programme offers the chance to include French, German or Spanish as part of an undergraduate degree. They can also provide after hours tuition as part of the Extra-curricular Language Programme. Languages provided for as of 2007 include: Arabic, Chinese, Czech, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Spanish and Russian
Mathematics Education Centre
The Schofield Building on campus houses the Mathematics Education Centre. Here students can get support and guidance regarding mathematical skills. In particular the staff have in depth knowledge of statistics and the statistics research based programme SPSS.
The Department of PHIR focusses its research primarily on three main areas: Politics and Public Policy (an area which the University won the Queen's Anniversary Prize for in 2005), International Relations and European Studies. Within these broad areas aspects of particular interest include the Common Foreign and Security Policy of the EU; EU-Asia relations; political thought and theory; security studies; intelligence studies; sexual politics; human rights.
PHIR has earned the respect of many for its high standards in teaching and for its tradition of good quality research.
- It earned a score of 23/24 for Teaching Quality from the British Government's Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education.
- In the most recent Research Assessment Exercise it scored a score of 5/5* for the quality of its research.
- Students gave PIRES 82% for student satisfaction.
- PIRES was declared a Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence by the European Commission.
As of 2007 there were 21 academic, 9 teaching and 6 support staff all working within the department of PHIR. Notably, Ruth Kinna is Professor of Political Theory.