Banner image
Banner image

Course: DPhil Politics

The first year of DPhil training is intensive but prepared me well for the next steps of my research.


The DPhil in Politics is a three- to four-year course of full-time doctoral study, or six to eight years of part-time study, which is intended for students who would like to undertake detailed research in preparation for an academic career in political science or political theory. Note that the part-time option is not a distance-learning programme; part-time students are required to attend face-to-face teaching in Oxford on one or two separate days each week during term.

The DPhil in Politics is intended for students who would like to undertake detailed research in preparation for an academic career in political science or political theory. 

At DPIR we look to teach you how to be rigorous in your research methods, and support you to produce high-quality and enquiring, original research. As a DPhil student, you will be at the heart of the Department’s research community and you will have rich opportunities for connecting with fellow-students, postdoctoral fellows, and academic staff involved in disciplinary and cross-disciplinary research. 

How to look for information on the course

Further information about this course (including entry requirements) is on the University of Oxford Politics DPhil course page

This webpage aims to give you a flavour of the Politics DPhil and its student and alumni community. You can also explore political theory research at DPIR and research in comparative politics and government at DPIR, for an idea of the cutting-edge research methods, questions and themes explored by our academic networks.

Research examples

You can explore current Politics DPhil students research and profiles, with the ability to filter and view students who specialise in political theory or students who focus on comparative politics and government. Examples of previous successful theses are also listed below. 

Graduate stories

Studying at Oxford has been a life-changing experience. My path through the DPhil has been both incredible challenging and super rewarding. The University gives you all the tools necessary to shine, the DPIR in particular is quite special. In it, world class research and teaching is led by remarkable students and professors.

DPhil Politics students and alumni

The majority of graduates from our DPhil programmes move on to careers in academia. But there are other career paths: some proceed to careers in the law; in public service, whether with national civil services or international organisations; in thinktanks or NGOs; management consultancy, the media, banking, and business. Whatever the career choice that those who gain a DPhil make, the combination of intense preparation, closely-focussed analytical abilities, rigorous research methods, and clarity of exposition are qualities which are as desirable in many other demanding professional careers as they are necessary in academia.

Applying to Oxford

Detailed information regarding the application process are available on the University's Politics DPhil course page.

You are advised to review the profiles of academic staff before you apply as successful applications always depend on the DPIR's capacity to offer appropriate supervision. You must identify one or two potential supervisors and state their names in the ‘proposed supervisor’ field on your application form. However, you do not need to contact academic staff members before you apply.

Please read about funding options and find links to further University guidance on our graduate fees and funding webpage.