Banner image
Banner image

Course: International Relations MPhil

The MPhil in International Relations has not only helped to shape my interests, aspirations and career goals, but it has helped to shape me as an individual in ways I had not expected.


Oxford is one of the leading centres in Europe for graduate studies and advanced research in International Relations.

The MPhil in International Relations is a popular two-year (21-month) course, attracting students from the world’s leading institutions. It offers intellectually rigorous training in theories and methods of International Relations, based on current and historical developments in international affairs.

The course equips students with the skills they need to undertake research and pursue a wide range of professional careers. Entry is competitive and students come from various backgrounds and nationalities.

How to look for information on the course

This webpage aims to give you a flavour of what you will learn on the course. Further information about this course (including entry requirements) is on the University of Oxford International Relations MPhil webpage.

You can also explore International Relations research at DPIR, for an idea of the research that our academic community pursues.

Course outline

By the end of the two-year programme, students will have completed advanced training in International Relations and research methods, and will have applied their new knowledge and skills to produce an original piece of research that contributes to the field.

Applying to Oxford

The MPhil in International Relations is a program with a heavy emphasis on developing independent research skills. In your application you are therefore invited to outline the topic of your second-year thesis. Do not worry, if you do not yet have a detailed research proposal. The first year of the MPhil programme will teach you the skills to develop your ideas.

You are advised to review the profiles of academic staff before you apply as successful applications depend on the DPIR's capacity to offer appropriate supervision. 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.

Graduate stories

The MPhil teaches you much more than the great historical and contemporary debates in international relations. It provides a fantastic framework through which to view the world inside academia and equally outside of it, a platform upon which to develop and act on innovative ideas with brilliant coursemates.

IR MPhil students and alumni

Oxford's MPhil in International Relations has helped lay the foundations for over 500 students’ further doctoral research and careers over the last four decades. Many of those have since gone on to careers in international NGOs, government, diplomacy, law, policy-making, research and academia.