Course: MPhil Politics (European Politics and Society)
The course has enabled me to pursue intellectually stimulating questions and entertain challenging discussions in the realm of quantitative political science.
The MPhil in Politics (European Politics and Society) teaches and engages in many key aspects of European politics—including European integration, comparative European government and external relations—and with scholars and practitioners from various European countries and institutions.
It is an advanced two-year (21 months) postgraduate degree, which provides skills and training in research techniques and methodology, suitable for anyone wishing to embark upon doctoral research in the social sciences or European politics. The course also provides an excellent intellectual foundation for many careers, including academic, professional, commercial, diplomatic and governmental positions. In recent years graduates have gone on to all such career paths.
How to find information about this course
More information and requirements for this course (including entry requirements) is on the University of Oxford Politics MPhil (European Politics and Society) webpage.
This webpage gives you a flavour of what you will learn from the course. You can also explore research at the Department of Politics and International Relations, for an idea of the important research questions and innovative methods pursued by our academic network.
By the end of the two-year programme, students will have completed advanced training in the techniques and methodologies for political research, suitable as a foundation for doctoral research or other careers. Supervision of a 30,000-word individual research thesis will guide students’ application of new knowledge and skills in practice.
In the first year, you must complete core classes and tutorials in European Governance and a programme of research methods training. This includes core courses in statistics and research design and specialised elective courses.
The core classes include the study of topics such as the evolution and future of the EU and its institutions, the rise of populism, the future of political parties, the causes and consequences of economic inequality, the political consequences of immigration, challenges to democracy within European countries, and the foreign policies of European countries and the EU, among many others.
In your second year, you must write a thesis and complete two specialist optional papers. Options that have been offered in recent years include*:
- The Political Sociology of Post-Communist States;
- The Politics of Race, Ethnicity and Immigration;
- EU Foreign Policy;
- Politics and Government of the UK; and
- Comparative Political Economy; Comparative European Parliaments; Politics of Inequality.
*Please note, these options are illustrative only. Options are subject to change year-to-year, and we cannot guarantee that these modules will be offered in the year that you take the course.
For information on how the course is assessed, please visit the University’s MPhil in Politics (European Politics and Society) listing.
- in-depth knowledge and understanding of the major topics and perspectives within the study of European Politics and Society, based on a wide-ranging impactful scholarly literature.
- an understanding of and experience in use of social-scientific research skills appropriate to the subject, including both quantitative and qualitative methods, historical and archival research, among other key research skills.
You will attain these goals via:
- the experience of researching, writing, presenting, and discussing essays and analytical pieces, in unique small-group formats;
- critical reading and engagement with key literature on European politics;
- practice with a wide variety of social-scientific research approaches;
- close consultation with EPS faculty;
- writing an original MPhil thesis that addresses a novel question in European politics;
- attendance of the highest calibre presentations by invited scholars of European politics worldwide, and stakeholders or practitioners of European politics.
A high proportion of the teaching for your course is designed and delivered by academics, highly respected for their research in Politics and International Relations.
Graduate teaching and supervision at Oxford is provided by your academic department—in this case, DPIR—although some graduate teaching may take place on college premises.
The majority of graduate teaching at DPIR takes the form of either one-to-one supervision meetings with your Academic Supervisor or tuition in small groups (as with classes and seminars). However, lectures are also used alongside small-group teaching in the delivery of some Research Methods training courses.
Applying to Oxford
As the MPhil in European Politics and Society is a research degree, you should give some indication of the topic of your second-year thesis in your application. Do not worry if you do not have a detailed research proposal: the first year of the MPhil programme is intended to help you to develop this.
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. 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.
EU MPhil students and alumni
Oxford's MPhil in European Politics and Society has helped lay the foundations for over 250 students’ further postgraduate research and careers over the last three decades. Many of those have since gone on to careers in government, civil and public service, NGOs, law, policy-making, research and academia.