Course: MSc Politics Research
The one-year course is designed to provide a solid foundation for further postgraduate research in political sciences.
The MSc in Politics Research is an intensive one-year research preparation master's degree. It is not a standalone course, but rather it is intended for students who would like to proceed directly to doctoral study at Oxford or elsewhere but who must first obtain the necessary research training in political science.
How to find information about this course
The definitive information about this course (including entry requirements) is on the University of Oxford Politics Research MSc webpage.
This webpage aims to give you a flavour of what you will learn on the course. You can also explore Comparative Politics and Government research at the Department to give you an idea of the cutting-edge research methods and questions explored by our academic network.
The MSc in Politics Research provides advanced training in the techniques and methodologies required to undertake research for a thesis in Politics at Oxford. Upon successful completion of your MSc, you will be expected to continue your studies in pursuit of a DPhil in a relevant area of political science. You may apply to undertake doctoral research in the Department for a further three to four years.
As an MSc Politics Research student you will:
- Complete core classes in either Comparative Government or European Governance
- Complete a programme of research methods training, which includes core courses in statistics and research design and specialised elective courses.
- Submit a thesis in late August
For information on how the course is assessed, please visit the University’s MSc in Politics Research course listing.
- knowledge of the techniques and methodologies required to undertake research for a thesis of 15,000 words in Politics at Oxford and transfer to the doctoral programme;
- knowledge and understanding of the topics pertinent to your chosen research field;
- a spirit and practice of analytical enquiry about the course’s subjects;
- experience of presenting and receiving critical reception of your seminar papers and essays.
The teaching for your course is designed and delivered by Oxford’s world class 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 MSc in Politics Research is a research degree foundation, you should give some indication of the topic of your eventual intended doctorate in your application. Do not worry if you do not yet have a detailed research proposal: the MSc 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.
Students are strongly encouraged to apply for funding through a research council funded Doctoral Training Programme (DTP). You can read more about these and other funding options on our graduate fees and funding webpage.