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Course: Politics MPhil (Comparative Government)

One of the Department’s strengths is its awareness of the importance of ensuring that candidates are exposed to the main methodological debates and methods in the discipline. Students are provided with excellent methods training. 


The MPhil in Politics (Comparative Government) is an advanced two-year graduate degree which provides training in research techniques and methodology and enables you to acquire substantive knowledge in this sub-area of the discipline. It is also suitable if you wish to embark later upon doctoral research.

The MPhil in Politics (Comparative Government) emphasises the research-led study of government and political institutions from area-specific and comparative perspectives, and provides a range of educational experiences in a variety of learning environments to develop your written and oral communication skills as well as other technical skills.

The MPhil will provide you with a solid foundation for a wide range of careers, including academic, professional, commercial, diplomatic and governmental positions.

How to look for information on the course

The definitive information about this course (including entry requirements) is on the University of Oxford Politics MPhil (Comparative Government) webpage.

This webpage aims to give you a flavour of what you will learn on the course. You can also explore research in comparative politics and government at DPIR, for an idea of the cutting-edge research methods and questions explored by our academic network.

Course outline

The objective of the course is to give you, in your first-year, a thorough mastery of the major facts, methodologies and perspectives in the field, as well as to develop research skills. This is supplemented in the second year by specialised course work on two optional subjects and a thesis.

Applying to Oxford

As the MPhil in Comparative Government 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 yet have a detailed research proposal: the first year of the MPhil programme is intended to help you to develop this.

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

Comparative Government students and alumni

Over the last two decades, the Comparative Government MPhil has helped lay the foundations for over 200 students’ further research degrees and careers. Many of those postgraduates have since gone on to work in various fields including governance and law, data science and technology, research and academia.