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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 Comparative Government MPhil focuses on the research-led study of government and political institutions from area-specific and comparative perspectives, and asks some of the most compelling and important questions facing political scientists today.

It is an advanced two-year (21 months) postgraduate degree, which provides training in research techniques and methodology, suitable for anyone wishing to embark upon doctoral research. The course also provides a solid foundation for a range of careers, including academic, professional, commercial, diplomatic and government 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

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.

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.

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.

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.