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Course: Politics MPhil (Political Theory)

The people who come to study political theory here have diverse academic and professional backgrounds but are all passionate about political theory. As a result the discussions about social justice or the nature of the political are enthusiastic and very intellectually stimulating.


The MPhil in Politics (Political Theory) is an advanced two-year postgraduate 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 later embark upon doctoral research.

The MPhil in Politics (Political Theory) provides an advanced training in political theory (covering analytical political philosophy, critical theory, and the history of political thought), and the research methods appropriate to the discipline.. It 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. It will also 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 (Political Theory) webpage.

This webpage aims to give you a flavour of what you will learn on the course. You can also explore Political Theory research at DPIR, for an idea of broader themes and ideas explored by our academic community.

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 Political Theory is a research degree, you should give some indication of the likely 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 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.

Graduate stories

The Political Theory Faculty at Oxford is very diverse, bringing together people working in normative, historical, and critical political theory.