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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 Political Theory MPhil provides an advanced training in political theory and the history of political thought, in the major contemporary debates, and in the research methods appropriate to the discipline. 

It is an advanced two-year (21 months) postgraduate degree, which provides a broad training, including work in research techniques and methodology, suitable for those who later wish to embark upon doctoral research. The course provides a solid foundation for a broad spectrum 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

By the end of the two-year programme, students will have completed advanced training in the techniques and methodologies for Political Theory research, suitable as a foundation for doctoral research or other careers. Supervision of a 30,000-word thesis based on individual research will guide students’ application of new knowledge and skills in practice.

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.