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Introduction to Graduate Taught Degrees

The Oxford tutorial system, the community you join as part of Oxford's collegiate system and your global peer group make this a graduate experience hard to find elsewhere.

Our graduate course offerings are diverse, covering a wide range of choices and opportunities for specialisation. Options include both taught Master's courses (see below) and doctoral research degrees. However, all taught degrees involve a research element, and all doctoral degrees will involve some taught components, including research methods. Across all graduate study, we look to teach you how to be rigorous in your research methods, and support you to produce high-quality and enquiring, original research.

This year, DPIR is joining the University of Oxford’s continuing pilot on selection procedures for graduate applications, in order to ensure that all candidates are evaluated fairly. For all DPIR graduate programmes, socio-economic data (where it has been provided in the application form) will be used to contextualise applications at the different stages of the selection process. For more information, see the initiatives to improve access to graduate study.

MSc courses

The Department's MSc courses offer an intensive one-year research preparation Master’s degree. Our MScs are not accelerated MPhil courses, nor are they stand-alone courses. Our MSc courses are intended for students who would like to proceed directly to doctoral study in politics or political theory, at Oxford or elsewhere, but who must first obtain the necessary research training.

It is usual for applicants to have already undertaken some graduate work (e.g. to have completed a Master's in a related field) and thus are more advanced than those candidates applying to our MPhil courses listed above.

Graduate Stories

All in all, Oxford offers a great environment to pursue one’s graduate studies. The myriad extra-curricular opportunities can keep you so occupied that you may sometimes forget the ‘real’ world outside Oxford.

In the following video our academics share their opinions about why students should apply to postgraduate study at DPIR.

Why study at DPIR?