A graduate offer in the UK is not automatically underwritten with full funding and you will need to secure a scholarship or cover your fees, maintenance and other costs (for instance, fieldwork) from other sources.
The best starting point for scholarship information within Oxford is the fees, funding and scholarship search tool.
This webpage gives detailed information about studentships that the Department of Politics and International Relations offers directly, and other funding opportunities for which the DPIR nominates students.
DPIR Studentships are intended to retain the best students who have not been able to secure funding from other sources. For that reason the offers are made after the outcomes of other funding competitions are announced.
There is no separate application process for these awards; the DPIR automatically considers all offer-holders on the basis of their application documents.
The DPIR also offers a number of studentships in association with particular colleges. In general, you do not need to select one of those colleges as your college choice. All offer-holders are automatically considered for these studentships on the basis of their application documents. If successful, DPIR will reroute your file to the relevant college.
Through scholarships, the Department of Politics and International Relations typically provides around £650,000 annually in fees and living expenses for graduate students.
A number of scholarship boards do not permit students to apply for their funds directly, but instead invite the DPIR to submit nominations into a wider competitive process. There is no separate application process for these nominations, and your candidacy will be assessed on the basis of your application documents.
The principal scholarships in this category are those offered by the Clarendon Fund.
The Clarendon Fund
The Clarendon Fund offers full funding to applicants pursuing a DPhil, a terminal MPhil or a combined programme of MPhil/MSc and DPhil study at Oxford.
If you are an applicant whose MPhil is the first stage of a doctoral programme, then you should include a brief outline of your intended DPhil research in your statement of purpose. The Clarendon Fund’s selection process is very competitive, and the DPIR may nominate a limited number of applicants for these scholarships.
You can read more about the Clarendon Fund and its scholarships here.
The two UK Research Councils that support research in Politics and International Relations are the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). Currently, over 30 of the department’s graduate students are funded by the ESRC or AHRC.
Eligibility for these awards requires a connection to the UK (for full funding) or to an EU country (for a fees-only studentship) often, but not always, on the basis of residency: these eligibility criteria can be found in the AHRC Notes of Guidance and the ESRC Postgraduate Funding Guide.
The AHRC funds students who undertake research in political theory or philosophy. The DPIR may nominate one DPhil in Politics applicant working in this sub-discipline for an AHRC doctoral award. The Humanities Division publishes a comprehensive guide to AHRC funding and further information is available on the AHRC’s website.
The ESRC funds doctoral students who work in comparative politics and international relations. The University, in collaboration with Brunel University and the Open University, hosts the Grand Union Doctoral Training Partnership - one of fourteen Doctoral Training Partnerships accredited by the ESRC as part of a Doctoral Training Network.
Please note that the ESRC does not fund MPhil or MSc programmes which do not lead to doctoral study. If you are an applicant whose MPhil is the first stage of a doctoral programme, then you should include a brief outline of your intended DPhil research in your statement of purpose.
In order to be considered for a Grand Union DTP ESRC studentship, you must select ‘ESRC Grand Union DTP Studentships in Social Sciences’ in the University of Oxford scholarships section of the University's graduate application form. You must also complete a Grand Union DTP Application Form and upload it, together with your graduate application form, by the relevant January deadline for your course.
Information about ESRC studentships at Oxford can be found on the Grand Union DTP website. Please ensure you have read all of the guidance available on the website before completing the Grand Union DTP Application Form. Questions can be directed to the Grand Union DTP Office.
Opportunities of particular interest to DPIR applicants
This section is intended to direct you to particular opportunities that may be of interest in the fees, funding and scholarship search tool.
A fully-funded Oxford-Radcliffe Studentship is available to an outstanding candidate who applies to the Dept of Politics and International Relations for DPhil entry in October 2017. The field of proposed study must be in one of the following areas: public policy; comparative political economy; comparative political development; global economic governance; or international relations. 3 years’ full funding is available in partnership with the Department’s annual studentship funding competition. The studentship is open to any nationality and does not require an explicit application (although candidates must either list University College as their preferred college, or be willing to migrate to Univ to take up the award). The studentship will be awarded as part of the Department’s annual studentship competition (online application deadline noon on 8 January 2018), and will cover living costs and all fees.
Oxford-Rothermere at Univ Studentship (American Politics or American History)
A fully-funded DPhil studentship is available for entry in October 2018, open to an outstanding student from the European Economic Area (EEA) who applies for entry to undertake a DPhil in either the area of American Politics (in the Department of Politics and International Relations, Social Sciences Division) or in the area of American History (in the Faculty of History, Humanities Division). No separate application to the College is required, as the studentship will be awarded as part of the relevant department's annual studentship competition. It will cover living costs and all fees. Deadlines for online applications are noon on 8 January 2018 (for Politics) and noon on 19 January 2018 (for History).
More information on these opportunities is available here: http://univ.ox.ac.uk/content/social-sciences-division-studentships