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. The main university site has more information about the Clarendon Fund and its scholarships.
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).
Eligibility for these awards requires a connection to the UK (for full funding) 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 Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) provides public funding in support of research into the arts and humanities, for approximately one quarter of the UK's research population. Oxford participates in the Open-Oxford-Cambridge AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership, providing a number of scholarships each year to students working in eligible subject areas across the Humanities and Social Sciences Divisions, including political philosophy. Information about applying for AHRC scholarships at Oxford can currently be found on the DTP 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 applicants from the Department of Politics and International Relations
This section is intended to direct you to particular opportunities that may be of interest in the fees, funding and scholarship search tool.
David N. Lyon Scholarship in Politics: The Politics of Sex and Gender Equality in Diverse Societies
Following a generous benefaction from Orielensis David Lyon, Oriel College will be offering a new scholarship to support one student to undertake research into the politics of sex and gender equality in diverse societies. It is hoped that the first scholar will join the college in October 2020. Further details may be found on the Oriel College website.
Oxford-Rothermere at Univ Studentship (American Politics or American History) is a fully-funded DPhil studentship, 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.
Established by the Kwok Scholars Association (founded by Dr. Walter Kwok), the Kwok Scholarships funds both undergraduate and postgraduate students.
- Undergraduate: each year, the Kwok Scholarships will provide full funding for up to two exceptional students from Hong Kong or Mainland China with an intention to serve the public for the benefit of the Hong Kong community and/or betterment of China. Funding is available for two undergraduate scholarships at the University of Oxford, annually. Scholarships are tenable for the full duration of a standard undergraduate course (3 or 4 years in length). Priority will be given to Philosophy, Politics and Economics and History and Politics. Applicants of Psychology (Experimental) and Psychology, Philosophy and Linguistics are also welcome to apply.
- Graduate: each year, the Kwok Scholarships will provide full funding for up to two exceptional students from Hong Kong and/or mainland China with an intention to serve the public for the benefit of the Hong Kong community and/or betterment of China. Funding is available for two graduate scholarships at the University of Oxford, annually. Scholarships are tenable for the full duration of a standard graduate course (1 or 2 years in length). Priority will be given to Master of Public Policy. Applicants of MSc in Psychological Research, MSc in Biodiversity, Conservation and Management, MSc in Environmental Change and Management, MSc in Nature, Society and Environmental Governance, MSc in Water Science, Policy and Management, MPhil in International Relations, MPhil in Politics (Comparative Government) and MPhil in Politics (Political Theory) are also welcome to apply.