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.

A comprehensive guide to the many funding opportunities can be found on the graduate scholarships website, including a guide to external funding and an A-Z list of scholarships.

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

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.

DPIR Nominations

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.

Research Councils

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) 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 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 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.


Mansfield College, jointly with the DPIR and the Adam von Trott Memorial Committee, awards a scholarship at Mansfield College in memory of Adam von Trott, who studied at the College in 1929. Adam von Trott zu Solz, a diplomat in the German Foreign Office, was a central figure in the group around Claus von Stauffenberg that planned to kill Hitler; he was put to death by the Nazi regime in Germany on 26 August 1944. The scholarship is awarded to a German national accepted to read for the two-year MPhil degree in Politics (EPS, Comparative Government, Political Theory) or in International Relations. The scholarship will next be awarded to commence study in October 2018. The award comprises contributions from the German Foreign Office, the Adam von Trott Memorial Fund, the DPIR and Mansfield College up to the value of the full EU fee and advised maintenance. Mansfield College guarantees two years' college accommodation at standard charges, which is covered by the maintenance allowance. No separate application is required. Eligible applicants should apply for the MPhil degree through the standard University admissions process and note their interest in the scholarship within their application. You can read a testimonial from a recent Adam von Trott Scholar by clicking here.
Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies (OCIS) Scholarships are for Master's or DPhil applicants who will undertake study in a field derived from or of relevance to the Islamic tradition, which is of relevance and benefit to the Muslim world. These scholarships cover course fees and provide a grant for living expenses of at least £14,553. Applicants must be either ordinarily resident in the UK and from a Muslim community or a national who is ordinarily resident on one of the African or Asian countries listed on the OCIS scholarship information page.
Oxford-Radcliffe Studentship in Politics and/or International Relations (Dept of Politics and International Relations) 
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:
St Cross College has announced two MPhil Scholarships in the Humanities and Social Sciences for applicants who apply for graduate study in the academic year 2019-20. If you apply for 2019 admission to one of the DPIR's MPhil programmes, then you will be eligible. You must name St Cross as your college choice on the graduate study application form and you must then submit a separate scholarship application form on or before Friday 8 March 2019. Further information and the scholarship application form can be found here.
St Cross College is pleased to offer the Harun Ur Rachid Memorial Scholarship for applicants who are normally resident in Bangladesh and have been accepted for MPhil study in the academic year 2018-19. Note that applicants must select St Cross as their college choice. Further information can be found here.
For candidates admitted to Nuffield College to start in October 2018, the College will underwrite full funding (i.e. fees and living expenses) for the duration of the fee liability of their course. Candidates for the MSc, the MPhil, and the DPhil in Politics or International Relations will be considered for these awards. Applicants should apply through the standard admissions procedure, selecting Nuffield as their college choice. Further information can be found here.
Up to five full scholarships are available for applicants who are nationals of the Republic of China and who are ordinarily resident in Taiwan, Penhu, Kinmen or Matsu, and who intend to return to that area upon completion of their studies. The scholarship covers course fees and a grant for living costs of at least £14,553. Awards are made for the full duration of your fee liability for the agreed course. The scholarship is jointly funded by the University and the Ministry of Education of Taiwan. The scholarship aims to support graduate students from the Republic of China who demonstrate exceptional academic merit and/or potential commencing their first DPhil course at Oxford. There is no separate application process for this scholarship: to be considered, submit your application for graduate study by the January deadline. Selection is expected to take place by the end of May 2018. More information is available here.
DPIR and the Governor Phillip Scholarship Trust are pleased to offer full funding (fees and maintenance) for an MPhil candidate in International Relations, who is ordinarily resident in Australia. No separate application is required and applicants should apply to the MPhil International Relations through the usual graduate application process. More information is available on the Trust's website.
The Artur Kluz Scholarship is available to DPhil students who will undertake a programme of study on the impact of new technology on international relations, government, and society. The scholarship seeks to support the creation of new knowledge on the theoretical and applied aspects of modern technology; and to understand how this knowledge can achieve impact in the world of practitioners. Areas of special interest are Artificial Intelligence/Big Data and Robotics. The scholarship is offered by Oxford University’s Centre for Technology and Global Affairs, which is based in DPIR. It covers full tuition and living expenses during a maximum of four years. Candidates should apply to the DPhil programme in DPIR and note their interest in the scholarship.
One fully-funded studentship is available for a DPhil candidate starting in October 2018. The successful candidate will be a member of the team working on Professor Ben Ansell’s ERC-funded project, ‘WEALTHPOL: The Politics of Wealth Inequality in the Twenty-First Century’ (see here for more information). This project will conduct new research on the inequalities of wealth in the twenty-first century, collecting data, running novel experiments, and building an original policy database in order to examine wealth inequality and social mobility, shedding light on the ways in which governments have tried to shape wealth through policy. The successful candidate will be expected to work on all three work packages of the project as well as pursue their own related research.