Department is first in UK in 2018 world university rankings by subject

For the third year in a row, the University of Oxford has been ranked first in the UK and second in the world for politics and international studies in the 2018 QS World University Rankings. The top position is a reflection of the tradition of world-leading research and high-quality teaching at the Department of Politics and International Relations (DPIR).

“This is a fantastic recognition of the strength of the Department,” commented Professor Louise Fawcett, Head of the Department of Politics and International Relations, “The study of these subjects has a long and distinguished history at the University of Oxford, and we are proud to be recognised internationally for our rigorous and valuable research, as educators of leaders and professionals in a wide variety of fields and as trainers of the next generation of teachers and researchers.”

DPIR is one of the largest centres for research and teaching in politics and government, international relations, and political theory in the UK, offering two undergraduate courses and eight DPhil (PhD), MPhil and MSc programmes at the postgraduate level. The Department has expanded the resources devoted to supporting graduate students, including funded scholarships, to ensure that it continues to select from the best candidates from around the world.

The top placement in the QS Ranking follows from last week when Foreign Policy ranked the University of Oxford first in the UK for the DPhil programme in international relations and second for its MPhil in International Relations.

Professor Fawcett noted, “We have been consistently ranked first in the UK for our DPhil programme. This reflects our culture of active original research and scholarship; our emphasis on research training and on placement; and the tremendous quality of the students applying to do doctoral work in Oxford," adding that the MPhil programme “has a similarly distinguished tradition of training leading figures in government, diplomacy and international organisations across the world, with many continuing on to doctoral work.”

DPIR has a strong interdisciplinary ethos across the three areas of international relations, comparative politics, and political theory, and harnesses them to achieve a wider understanding of political power and process within political systems and between them. The Department’s faculty includes some of the world’s leading scholars in comparative politics and government, and political theory and philosophy, supervising outstanding students in the DPhil in Politics programme who use their research and methods training to launch successful academic careers.

Professor Fawcett believes the University of Oxford has maintained its leading edge in politics and international relations by looking forward and continuing to adapt the curriculum, teaching, and research methods. “As a Department we constantly look forwards and outwards, at how we are engaging with politics and international studies, and at the methods we use to interpret and analyse them. It is our ability and willingness to adapt and engage that has helped maintain our position as one of the best universities in the world at which to study politics and international studies."