University of Oxford: Politics Research

InstitutionUniversity of Oxford
Department Politics and International Relations
Telephone 01865 270059
Study type Taught


**The information provided on this page was correct at the time of publication (November 2019). For complete and up-to-date information about this course, please visit the relevant University of Oxford course page via**

The MSc in Politics Research is an intensive one-year research preparation master's degree. It is not a standalone course, but rather it is intended for students who would like to proceed directly to doctoral study at Oxford or elsewhere but who must first obtain the necessary research training in political science.

The MSc in Politics Research provides an advanced level of formal training in research techniques and methodology, and enables you to acquire advanced level substantive knowledge in this sub-area of the discipline.

If you are successful on the degree you will attain a proven competence in quantitative and qualitative research methods. You will demonstrate competence in a variety of further and more advanced techniques of data collection, data handling and data analysis. You will design your research project, and will write a short thesis under expert supervision.

Upon the successful completion of your MSc, you will be expected to continue your studies in pursuit of a research degree (DPhil) in a relevant area of political science. You should include at least some indication of the topic of your eventual doctorate in your application. Do not worry if you do not yet have a detailed thesis outline: the MSc programme is intended to help you to develop a detailed research proposal.

The DPIR is internationally recognised as a leading centre for teaching and research in politics and counts among its members a number of acknowledged authorities within these disciplines.

As an MSc in Politics Research student you would have to attend and complete the core classes and tutorials in comparative government or in European governance and a programme of research methods training, which includes core courses in statistics and research design and specialised elective courses.

The MSc examination comprises four parts and you must pass all parts of the examination to be awarded the degree:
- a single, three-hour written examination paper in comparative government or in European governance

- a research design proposal in preparation for your thesis

- research methods training courses assessment

- a thesis of no more than 15,000 words.


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