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Political Theory Research MSc

University of Oxford

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Course options

  • Qualification

    MSc - Master of Science

  • Location

    University of Oxford

  • Study mode

    Full time

  • Start date


  • Duration

    1 year

Course summary

About the course

The MSc in Political Theory Research is an intensive one-year research preparation master's degree. It is not a stand-alone 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 theory.

The MSc in Political Theory Research provides an advanced level of formal training in research techniques and methodology, and will equip you with advanced level substantive knowledge in this sub-area of the discipline. If you are successful in the degree you will attain a proven competence in reasoning in political philosophy and methods and approaches in political theory. You will design your research project and 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 theory. 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 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 the theory of politics
a research design proposal in preparation for your thesis
research methods training courses assessment
a thesis of no more than 15,000 words.

There are two research methods options which are Problems of Method in the History of Political Thought, and Epistemology.

Graduate destinations

Graduate work in political theory will prepare you for an academic career in the field, either in Oxford or elsewhere, but the department also celebrates the substantial number of its graduates working in government, in diplomatic services, and in senior positions in the private sector.

The DPIR is committed to engaging with its alumni community. The alumni programme is now underway and includes an annual publication ('Inspires’), a website forum, alumni networks and tailored events.

Tuition fees

Students living in United States
(international fees)

£ 29,160per year

Tuition fees shown are for indicative purposes and may vary. Please check with the institution for most up to date details.

University information

University of Oxford

  • University League Table


  • Campus address

    University of Oxford, University Offices, Wellington Square, Oxford, Oxfordshire, OX1 2JD, England

Subject rankings

  • Subject ranking

    1st out of 85

  • Entry standards

    / Max 217
    212 97%


  • Graduate prospects

    / Max 100
    84 84%


  • Student satisfaction

    / Max 5

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