International Relations

The Department of Politics and International Relations is one of the world’s leading centres for graduate work and advanced research in International Relations (IR). Oxford brings together high-quality training in political science approaches with a commitment to the rigorous use of a plurality of methods and understanding. There are extensive opportunities for the study of the IR of different regions of the world, as well as all of the major academic IR sub-fields, including international political economy, security studies, intervention and state-building, institutions and governance, legal and normative questions. The global study of political ideas and of IR theory beyond the West is an expanding theme. There is a vibrant research community in which doctoral students play a central role. Visitors and visiting speakers regularly include many of the major names in the field.



Studentships are available in both the 2+2.5 and +3.5 formats. Students without a Masters degree meeting the ESRC 2022 Training Guidelines will start by studying an MPhil:

Students with an appropriate Masters degree that meets the ESRC’s 2022 Training Guidelines can enter directly onto the DPhil programme (+3.5):

Oxford has a distinguished tradition of training university teachers of International Relations and an outstanding placement record. Oxford’s IR doctoral students go on to major roles in think-tanks, international organizations and governments across the world. The heads of the Council for Foreign Relations, Chatham House, and the International Institute for Strategic Studies, for example, all hold IR doctorates. 

The Department provides support and advice on relevant careers, as well publishing, internships and conferences, and many academic researchers. Doctoral students edit the influential blog (OxPol) which publishes short articles written by faculty and graduate students, gaining valuable journal management, editorial and organisational skills.

Pathway leader: Professor Patricia Owens


University of Oxford

Department of Politics and International Relations (DPIR)
Structure of provision: 2+2.5, +3.5