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How to Apply

We hope that you will find all the information you need about applying to the MPhil in International Relations and Politics on this page. However, if you still have a query, please feel free to contact Lydia Mizon (

Entry Requirements

  • Minimum GPA of 3.85; first class honours from UK university or equivalent.
  • For those whose first language is not English and who have not previously studied for a degree in an English language university, evidence of proficiency in English: an IELTS score of 7.5 (with a minimum of 7.0 in each individual component) or a TOEFL score of 110 (with 25 in each element). 
  • A background in international relations, politics, law, economics, security or history is a definite asset but is not a requirement.
  • Candidates are asked not to contact potential supervisors before application. If you are successful in your application the Department will allocate an appropriate supervisor for you based on your research proposal.

Please Note: This course is very popular and a high volume of applications are received every year. If you have not or are not predicted to achieve these academic requirements it is very unlikely you will be offered a place on the course.  If you do not achieve the required English Language scores you will not be admitted.


If at any point before, during or after applying you have a question, Graduate Admissions run a very comprehensive FAQ page

All applications are made through the Graduate Admissions Department Self-Service website. 

When you have completed the necessary preparation and you are ready to begin your online application, you should take note of the following important information before you create your application.

  1. There is an application charge of (GBP Sterling) £50 per application. You can make the payment by providing your card details when you submit the online application.
  2. Your application is not complete without the required supporting documentation which can be uploaded via your self service account after you submit the online application form - you won't be able to upload any documents with your application form, as you won't yet have access to your Self-Service Account (see below). 

Upload Supporting Documentation

Once you have submitted your application, you will be given access to your Self-Service Account. You will have 7 days from submission of your application to upload all mandatory documents.

Whilst Graduate Admissions do not immediately withdraw applications which fail to meet this deadline, it is particularly important that those who are applying for funding upload all their documents as soon as possible. Applications will not be considered by the Department until all the documents are uploaded, as Graduate Admissions only send them to us once all the documents are present. Incomplete applications will not be considered for funding, even if you apply in time. We do not chase applicants for missing documents. 

Incomplete/inactive applications (i.e. those which have been missing documents for a considerable length of time) will be withdrawn by Graduate Admissions, and will therefore never reach the Department. 

A note about Funding Deadlines - you must apply before the funding deadlines, but you still have one week to upload your documents. So if the deadline is the 2nd and you apply on the 1st, you have until the 7th to upload your documents. 

Required Documentation

First Academic Reference
Second Academic Reference

Please see this website for information on who to nominate as your referees, and how they submit their references. 

Personal Reference
This is only required if you are applying for the Gates Cambridge Scholarship.


Please see this website for information on how to upload your transcripts. 

Evidence of Competence in English if English is not your first language

You do not have to have a language test certificate when you apply. Whilst this is preferable, this can be uploaded during any part of the application process - and if an offer is made, can be included as one of the conditions of admission. You can find the "No Current Language Test Form" on this website.

The same form should also be used when you wish to request a language test waiver - there is an option on the form for this purpose. 

Research Proposal with Title

This should be about 500-800 words, one-two pages, on any area of the syllabus and should indicate some familiarity with the context of the proposal and research methods to be employed.

This proposal should include:

  • A clear, well thought out title.
  • Explicit details to the methods of research to be used (e.g archival, discourse-analytical, empirical-whether quantitative, interview, or survey).
  • References to be relevant literature of which you are already aware, or which you expect to be able to consult.
  • Reasons why Cambridge is, in your view, a particularly appropriate research institution within which to carry out this research, including the presence of specific individual scholars with expertise in the field of your proposed dissertation, and whose supervision you would welcome.

Please note: We will search and allocate appropriate supervisors.

  • Within the application form there is a section which asks you to either provide your reasons for applying for the course or a research proposal. We expect you to use this box to indicate your interest in the course as the research proposal is submitted separately.