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Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS)


If you’re thinking of applying to do an MPhil with us, our course is changing for academic year 2020/21. Details of these changes can be found below.

NB: Please note that these changes will take effect for students applying from September 2019 to start in October 2020. Students starting the course in October 2019 will be unaffected - details on the structure of the MPhil course for academic year 2019/20 can be found here.

Name: Previously, we ran an MPhil in International Relations and Politics. For entrants starting in October 2020, we will be running an MPhil in Politics and International Studies (POLIS). This matches the name of our department, and we think that makes things easier all round. We’re still looking for around 50 or so people each year, from the several hundred applications we regularly receive.

Timeframe: Our old MPhil was a 10 month course; the new MPhil in POLIS lasts 9 months. This means your results will be available more quickly than they were before.

Course structure/assessment: Those who start in October 2020 will continue to receive methods training and assessment across both main teaching terms (Michaelmas and Lent). But the major structural changes affect the seminar classes we’re putting on. Now, from a range of options (which will be agreed by the end of Easter Term 2020), you will take up to 3 research-focused seminars in both teaching terms, two of which will be formally assessed by independent written work. You will also write a 20,000 word dissertation, for which you will receive supervision, to be submitted towards the end of the Easter term.

Under the guidance of our world-leading professors you will be taught to think critically about history, political discourse and public policy. Your views will be challenged not just by the academic staff but your peers who come from all over the world to study here. You will be supported as you develop your skills and knowledge within our small, friendly department.

The interdisciplinary nature of the course allows you to explore your area of interest both through the taught courses and the dissertation that you determine yourself.

Whilst many of our graduates go on to pursue Doctoral research after this course we also have graduates who have embarked on careers in the media, politics, law, public administration, the civil service, finance, teaching, and the charity sector both in the UK and internationally. 

We think this re-designed and re-named MPhil is driven more by the research that we’re doing right now, instead of just offering large, survey-style courses; that it offers greater choice to a wider range of students, but, it builds more obviously on the what’s distinctive about the approaches to Politics and International Studies we’re best known for. We’re excited to see it develop, and hope you want to be a part of it with us - if so, please do apply here!

The Course Details page contains the course description and the list of current modules on the course. 

The How to Apply page contains details of the entry requirements.

The Deadlines page contains all the key dates to be aware of for funding opportunities.

The Fees and Funding page contains details of schemes specific to this course.

The FAQ page should cover anything else that the other pages have missed!

What Our Students Say allows you to hear direct from those who have studied on the course.