There is also a strong and successful tradition of normative and critical work.
Oxford IR seeks to combine the best of North American political science with deep engagement with the international relations of different parts of the world and with the history of different traditions of thought on the subject.
There are many different ways of conducting research for a thesis.
Any or all may be valid in a given case, depending on the subject of the research and the questions addressed.
PRS students are required to pass the assessments set in the above courses.
Subsequent years are largely devoted to the development of the thesis project.The department attracts many of the world’s leading figures in International Relations (IR) - as visiting scholars, speakers in the regular IR Colloquium, and participants in research conferences and workshops.Doctoral students spend the first year in the development of, and early work on, the thesis topic; in improving knowledge of quantitative and qualitative research methods; in attendance at relevant lectures, seminars and classes; and in preparing to transfer from Probationary Research Student (PRS) to full DPhil status.Doctoral theses will normally require substantial original research, often involving archives, fieldwork, interviewing or other forms of data generation and collection.For the doctoral degree the most crucial requirement is that the thesis makes a ‘significant and substantial contribution to the field of knowledge within which it falls’. The department is committed to the rigorous use of a plurality of methods.Others may involve advancing a hypothesis about a subject and then testing it with a range of qualitative and/or quantitative approaches.Apart from meeting the highest scholarly standards, there is no set template.It is a community from which you will draw support and guidance but which will also learn from your own contribution to its work.You will have rich opportunities for connecting with fellow-students, postdoctoral fellows, and temporary and permanent academic staff involved in disciplinary and cross-disciplinary research programmes.As a DPhil student you will be a member of a distinguished academic community that is renowned for its cutting-edge research and its intensive and individualised teaching and supervision.The programme has received the highest level of recognition in UK national and global assessment exercises.