The Department of Politics and International Relations (DPIR) is a department of the Social Sciences Division of the University of Oxford in England.


The department was established in 2000. It has been said that a "distinctive institutional feature of Oxford over the [20th] century ... (and ... a feature considered detrimental by some authors) was its remarkably late 'departmentalization' of political science and international relations." [1] The Oxford Philosophy, politics and economics (PPE) degree had been offered since 1920, and in 1934 the sub-faculty of Politics was established within the faculty of social sciences.[1]

Notable alumni

Notable people who have been awarded the PPE degree at Oxford include former UK prime ministers David Cameron, Edward Heath and Harold Wilson; non-UK prime ministers Benazir Bhutto, Bob Hawke, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski and Abhisit Vejjajiva; Burmese leader Aung San Suu Kyi; media personalities David Dimbleby, Robert Peston and Will Self. Bill Clinton studied politics at Oxford but did not take a degree.[2]


As of November 2021, the Times Higher Education World University Rankings ranks Oxford first for politics and international studies (including development studies) overall, and for research, and fifth for teaching.[3]

The Academic Ranking of World Universities, as of November 2021, ranks Oxford as ninth in a worldwide listing of universities for the study of political sciences; the only higher-ranked UK institution was the London School of Economics.[4]

As of November 2021, Oxford is ranked in first place in the Complete University Guide listing for the study of politics in British universities.[5]


  1. ^ a b Hood, Christopher; King, Desmond; Peele, Gillian, eds. (2014). "Introduction: The Editors". Forging a discipline : a critical assessment of Oxford's development of the study of politics and international relations in comparative perspective. Oxford University Press. p. 19. doi:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199682218.003.0001. ISBN 9780199682218.
  2. ^ "Notable alumni". DPIR University of Oxford. Retrieved 28 November 2021.
  3. ^ "World University Rankings". Times Higher Education (THE). 25 August 2021. Retrieved 28 November 2021.
  4. ^ "Political Sciences". Shanghai Ranking's Global Ranking of Academic Subjects. Retrieved 28 November 2021.
  5. ^ "Politics Subject League Table 2022". Retrieved 28 November 2021.