Frequently asked questions
- Can I apply to do a MSc?
- How do I apply to do a DPhil (PhD)?
- Should I contact a supervisor before applying?
- How much does a degree cost?
- How many references must I supply?
- By which date must references be submitted?
- Where can I get a prospectus?
- What is the minimum academic standard required?
- Is research experience required?
- What level of proficiency in English is required?
- Do you have any funding available?
- Can you please send me an offer or acceptance letter?
- Can I follow a course part-time or through distance learning?
- What is the DPhil (PhD) programme?
- How long does a DPhil take?
- For how many terms/years do I pay fees?
- Where can I find out about available projects?
- Will I be interviewed?
- Can I do internships?
- What do you offer students who are parents?
No. We do not offer an MSc.
Please see instructions on how to apply. All applicants should apply using the online application form.
We encourage all students to contact a potential supervisor(s) whose research interests them, prior to submitting an application. Details of the available supervisors and their field of research can be found on the Department's research webpages. If you are applying to our Departmental studentship competition it is not necessary for you to contact a supervisor, although you may do so if you wish. If you have your own funding, it is essential that you should contact a supervisor and find one who is in a position to consider an application from you.
You can read about the fees and funding options on the Department and University websites. The four-year Departmental Prize Studentships are fully funded, and include a generous stipend for living expenses.
We require three academic references for an application.
References must be submitted by the application deadline. If you are applying online the referees will be contacted directly by us. Nevertheless you should contact your referees yourself to tell them to expect a request for a reference and to advise them of the deadline. This is particularly important if you submit your application within a few days of the deadline.
The minimum academic requirement is a Bachelor’s degree in a relevant subject with upper second class honours (2.1/GPA3.5) or equivalent. Because of the large number of applicants applying, successful applicants typically have or are predicted to get a first class honours degree (1st/70%/GPA3.7) or equivalent.
Yes. Applicants are highly unlikely to be successful unless they have relevant research experience and a reference from the person that supervised them.
If English is not your first language, or you are not from a majority English-speaking country recognised by UK Visas and Immigration (these include UK, Ireland, USA, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand), you will be required to supply test certificates stating that your proficiency in English achieves a minimum score. Full details of the test certificates accepted and the score level required can be found in the Application Guide. We require you to meet the standard level score. While you do not need to have met this requirement in order to submit an application, you will be required to meet it prior to admission. Candidates for whom English is not their first language, but who are fluent in English, can apply for exemption from this requirement. Exemption may be given if the candidate has been educated at an English-medium University for at least three years and shows clear evidence of fluency at interview and in written work.
Yes. Funding is available for D.Phil (PhD) students. We offer full funding for four years for DPhil students through our Departmental Prize Studentships. To be considered for funding you must apply by the early December deadline. You can read more about fees and funding options. All nationalities are eligible to be considered for funding.
We are often asked to provide such a letter to students who need it for an application for external funding/fellowships/bursaries etc. We are unable to send out an offer letter until we have received a formal application. However an application can be made at any time and an offer letter provided promptly, following an interview, if the application is successful. You should identify and contact a potential supervisor and contact us before submitting an application. The application should be made online.
No. All our students are inititally full time and resident in Oxford for at least the minimum of six terms. Students have the option of switching to part time if, for example, they acquire new caring/parental responsibilities.
After a very short induction period during which some basic training is provided, students start a research project in their supervisor’s laboratory. There is here is no compulsory course work. Whilst working on their main research project students participate in a skills training programme over the four years which includes workshops, seminars, symposia etc. There are distinct structured four year DPhil Programmes which involve course work and rotations through 2-3 laboratories in the first year before the main research project begins.
The minimum time for a DPhil is two years. Most students (>90%) submit their thesis within four years.
You pay course fees for every term that you are here for a minimum of two years (six terms) and a maximum of three years (nine terms) at the full rate. Students may pay a 'continuation' University fee after their third year which will be approximately half the value of the home rate for all students (including overseas students).
You can read more about supervisors and their areas of research on the Department's research webpages and you should contact them directly if you want more details about specific projects. Projects for which we provide funding through our Departmental Studentships are advertised from October each year.
All applicants are initially screened and ranked by a panel of assessors and the most highly ranked applicants will be invited for interview. You will only receive an offer once you have been interviewed.
Yes. Students are entitled to do up to two week of internships during their training to explore career options. Longer internships are possible if supported by your supervisor. The University Careers Service advertises many opportunities and supports applications.
The Department is committed to helping its students balance the demands of pregnancy or adoption with their study commitments. We provide benefits and support equivalent to support provided to staff. This includes the following:
- 26 weeks maternity leave on a full stipend*
- 13 weeks further leave at the rate of statutory maternity pay*.
- 13 further weeks of unpaid leave.
- The option of returning as a part-time student, subject to the needs of the student's research project (50%).
Further information and advice, including full details of University policy on parental leave can be found University's student parent webpage.
*In order to qualify for paid leave there needs to be an intention to return and complete the DPhil. Students who do not return may be required to pay back the funds received during their leave period.