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DPhil in English Local History

Key facts

Sorry, this course is currently unavailable. Please use the course enquiry form to be kept informed of future runs of this course.

TypeOxford Qualification - Part-time
DatesWed 1 Oct 2014 to Tue 31 Jul 2018
Subject area(s)Local History
Fees2014-2015 fees: circa £2,000 (EU), £6,930 (Non-EU) plus College fee of approximately £1,400 (EU and non-EU).
Application statusClosed to new applications
Application deadlineMon 30 June 2014
Course contactIf you have any questions about this course, please email ppaward@conted.ox.ac.uk.



Oxford University Department for Continuing Education has, since the 1870s, been at the forefront of the University’s provision for mature students whose circumstances prevent them from studying on a full-time residential basis. Now, after more than a century of experience of adult and continuing education, the Department enrols over 12,000 students on courses ranging from weekly classes and weekend conferences to research degrees. Some 800 of those students study local and social history.

The part-time DPhil regulations require a period of six years’ part-time study (equivalent to three years’ full-time). This may be reduced to 4 years if the applicant has successfully completed and transferred from the MSc in Eng-lish Local History* or certain other Master’s courses. Typically, students take about six years to complete the DPhil (whether or not this includes time studying for a Master’s degree).

Research students may be required to undertake appropriate research train-ing provided within the University. In addition, they will be strongly encouraged to participate in seminars and informal meetings with staff and other researchers. The major commitment of time will be to individual study and research, involving wide and intense reading, data collection and analysis, and writing.

* The MSc in English Local History recruits every two years; the next intake will be in October 2015.


Local history has for more than twenty years formed one of the largest pro-grammes within the Department for Continuing Education. The subject has proved an interesting, rewarding and accessible area of historical studies that has enabled many mature students to become directly involved in individual research. At undergraduate level the Department has, since 1980, offered a Diploma course and, in 1999, introduced a pioneering Internet-delivered Advanced Diploma.

The MSc and DPhil programmes have been a natural progression for the De-partment, drawing on knowledge and skills acquired in many years of provid-ing specialist classes in local history, and profiting from close links with local, social and economic historians elsewhere in the University. The Department introduced a part-time, taught Master’s course in English Local History in 1993. In 1995 it inaugurated, on a pilot basis, a part-time doctoral programme in three subjects, one of which was local history. In 2001 the University judged the pilot scheme to have been successful and confirmed the programme. The MSc and DPhil programmes are overseen by the University’s Continuing Education Board, and admission is through the Department for Continuing Education. All postgraduate students on these courses are now members of the Department’s new Graduate School.

All graduate students must apply also for membership of a college. Most choose to become members of Kellogg College, which caters particularly for part-time mature students and which is closely associated with the Department for Continuing Education.

Supervision on the DPhil programme is provided by specialist tutors from the Department and elsewhere in Oxford, and further afield. An impression of interests represented in the Department’s teaching and research supervision can be seen in the Advanced Paper subjects offered as part of the Master’s course:

• Power and patronage in the later medieval localities
• Kinship, culture and community: provincial elites in early modern England
• Poverty and the Poor Law in England 1660-1800
• Enclosure and rural change, 1750-1850
• Religion and community in England, 1830-1914
• The English suburb, 1800-1939.

Programme details

Course Content

The part-time DPhil regulations require a minimum of six years’ part-time study (equivalent to three years’ full-time). This may be reduced to four years if the applicant has successfully completed the MSc in English Local History or certain other Master’s courses. Research students may be required to undertake appropriate research training provided within the Department. In addition, they will be strongly encouraged to participate in seminars and informal meetings with staff and other researchers. The major commitment of time will be to individual study and research, involving wide and intense reading, data collection and analysis, and writing.

Selection criteria

There may be specific subject requirements for your course, so do check the selection criteria below. These will be used by the University in assessing your application.

Read full selection criteria

Teaching methods

Teaching Staff

Course Director:

Dr Mark Smith 01865 270363

Apply for this course


You are normally expected to have a good first degree or a Master’s degree. It is advisable first to consult the Programme Director, Dr Mark Smith (see Useful Contacts below) as only a limited number of places are available in each academic year.

English Language Ability
A high standard of English, both written and spoken, is required for participation on this course. Students whose first language is not English should be aware that proof of their English language ability is required and must consist of one of the Higher Level English Language qualifications listed in the University’s Notes of Guidance as follows:

• IELTS 7.5; Minimum 7.0 per component [www.britcoun.org].
• Internet-based TOEFL 110 (The TOEFL code for the University of Oxford is 0490). [www.toefl.org]
• Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) B.

How to Apply

The University requires online applications. Paper applications are only acceptable where there is no option to make an online application to the course or in other exceptional cases where it is not possible for you to apply online.

Application Form and Supporting Materials
The application form is obtained by going to the Application and Admissions procedure section of the online prospectus, at Graduate Admissions Office.
For a full explanation of application methods, see www.graduate.ox.ac.uk/apply.

Paper applications
If it is not possible for you to apply online, a paper application form can be requested from the Graduate Admissions Office. Please email the Graduate Admissions Office at: graduate.admissions@admin.ox.ac.uk or contact:

The Graduate Admissions Office
University Offices
Wellington Square
Oxford OX1 2JD Tel: 01865 270059

Please note that in order to submit a paper application you must be able to pay the application fee by credit or debit card using our online store. If this is not possible, you may pay by cheque or bankers draft drawn on a UK bank account.

Completing Your Application

You must submit an application form and the following compulsory supporting materials. Applications omitting any of these will be delayed.

1. Three references. Note: If you anticipate having difficulty providing three referees who have an informed view of your academic ability and suitability for this programme of study, please contact the Award Programme Administrator for advice.

2. Transcripts of previous higher education results. Note: If it would be difficult for you to obtain transcripts of previous higher education qualifications because of the length of time since you studied or because you have substantial experience but not a degree, please contact the Award Programme Administrator before you submit your application. If appropriate the transcript requirement can then be waived and your application will be processed by the Graduate Admissions Office without undue delay.

3. Current CV/résumé.

4. Two pieces of written work, preferably on a historical subject, each approximately 2,000 words.

5. English proficiency score (if applicable).

6. An outline of your research proposal. Your proposal should consider the following:

• A research question: The central issue or problem with which you intend to grapple.
• Historiography: Some account of the current state of scholarship in this area. You may want to explain why you are dissatisfied with existing scholarship: is it limited, dated or unconvincing? What kind of contribution will your work make?
• Sources: An indication of the kinds of sources you expect to use, where these can be found, and how they will contribute to your research.
• Method: Thoughts on your approach to dealing with sources and constructing your thesis. Some of the following considerations may apply: Will you be using qualitative or quantitative techniques? Does your approach draw on the questions or methods of related disciplines such as anthropology, geography, demography, art history? Are you applying an existing hypothesis to new data?

Please note that supporting materials cannot be returned, and that no correspondence can be entered into should your application be unsuccessful. When completing your application form, please note that the six-digit code for the DPhil in English Local History is 000110.

Application Deadlines
Your completed application form and supporting materials must reach the Graduate Admissions Office by either of the two application deadlines, 14 March 2014 or 16 May 2014. The course may remain open for new applications after this time, but only if places remain. Please contact ppaward@conted.ox.ac.uk for more information.

Application fee
Whether you choose to apply online or by post, there is an application fee of £50. The fee is non-refundable and is payable whether your application is ultimately successful or not. Your application cannot be processed unless payment in full is received with your application.

The following payment methods are accepted:

Online applications only:
• Credit card – VISA/MasterCard only.

Paper applications only:
• Sterling cheque – drawn on a UK bank and made payable to ‘University of Oxford’
• Sterling banker’s draft made payable to ‘University of Oxford’.

The Graduate Admissions Office is not able to accept payment by postal order, electronic bank transfer, or Western Union money transfer.

Submitting your Application
Paper applications should be sent to:

Graduate Admissions
University Offices
Wellington Square
Oxford OX1 2JD
United Kingdom

If you have any questions about the progress of your application, please contact the Graduate Admissions Office (tel: 01865 270059; email: graduate.admissions@admin.ox.ac.uk ); or the Course Administrator, (tel: +44 (0)1865 280154; email: ppaward@conted.ox.ac.uk).

College Affiliation
It is a requirement of Oxford University that Doctor of Philosophy students are matriculated members of the University and one of its colleges. Details of colleges and halls are to be found on the Oxford University website: www.admin.ox.ac.uk/gsp/colleges or in the Graduate Studies Prospectus available on request from the Graduate Admissions Office.

Doctoral students based in the Department for Continuing Education are encouraged to apply to become members of Kellogg College. Continuing education and life-long learning in Oxford have been formally linked to the collegiate system of the University since 1990, when Kellogg College, the University’s 36th college, was established. Kellogg College caters particularly to the needs of mature and part-time students. Kellogg College is located at 62 Banbury Road, a short distance from the Department for Continuing Education at Rewley House.

Fees and Funding
Part-time DPhil Students are required to pay annually 50% of the University composition fee for graduate degrees plus 50% of the separate college fee. In 2014-2015 half the University fee is circa £2,000 (EU) to be confirmed. Note that fees are likely to rise each year thereafter, at least in line with inflation. Half the University composition fee for non-EU students has been set for 2014-2015 as £7,205. College fees vary and are not confirmed for 2014-2015 but the part-time half fee is likely to be approximately £1,400 (EU and non-EU).

Residency category
The level of tuition fees you pay (home-EU or non-EU) depends on your residential category.

If you are a non-European national with indefinite leave to remain in the UK, you may qualify for the home student fee, so long as you (or your spouse or parent) have been resident in the UK for the last three years for purposes other than full-time education.

Please note that UK/EU citizenship is not sufficient to be granted Home status, without also fulfilling the residence requirement. Students who have not been resident in the UK/EU for the last three years may be liable for the non-EU student fee. For a detailed classification of home-EU/non-EU status, please contact the OUDCE Student Adviser on 01865 280355 if you have any queries.

Funding for part-time research students is not normally available from central funding bodies. Some colleges offer financial assistance. Kellogg College, for instance, has set up modest Research Studentships specifically to help students undertaking part-time DPhils.

Please note that, prior to matriculation, all students must provide financial guarantees to their College proving that they have sufficient funds to undertake their proposed course of study.

For information on funding, please visit the OUDCE funding pages: www.conted.ox.ac.uk/students/sourcesoffunding where you should follow links to `Matriculated courses, Masters and DPhil’ and `External sources of funding’.

See also the Oxford Funding Search: www.ox.ac.uk/feesandfunding/search

Some colleges offer scholarships and other financial assistance and enquiries should be made directly to individual colleges. Applicants to this course planning to choose Kellogg as their college may be eligible to apply for a Cruttenden Scholarship, worth £500 per year over a four-year period for a part-time student. To find out more please visit: www.kellogg.ox.ac.uk/scholarships

For information on Professional and Career Development Loans, see:
or for an information pack call freephone 0800 585 505. Our learning pro-vider registration number is 6434.

Funding for International Students
Oxford University’s International Office has a website with funding informa-tion for international students: www.ox.ac.uk/students/international_students/.

American students who wish to take out a US student loan to fund their studies can do so through the International Office. Comprehensive informa-tion can be found on the International Office website. Students from the United States of America should investigate in addition: www.studentaid.ed.gov

Oxford’s International Office can also help with Canadian student loans; please contact Jenny Carter at jenny.carter@admin.ox.ac.uk for advice. For further information, please contact the International Office at 01865 270105 or email student.immigration@admin.ox.ac.uk.

International students should visit the UKCISA website at www.ukcisa.org.uk/ which gives very helpful general information for overseas students planning to study in Great Britain.


OUDCE, Rewley House, 1 Wellington Square, Oxford OX1 2JA 01865 270360

Dr Mark Smith, Director of Studies and University Lecturer in Local and Social History 01865 270363

Award Programme Office 01865 270369 / 280154

The Graduate Admissions Office, University Offices, Wellington Square, Oxford OX1 2JD 01865 270059

Please read our Terms and Conditions and Student Contract before applying for this course.
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