Below you'll find a step-by-step guide to the process of applying for a research degree:
Preparing and submitting your application
Full details of the application process and the supporting materials required are provided in Oxford University's online Course Guide and Application Guide. It is important to allow sufficient time to prepare your application and supporting materials and to secure transcripts of your qualifications and the support of three referees.
If you require any assistance with your application, please contact the appropriate Programme Assistant. The University has a number of application deadlines throughout the year. Most Continuing Education courses will use the January or March deadlines each year but arrangements vary slightly between programmes. It may be possible to accept applications later in the year if places remain.
Choosing a college
Choosing a college is a personal decision. It is also an important decision because it will have a direct impact upon your experience of undertaking research at Oxford. All of Oxford's colleges and halls take graduate students. Some take only graduate students. Some restrict their recruitment to particular courses or subjects.
Many students base their choice of college upon factors such as the age and location of the college, the provision of library and other facilities, and the availability of short-term accommodation, but you may also find it helpful to consider:
It is not mandatory to select a college and the University cannot guarantee that you will be offered a place at your college of preference. You can, if you wish, make an open college application and allow the University to allocate you to a college.
Writing your research proposal
All DPhil applicants are required to submit a preliminary research proposal with their application. The purpose of the proposal is to demonstrate that the research topic you propose to undertake is significant, necessary and feasible, that you will be able to make an original contribution to the field, and that the project can be within the expected time period. Detailed requirements may vary between course programmes but we provide some general guidelines and advice on structuring your proposal below.