DPhil Programmes


The Department for Continuing Education offers part-time DPhil programmes in the following disciplines:

We also admit doctoral students in other areas where we can provide appropriate supervision and research training. Such students are admitted to our DPhil in Continuing Education programme. The designation ‘Continuing Education' is used for administrative purposes, and does not affect subject content or appear on the degree certificate.

What is a DPhil?

The term 'DPhil' stands for 'Doctor of Philosophy', sometimes referred to as a 'doctorate' or 'PhD'. This is an advanced research degree awarded on the basis of a thesis and an oral examination called the viva voce. The thesis must be a significant and substantial piece of research, make an original contribution to its field, and be presented in a lucid and scholarly manner. In the viva, the candidate is required to defend their thesis and to demonstrate a good general knowledge of their field of study.

A DPhil is the highest level of a degree that a student can achieve.

Level and demands

All DPhil applications are considered on their academic merits. 

As guidance, you should have achieved at least 2.1 honours, 3.5 GPA, or equivalent in an undergraduate degree. On some programmes, successful applicants have also normally achieved a distinction in a master’s degree. More information about entry requirements can be found on each individual programme page.

DPhil students are not required to be resident in Oxford, but will normally be required to attend for at least 30 days per year and to meet their supervisors at least once per term.

College affiliation

All students studying for a degree (including DPhil) must be a member of a college. There is single application process to the DPhil programme within which you can specify a college choice. Your choice of college is up to you, and does not affect the academic viability of your application to the DPhil itself.  A number of Oxford colleges accept applications from part-time postgraduates, whereas others do not: please consult the graduate prospectus or enquire with individual colleges. (Even if you are accepted onto the degree, please note that you are not guaranteed a place at your first choice of college).

Applicants may wish to note that the majority of students on part-time degree programmes are members of Kellogg College and most of the tutors and lecturers are Fellows of the College. Kellogg is dedicated to graduate part-time students and has developed a unique expertise in attending to the intellectual, social, IT and welfare needs of part-time, mature graduate students. The College is based a short distance from the Department on the Banbury Road.

Libraries and computing facilities

Registered students receive an Oxford University card, valid for one year at a time, which acts as a library card for the Departmental Library at Rewley House and provides access to the unrivalled facilities of the Bodleian Libraries which include the central Bodleian, major research libraries such as the Sackler Library, Taylorian Institution Library, Bodleian Social Science Library, and faculty libraries such as English and History. Students also have access to a wide range of electronic resources including electronic journals, many of which can be accessed from home. Students on the course are entitled to use the Library at Rewley House for reference and private study and to borrow books. More information about the Continuing Education Library can be found at the Bodleian website

The University card also provides access to facilities at Oxford University Computing Service (OUCS), 13 Banbury Road, Oxford. Computing facilities are available to students in the Students' Computing Facility in Rewley House and at Ewert House.



DPhil in Sustainable Urban Development

A part-time doctoral programme to research the challenges of urban sustainability.


DPhil in Archaeology

The part-time DPhil programme was first offered in Archaeology in 2003 with several successful DPhil completions now having taken place.


DPhil in Architectural History

The programme is designed to enable students, including mature students, to undertake individual research.


DPhil in Literature and Arts

The part-time interdisciplinary DPhil in Literature and Arts supports independent doctoral research on a subject linked to the British past, c.1450 – c.1914, encompassing at least two disciplines from a range including art, history and theology.


DPhil in English Local History

Drawing on knowledge and skills acquired in many years of providing specialist classes in local history


DPhil in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

This part-time DPhil has a significant focus on issues related to cognitive behavioural theory and/or practice.


DPhil in Evidence-Based Health Care

The part-time DPhil Programme considers applications from those who have already been awarded the MSc in Evidence-Based Health Care or equivalent qualification


DPhil in Continuing Education

For doctoral students in other areas where we can provide appropriate supervision and research training