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Application Guide

Deadlines and when to apply

Getting started

If you're not sure where to begin our guide to getting started provides advice and tips. The first step in applying to graduate study at Oxford is to choose a course. You can find a course by using our A-Z of courses or by viewing a list of courses organised by their department and academic division.

Can I apply for graduate study if I'm currently studying?

Yes, absolutely. You can apply for graduate study at Oxford during your final year of your degree.

Most of Oxford's graduate courses commence in Michaelmas term (early October). If you receive an offer of a place, you'll usually be required to fulfil any conditions set by your department and college by the end of August. This will include arranging for a final official transcript to be sent to your department directly from the institution or accredited e-transcript provider. Alternatively, the hard copy original transcript can be posted to the department. Further information about providing transcripts can be found within this Application Guide.

If you're currently studying and won't receive your final degree results before the start of term in Oxford:

  • contact your department to discuss whether you might be able start in a later term (research courses); or
  • wait and apply to begin your study in the next academic year (taught courses).

Can I start my course in a different term?

The vast majority of our taught courses begin in Michaelmas term (October) and you won't be able to commence your study at a later point unless that is explicitly indicated on the relevant course page. For more information about Oxford's academic terms, visit our Dates of term page.

If you'd like to start a research course at the beginning of a term other than Michaelmas (October), contact the academic department directly.

How do I know if a course is accepting applications?

Each course page will display the Admission Status of the course, which indicates using a traffic light system whether applications are currently being accepted.

Admission Status indicators

Open to applications

The course is open for admission. If the listed deadlines have passed, there are still places available for you to apply for and the course will stay open until these are filled. The final closing date will be advertised on the course page, usually at least one week in advance.

Closing to applications

The course will close on the date indicated, usually on a Friday at 12.00 midday UK time. The specific date and time of the deadline will be given.

Closed to applications

The course isn't currently accepting applications for 2024-25 study. Occasionally a closed course may re-open later: for example, if studentships become available.

Admission via separate process

The course uses a non-standard application form, application process and deadlines, so the admissions status won't appear on the course page.

Course deadlines

The deadlines for each course are stated on the course page. Most course deadlines are on a Friday at 12.00 midday UK time.

You can apply to any deadline given on the course page for your chosen course, but you should try to apply to the earliest deadline available.

If your course has more than one deadline, this means that applications are considered in two or more separate batches. You'll usually receive a decision from your academic department about 8 to 10 weeks after the deadline to which you have applied.

We strongly recommend that you aim to submit your application form and all of your supporting documents at least two weeks before your chosen deadline. Don't wait until the day of the deadline! We may not always be able to answer your questions or help you to resolve any problems in time, particularly around our busiest application deadlines in December and January. 

November deadline

Some courses have a November deadline. If you apply in time for this deadline, you'll be considered for Oxford scholarships. You're also likely to receive an earlier decision than those who apply for later deadlines.

December and January deadlines

Almost all courses have a December or January deadline. You can check which deadline your course uses on the course page. You must apply by the December or January deadline used by your course if you wish to be considered for Oxford scholarships, or any scholarship which uses these deadlines.

You're encouraged to apply by the earliest deadline for your course if:

  • you need a student visa, as you must have your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) number from the University before you can apply for your visa;
  • you are declaring a disability or long-term health condition, as early notice will help us support you in the college admissions process if your application is successful.

Many courses will close to applications after their December or January deadline. 

Applying for Medical Sciences Division courses after the December deadline

The December deadline is the latest deadline shown on the course page for many of the courses offered by the Medical Sciences Division. However, some of these courses may stay open to applications for 2024-25 entry if places are still available. Please note that if you apply after the December deadline, you will not be considered for Oxford scholarships or any scholarship that uses the December deadline.

Your course page will indicate if the course is remaining open to applications. Once the department wishes to close the course, the final closing date will be posted on the course page under the Admission status heading, usually one week in advance.

March deadline

Some courses also have a March deadline. If you apply for this deadline, you will not be considered for Oxford scholarships.

A later deadline shown under 'Admission status'

After the March deadline, some courses may stay open to applications for 2024-25 entry if places are still available. Your course page will indicate if the course is remaining open to applications. Once the department wishes to close the course, the final closing date will be posted on the course page under the Admission status heading, usually one week in advance.

The majority of courses will have filled their places by this time, and will not remain open.

The admissions cycle ends at 12.00 midday UK time on Friday 23 August 2024. Any courses that have remained open throughout will close on this date. 

Funding deadlines

To be eligible for Oxford scholarships, you must apply by the December or January deadline used by your course. If your course uses a November deadline, applications submitted by this deadline will also be eligible for Oxford scholarships. 

Other scholarships may not use the standard course deadlines, and may require an additional application. You can find deadlines and other instructions via our Fees, funding and scholarship search.

Courses may re-open after the published deadline(s) if funding opportunities, such as studentships, become available. These will be advertised on our page showing courses that have reopened to accept studentship applications. The course page will also provide a link to further information about the studentship, including the closing date. The course page will not show studentship closing dates or provide notice of closure if a course has reopened to accept studentship applications.

You can find instructions for applying for Oxford scholarships and funded studentships within this Application Guide.

What happens if I miss a deadline?

If your application isn't submitted and complete by your chosen deadline, with all mandatory supporting documents and at least two references, it won't usually be considered at that deadline. If your course has a later deadline listed on the course page, your application will be moved into that deadline for assessment by the academic department.

If your application is submitted or becomes complete after your course’s final deadline, it is unlikely to be considered at all.

If it's important for you to have your application considered under a particular deadline – for example, under a December or January deadline in order to be considered for Oxford scholarships – we recommend that you aim to have your application complete and submitted at least two weeks in advance.

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