Application Guide 2016-17 for entry in 2017-18 | University of Oxford
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Application Guide 2016-17 for entry in 2017-18


Researching your application

  1. Browse our graduate courses, either A-Z or by department, to see if Oxford offers a course you’re interested in.
  2. Check the entry requirements on the course page to make sure that you have the right qualifications.

    Admissions are very competitive and you should have achieved (or be on track to achieve) at least the minimum grade to apply.
  3. Read through your department’s website for information on how your course works.

    Look into your department’s research interests - your course page will advise if you should contact a potential supervisor and/or find a research group before applying.
  4. Use the Fees, Funding and Scholarship Search to see the funding opportunities open to you and check the fees and costs for your course.

    There are over 1,000 full scholarships available for 2017-18 study. For around two thirds of Oxford’s scholarships, nothing more than the standard course application is usually required. If you meet the eligibility criteria, you are automatically considered.Be aware of the deadlines, which are usually in January for the vast majority of Oxford scholarships.

Before you apply

  1. Read through all tabs of this Application Guide to entry in 2017-18 and your course page to make sure you provide all the right supporting documents and information.

    Our Technical Help provides step-by-step details of how to use the online form. 
  2. Check the deadlines on the course page and plan your time to submit your application well in advance – two or three weeks earlier, if you can.

    Deadlines are always at 12 noon UK time. After the March deadline, check the course admissions status often and apply as soon as you can.
  3. If you are not a UK citizen whose first language is English, check if you will need to submit a language test.

    If you do then book a test session for one of our approved tests, unless you already have test results at the required level taken less than two years before your course will start.
  4. Before you start your application, make sure that you have:• contacted your referees to check that they are happy to submit references for you by the application deadline• a valid debit/credit card with enough funds to pay the £75 GBP application fee payment (or your authorisation code if you are applying for a CDT waiver or for readmission• sent a request to your institution for an official transcript, if you do not have one – some universities might need weeks or months to prepare this for you

Making your application

  1. Start your application by creating an account. Register your referees as early as you can.
  2. Decide whether you want to give a college preference.

    You can indicate that you have no preference or, if you do want to give a preference, see our college pages for details of how the college system works.
  3. Double-check that you have chosen the right course and college and uploaded all the correct documents, then pay the application fee and submit your application.

  4. Check that you have received an automatic confirmation email that your application has been submitted – if not, log back in to your account to submit it.

After you apply

  1. For information on everything that happens after you submit your application, including your self-service options, see our Decision timeline.

Before you apply, read this Application Guide and the information on your course page to make sure that you provide the correct documents and information. 

Our Technical Help, which you can also access from your application, provides step-by-step instructions on how to use the application form.

The instructions in this Application Guide are relevant to applications for all graduate courses at Oxford except the following:

Important note on published information

This is a guide to entry in 2017-18 and cannot be used to apply in subsequent years. Information on admissions for entry in 2018-19 will be available from September 2017.  

This Application Guide and the Graduate Admissions webpages are definitive, comprising the most up-to-date and comprehensive information about Oxford’s admissions process and requirements. These may be subject to change and you should consider the version currently available online to be the definitive source of information at any given time.

External websites may provide information about graduate courses at Oxford which may be incomplete and/or inaccurate. Department and college websites may also repeat information about the admissions process for graduate courses. However, in case of any discrepancy or conflict, this Application Guide and the Graduate Admissions webpages should be considered definitive. 

How to apply

You will apply online via the University of Oxford Graduate Application Form. To apply you will need to pay a fee of £75 GBP, upload supporting documents and submit your application.


Applying on paper

If there are exceptional circumstances that mean it is very difficult for you to apply online, please contact Graduate Admissions and Funding with full details. A range of assistive measures is in place to support applications from students with disabilities - for example, a paper application will be accepted where necessitated by an applicant's disability. Information on this support is available for applicants with disabilities.

Applying for readmission

If you are a current Oxford graduate student applying for another eligible graduate course, please select ‘Readmission’ as your application type when you apply. You will find the code you need to access this application type in your student self-service account.

FAQ: How to find your readmission code

You will need to meet all of the same deadlines and requirements as other applicants except that you will not need to pay a fee to apply.

Eligible courses for readmission

If you are studying a taught master’s course (MSt, MSc, MPhil, MPP, MFA, BCL, MJur, BPhil or MTh), you can apply for readmission to any DPhil course except the DPhil in Management Studies. 

You can also apply for readmission in any of these cases:

  • BCL, MJur, MPhil in Law and MSt in Legal Research students applying to the DPhil in Law;
  • BCL and MJur students applying to the MPhil in Law
  • PGCert in Nanotechnology students applying to the MSc in Nanotechnology for Medicine and Health Care.

When to apply

You need to ensure that your application and all supporting documents, including references, required for your course are received by 12 noon (midday) UK time on the deadline date in order for it to be considered.

The standard application deadlines for entry in 2017-18 are as follows:



Friday 18 November 2016

Only used by selected courses

Friday 6 January 2017 or Friday 20 January 2017 

All courses use one of these two deadlines, which are also the deadlines for most Oxford scholarships

Friday 10 March 2017

Only used by selected courses

Saturday 11 March 2017 to Friday 25 August 2017

Some courses will remain open after 10 March where places are still available and/or re-open later if studentships become available

Course pages indicate whether the course is open, giving up to one’s week notice of closure

Courses are usually closed on Fridays at 12 noon (midday) UK time

Each course may use one or more of the above deadlines. You can check the deadlines for each course on our course pages. You can apply to any deadline listed for your course but should use the earliest one you can.

To be considered for Oxford scholarships, please apply by the relevant January deadline. We also strongly recommend you also apply by the January deadline if you need a student visa.

Admissions status

Each course will have one of the following indicated on the page:

 Open for admission (one week’s notice of closure to be provided)

The course is open for admission; if the published deadlines have passed, then there are still places available for you to apply for and the course will stay open until these have been filled. Closure will be advertised on the page one week in advance.

 Closing within one week

The course will close within the next week, usually at 12 noon UK time on the coming Friday. The specific date and time of the deadline will be given.

 Closed to all applications

The course is not currently accepting applications for 2017-18 study. Occasionally a closed course may re-open later if studentships become available.

 Open for studentships only

General applications for the course are closed but admissions are open for one or more named studentships, usually a specific funding award and/or area of research. A link will be provided for further information on the studentship(s).

 Admission via separate process

Courses using an admissions process other than the standard graduate application form do not follow standard processes and deadlines and so the admissions status is not updated live on the course page.

Deadlines for funding applications

The January deadlines are the latest deadlines for the vast majority of Oxford’s scholarships.

For over two thirds of Oxford scholarships only a standard course application, made in time for the January deadline for your course, is usually required. If you fulfil the eligibility criteria, you will be automatically considered. There are some scholarships for which you must specifically apply which may also use different deadlines. Check deadlines and other instructions through our Fees, funding and scholarship search.

Your department may have other internal deadlines for their own funding opportunities, eg studentships, which will be advertised on your department’s website.

When to start and finish your application

For January deadlines, you should ideally contact your referees and request your transcript in September and apply by December.

You should submit your application and all required documents well before the relevant deadline. You will only make your application fee payment when you submit, so it is particularly important to apply early to be sure that the payment is successful and that you are able to submit. The earlier you apply, the more time there is for us to help you with any questions or technical issues.

If you apply in the week leading up to the deadline it may not be possible for us to answer your queries and/or assist you in time for you to submit your application by the deadline, especially during our peak application period in January.

If your application is not submitted and complete at the deadline then it may not be considered at all or it may be postponed to a later deadline where one is available for the course, which may mean that you are no longer considered for scholarships.

Applying to more than one course

You can submit multiple applications to different courses for 2017-18 study, but you can only apply to any particular course once in the same annual admissions cycle.

The only exception is applying to a DPhil more than once with a different research proposal, in which case you should contact the department to ask whether your first application was only assessed for the specific project or for the course as a whole before you re-apply. If the department confirms that you can apply again, you should enter your alternative research topic and/or supervisor in your second application.

FAQ: How to make a second application to the same DPhil

You will need to submit a full and separate application for each course/project (except for multiple physics sub-departments, see below) along with all supporting documents, including references, and the application fee.

If you plan to use the same referees, you should make sure that your referees know that you are applying to more than one course and are happy to submit a reference for each application. You should also check that you meet the entry requirements for each course that you apply to.

You will not be able to study a full-time graduate course alongside any other graduate course at Oxford or any other institution.

Multiple applications for Centres for Doctoral Training (CDTs) and related courses

For some subject areas, you can undertake research either via a doctoral training programme, usually a CDT or Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP), or through a related DPhil course.

When you apply to one of these subject areas, you can submit up to two further applications for related courses from a set of permitted options without paying additional application fees. This ensures that you do not have to pay extra fees simply due to the way closely related courses are funded.

Your options for submitting further applications under this arrangement will depend on the course you select in your initial application. Once you have made your first application, check your course page for your list of options under the ‘Multiple applications’ heading.

After you have submitted an application to your first course you can request a fee waiver from Graduate Admissions using the query form, stating which further course(s) you intend to apply to. 

Multiple DPhil applications for sub-departments of the Department of Physics

If your application is related to more than one of the physics sub-departments, there is no need to complete a separate application for each. Instead, please select one Physics DPhil course in your application and then add any additional Physics DPhil courses for which you would like to be considered by giving the academic’s name (where relevant) and sub-department either in the 'Proposed supervisor name' field or, if there is insufficient space, clearly at the top of your research proposal. Your application will then be assessed for each of the Physics DPhil courses you have indicated.

Paying the application fee

The fee is £75 per course application, unless you are applying with a CDT waiver or for readmission as a continuing Oxford graduate.

You must pay in GBP (£) via credit or debit card as part of your application. You will enter your payment details and your card will be charged as you submit your application. 

This fee is non-refundable, even if you later withdraw your application. The payment will not form any part of the tuition and college fees chargeable if you are offered and accept a place at Oxford.

Your application will not be considered unless you have paid the fee.

Help with making your payment

If you do not have access to a credit or debit card, some banks offer a disposable credit card voucher which can be used to make online payments.

It is also acceptable for a friend or family member to make the payment on your behalf, in which case you will need to obtain their consent to enter their card details.

FAQ: How to make a fee payment for someone else

If you do not have access to a bank account and are unable to pay by card, you should contact Graduate Admissions for guidance as soon as you have decided to apply. 


You must supply suitable evidence that you meet the English language requirement for your course (or, if eligible, you can request a waiver of the requirement), if:

  • your first language is not English, or 
  • your first language is English, but you are not a national of a majority English-speaking country recognised by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI).

Majority English-speaking countries recognised by UKVI

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Australia
  • The Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Canada
  • Dominica
  • Grenada
  • Guyana
  • Jamaica
  • New Zealand
  • St Kitts and Nevis
  • St Lucia
  • St Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • United States of America

You do not need to submit test results or request a waiver if:

  • your first language is English and you have always been a resident and citizen of the UK or Ireland (or another majority English-speaking country, as above), or,
  • you are a current Oxford graduate student applying for readmission.

Score requirements

The University applies either a standard or a higher level of required ability in English depending on the course. The level you will need is shown on each course page.

The University only accepts certain standardised tests, with results at or above the following scores:


Standard level scores

Higher level scores

IELTS Academic
Institution code: 0713

7.0Minimum 6.5 per component 7.5 Minimum 7.0 per component 

Institution code: 0490


Minimum component scores:

  • Listening: 22
  • Reading: 24
  • Speaking: 25
  • Writing: 24

Minimum component scores:

  • Listening: 22
  • Reading: 24
  • Speaking: 25
  • Writing: 24
Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE)185

Minimum 176 per component


Minimum 185 per component

Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE)185

Minimum 176 per component


Minimum 185 per component

All of these tests are accepted for both admissions and visa purposes; you will not be required to provide additional evidence of your English language ability in your visa application. Whilst UKVI may accept lower minimum scores for visa purposes, the University still requires you to meet these minimum scores.

Your test must have been taken no more than two years before the start date of your course.

You do not need to submit an English language test result at the same time as your application if you have not yet taken a test or received your results; your application will still be considered by the academic department, provided that all other required documents have been submitted. Any offer of a place will be conditional on you submitting English language test results at the required level by a deadline set by the department in their offer letter. 

The University will verify all IELTS and TOEFL results directly with the test provider. If you have uploaded a CPE or CAE, you will be asked to supply the original document if you are admitted to the course. 

Asking for a waiver of the requirement

At the discretion of the academic department, the requirement to provide English language scores may be waived if you have completed, or are currently completing, a degree-level course that is:

  • full-time
  • at least nine months long
  • undertaken at a recognised institution where the medium of instruction and assessment throughout the course is entirely in English.

To request a waiver, you need to write a letter or statement giving the reasons for your request and upload it to your application. If successful, you will not be required to supply English language test results as a condition of any offer made.

If you are still completing your course and you are offered a place and a waiver of the requirement, you will usually need to provide evidence that you have successfully completed your course as a condition of your offer by a date set by your department in your offer letter (no later than 31 August and generally earlier). If you are due to complete your course after this deadline, you will usually be expected to submit results of an English language test meeting the University's usual requirements.

Along with the application and the fee, all applicants will need to submit supporting documents by the deadline.

You should submit your documents as part of your application and not before (except paper documentation, which may be sent in advance via post).

It is your responsibility to ensure that all documents, including references, meet the requirements in this Application Guide and your course page and are submitted on time. Late and/or incomplete applications will not normally be assessed.

Check the documents you submit carefully, as you will not be able to upload revised versions once your application is ready for assessment.

You should not upload:

  • documents which are not specifically required to apply for your course, eg degree certificates or
  • references that have been sent to you personally, including internship references.

You should start the process of obtaining your transcript and references as early as possible and be aware that you may need to give your institution(s) and referees plenty of notice of the deadline.

The following documents are compulsory for all applications:

You may also need to submit one or more of the following, depending on the course:

  • academic written work
  • portfolio (eg of artwork, performance recordings)
  • GRE results
  • mathematics admissions exercise
  • evidence of proficiency in a language essential to the course, eg Japanese-Language Proficiency Test (JLPT)

To check which documents you need to apply for a specific course, please see the course page. On each page, ‘How to apply’ includes a checklist of documents with details of what each should comprise and what it will be assessed for.

All your documents must be:

  • no larger than 4MB (for upload to your application form)

    Documents larger than 4MB are acceptable, but they are larger than the capacity of the upload facility in the application form itself. Instead, create a PDF with the following statement and upload it to the relevant document slot in your application:

    "My document is over 4MB and will be sent separately."

    After you submit your application, send the document via our oversize document form by the deadline you are applying to.

  • in English (unless otherwise permitted by the department)

    Documents you have written yourself, such as a personal statement, research proposal or written work, must be written in English unless otherwise permitted by the department. An English translation by a third party is not acceptable unless explicitly permitted by the department. These documents must be entirely your own work, except where clearly indicated, and may be checked using plagiarism detection software as part of the admissions process. Further information on this requirement is available in our guidance on plagiarism.

    Official transcripts which are not issued in English should be translated by either a professional translator, the relevant issuing body of the original document, or an authorised notary. 

  • accessible, clear and legible

  • easily identifiable

    Please clearly indicate your name as well as the type of document, eg research proposal, on the document.

Please do not send original and/or paper documents unless specifically requested. If you are offered a place, you will later be asked to send the original(s) of any official documents sent as a digital file in your initial application.

Current Oxford students and readmission

We will not reuse or transfer documents submitted with any previous application. Current Oxford students, including applicants for readmission, must submit the same supporting documents for their course as all other applicants. 

Statement of purpose and research proposal

The length and content varies between courses and you should check your course page for instructions.

You can only submit one document in this category with your application so if your course requires both, you should submit them in the same document with a clear sub-heading for each.

Official transcript

You should submit a detailed record of your university-level education up to the present, including courses taken and grades achieved.

To be considered official, your transcript should be produced for you by the institution where you studied. 

Official transcripts are often certified with a signature or stamp, or via a secure electronic sharing system (eg Digitary). However, self-service and/or provisional transcripts provided by your institution are also acceptable. 

Your institution may require several months to produce your transcript, so you should look into your institution's arrangements as soon as you decide to apply. A degree certificate is not equivalent to a transcript, as it does not include detailed grade information.

Sending a transcript via a secure third-party electronic system (eg Digitary)

If you share an official transcript with us via a secure electronic system, please register the email address and select the maximum allowable time period for the document to be made available to us.

We will then add the transcript document to your submitted applications, though you should notify us if you then make any later applications. 

Interim transcripts for on-course students

If you have not yet completed your current degree and/or do not have access to a transcript of your final results, you need to submit an official interim transcript giving details of your grades achieved to date. 

If you are offered a place on a course starting in Michaelmas term (October) 2017, you will normally be required to submit an official transcript with your final results by 31 August (or earlier, depending on the department’s requirements). If you are applying for a research course and it is not possible for you to meet this deadline, you should ask your department if you can be considered for a later start date on this basis.

Transcripts in languages other than English

If your official transcript is not in English, you must submit both:

  • the original official transcript, and

  • a translation of the transcript into English, visibly certified by either a professional translator, the issuing body of the original transcript or an authorised notary.

Transcripts for students with a break in their higher education

You should start by contacting your previous institution to request your transcript, as some institutions will be able to produce this even if a long period of time has passed since you attended.

If your institution cannot produce a detailed transcript due to the time lapsed, you must request that the institution send written confirmation of this to us, or upload this written confirmation to your own application, instead of your transcript. This confirmation should include any details about your study that the institution can confirm, eg matriculation year, degree title and/or final grade.

Transcripts for Oxford students

Current and former students are not exempted from the requirement for an official transcript. There is guidance available via the Student Gateway for Oxford students on how to obtain an academic transcript.

Written work

Written work is a piece of academic writing, usually an essay. Please note that your research proposal/statement cannot be counted as a piece of written work.

Submitting one longer piece of work instead of two shorter pieces

Some courses may allow you to submit one longer piece of work, usually at least 4,000 words, rather than two shorter pieces. If your course allows this it will be stated on the course page along with instructions on how to do this.


Some items, such as musical scores, can be uploaded to your application, whereas items such as video recordings have a separate submission process. 

Instructions on how to submit your portfolio and what it should contain are available on course pages.

Mathematics Admissions Exercise

Applicants to the MSc in Mathematical Finance and the MSc in Mathematical and Computational Finance must submit the results of a self-administered Mathematics Admissions Exercise. The exercise is different for each course and links to download the exercises are available on the course pages.

English language test score certificate

If you do not have test results at the time of applying, you should submit your application without them. You can then upload the results at a later time via Graduate Applicant Self Service. You do not need to state your intention to do this in your application.


Before you apply, you need to contact three referees to ask them to write a reference (ie letter of recommendation) for you.  

Your referees will be sent an automated reference request when you register them on the ‘Referees’ tab in your application. To give them as much time as possible to respond, you should register your referees as soon as you have selected your course and before you complete the rest of the form. 

It is your responsibility to ensure that your referees have the information they need to provide a reference and submit it by the deadline you are applying to. 

Choosing your referees

References should usually be academic, though some courses will accept professional references, as indicated on course pages. Personal references (ie from family and friends) are never acceptable.

If you are a current or recent master’s student, one of your referees should be your supervisor or course director from this course. 

You are advised to send your referees the entry requirements for your course so they can comment on your performance against the requirements.

References must be submitted:

  • to the online reference system

    Your referees should use the online system and references should not be sent directly via email. If your referees have any issues with the form, please contact Graduate Admissions.

  • directly by the referee

    References that you upload to your application or send to our office yourself will not be accepted.

  • by the deadline you are applying to

    References are due by the same deadline as your application and other documents.

  • in PDF, JPG or PNG format

    Files must not be sent as Word documents. 

  • in English, unless explicitly permitted otherwise by the department

  • on institutional or professional letter-headed paper

    Where this is not possible, eg for a retired referee, the reference letter should include the referee's contact details and current (or relevant previous) position.

  • from the referee's institutional or professional email address

    When you register your referees, you must provide their institutional or professional email address. If you register referees with a personal email address (eg Gmail, the University may not accept the reference. You should only register a personal email address if there is no alternative and your referee uses the address for all institutional/professional business.

You do not need to wait until your referees have provided your references to submit your application; after you submit the application, these later references are automatically attached to your application. 

Whilst you must register three referees, the department will start assessing your application if two of the three references are submitted by the deadline and your application is otherwise complete. You may still be asked to have a third reference submitted later on.

You will not be able to see or access the content of your references.

Tracking your references

The automated email your referees receive includes the date you enter in your application as the 'Deadline by which references are required’, which you should ensure is no later than the deadline you are applying to. You will need to notify your referees directly of any change to the deadline you intend to use.

You can track whether we have received your references using Graduate Applicant Self Service and the automated email notifications sent to you whenever a reference has been submitted via the online reference system. References sent via any other means will also be shown in your self service after they have been processed and added to your application in our records.

After the initial automated request, we will not contact referees on your behalf. We will not remind referees to submit their references or check that they have received the initial automated request, so you must ensure that you do this yourself. You should stay in contact with your referees until their submission is confirmed.

After you submit your application, you can re-send the referee emails from self service if you need to.

  • If you have not received notifications to indicate that your references have been submitted as the deadline approaches, contact your referee(s) to ensure that they have received the registration email and are still able and willing to submit by the deadline. You will need to arrange an alternative referee if they are not able to do so.

  • If a referee has not received their registration email, please ask them to check their junk/spam folders. If this does not resolve the issue, contact Graduate Admissions as early as possible.

Adding or changing a referee

Please check details are correct before saving your referees’ details, particularly the email address. 

If you need to replace a referee you have already registered or change an existing referee’s email address, you can do this for one referee before you submit your application and/or for any remaining referees via self service after you apply. 

This guidance covers key points to consider when completing your application. 

Our Technical Help, which you can access from your application, provides step-by-step help on how to use the online form.

Choosing your course

In choosing your course, read the course page carefully to make sure that you are familiar with the structure and content of the course and that you meet the entry requirements, as admissions to Oxford are highly competitive.

The course pages will also show whether your preferred course is currently accepting applications.

Make sure that you select the correct course in your application, as you will not be able to change this after you start to complete the form or after you apply. For instructions on how to start a new application, see Technical Help.

Full-time/part-time study

There is a list of graduate courses available for part-time study, though many courses are only available for full-time study.

Start term

You can only select the mandatory start term for your course when you apply. 

  • If you want to start a research course in a term other than Michaelmas (October), contact the relevant department directly to ask if this could be supported. 

  • You can only start taught courses in term indicated in the form.

Studying at more than one institution

You cannot undertake full-time study at Oxford whilst you are registered on another course at Oxford or at another institution, either UK or worldwide.

If you are registered at another institution when you apply to Oxford for full-time study, as a condition of your offer you would be required to suspend or terminate your registration whilst studying at Oxford, unless the registration is part of a formal collaborative agreement between Oxford and the other institution.

If you want to undertake part-time study at Oxford while registered at another institution (or on another course at Oxford), please give details of the other course in the application form where requested. You should indicate whether the other course is full- or part-time and explain how you expect to be able to pursue both courses at once.

Choosing a college

When you apply, you can either:

  • indicate that you do not have any college preference, and a college will then be selected for you, or 
  • give one college preference.

For an overview of Oxford’s college system and individual colleges, please see our Colleges section and information on choosing a college.

You can check which colleges are available for your course on your course page, as not all colleges accept students all every course.

You will not be able to change your college preference after you apply, or indicate a preference if you chose not to.

Whether or not you give a college preference will not affect how your department assesses your application or whether or not you are accepted.

For all matriculated courses (see ‘Non-matriculated courses’ below), if you are offered a place by a department then you will be guaranteed a place at a college, although this may not necessarily be your preferred college. If your preferred college does not accept you, you cannot give any further college preferences.

College preference for multiple applications

If you are applying for more than one course, you must indicate the same college preference in all your applications, unless the college does not accept applications to the other course(s) to which you are applying.

College preference for current Oxford students

If you wish to stay at your current college, first check that it accepts applications for the course to which you are applying. If so, you can simply indicate this college as your preference in your application. If it does not normally accept applications for the course, you should contact your college office to discuss whether an exception is possible.

If your college is willing to consider your application in these circumstances, or if you are currently a fellow of All Souls College, please contact Graduate Admissions before applying.

If you wish to stay at your current college but you are applying for scholarships at other colleges, you should select your current college in the form, unless you are applying for a scholarship which clearly indicates in its requirements that you must give a specific, alternative college preference to be eligible.

If you indicate a college preference other than your current college and are unsuccessful, your application will enter the same college allocation process as external applications. It will not be routed back to your current college.

Non-matriculated courses

Non-matriculated courses offered by the Department for Continuing Education do not include college membership. You can check whether college membership is offered via the ‘Colleges’ tab of each course page.


The information you provide about your planned funding arrangements will not affect your eligibility for scholarship funding offered by the University, its colleges and departments, or the assessment of your application for a place.

For the majority of Oxford scholarships, nothing more than the standard course application is usually required. If you fulfil the eligibility criteria, you will be automatically considered. Some scholarships require you to tick boxes on the application form or provide additional documents, either during the application process or separately. 

Even though many scholarships will consider you automatically, you should check the details of the scholarships you are eligible for carefully. Be aware of the deadlines, which are in January for the vast majority of Oxford scholarships.

Before you apply, use our Fees, funding and scholarship search to see the funding opportunities open to you and if you need to do anything beyond submitting your course application. This is where you can also check the fees, costs and likely living costs for your course. 

You can also apply for any available departmental studentships using the 'Funding' section of the form. A departmental studentship is a specific type of funding, usually for a specific research project offered by an academic department, particularly in the sciences, for which you must enter the appropriate reference code in this section of your application.

Studentships will be advertised, along with their reference codes, on departmental websites. You should also check the closing date for the studentship to ensure that you submit your application on time.

Declaring a disability or long-term health condition

All admissions decisions are taken based on your academic performance and potential, as detailed in each course’s entry requirements.

The University is committed to making reasonable adjustments to enable students with disabilities or long-term health conditions - including specific learning difficulties such as dyslexia, dyspraxia, Asperger Syndrome and mental health difficulties - to apply for study at Oxford and participate fully in student life.

To find out more about how the University can support students with disabilities during the application process, please see our guidance for applicants with disabilities.

If you have a disability for which you usually have special accommodation requirements, we very strongly encourage you to disclose it in the relevant section of your application form. We also encourage you to apply by the relevant January deadline where possible, as early notice will help us to support you in the college admissions process if your application is successful and college accommodation tends to fill up as the year progresses. However, no candidate is guaranteed college or University accommodation.

To discuss this section of the application form, or anything to do with University provision for specific needs, please contact the Disability Advisory Service.

Completing your application

Data protection and nominated third parties

We will handle your application in accordance with the UK Data Protection Act of 1998 and the declaration that you sign before submitting your application will give you information on any third parties with whom we may need to share your data as part of the processing and assessment of your application.

In your application you can nominate a third party, such as a relative, to handle your application. We will not discuss your application with anyone except you unless you nominate a representative in this section. Anyone you appoint will be able to request information and give us instructions relating to your application.

Ethnic background

The University is required under statute to seek and return information about the ethnic background of all its students for the UK Government’s Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA). The information provided is used to monitor rates of participation in higher education by particular groups of people and will not form part of any assessment of your application.


While many of Oxford’s graduate students are housed in the wide range of accommodation provided by Oxford’s colleges and the University’s Accommodation Office, no applicant can be guaranteed college or University accommodation.

Criminal convictions

To help the University reduce the risk of harm or injury to students and staff caused by any criminal behaviour of students, we must know about any relevant convictions that you may have.

For information on which convictions should be declared and how the data you provide will be used, please see our page on Criminal convictions.


You do not need to convert your qualification into the UK system or provide an official statement of comparability in order to apply. However, if you have a non-UK university qualification and you would like to know how it compares with the UK system, you can contact the UK National Academic Recognition Information Centre (NARIC).


The University does not have any arrangements or relationships with agents who assist with the preparation and submission of graduate applications for a fee.

You are required to complete and submit your own application and must provide your own personal details. All of the information necessary to complete an application to any course is freely available via our website.

Submitting your application

The application system will require you to upload a file for each of the supporting documents you need to apply to your course except for references, which will be sent separately by your referees.

The system is not able to check that the content of your files is correct and legible, eg that you have uploaded a transcript instead of accidentally uploading your CV twice. This remains your responsibility and you should check that your documents meet all of the requirements detailed on your course page and in this Application Guide. 

When you submit your application you will need to sign a declaration confirming that all information provided is true, accurate, current and complete to the best of your knowledge and that you will promptly notify the University should any information change. You will also confirm that the information contained in your application, including all supporting work, is entirely your own original work, except where clearly indicated, and does not contain any plagiarised elements. 

After submitting your application

As soon as you submit your application you will be sent an automated confirmation via e-mail. If you do not receive this, please log in to your application to check that you have successfully submitted it and can no longer edit it.

This email only confirms that your application was submitted. Your application will not be assessed by the academic department until all the necessary supporting documents and references have been received by the relevant deadline.

Once you have submitted your application, it will be reviewed and processed by our office and you will then be able to access self-service options when you log into your application account, such as updating and tracking your references, uploading missing documents and checking the status of your application.

For full information on what happens after you apply, including the decision-making timeline, please see After you apply.

Contacting Graduate Admissions and Funding

If you contact us, please provide your name in the same format used in your application and, if possible, send your email from the same address so that we can match your enquiry to your application.

If you apply in the week leading up to a deadline, particularly in January, then due to the volume of applications and queries we receive, we may not have time to help you with queries you may have.

Further advice and contact details

For general queries about the application process or funding for graduate study

Please see the Applying to Oxford and Fees and funding pages of this website, as well as our FAQs.

If you have any further questions, use the query form or call Graduate Admissions and Funding on +44 (0) 1865 270059 during our office hours (Monday to Friday, 0900 to 1700 UK time).

For queries relating to a specific course

Please check the course pages and contact the relevant department if you have any further questions.

For queries relating to a specific college

Please check the college pages and contact the relevant college if you have any further questions.

If you have a complaint regarding the admissions process

Please see our page on Complaints and appeals.