Application Guide 2015-16 for entry in 2016-17 | University of Oxford
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Application Guide 2015-16 for entry in 2016-17


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.
  4. 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.

Before you apply

  1. There are 1,000+ full scholarships available so use our Fees, Funding and Scholarship Search to see the funding opportunities open to you and check the fees and costs for your course.

    For over 70% of Oxford scholarships, nothing more than the standard course application is usually required. If you fulfil the eligibility criteria, you will be automatically considered.Be aware of the deadlines, which are usually in January for the vast majority of Oxford scholarships.
  2. Read this Application Guide to entry in 2016-17 and the information on your course page to ensure that you provide the correct documents and information.

    Our Technical Help, which you can also access from the application, provide step-by-step help on how to use the online form. 
  3. Look at 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.
  4. 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, 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 is due to start).
  5. Contact your supervisor(s) or course director from your most recent university-level degree and two other referees to check that they are happy to submit a reference for you by the deadline you are applying to.

    Your course page will advise on whether you can use any professional references.
  6. Before you start your application, make sure that you have:• a valid debit/credit card with enough funds to make the £60 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• up-to-date institutional/professional email addresses and other contact details for your referees.

Making your application

  1. Start your application by creating a new account. Answer all the questions and register your referees’ contact details as early as you can.
  2. Pay the application fee in the Oxford University Stores and enter your purchase order number into your application.
  3. Either indicate that you have no college preference in your application or, if you do want to give a preference, see our college pages for details of how the college system works.
  4. Double-check that you have chosen the right course and college and uploaded all the correct documents, then submit your application by noon (1200) UK time on the deadline.

    Do not submit documents before you apply.
  5. 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. Look out for automated emails from us that notify you when each reference is submitted.

    Keep in touch with your referees and follow up with them to make sure that all your references are submitted before the application deadline.
  2. Once we have everything we need for your application to go on for assessment, we will send you a final email to let you know.
  3. You can expect to hear the outcome of your application from your department about eight to ten weeks after the application deadline.

    For a more detailed timeline of what happens after you submit, see After you apply.

Before you apply, read this Application Guide to entry in 2016-17 and the information on your course page to ensure that you provide the correct documents and information. Our Technical Help, which you can also access from your application, provides step-by-step help on how to use the online form.

This Application Guide should be followed by anyone applying to a graduate course at Oxford (including current Oxford students) with the exception of the following courses:

Important note on published information

This is a guide to entry in 2016-17 and cannot be used to apply in subsequent years. Information on admissions for entry in 2017-18 will be available from September 2016.  

This Application Guide and the Graduate Admissions and Funding webpages are definitive and contain the most current and comprehensive information about the 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.

Department and college websites may repeat some of the information regarding the admissions process for graduate courses. However, in case of any discrepancy, this Application Guide and the Graduate Admissions and Funding webpages should be considered definitive. 

How to apply

You will apply online via the University of Oxford Graduate Application Form. In applying you will need to pay a fee of £60 GBP, upload supporting documents, and register your referees in the application system. 


Applying for readmission

Current Oxford students on a taught graduate course applying for an eligible course, ie applying for ‘readmission’, also use this form. However, applicants for readmission do not need to pay a fee and may be allowed to reuse some of the references from their last 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.

When to apply

The University of Oxford uses application deadlines and you need to ensure that your application and all supporting documents, including references, required for your course are received by 12 noon UK time on the deadline date for your application to be considered.

The standard application deadlines for entry in 2016-17 are as follows:




Friday 20 November 2015 

Only used by selected courses


Friday 8 January 2016 or Friday 22 January 2016 

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


Friday 11 March 2016

Only used by selected courses


Saturday 12 March 2016 to Wednesday 31 August 2016

Some courses will remain open after 11 March where places are still available and/or re-open later if studentships become available

Course pages display current information on whether the course is open

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 you should use the earliest one you can. If you wish to be considered for Oxford scholarships, apply by the relevant January deadline. We highly recommend you also apply by the January deadline if you will need a student visa.

Deadlines for funding applications

The January deadlines are the latest deadlines for the vast majority of Oxford’s 1,000+ full scholarships.

For over 70% of Oxford scholarships, nothing more than the standard course application, made in time for the January deadlines, is usually required. If you fulfil the eligibility criteria, you will be automatically considered. There are some scholarships for which you specifically apply, and they may use different deadlines. Check the 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, ideally you should organise your references and transcript in September and aim to apply by December.

You should aim to pay the application fee and submit your application and all required documents, including references, well before the relevant deadline - 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 2016/17 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 inquire whether your first application was assessed only 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 and the application fee. You should 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 applicants 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 – 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 and Funding 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 £60 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 on the Oxford University Stores website before submitting your application.

You should make your payment as soon as you are certain that you wish to apply so that you have a valid purchase order number (with the prefix OXF) when you are ready to submit your application. Your application will not be considered unless you have paid the fee and supplied a valid purchase order number for your payment by the application deadline.

This fee is non-refundable once you submit 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.

Help with making your payment

If you do not have access to a credit card, some banks will 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 via the Oxford University Stores website.

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 and Funding for guidance at once 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 supply 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 appropriate level is indicated 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 Academic7.0Minimum 6.5 per component 7.5 Minimum 7.0 per component 

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

CPE taken before Jan 2015:

Grade C


Minimum 185 per component

CPE taken before Jan 2015:

Grade C

Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE)185

Minimum 176 per component

CAE taken before Jan 2015:

Grade B


Minimum 185 per component

CAE taken before Jan 2015:

Grade A

* The TOEFL institution code for the University of Oxford is 0490.

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 department, provided that all other required documents have been submitted. Any offer of a place will be conditional on your supplying English language test results at the required level.

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

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. 

You must submit your documents as part of your application and not before. The only exception is paper documentation sent by post.

Check the documents you submit carefully, as we are only able to accept updated versions of documents already submitted with your application in exceptional circumstances.

Late and/or incomplete applications will not normally be assessed.

You should start the process of obtaining your official 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 supply one or more of the following, depending on the course:

  • academic written work
  • portfolio (eg of artwork, performance recordings)
  • GRE results
  • mathematics admissions exercise

To check which documents you need to apply for a specific course, please see the course page. For each course, the ‘How to apply’ section includes a checklist of documents and the ‘Entry requirements’ section includes more detailed instructions that you should read and follow carefully.

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 oversize document via our upload form by the deadline you are applying to.

  • in English (unless otherwise permitted by the department)

    Documents you have written yourself, such as a statement of purpose, 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.

You should not upload documents which are not required for your course, eg degree certificates.

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.

We will not reuse or transfer documents submitted with a previous application, except in the case of references for current Oxford graduates applying for readmission.

Documents for current Oxford graduates applying for readmission

Current Oxford graduate students must submit the same supporting documents for their course as all other applicants.

However, the course page of each eligible course will give details of which documents you can reuse from your previous application to your current graduate course to Oxford.


  • If you are permitted to reuse any references, you should indicate which you wish to reuse in the application form and we will add these to your new application after you submit it. 

  • You must always submit a new reference from your current course supervisor or director. 

Other documents

  • If you are permitted to reuse other documents, like your transcript or written work, you must upload your own copies of these files to your application. 

  • You must always submit a new research proposal.

  • It is your responsibility to submit the documents you need to apply, whether these are documents you have submitted before and are reusing, or are new documents.

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; if your course requires both, you should submit them in the same document with a clear heading for each.

Official transcript

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

Your transcript should be produced for you by the institution where you studied and visibly and indelibly certified by the institution, usually by signature and/or stamp or via a secure electronic sharing system (eg Digitary). 

Transcripts which are not properly certified will not be accepted, leaving your application incomplete. Unofficial and/or self-certified transcripts, including printouts or screenshots from student self-service websites are not acceptable. 

Your institution may require several months to produce an official transcript, so you should look into your institution's arrangements well in advance of the application deadline. A degree certificate is not considered 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.

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 beginning in Michaelmas term (October) 2016, you will normally be required to submit an official transcript with your final results by 31 August, though some departments may set an earlier deadline. If you are applying for a research course and it will not be possible for you to meet this deadline, please contact your department to check whether your application can be considered for a later start date.

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 – 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, in lieu of a transcript. This confirmation should include any details about your study that the institution can confirm (eg matriculation year, degree title, 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 around 4,000 to 5,000 words - rather than two shorter pieces, or vice versa. If your course allows this, it will be stated on the course page.

To do this, upload your longer document as 'Written work 1' in your application and for 'Written work 2' upload the following text as a PDF or Word document:

"I have included one long essay in lieu of the two short essays as permitted by the department."


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 is available, along with instructions, 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 and send them to us separately via our upload form once available. 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. 

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/course director from the master’s course. 

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. 

References must be submitted:

  • to the online reference system

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

  • directly by the referee

    References that you upload to the application form 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, Hotmail, the University may not accept the reference. You may only register a personal email address if there is no alternative and your referee uses the address for all institutional/professional business.

Your referees will be sent an automated reference request when you register their information on the ‘Referees’ tab in your application. You should register them as soon as you have selected your course and before you complete the rest of the form. 

Please check all details are correct before saving your referees’ details, particularly the email address. The reference request will not be sent until you tick the confirmation box and navigate away from the page.

The automated email your referees receive includes your name, the course you have applied to and 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 are advised to send your referees the entry requirements for the course so they can comment on your performance against the requirements.

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

Whilst you must register three referees, some departments (where indicated on the course page) 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.

Tracking your references

After the initial automated request we will not contact referees on your behalf. You can track whether we have received your references via automated email notifications sent to you whenever a reference has been submitted via the online reference system. References sent via any other means are not tracked in this system.

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.

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

  • 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.

  • 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 and Funding as early as possible.

  • If you need to replace a referee you have already registered or change an existing referee’s email address, please contact Graduate Admissions and Funding.

References for continuing Oxford graduates

If you are applying for readmission, your department may allow you to reuse one or more references from your master’s course application – check your course page for details on how many may be reused. 

You must request at least one new reference, which should be from a supervisor or course director for your master's course; if s/he was used as a referee for your previous application, s/he will need to provide an updated reference. 

You will be able to indicate which references you want to reuse in your application form.

After you submit your application we will transfer any references to be re-used to your new application record.

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 meet the entry requirements, as admissions to Oxford are highly competitive, and that you are familiar with the structure and content of the course.

The course pages will show whether your preferred course is currently accepting applications for 2016-17 entry. 

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.

Full-time/part-time study

There is a list of graduate courses available for part-time study, though most 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 
  • state one college preference.

For an overview of Oxford’s college system and details of each college, 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 state a college preference will not affect how your department assesses your application or, ultimately, whether or not it decides to make you an offer. If you are offered a place by a department, 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 and Funding 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 require college membership. You can check whether college membership is required on the ‘Colleges’ tab of each course page.


The information you provide on 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.

There are over 1,000 full scholarships available at Oxford for entry in 2016-17. For more than 70% 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 usually 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 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 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.

If you wish 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 are required to 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 may nominate a third party, such as a relative, for the purposes of handling your application. We will not discuss your application with anyone else 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) for advice.


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 references, but it will not assess the content of these files to ensure that they are correct and legible. This remains your responsibility and you should check that your documents meet all of the requirements (length, certification etc) detailed on your course page and in this Application Guide. 

When you submit your application you will be required to sign a declaration confirming that all information provided is - to the best of your knowledge - true, accurate, current and complete, 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 department until all the necessary supporting documents and references have been received by the relevant deadline. 

If the form is incorrectly completed, the application fee is not paid or if required documents have not been received by the deadline, your application will not normally be assessed.

Assessment of your application

You will receive an email notification from the Graduate Admissions office once your application has been sent to the department for assessment. Usually this notification is sent within a few working days, but it may take up to several weeks around deadlines.

Whilst the department will start to assess your application once you have sent the minimum required documents for your course, you may be requested to submit additional documents for your application to be fully assessed and a final decision to be made. 

You will be notified of the outcome of your application by the department, usually around eight to ten weeks after the deadline. Details of whether interviews are usually held are provided via the entry requirements on course pages.

More information on the decision-making timescales and the process after your application is submitted is available in our section 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 enquiries and documents to your application. 

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

You must notify us if your contact details change at any time during the admissions process as the University will need to contact you throughout the process.

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 online query form or call the Graduate Admissions and Funding office on +44 (0) 1865 270059 during our usual office hours (Monday to Friday, 0900 to 1700 GMT/BST).

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 complaints information.