DPhil in Biochemistry (Skaggs-Oxford Programme) | University of Oxford
Eppendorf tubes
Eppendorf tubes in an Oxford laboratory
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DPhil in Biochemistry (Skaggs-Oxford Programme)

About the course

The joint Skaggs-Oxford Programme permits highly qualified students to gain a broader and deeper interdisciplinary research experience than is possible from a single institution's doctoral programme. It provides diversity in curriculum, scientific approaches and research training, with access to facilities and expertise at both Oxford and Scripps. It also offers the experience of the distinct cultures of the United States and Britain.

The Skaggs-Oxford Programme is a joint five-year programme in biology or chemistry at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California, and biochemistry at the University of Oxford, leading to the award of a joint PhD/DPhil degree.

You will be admitted as a probationer research student and will be subject to both Oxford regulations and Scripps student guidelines. You will participate in the Oxford professional development course and must succeed in the oral qualifying examination. In consultation with your advisor, you will then decide when to relocate to either Scripps or Oxford. You will be required to carry out research for a minimum of two years at Oxford and have the option of beginning either at Oxford or at Scripps. The thesis and the research upon which it is based are expected to conform to both Scripps and Oxford criteria for the award of the degree.

Graduate destinations

The majority of alumni go on to pursue a career within academic or industrial research.

Changes to this course and your supervision

The University will seek to deliver this course in accordance with the description set out in this course page. However, there may be situations in which it is desirable or necessary for the University to make changes in course provision, either before or after registration. In certain circumstances, for example due to visa difficulties or because the health needs of students cannot be met, it may be necessary to make adjustments to course requirements for international study.

Where possible your academic supervisor will not change for the duration of your course. However, it may be necessary to assign a new academic supervisor during the course of study or before registration for reasons which might include sabbatical leave, parental leave or change in employment.

For further information, please see our page on changes to courses.

Other courses you may wish to consider

Applicants are strongly advised to visit the Medical Sciences Graduate School website to help them identify the most suitable course and supervisors.

If you're thinking about applying for this course, you may also wish to consider the courses listed below. These courses may have been suggested due to their similarity with this course, or because they are offered by the same department or faculty.

Courses suggested by the department

Biochemistry DPhil

All graduate courses offered by the Department of Biochemistry

Entry requirements for entry in 2020-21

Information regarding the entry requirements for this course can be accessed at the following location:

DPhil in Biochemistry (Skaggs-Oxford Programme) entry requirements

Additional requirements

Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS)

Some postgraduate research students in science, engineering and technology subjects will need an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate prior to applying for a Tier 4 visa. Further information can be found on our Tier 4 (General) Student visa page. For some courses, the requirement to apply for an ATAS certificate may depend on your research area.


You will have access to:

  • experimental facilities, as appropriate to their research
  • IT support from both the Department of Biochemistry and University IT Services
  • Library services such as the Radcliffe Science Library and the Cairns Library

The provision of project-specific resources will be agreed with the relevant supervisor during the planning stages for the research project.

The Department of Biochemistry has in-house research facilities, including DNA and protein sequencing, NMR, X-ray diffraction, crystallization, biophysical analysis, analytical ultracentrifugation, FACS analysis, imaging microscopes.

There is the possibility to use facilities in other departments across the division and to access remote facilities at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, DIAMOND Light Source and Harwell Science and Innovation Campus.

You will be able to use the cafeteria at the Department of Biochemistry,  where interaction between research groups in the department is encouraged. Departmental seminars and colloquia bring students together with academic and other research staff in the department to hear about on-going research, and provide an opportunity for networking and socialising.


There are over 1,100 full or partial graduate scholarships available across the University. You will be automatically considered for over two thirds of Oxford scholarships, if you fulfil the eligibility criteria and submit your graduate application by the relevant January deadline, with most scholarships awarded on the basis of academic merit and/or potential. To help identify those scholarships where you will be required to submit an additional application, use the Fees, funding and scholarships search and visit individual college websites using the links provided on our college pages.


Annual fees for entry in 2020-21

Fee status

Annual Course fees

Home/EU (including Islands)£7,970

Course fees are payable each year, for the duration of your fee liability (your fee liability is the length of time for which you are required to pay course fees). For courses lasting longer than one year, please be aware that fees will usually increase annually. For details, please see our guidance on likely increases to fees and charges.

Course fees cover your teaching as well as other academic services and facilities provided to support your studies. Unless specified in the additional information section below, course fees do not cover your accommodation, residential costs or other living costs. They also don’t cover any additional costs and charges that are outlined in the additional information below.

Following the period of fee liability, you may also be required to pay a University continuation charge and a college continuation charge. The University and college continuation charges are shown on the Continuation charges page.

For more information about course fees and fee liability, please see the Fees section of this website. EU applicants should refer to our dedicated webpage for details of the implications of the UK’s plans to leave the European Union.

Additional information

There are no compulsory elements of this course that entail additional costs beyond fees (or, after fee liability ends, continuation charges) and living costs. However, please note that, depending on your choice of research topic and the research required to complete it, you may incur additional expenses, such as travel expenses, research expenses, and field trips. You will need to meet these additional costs, although you may be able to apply for small grants from your department and/or college to help you cover some of these expenses.

Living costs

In addition to your course fees, you will need to ensure that you have adequate funds to support your living costs for the duration of your course.

For the 2020-21 academic year, the range of likely living costs for full-time study is between c. £1,135 and £1,650 for each month spent in Oxford. Full information, including a breakdown of likely living costs in Oxford for items such as food, accommodation and study costs, is available on our living costs page. When planning your finances for any future years of study in Oxford beyond 2020-21, you should allow for an estimated increase in living expenses of 3% each year.


The following colleges accept students on the DPhil in Biochemistry (Skaggs-Oxford Programme):

How to apply

Admission to the Skaggs-Oxford Programme is administered by The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, California, USA. To apply and for further details about the course, its requirements and deadline(s), you are advised to contact The Scripps Research Institute. 

Apply via The Scripps Institute How to Apply

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