Taught courses | University of Oxford
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Taught courses

Taught courses usually involve a range of core and optional course elements and the submission of a dissertation. Independent study is supported by seminars and lectures. Assessment may be by coursework, as well as by written examinations and a dissertation. 

Taught courses offered by the University of Oxford include: 

Master of Studies (MSt)

Students are normally required to undertake three terms of study followed by an examination. The exact composition will vary according to the course, but will usually involve a range of core and optional course elements often including research methods and the submission of a dissertation of 10,000–15,000 words. Study is supported by seminars and lectures. Assessment may be by coursework as well as by written examination papers and dissertation. Some course elements may be common with Master of Philosophy (MPhil) course and it is possible in some cases to form the foundation of an application to either the MPhil or DPhil.

Master of Science (MSc) by coursework

These degrees are generally offered in Science or Social Science subjects and typically require students to undertake one year of study. The exact composition of the degree will vary according to the course, but will often comprise a range of core and optional modules, supported by teaching in the form of lectures and seminars. Assessment is by a combination of course assignments (in many cases including a dissertation of around 10,000–15,000 words) and written examinations.

Master of Philosophy (MPhil)

This course is of a higher standing than the Master of Studies (MSt) and normally lasts for two years (six terms). In the first year, some of the course elements may be common with the MSt and at its end candidates may be required to pass a qualifying test before continuing. Some MPhils are organised so that the first year is taught and the second is predominantly research based. In the second year students are expected to complete a substantial dissertation of up to 30,000 words and to sit written examinations.

Combined Master of Science (MSc) and Doctor of Philosophy (DPhil)

Combined Master of Science (MSc) and Doctor of Philosophy (DPhil) programmes are four year courses that comprise a one-year taught MSc by coursework followed by a three-year research project leading to a DPhil. These course arrangements are often referred to as 1+3 programmes. By applying for a 1+3 programme, your application will automatically be considered for both the one-year taught MSc and the DPhil. Progression to the DPhil requires successful completion of the MSc. These programmes are special course arrangements and the constituent MSc and DPhil elements are not always offered separately as stand-alone courses. 

Bachelor of Civil Law (BCL); Magister Juris (MJur) 

These master’s level courses require one year of study. The BCL course is aimed at applicants whose previous legal training has been primarily in the common law, while the MJur is suitable for law graduates from civil law backgrounds. 

Master of Business Administration (MBA); Executive MBA (EMBA)

The MBA is a one-year full-time course, and the EMBA is a 21-month part-time modular course. Both courses are offered by the Saïd Business School.

Master of Business Administration (MBA) 1+1 programme

The Oxford 1+1 MBA is a unique, two-year graduate experience that combines the depth of a specialised, one-year master’s degree with the breadth of a top-ranking, one-year MBA.  For more information and list of courses available through the programme, please see the Oxford 1+1 MBA page.

Master of Fine Art (MFA)

The MFA is an intensive, interdisciplinary programme in the practice of contemporary art, designed to support studio-based and theoretical components of your artistic practice. This course is offered by the Ruskin School of Art.

Master of Public Policy (MPP)

The MPP is a twelve month full-time master’s course offered by the Blavatnik School of Government. As a Blavatnik student, you will learn from  top scholars to acquire the key cross-disciplinary knowledge and professional skills to address the complex public policy challenges of the twenty-first century. Students learn how policy is made, implemented and evaluated in governments around the world, and at local, regional and global levels.

Master of Theology (MTh)

The MTh in Applied Theology is two years in duration if taken full time. It is designed to enable theological reflection upon experience in pastoral practice mainly, but not only, in the context of ministry in the Church.

Bachelor of Philosophy (BPhil)

The BPhil is a two-year taught graduate degree, which is an intellectually demanding course requiring a background in philosophy, usually from undergraduate study.

Postgraduate Certificates and Postgraduate Diplomas

A number of one-year (three-term) certificates and diplomas are available to graduate students.

Foreign Service Programme

This is a one-year postgraduate course in Diplomatic Studies aimed at serving diplomats. Successful completion leads to the award of either the Certificate in Diplomatic Studies or the Postgraduate Diploma in Diplomatic Studies.

Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE)

This is a one-year, full-time course of teacher training for graduates. Please see the PGCE course page for details.

Taught courses A-Z listing

This A-Z contains a comprehensive list of Oxford's graduate taught courses, ordered by title.






Economics MPhil








Law MPhil


Master of Business Administration Oxford 1+1 MBA programme





Radiation Oncology combined MSc and DPhil



Theology MPhil





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