Student with a guitar case looking at rooftops at sunset
Sunset from the Information Engineering Building (IEB)
(Image credit: Zhoudan Pan / Graduate Photography Competition)

Recognised Students

Recognised Student status is a special status for postgraduate research students who are registered with another university, and who have been admitted by a faculty or department at the University of Oxford to undertake research under the guidance of an Oxford academic.

If you are admitted as a Recognised Student, you will be allocated an Academic Advisor, who will give general advice about the research topic, but not systematic instruction, such as reading and commenting on written work, as you are expected to be sufficiently well advanced in your studies to undertake research largely unsupervised. The Advisor would normally expect to see you only two or three times each term, and would discuss the work as a colleague rather than as a teacher.

You will not be affiliated to an Oxford college or hall, and will not receive an Oxford qualification or any formal accreditation for your studies at Oxford. Your admission is at the discretion of the faculty or department concerned.

You can only hold your Recognised Student status for a maximum of three terms. Your status is formalised in the Examination Regulations.

It is not possible to be admitted as a Recognised Student if you have already been matriculated as a member of the University of Oxford. In such a case, the only possibility is to return as a matriculated non-award student, which requires a college place, and incurs course fees at the Home or Overseas rate.


In order to start the application process you need to get in touch with the department where you intend to apply and obtain provisional agreement from them. In some cases, the department will also require you to obtain provisional acceptance from a member of the academic staff who is prepared to act as your Academic Advisor or to apply by a deadline earlier than those recommended below. To find the contact details for the department you will need to select a course from the A-Z listing that is similar to your area of intended research and refer to the 'Further information and enquires' section of the course page.

Completing the form

If the department agrees to consider your recognised student application, you will then be asked to complete an application form using the link below.

Recognised Student Application Form for entry in 2023-24

If you require a version of the application form in an alternative format, please contact the Graduate Admissions and Recruitment Office by email ( or via the online enquiry form.

As part of the application, you are required to provide:

  1. evidence of degrees previously obtained;
  2. a statement of between 500 and 1,000 words outlining the proposed subject of your research;
  3. two reference letters from senior academic members at your current university;
  4. for applicants whose first language is not English, you must submit evidence of achievement of the Standard or Higher score as would be required for graduate level student in this department. Further information about the English language requirements and further information about English language test waivers can be found in our Application Guide.

An application fee is required to complete the application and should be paid prior to submitting your application, as detailed below. 

Paying the application fee

Recognised Students are required to pay an application fee of £50. This should be paid via the University of Oxford Online Stores prior to submitting your application.

Pay the application fee

After you have submitted your application, this fee cannot be refunded, even if you decide to withdraw it later or if it is not accepted. The payment will not form any part of the tuition and college fees you need to pay if you are offered and accept a place at Oxford.

In some circumstances, the application fee can be waived: If you are resident in a country on the list of eligible low-income countries and you are not able to pay the application fee, you can request a waiver of this fee within your application as a recognised student.

Your application will not be considered unless you have paid the fee or been granted a fee waiver.

Submitting your application

You will need to submit the required documentation to the Graduate Admissions and Recruitment Office using the upload portal. The recommended submission date for the form varies by the term of admission. Please also note that some departments may impose earlier deadlines for departmental reasons. 

 Recommended application deadlines
Term of admissionRecommended deadline if no visa is requiredRecommended deadline if a visa is required
Trinity 2023 (2022-23 entry)Friday 17 February 2023Friday 27 January 2023
Michaelmas 2023 (2023-24 entry)Friday 25 August 2023Friday 21 July 2023
Hilary 2024 (2023-24 entry)Friday 24 November 2023Friday 20 October 2023
Trinity 2024 (2023-24 entry)Friday 16 February 2024Friday 26 January 2024

As the main application deadlines for graduate study are from early December to the third week in January, please avoid submitting your recognised student application over this period as we will not be able to process it until February at the earliest. 

Please note that it is your responsibility to check how long it will take to obtain a Visa in your country and to plan the submission of your application accordingly. You should ensure that the start of your stay corresponds with the start date of an academic term (see the dates of term page for further details).

Upload your application documentation

If you have any difficulties with uploading your application documents, please contact the Graduate Admissions and Recruitment Office by email or via the online enquiry form.

Assessment of your application


The University is committed to making reasonable adjustments to enable students with disabilities (including dyslexia, dyspraxia and other specific learning difficulties, sensory or mobility impairments, Autism Spectrum Condition, long-term health conditions or mental health difficulties) to participate fully in student life. If you have a disability you are strongly advised to refer to the further information in the Disability section and contact the Disability Advisory Service ( before you arrive in Oxford to discuss any disability-related study support requirements you might have.

Criminal convictions

Please note that in accordance with the University’s obligations towards students and staff, we will request information about relevant, unspent criminal convictions during the offer-stage process for Recognised Students so that appropriate steps can be taken to facilitate effective support and/or assess whether a prospective student poses an unacceptable risk to students and staff.

The University has adopted the following policy where an applicant with an offer for a Recognised Student place has a relevant, unspent criminal conviction which has either been declared by an applicant to the University or which has otherwise come to the University’s attention (such as where information is disclosed by a third party). Full details of the University’s process for prospective students declaring a criminal conviction can be found in our University Policies pages.

If you are in receipt of an offer to become a Recognised Student, you will in due course be asked to declare any relevant unspent criminal convictions.

'Relevant' convictions are:

  • any kind of violence including (but not limited to) threatening behaviour, offences concerning the intention to harm or offences which resulted in actual bodily harm;
  • offences listed in the Sex Offences Act 2003;
  • the unlawful supply of controlled drugs or substances where the conviction concerns commercial drug dealing or trafficking;
  • offences involving firearms;
  • offences involving arson; and
  • offences listed in the Terrorism Act 2006.

Convictions that are 'spent' (as defined by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974) or will be spent at the point of starting your time as a Recognised Student do not need to be declared. If you are uncertain as to whether your conviction is spent, please seek independent advice.

If you require a visa or you are extending your visa, then you must declare any unspent criminal convictions, including driving offences, when you apply to the UK Home Office. Please see the relevant sections of the Home Office document 'Immigration Rules part 9: grounds for refusal' for information regarding possible circumstances under which a visa application may be refused.

After you apply

For more information about fees for Recognised Students and arriving in Oxford please refer to the Recognised Students page on the Oxford Students website.

International Students

Immigration considerations

If you are not a UK or Irish national (or do not have settled or pre-settled status through the EU Settlement Scheme or indefinite leave to remain) you will need immigration permission for study in the UK.

If your period of study will be for more than six months you must apply for a Student visa before coming to the UK. You will need to request your department to assign you a Confirmation of Acceptance for Study (CAS). See our website for information on applying for a Student visa. Student visa holders have restricted permission to work in the UK and further information about restrictions on working can be found on our Working while studying page.

If your period of study will be for less than a maximum of six months you could apply for a Student visa as above or alternatively you could use the visitor route. You will need a visitor for study letter from your Oxford Department and written confirmation from your home institution that your research in Oxford will be part of or relevant to your course. If you are a ‘Visa National’ you must apply for a six-month visitor visa before travelling to the UK. Please refer to the Government's visa pages to check if you have to apply for a visa and also to apply for a visa.

If you are a ‘Non-visa National’ and coming for less than a maximum of six months you do not have to apply for a visa before travel. You can instead show your visitor for study letter and the letter from your home institution on arrival at UK Border Control and ask to be admitted as a visitor. Alternatively, if you are a nationality that can use the eGates at UK Border Control, you can enter via the eGates as a visitor. Visitors are prohibited from working in the UK.

Please note, whether you are studying under the Student Route or as a visitor you cannot apply for a visa from within the UK and so cannot extend your period of study. It is your responsibility to check how long it will take to obtain a visa in your country and to plan the submission of your application accordingly. You should ensure that the start of your stay corresponds with the start date of an academic term.

Please see the University's further information on visas and immigration or alternatively, you can email the Student Immigration team at for more details.

English language requirements

All students are expected to meet the University’s English language proficiency requirements for admission.

Unless you are a national of a majority English-speaking country, as defined by the UK Home Office, or have completed a full-time degree-level course of a minimum of nine months, entirely taught and assessed in English, and completed within two academic years from the start of your proposed study in Oxford, then you are required to submit evidence of language test results at the level expected by the department (either standard or higher), which should be no more than two years old at the start of your study in Oxford, from one of the language tests that the University approves

Our Application Guide for graduate applications provides further information about English language proficiency, including information on English-speaking countries, accepted English proficiency tests and minimum requirements.

If you will be applying for a Student visa and are not a national of one of the countries listed as English-speaking, our CAS will state that the University of Oxford has assessed your English language proficiency and it meets the visa requirement. You do not need to submit any evidence of English language proficiency for your Student visa application.

When you arrive

For information about arriving in Oxford please refer to the Recognised Students page on the Oxford Students website. If you have any questions about life in Oxford, you can also email the Student Information team at