Research excellence | University of Oxford
Astrophysics
A graduate presenting work in astrophysics
(Image Credit: Joseph Caruana / Graduate Photography Competition)

Research excellence

Oxford is one of the world’s top research universities.

We are famous for our research excellence and innovation, and home to some of the most talented researchers in the world. Our work is ground-breaking, collaborative and interdisciplinary, and improves the lives of millions of people.

Oxford’s research was ranked first in the world in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2020. The University was also first in the UK overall in the latest Research Excellent Framework (REF), with the highest volume of “world-leading” (4*) research of any UK institution. In 2017-18, we received £579.1 million in research funding.

Cutting-edge research

The University is at the forefront of research on topics of national, regional and global significance. Our researchers tackle issues ranging from cybersecurity and climate change to tropical disease and migration, and spanning every region of the world. Find out more about the research taking place in our academic divisions:

Graduate research at Oxford

Graduate students are central to the University's research efforts. They join our academic staff in working to answer fundamental questions and tackle some of the major challenges facing the world today.

As a world-class, research-intensive university, Oxford offers excellent research opportunities across the disciplines. We look for the most promising students to join our outstanding departments and faculties.

You can read our introduction to research courses at Oxford, or browse the full list of graduate research courses available. Many of our taught courses also include a research component, and can provide a strong foundation for progressing to a research degree.

Life as a graduate researcher

An Oxford research degree is an opportunity to immerse yourself in your chosen area, pursue your own ideas and make a significant and original contribution to knowledge.

Joining a community of over 6,300 graduate researchers, you’ll work alongside your peers and leading experts in your field, who will inspire and support you throughout your time here. You’ll have access to world-class facilities and resources in your subject, and you’ll be encouraged to get involved in the intellectual life of your department and the wider academic community.

Through one of our graduate schools, you’ll also have access to a wide-ranging programme of training sessions and workshops to help you develop as a researcher and prepare for your career, whether in academia or outside it.

We provide a supportive environment in which researchers at every stage of their career can flourish. We're dedicated to fostering research collaborations across the world with research institutions, research agencies, funding bodies, industrial and commercial partners, sponsors and benefactors. Find out more about the career development opportunities we offer to researchers on our Careers page. 

On our YouTube channel, watch some of our current and former students talk about their research at Oxford, from advanced cooling technologies for jet engines to how blood stem cells are made

Research courses at Oxford

Find a research course

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