Two students walking in the grounds of St Edmund Hall College next to flowering wisteria. By John Cairns.
Two students walking in the grounds of St Edmund Hall College next to flowering wisteria. By John Cairns.

Recognised students

Recognised Student status is given to graduate research students who are registered with another university and have been admitted to undertake research for a minimum of one and maximum of three terms. It is also a status given to early career researchers admitted to work with a University of Oxford academic or researcher.

The status of Recognised Student is intended primarily for graduates of some years’ standing engaged in research elsewhere who wish to work in Oxford on a specific topic under the guidance of an academic familiar with the chosen area of study. As a Recognised Student you are not affiliated to a college and will not receive a University of Oxford qualification or formal accreditation for your studies here. 

If you have been offered a place as a Recognised Student, your academic department will be in contact with you to confirm arrangements for your time in Oxford. For information related to the pandemic, please see our coronavirus pages on our website and the FAQs for incoming students. These FAQs may not all be relevant to Recognised Students, but they do cover some general information that may be useful to you.

Applying for Recognised Student status

Under this status, you spend a period of up to three terms (ie one academic year) at Oxford, associated with an academic department and an Academic Advisor to offer general guidance on your area of research.  The first step in applying as a Recognised Student is to contact the academic department where you intend to apply via the details provided in our individual Graduate Admissions course pages and obtain agreement from them, and from a member of the academic staff who is prepared to act as your academic advisor. Once you have approval you will be required to submit an application form, together with a number of supporting documents available from the Graduate Admissions website. Please note that there is an application fee of £50.

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.

Undertaking your research

You will be allocated an Academic Advisor who will provide general advice about your research topic. Your advisor will not provide systematic instruction such as reading or commenting on written work because you are expected to be sufficiently advanced in your studies to undertake research largely unsupervised. Your advisor will expect to see you two or three times each term to discuss your work as a colleague rather than as a teacher, and will report on your academic progress using the Graduate Supervision Reporting (GSR).

You will be entitled to use the University libraries, to study/conduct your research in any University department (subject to the agreement of the head of department) and attend lectures. Lectures (including seminars, classes or informal instruction) may only be attended with permission from the lecturer, and those given in any college building are subject to the permission of the college concerned.


You are advised to organise accommodation before you arrive in Oxford. As you are not a member of a college you will not have access to college accommodation. 

The University hosts a website called Studentpad which is a platform where private landlords can advertise for tenants associated with the University . 


University tuition fees are payable to cover the cost of access to the University facilities and the guidance provided by your academic advisor. Tuition fees do not include college fees (as you are not affiliated with any college), accommodation, or other course and maintenance fees.

Fees must be paid within 14 days of the start of each term. Failure to pay the correct amount on time may result in the cancellation of your admission. You may pay for more than one term at a time. You are strongly encouraged to pay your fees by credit card before arriving in Oxford by using the University's online shop. Instructions for how to pay fees can be obtained by emailing

It is important you let your department and Student Information know who will be paying your fees and their contact details well before your arrival. If a sponsor is paying they will be sent an invoice based on the information you provide. If your department has given you a bursary that covers your fees, you must bring a letter of financial sponsorship with you to present on arrival. If you have queries regarding payment, contact Student Information.

University card form

You will receive the University card form which you should complete and return in advance, according to the directions on the form.

If you return your form before arriving, you will receive your University card when you complete the enrolment process with Student Information. If you fill in the University card form after arrival, you will need to to arrange an appointment with Student Information at a later date to pick up the card. In both cases you must book an appointment with Student Information in advance to complete your enrolment and collect your card. Your University card acts as an identity card whenever you are on college or University premises, provides access to University libraries, IT services and the Language Centre. It is also used as a payment card or for building access in some departments.

Student Self Service

Before arriving as a new student in Oxford you should complete the first step of your University registration using Student Self Service. Your Oxford Single Sign On IT account details will be emailed to you ahead of your arrival. Student Information will complete your registration once you arrive. Once your registration is complete you will be able to log back into Student Self Service to print an enrolment certificate and check and update your personal details throughout the year.

Arriving at Oxford

You will need to arrange an appointment in advance with the Student Information team in order to complete your enrolment and collect your card:

 Please bring with you:

  • the letter of admission sent to you by your department
  • if applicable, any financial sponsorship letter that you have received from your department
  • your passport (if you are not a national of the EEA or Switzerland Student Information will require your passport to scan according to Home Office regulations)
  • your signed University card form and passport sized photo (if you have not already sent this in).

What if I have to postpone or cancel my study?

If your circumstances change and you have to postpone your arrival or cancel your study, please inform your Graduate Studies Assistant and Student Information.

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