How to apply
Visit this page for our entry criteria and what you need to make an application, alongside some further resources to support you.
The main application deadline for entry in October 2024 will be Friday 1 December 2023. The Spring 2024 application deadline will be Friday 1 March 2024.
What to do before you apply
You are advised to make enquiries a year prior to intended entry. We strongly encourage you to look at our Research pages to identify areas of interest to you and then directly contact the Principal Investigator (Group Leader) to discuss possibilities of joining them. This should be addressed before you submit your application to the University as you must nominate on your application form, your intended supervisor with whom you have had correspondence and agreement of your intended research project. Selection of the correct research area programme code is crucially important.
Our multidisciplinary research is split into six key themes. Due to the cross-cutting nature of our work, our research groups often work across more than one. Please take the time to read through these and the groups associated with each theme:
Cardiac Science - understanding heart disease using experimentation and computational physiology
Cell Physiology - understanding cellular regulation and communication
Development and Cell Biology - understanding growth, evolution and the onset of disease
Functional Genomics - understanding genetics through computation and experimentation
Metabolism and Endocrinology - understanding the role of hormones and energy production
Neuroscience - understanding brain function and disease
The main application deadline for students wishing to be considered for funding in the Divisional & Departmental funding competition is in early December each year at 12 noon GMT. Applications for divisional funding must have an agreed supervisor in order to be considered at that deadline. Interviews are held in January.
International students must allow time for obtaining an ATAS and then a Student Visa prior to starting a course.
The University seeks to attract applicants of the highest quality and potential, regardless of background. Decisions on the admission of students will be based on (a) the individual merits of each candidate as assessed against the selection criteria, and (b) the University’s ability to provide appropriate research opportunities and supervision consistent with the candidate’s research interests.
DPAG will only consider admitting applicants who can give evidence of a strong academic record. Transcripts should be uploaded to the application form. An original transcript, confirming final degree outcome, is required in order to satisfy an entry condition. This should be received by the Department, directly from the awarding institution.
English Language Requirements
DPAG’s English language certification requirement is set at the Higher level (as specified in the Graduate Prospectus) which must be met in full. A waiver may only be requested (a letter uploaded to the application form) if there is suitable alternative evidence of the candidate having met the required level of English language proficiency. The grounds and procedure for granting such a waiver are set out in full in the English Language test waiver policy. The power to waive the requirement for certification lies with Divisional Boards only after the waiver request has been approved by the appropriate departmental authority. An original certificate, confirming examination, is required in order to satisfy an entry condition. This should be received by the Department, directly from the awarding body. The University does not accept the TOEFL language test any longer.
Your application will be considered by your first choice college after you receive, from us, an offer of a place. If your first choice college cannot offer you a place, the department will ensure that you receive an offer from another college. You are not required to make a separate application to a college. You should hear from a college within 8 weeks of receiving your offer letter from the Department. If you have not please contact us.
No person may be admitted as a Postgraduate Research (PGR) student unless they have also been admitted as a member of a college. Colleges collectively agree to admit all those offered a place for graduate study by a University Admitting Body. A College entry condition is to illustrate the ability to cover fees and living expenses, ideally throughout the duration of the DPhil programme.
Making an Application
All applicants must submit the following materials in order to be considered for admission to a research programme:
- A fully completed application form
- Three academic references
- Transcript(s) of previous higher education
- Statement of research interests/research proposal and a personal statement
- The application fee
Standardised CV Form
We will ask you to fill out an online form that requests certain information that you will likely have included on your CV. This form will request the same information from all applicants, and will provide this information to the assessors in an identical format. This allows us to ensure that we are comparing all applicants fairly, as we will ensure that we have the information that we require from everyone, rather than leaving it to chance that this is included on your CV.
Our assessors will see this information in the same format, meaning that they will be able to compare this information more easily, and not be influenced by differences in CV formatting. The aim of this process is to allow us to focus on the key objective pieces of information that will help us to assess your academic merit, potential, and suitability in the shortlisting procedure.
Instructions for submitting your CV
A CV/résumé is compulsory for all applications. You will need to upload a standardised CV to the graduate application form as part of your application. This standardised CV should be generated using the online form that requests certain information that you will likely have included on your CV. Once you have completed the form, you will have 15 minutes to download your CV as a PDF document.
This PDF document will be in the same format for all applicants and you should not modify the document before you upload it to your application, or submit your CV in a different format.
Full instructions and a link to the standard CV creation form are provided on the Medical Sciences Division website. The instructions page contains links to example clinical and non-clinical CVs, with details of what to include and suggested answer formats.
If you require help or advice while generating your CV using the online form, please contact the Medical Sciences Graduate School for assistance (email@example.com).
Note on Research Proposal
This must be in English and no more than 500 words. This will be assessed for: the coherence of the proposal; the originality of the project; evidence of motivation for and understanding of the proposed area of study; the feasibility of successfully completing the project in the time available for the course (a maximum of four years); commitment to the subject, beyond the requirements of the degree course; preliminary knowledge of research techniques; reasoning ability. It will be normal for your ideas subsequently to change as you investigate the evidence and develop your project. You should nevertheless make the best effort you can to demonstrate the extent of your research question, sources and method at this moment.
The applicant is responsible for providing these materials in sufficient time to meet the published deadlines for applications. Applicants must include in their applications details of all periods of study at university level, and all qualifications attempted whilst at university.
Students must arrive in time for the induction programmes provided by the Department and Colleges. These are held in the week before the official start of the University academic year (i.e. week 0 of Michaelmas term). This is usually the 1st week in October. View the dates for University terms.
Interviews are held the second week of January and ad-hoc thereafter.