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How do I apply?

See the main University of Oxford Graduate Studies pages for guidance on your application and links to the online form.

Is there a deadline for applying?

The deadline for both the DPhil in Pharmacology and the MSc(Res) in Pharmacology is Friday 3 December 2021, although later applications may be considered if places are available

What are the academic entry requirements?

A minimum of an upper second-class undergraduate degree (or equivalent for non-UK students) primarily in a biological or chemical science, but applications from high-calibre candidates with mathematical and physical science backgrounds would be welcomed.  

What are the English language requirements?

English is the language of instruction for all programmes offered at Oxford and it is mandatory that all theses or examination papers are written in English. The University has approved both a standard and a higher level of required ability in English and departments may select which is most appropriate for the individual research programme of study concerned.

For the DPhil in Pharmacology, the standard level of required English is mandatory. If your first language is not English, you must supply suitable evidence (an original certificate that is not more than two years old and issued by the responsible body) that you have reached the relevant standard before you may be offered a place. 

Do all of my references need to be academic?

You should nominate referees who can provide an informed view of your academic ability and suitability for your chosen programme of study. The University will accept professional references, if these are relevant to the programme of study, but personal references, such as those from family and friends, are not acceptable.

How much does the programme cost?

Please refer to the University of Oxford Graduate Studies pages for information about costs, including an online calculator.

Are there any scholarships available for students?

Information on available scholarships can be accessed here.

St Cross is also currently accepting applications for the E.P. Abraham Scholarship from students who will begin studying for a DPhil research degree in the chemical, biological/life and medical sciences for entry in October 2018.

Details can be found at: 

How do I choose which college to apply to?

All candidates accepted by the Department are guaranteed a college place. You can state your college of preference on your application form or the department can select a college on your behalf. Once the Department has accepted your application, the college will review your application and if it cannot offer you a place, your application will be referred to another college.

There are a wide range of colleges in Oxford. They range from the old, traditional colleges with a mix of undergraduates and postgraduates to newer, more informal colleges some of which are only for graduates. Some colleges are large with 300 or more graduate students; others are smaller with only 100 graduate students. Some colleges are located in the centre of Oxford within walking distance of the Department of Pharmacology, whilst others are a cycle-ride away.

What does the Admissions process involve?

Once your application has met all the University entry requirements by the Graduate Admissions and Funding Office, it is ‘released’ to the department for evaluation. Applications are then initially evaluated by the named potential supervisor(s) on your application form who then recommends you for short-listing.  Short-listed applicants will then be interviewed by a panel from the Department including the Director of Graduate Studies and two or more academic members of staff.

What will the interview be like?

You be asked to prepare a short presentation relating to a piece of research you have done as a part of your undergraduate degree or any other research you have done to date which is relevant to your application to study here at Oxford (please bring your presentation on a memory stick). The presentation should take no longer than 10 minutes and will serve as a platform for the committees to ask you questions within your own area of competence. The whole process (presentation and interview) should take no longer than 30 minutes. Interviews for international candidates can be conducted via Skype.

When will a decision be made on my application?

  • Early January applications - Departmental decisions will be made by mid-March.
  • March applications - Departmental decisions will be made by end of April.

When does the course start?

Students normally commence their studies at the beginning of Michaelmas term in October.  This enables students to take advantage of University and College induction events.  It is also possible to start your degree at the beginning of Hilary term (January) and Trinity term (April).

How long is the course and what are the term dates?

The DPhil is a three-year, full-time course.  The MSc (Res) is normally a two-year course, though students with appropriate background in research may complete it in one year. Research degree programmes do not follow term dates as is the case with taught degrees. Students are expected to be in continuous attendance except during college closures and when a leave of absence has been agreed with their supervisor.

Can I study part-time or by distance learning?

The Department does not offer a part-time or distance learning research degree programme.  

Is it possible to submit an application before taking a language test?

It is possible to apply for your degree before taking a language test however your application will be kept on hold until a valid certificate is received.

If I cannot take up my offer of a place this year, can I defer it to next year?

Offers can usually only be deferred if all Departmental and College conditions have been met. 

In addition, if unforeseen and unforeseeable circumstances that are outside your control will prevent you from taking up your offer on the start date indicated in your offer then a deferral may be granted. This might include, for example, ill health or bereavement. In some instances, deferrals can also be requested because of visa application issues