Applications for graduate study are first considered by a faculty or department and then by a college. If an application is successful the applicant will first receive an offer from the Faculty and then a further offer from a college. There is further information on colleges below.
This page contains information relating to application to the Faculty of Oriental Studies. Please consult the Graduate Courses page for information on the programmes on offer within the Faculty.
Applications should normally be submitted online through the central Graduate Admissions Office. Links to general information on how to apply and the online application form are available at the bottom of this page.
How to Apply
Applications for all programmes should normally be submitted online. You can complete and submit your application and upload electronic copies of supporting materials. You can also register the email details of your referees online and they will be contacted directly to request references, confidentially and securely. Don’t worry if you don’t have everything to hand right away – you may save a part-completed form and sign in later to complete the remaining sections. However, your application will only be considered when it is submitted with all the required supporting documents at the next available application deadline. Please note that this includes your references and that it is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that all references are received in time. To submit your completed application online, simply click the “submit” button.
Paper applications are only accepted in exceptional circumstances. Please see the Application Guide for information on paper applications.
There is a fee of £50.00 for each programme of study for which you apply. This is payable by credit card on submission of each online application, and by cheque, money order or banker’s draft on submission of each paper application.
Current Oxford students who are enrolled on a Master’s degree (either MSt or MPhil) can apply for readmission to the DPhil. Readmission applicants do not have to pay the application fee and can reuse some of the materials they used for their original Master’s application.
Most applications for graduate study in the Faculty are assessed by the Faculty in one of three assessment periods, depending on the deadline by which the application has been received. Information on the current deadlines can be found in the Application Guide. Applications received after the March deadline will continue to be assessed by the Faculty so long as places continue to be available on the course for which you applied (up to an absolute maximum of 31 August 2013). Please note however that the Master of Philosophy in Modern Middle Eastern Studies only accepts applications for the January deadline. All applicants for this programme should expect to receive a response in early April.
Applications received by the November deadline will receive a response in late January; those received in January will receive a response in early April; and those received in March will receive a response in late May. Your application will be treated in an identical fashion by the Faculty regardless of which deadline you meet.
Apart from the time at which you will receive a response the most important difference between applications submitted for one deadline rather than another is that many funding schemes, such as the Arts & Humanities Research Council and the Clarendon Fund, require applications to be received by the January deadline at the latest.
Your application will be assessed for evidence of proven and potential academic excellence. All parts of your application (Transcripts, References, Witten work, Statement of purpose and Research Proposal) will be used to assess this. Information about each of these parts is provided in the Faculty’s Graduate Admissions FAQ
Minimum Entry Requirements
The Faculty will require you to meet whichever specific conditions it deems most appropriate for admission to the course for which you have applied in light of your existing qualifications.
Applicants currently enrolled on or having completed a relevant Master’s course must normally be predicted to achieve or to have achieved the equivalent of a good pass. The final results must be available by the start date of the programme for which you are applying.
Academic ability: Proven and potential academic excellence
Applicants are normally expected to be predicted or to have achieved a first-class or an upper second class undergraduate degree (or equivalent international qualification). For applicants with a GPA grading, the minimum we seek is 3.5 out of 4.0. If you have international qualifications that do not fit the above specifications and you are unsure of how they would compare, you can request an assessment of your qualification from NARIC. NARIC will charge for their service.
Doctor of Philosophy (DPhil): In most cases an adequate knowledge of the relevant Oriental language is required. A good Master’s degree is normally a prerequisite.
Master of Studies (MSt): For MSt degrees students are normally expected to have a previous degree in the field they wish to study or in a closely related area. See website entries for individual MSt degree programmes for further details.
English Language Requirements: If English is not your first language, or you will require a visa to study in the UK and are not from a majority English speaking country (as defined by the UK Border Agency), you will normally need to provide evidence that you have reached the required standard in a recognised English language test. For all programmes, the Faculty requires the higher level in any recognised English language test accepted by the University. Please see the Guidance for International Students page for more information.
More information on the way in which applications are assessed and about our English language requirements can be found in the Faculty’s admissions FAQ.
Choosing a College for Oriental Studies
For applicants who do not know Oxford, choosing a college can be perplexing. If you have completed undergraduate studies at Oxford you may prefer to stay at your undergraduate college. Or, wherever you studied previously, you may wish to select a college that admits only graduate students. It is worth noting that availability of accommodation, costs, IT provision, and other things can vary considerably from one college to another, so it is important to do some research before selecting one. On the graduate application form, you may choose to either(i) indicate that you have no college preference, in which case a college will be selected on your behalf, or (ii) state a college preference. You will not be able to amend your choice after submitting your application. Whether or not you state a college preference will not affect how your application is assessed or whether or not you are made an offer. For further information, please refer to the Application Guide.
Funding in Oriental Studies
We seek applications from students of the very highest calibre, irrespective of their background or personal circumstances, so whether you have yet secured funding is not taken into consideration in the decision to make an initial offer a place. Graduate study at Oxford is a rewarding experience but is also a significant investment, and funding is one of the biggest problems that graduate students encounter. We aim to ensure that outstanding candidates have sufficient funding opportunities to enable them to take up their place. Please note that the initial offer of a place will not be confirmed until the college which gives you an initial offer of a place is satisfied that you have sufficient funding to cover your fees and living costs for the standard period of fee liability for your course.
The Faculty strongly recommends that no student embark on a course without having full arrangements for funding in place. Masters courses are intended to be full-time, and the Faculty discourages research students from seeking employment to fund their studies.
Fee rates for courses offered by the Faculty of Oriental Studies have been the subject of a review and in many cases have been increased significantly. This affects both Home/EU and Overseas rates. The latest information on Fees and Living Costs is available here.
The Faculty regrets that it is unable to offer individual funding advice, owing to the large number of different schemes available and the wide range of applicants’ situations and needs. To research funding schemes the best places to start are the University’s pages for funding for prospective graduate students and the Oxford Funding Search tool.
Please do remember that if you are applying for Arts & Humanities Research Council or Clarendon Fund scholarships you must submit your graduate application (indicating the same) by the late January deadline. You are advised to make careful note of the deadlines and other criteria associated with any other financial awards that you apply for.
The Faculty has some targeted funding to support graduate students. Most of this is available as small grants to assist students during their studies rather than full scholarships. You can find information about Faculty specific funding here.
Graduate Admissions FAQ
If you have additional questions after reading the information above about when to apply, how your application will be assessed, what essays to submit or referees to choose, or how you will hear the outcome of your application, please see our Graduate Admissions FAQ.