DPhil Asian and Middle Eastern Studies
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The DPhil in Asian and Middle Eastern Studies is the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies' main research degree. Supervision can be offered in the full-range of areas in which the faculty has expertise, namely Chinese studies, Egyptology and the ancient Near East, Eastern Christianity, Hebrew and Jewish studies, the Islamic world, Japanese studies, Korean studies and South and Inner Asia. All topics fall under the general degree title of DPhil in Asian and Middle Eastern Studies.
Through independent research, and with the guidance of your supervisor, you will be required to complete a thesis of 80,000 to 100,000 words.
The DPhil normally takes between three and four years to complete.
You will have the opportunity to attend faculty seminars, lectures and colloquia, as well as a variety of skills training sessions offered by the faculty, as appropriate to different stages of the graduate career. All research students are offered an opportunity to attend the tutorial teaching day at the faculty in Hilary term. Those completing the training are then placed on the Graduate Teaching Register and may provide teaching for undergraduates if the opportunity arises.
Graduates in Asian and Middle Eastern studies have found employment in many diverse fields including business, the civil service, finance, law, government, industry, and journalism and the media.
Many graduates have also undertaken further research into subjects linked with Asian and Middle Eastern studies and have pursued successful careers in the academic world, education, libraries, literature and museums.
You are strongly encouraged to contact a prospective supervisor, who should be a member of the teaching staff of the Faculty, before you apply to discuss the viability of your proposed research and whether supervision can be offered for your project.
You can see staff who are open to potential supervision using the 'Supervision' filter on our People page.
The allocation of graduate supervision for this course is the responsibility of the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies and it is not always possible to accommodate the preferences of incoming graduate students to work with a particular member of staff. Under exceptional circumstances a supervisor may be found outside the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies. In such circumstances, a second internal supervisor may be appointed to provide guidance on policy and procedures of the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies.
You will be assigned a supervisor(s) who has overall responsibility for the direction of your work on behalf of the faculty. Typically, you should expect to have meetings with your supervisor at least twice a term during the period of your study, often more frequently during the earlier stages of the research programme.
You will begin your programme as a Probationary Research Student (PRS), applying to transfer to full DPhil status by the start of your second year. If successful, a further assessment, to confirm DPhil status, will take place during the third year. The transfer of status and confirmation of status assessments are processes handled by academics other than the supervisor, and are an opportunity to receive substantive feedback on your work by experts other than your supervisor(s). The final thesis will be assessed through a viva voce examination, typically with one internal and one external examiner.
During your studies you will have access to the Nizami Ganjavi Library based in the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies.
In addition to this, there are a number of other specialist library collections in Oxford that focus on Asian and Middle Eastern studies, such as:
- Bodleian Asian and Middle Eastern Collections
- Sackler Library
- KB Chen China Centre Library
- Bodleian Japanese Library
- Griffith Institute
- St Antony’s Middle East Centre Library
- Leopold Muller Memorial Library.
Adjacent to the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies is the Ashmolean Museum, which houses superb collections. The Sackler Library includes the principal library for Egyptology and ancient Near Eastern Studies. The Khalili Research Centre is the University of Oxford's centre for research and teaching in the art and material culture of the Islamic societies of the Middle East and of non-Muslim members and neighbours.
You will also have access to the University's centrally provided electronic resources, the department's IT Officer and other bibliographic, archive or material sources as appropriate to the research topic. There is a computing room for the use of graduate students in the Faculty building, as well as a common room where tea and coffee are available and staff and students can meet. The provision of other resources specific to your project will be agreed with your supervisor as a part of the planning stages of the agreed project.
Sources of funding
Applications received for this course by the January deadline will also be considered for funding if applications fulfill the eligibility criteria. Please use the University's fees, funding and scholarship search tool to find what funding you may be eligible for.
The Faculty has a number of scholarships and funding opportunities across a wide range of subjects. Please see here for a list of these opportunities.