DPhil (PhD)

This course has reopened for admission for October 2017 entry. 

The DPhil (which is known internationally as a PhD) in Education is a full-time programme which takes 3-4 years and which is intended to provide graduates with a wide range of research skills as well as in-depth knowledge, understanding and expertise in their chosen field of research.

About 80 DPhil students are attached to the Department, researching a wide range of topics, normally linked to one or more of our many Research Centres, Groups and Fora. Further information about these can be found on our Research pages.

Students come from over 40 different countries and are supported by a variety of scholarships and grants. Entry is highly competitive, and applicants are required to have a strong academic background and to submit a research proposal.

All new DPhil students begin as Probationer Research Students (PRS). During your first year you take research methods courses (unless you have already got a recognized research training Masters qualification), and work with your supervisors on your literature review and study design. All DPhil. students are given opportunities to present their work at a variety of seminars and sessions in the department.

First Year Research Training

As a department, we take the research training and skills development of our first year DPhil students (called Probationer Research Students) very seriously. These students who have not already had a comprehensive research training in the social sciences are obliged to take a suite of research training courses (click here for current provision). At the heart of this provision is the Research Training Seminar, where students present and develop  their research ideas and proposals with the benefit of feedback and support from their peers.

Members of the PRS student group (October 2016)

At the end of the first year you are required to submit a first-year portfolio, as a tool for reviewing your progress. If things are going well, you go on to Transfer Status before the end of your fourth term – a formal evaluation of your capability to work at doctoral level. By the end of the seventh term you are expected to submit for Confirmation of Status. Both of these milestones provide the opportunity for you to receive feedback from two independent assessors at key stages of your research. All being well, you should be able to complete your doctoral thesis within three years (four years at the maximum).

Page last modified: March 15, 2017