Applying for Graduate Study

Applications open on 1 September 2022 and will close at 12 noon GMT January 6th 2023

 

There is nothing to be gained from applying early as we assess all applications together, after the closing date. However, we would advise you not to leave submitting your application form until the last minute, as you may encounter technical difficulties that could prevent your application being submitted.

All applications must be made on line, through the University’s Graduate Admissions site .Before you start your application, please read the information below, and look through the university application guide carefully.

Application Documentation

 

  • transcript(s) of the individual grades received in your University-level qualifications to date
  • CV/resume
  • three academic references 
  • research proposal
    • A statement of purpose and research proposal, written as one combined piece, with a word count between 500 and 1000 words (including footnotes but excluding a bibliography)
  • written work
    • An academic writing sample of not more than 4000 words in total length
      • This can be one complete essay, or two shorter essays
      • Extracts from a longer dissertation are welcome, including a preface which puts the work in context
      • The writing samples should be academic work from your most recent qualification, but do not need to relate closely to your proposed area of study
      • The written work must be submitted in English (if this work has been translated, you must indicate if the translations are your own, or what assistance you had in producing the English text)
      • Any footnotes should be included in the word count
      • A bibliography may also be provided and is not included in the word count
      • If your submitted written work is more than 4000 words, your application will be deemed incomplete and may not be assessed

 

  • transcript(s) of the individual grades received in your University-level qualifications to date
  • CV/resume
  • three academic references 
  • research proposal with a word count of between 500 and 1000 words
  • written work
    • An academic writing sample of not more than 4000 words in total length
      • This can be one complete essay, or two shorter essays
      • Extracts from a longer dissertation are welcome, including a preface which puts the work in context
      • The writing samples should be academic work from your most recent qualification, but do not need to relate closely to your proposed area of study
      • The written work must be submitted in English (if this work has been translated, you must indicate if the translations are your own, or what assistance you had in producing the English text)
      • Any footnotes should be included in the word count
      • A bibliography may also be provided and is not included in the word count
      • If your submitted written work is more than 4000 words, your application will be deemed incomplete and may not be assessed

Advice on ...

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To apply for a Masters course, you do not need to have a single honours/majors degree in history, but we expect applicants to have some previous experience of working historically. 

To apply for a DPhil, a Masters in a historical subject is usually required, but a related subject may suffice in some cases.

 

The standard offer for Masters applicants is to achieve at least a high Upper Second class in their undergraduate degree. On a percentage scale this is equivalent to an overall score of 68% or above. The standard requirement for a 4-point GPA scale is 3.75. Masters applicants are also expected to score at least 68% on their undergraduate dissertation.

We expect our DPhil applicants to have an undergraduate degree at the level required for a Masters application, and a Masters degree with a high-pass or distinction. On a percentage scale, this is equivalent to 68% or above. The standard requirement for a 4-point GPA scale is 3.75. DPhil applicants are also expected to achieve a score of at least 68% on their Masters dissertation.

If your university uses a different marking scale, your offer will be translated to match that scale.

 

If there are mitigating circumstances for your results being lower than expected, you will be able to explain these in your application, and they will be taken into account when assessing your application.

Adjustments will also be made if your overall score is lower than our requirements state, but your marks for history courses are high.

Please be aware that your academic results are not the only part of the assessment.

 

Your proposal should show your academic potential and convince us that you have the right intellectual qualities, academic knowledge, and skills to undertake the course. The proposal is the centrepiece of your application and should demonstrate the viability of your topic and the level of background research already done. The depth and structure will naturally differ with the nature of the programme for which you are applying: a proposal for a DPhil should be more detailed, but not necessarily longer.

  • Be precise
  • Give your dissertation/thesis a preliminary title
  • Describe the work you have already done and how you will build on it
  • Give an account of the current state of scholarship and any central issues or problems
  • Explain what contribution your work will make
  • Indicate what kinds of sources you expect to use, where they can be found, how they will contribute to your work, what skills are needed to use these sources (for example, languages or data analysis), and to what extent you have those skills already
  • Give an indication of your methodology and approach to dealing with these sources. For example, the level of your inquiry (micro, macro, regional, national, transnational, comparative), will your research be quantitative or qualitative? will you use samples or case studies? will your research draw on a body of theory? does your research draw on the agendas or methods of other disciplines (for example anthropology, literary studies, sociology)?

 

You do not need to try to find your own supervisor. The faculty will appoint supervisors on the basis of our assessment of their fit with your research interests and their teaching capacity. Graduate students do not need to be at the same college as their supervisor.

Please note that we can only make an offer of a place if adequate supervision is available. You can check if there is a potential supervisor for your research interests by searching the Faculty staff page.

It’s OK to contact a member of the faculty with expertise in your proposed area of study before applying. They may be able to give you advice on your application which can be really helpful for thinking through your project. It’s also a great way of getting to know them to see if you can imagine working closely with them as their student. Please be aware that staff will be busy at certain times of the academic year and not able to respond immediately.

 

Your written work serves the purpose of showing your writing and research skills. It will be assessed for your understanding of problems, your ability to construct and defend  an argument, your powers of analysis, and your powers of expression .  Ideally such work would relate to history, but writing samples from other subject areas still give the assessors a clear idea of your abilities.

 

We normally require three academic references. Your application will be passed for assessment if two references are received by the relevant application deadline, but we will usually ask for a third before an offer is made. Referees must upload their reference directly, through the University admissions portal. More information on and for referees is available here.

We understand that finding three academic references isn’t always possible for mature students. In such cases, two academic references and one professional reference are acceptable.


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If you are not a native English speaker and do not permanently reside in a majority English-speaking country (as defined by UK Visa & Immigration), you will need to prove you have the required level of English language ability by providing a certificate from a recognised language test taken within two years of your proposed start date. Recognised test providers, required scores, and further details can be found on the University’s information on English proficiency . Please note that History applicants need to achieve test results at the higher level. 

 

You do not need to provide a test result in order to make an application, but if you are made an offer you will be required to submit test scores at the required level as part of your academic conditions.

 

You can apply for an English language waiver if you have completed a course taught entirely in English, which lasted at least nine months, within two years of your proposed start date. If the course was not in a majority English-speaking country (as defined by UK Visa & Immigration), you will need to provide evidence that the course was taught in English.

You can also apply for an English language waiver on the basis of professional experience within two years of your proposed start date. You will need to provide proof of the English language required for your role.

 

You can apply for multiple programmes and your applications will be treated separately.

Please note that you will have to pay the application fee for each application.

 

Part-time students do not need to live in Oxford, but must attend the Faculty (in person) regularly for supervision, study, skills training, and participation in seminars.

For Masters courses, this usually means attending Oxford for two days a week during term, so you are expected to live within a few hours travelling time of Oxford.

For DPhil courses, this usually means attending one day a week, but attendance requirements are flexible and will be discussed and agreed with your supervisor and the Director of Graduate Studies.

For those working alongside their studies, you must have the approval of your employers.

Distance learning is not available for any courses offered by the Faculty of History.

You cannot undertake another course at another institution (or Oxford) while studying part-time.

 

We cannot sponsor student visas for part-time study as the study patterns are not compatible with Home Office regulations on attendance monitoring. However, other options may be available and you should contact the admissions office (graduate.admissions@history.ox.ac.uk) to discuss.

 

You are welcome to reapply if you did not receive an offer, or had to decline an offer. All applications will be assessed without consideration of any previous applications.

Please be aware that if you reapply after declining an offer there is no guarantee that you will be made an offer again.

If you have a query not covered by the information above, or the University Application Guide, please contact graduate.admissions@history.ox.ac.uk

Useful links to guide you through the application process: