How to apply for the DPhil

Application and Admissions Procedure

All prospective candidates must make their application through the University's Graduate Admissions website, and are advised to consult the University's Graduate Studies Prospectus beforehand. All applications are processed the Graduate Admissions office, and must not be made directly to the OII. Please refer to the DPhil in in Information, Communication and the Social Sciences on the Graduate Admissions website for all the current requirements for admission.

Please refer to Oxford University's Graduate Admissions website for all the current requirements for admission. In particular, please note that all your required application materials must be submitted to the University before the deadline. This includes:

  • Research proposal (2500 words)
  • Writing sample
  • CV
  • Transcripts (in English)
  • Evidence of language proficiency
  • 3 letters of reference

We suggest submitting materials one or more weeks in advance of the deadline so that you can be sure that nothing is missing. Please note that academic references are preferred, but the OII will accept professional ones.

Application deadlines for 2015/16 entry

The deadline for applications is 12 noon (ie midday) UK time on the following dates:

  • 21 November 2014 (Interviews planned week of 5 January 2015)
  • 23 January 2015 (Interviews planned week of 2 March 2015)

Please note that applicants who wish to apply for funding are strongly advised to apply by the January deadline.

Applicants whose first language is not English must have met the highest level of Oxford University's English language requirements. Please note that it is essential that applicants obtain the higher level score.


All applications will be assessed by three members of academic staff with relevant experience and expertise. The OII Admissions Committee will give final approval to a decision.

Admissions panels will always include at least two members of academic staff who have undertaken appropriate training.

Information regarding Interviews

Candidates are shortlisted based on the quality of application and those who are shortlisted will normally be interviewed.

Interviews are held usually about 1 month after the application deadline. Interviews can be done in person, by telephone or via Skype with or without video. There is usually only one interview held which lasts 30-40 minutes. You will be asked questions about your academic background, planned research and why you think the Oxford Internet Institute would be the best place to conduct your studies. The interview panel will consist of at least two interviewers, which are usually the potential supervisor and the DPhil Programme Director.


Publications are not required. However, if students do have publications they are encouraged to provide details in their CV as this may strengthen their application.

Admission statistics

DPhil applications
Total number of applications61434754

DPhil Supervisors

We recommend that DPhil candidates should contact a potential supervisor(s) in the first instance before submitting an application. It would be expected that graduate applicants would be familiar with the recent published work of their proposed supervisor.

The following factors will govern whether a candidate can be offered a place:

  • The ability of Oxford Internet Institute to provide the appropriate supervision, research opportunities, teaching and facilities for your chosen area of work.
  • There are minimum and maximum limits to the numbers of students who may be admitted onto Oxford's research programme.

The provision of supervision is subject to the following points:

  • The allocation of graduate supervision is the responsibility of the Oxford Internet Institute 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 Oxford Internet Institute.

In the case of students who require specific help to adjust to an academic programme or to a new range of skills, the supervisor will work with them to ensure that they have additional support.

The course is full time and all students are expected to be resident in Oxford during term time. Under University regulations students are not permitted to work full time alongside their studies.

The following OII faculty members are eligible to supervise DPhil students. The supervision areas are intended as a guide only: please contact us if you would like to discuss a suitable supervisor.

Selecting a College

Candidates can specify a college preference on their application forms (not necessarily the same college as that of the potential supervisor) or indicate that they have no preference, in which case a college will be selected on their behalf. Whether or not you state a college preference will not affect how the department assesses your application and ultimately whether or not they decide to make you an offer.

The following colleges accept applications from OII doctoral students: 


Prospective students should note that many scholarships or awards can only be applied for before study begins. Details of fees, living expenses, definitions of home and overseas students, and information about potential sources of funding are available from the University's Fees and Funding webpages. Selected sources of funding of particular relevance to our students are available on the DPhil scholarships page.

Whether you have yet secured funding is not taken into consideration in the decision to make an initial offer a place, but 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.

Disability, health conditions and specific learning difficulties

Students are selected for admission without regard to gender, marital or civil partnership status, disability, race, nationality, ethnic origin, religion or belief, sexual orientation, age or social background. Decisions on admission are based solely on the individual academic merits of each candidate and the application of the selection criteria appropriate to the programme of study. Further information on how these matters are supported during the admissions process is available on the Oxford University's Equality & Diversity page.

Applying for readmission as a continuing student

If you are currently studying for a taught course at Oxford and applying to carry on to a research programme with no break in your study, you can do so on a re-admission form and will be exempt from paying the application fee. If there is any break in your study (even if only for a term), you will not be able to use a re-admission form and will need to submit an application form for graduate study and pay the application fee.

Re-admission forms are available via OSS Student Self Service and are pre-populated with details that the University currently has on record for you, such as your personal details and your previous qualifications, but you will need to enter details of the programme you intend to study and any changes to the data we hold in your record.

You will need to submit your re-admission form together with all supporting materials required for the programme of study that you have selected. For guidance on supporting materials please refer to the Graduate Admissions website.

You should ensure that your re-admission form and all supporting materials, including your references, are submitted to the Graduate Admissions Office in time to meet the application deadline(s) for your chosen programme. Late or incomplete re-admission applications will not be considered. Guidance on which application deadlines apply to your programme can be found on the Graduate Admissions website.