How to apply for the MSc

Application and Admissions Procedure

All prospective candidates must make their application through the University's Graduate Studies Office, and are advised to consult the University's Graduate Studies Prospectus beforehand. All applications are processed initially by the Graduate Studies Office, and must not be made directly to the OII.

Please refer to Oxford University's Graduate Studies Prospectus for all the current requirements for admission. In particular, please note that all your required application materials (statement of purpose, writing sample, CV, transcripts (in English), evidence of language proficiency, 3 letters of reference) must be submitted to the university before the deadline. 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

  • 21 November 2014 (Interviews planned week of 15 December 2014)
  • 23 January 2015 (Interviews planned week of 2 March 2015)
  • 13 March 2015 (Interviews planned week of 13 April 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 more than one member of the academic staff with relevant experience and expertise.

The Oxford 1+1 Programme

The Oxford 1+1 Programme will be offered to students applying for 2014 matriculation at the University of Oxford, allowing them to combine the OII's MSc in Social Science of the Internet with the Oxford MBA. Successful candidates for the Oxford 1+1 Programme will need to meet the admissions requirements for both courses and be admitted separately to both. We are currently taking applications for 2014 entry.

If you are applying for the 1+1 programme, please indicate this on your personal statement. You will be asked to state in detail your reasons for applying to the 1+1 programme on your application to the Said Business School, but may wish to refer to this also in your application to the MSc.

The following colleges accept applications for the 1+1 programme with the MSc Social Science of the Internet: Balliol College, Green Templeton College, Kellogg College, Linacre College, St Cross College, St Hilda's College, St Hugh's College

Indiana University-OII Joint Program

The Indiana University Maurer School of Law and the Oxford Internet Institute have launched a joint program in which graduate law students admitted to the Maurer School of Law spend the autumn term in Bloomington, Indiana and then move to Oxford to study at the Oxford Internet Institute in the winter and spring as visiting students. Aimed primarily at international students, the new program will give students with an American law degree or non-U.S. equivalency the opportunity to take 14-16 credit hours of existing regular law courses in the broad area of information and intellectual property law. At the conclusion of the program, successful students receive an Indiana University Maurer School of Law LL.M. with a Certificate in Information Law and Policy from the Oxford Internet Institute. The program is led by IU Distinguished Professor and C. Ben Dutton Professor of Law Fred H. Cate, and Viktor Mayer-Schönberger, Professor of Internet Governance and Regulation at the OII.

How to apply: As the LL.M degree is awarded and administered by Indiana University Maurer School of Law, all students wishing to participate in this program must apply directly to that institution. Further details about the program and details of how to apply can be found at:

Admission requirements

Within equal opportunities principles and legislation, applications will be assessed in the light of a candidate’s ability to meet the following criteria:

  • Not less than a 2.1 (or its equivalent) at first degree level and, if applicable, high scores in the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or a grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.5 out of 4.0. We only require the GRE results if you have taken the examination. In exceptional circumstances, applicants with a distinguished record of workplace achievement since graduation may be accepted with lower grades at first degree level.
  • Applicants whose first language is not English must have met the higher level of Oxford University's English language requirements.

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.

Candidates must display:

  • Outstanding academic ability (as shown by official University transcripts and evidence from the confidential reports of at least three referees)
  • Interest and enthusiasm for study of the many social aspects of information, and communication technologies (as evidenced by a personal statement of not more than 500 words showing why the application is being made)
  • A research interest in an area of study covered by at least one member of the academic and research staff at the OII, or its associated faculty in departments and Colleges participating in this programme (see supervisors below).

Personal statement

In the 'statement of purpose' in the application for the MSc, candidates will need to describe their specific interest in the programme:

  • Why they are interested in study a Master's degree focusing on social aspects of the internet?
  • What relevant experience, academic or practical, do they have to engage in research on social aspects of the internet?
  • Have they undertaken any research relevant to this area, or do they have ideas about which topics they would like to concentrate on in coursework, or investigate as a potential MSc thesis topic?


All applications will be assessed by two 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 one member of academic staff who has undertaken appropriate training.

Information regarding Interviews

Interviews are held as part of the admissions process, but will normally only be undertaken where there is disagreement between reviewers. If a student clearly exceeds all the admission criteria and their proposed research is innovative and can be supervised at the Oxford Internet Institute then they may be made an offer without an interview.

If interviews are required, these are usually held about 1 month after the application deadline has passed. Interviews can be done in person, by telephone or via Skype with or without video. There is usually only one interview held which lasts up to 30 minutes. You will be asked questions about research interests, interest in the course, and why you think the Oxford Internet Institute would be the best place to conduct your studies.

Admission statistics

MSc applications
Total number of applications88118103106

The following factors will govern whether candidates can be offered places:

  • There are minimum and maximum limits to the numbers of students who may be admitted onto Oxford's taught programmes.

MSc supervisors

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

Dr Grant Blank, Dr Jonathan Bright, Dr Ian Brown, Dr Cristobal Cobo, Prof. William H. Dutton, Dr Rebecca Eynon, Professor Luciano Floridi, Dr Mark Graham, Dr Bernie Hogan, Dr Vili Lehdonvirta, Dr Laura Mann, Prof. Helen Margetts, Prof. Viktor Mayer-Schönberger, Dr Eric T. Meyer, Dr Victoria Nash, Dr Andy Przybylski, Dr Ralph Schroeder, Dr Greg Taylor, Dr Joss Wright.

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. Supervisors will be assigned to individual students at the start of the first term.

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 masters students: Balliol College, Brasenose College, Campion Hall, Green Templeton College, Keble College, Kellogg College, Linacre College, Mansfield College, The Queen's College, St Anne's College, St Catherine's College, St Cross College, St Hilda's College, St Hugh's College, Wolfson College.

Course Fees

Details of fees, living expenses, definitions of home and overseas students, together with information about potential sources of funding are available from the Graduate Studies Office Financial Information pages.

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.