Graduates: Applying

The Department encourages enquiries from students who wish to study for a DPhil (the Oxford equivalent of a PhD*). The first step is to identify the areas of research that interest you, and the name of a potential supervisor or supervisors. Once you have identified a potential supervisor or supervisors, you should contact them to discuss potential projects and funding routes. The director of graduate studies responsible for admissions is Professor Adrian Thomas.

There are a variety of routes to fund a DPhil, and supervisors will help you to identify the best possibilities. Briefly, there are two major routes.

(1) Direct. Start a project, typically lasting three years with a specific supervisor. These can be funded in a number of ways, including: funding already obtained by the supervisor (usually advertised in the 'Studentships' section and on; various scholarship and fellowship schemes that are special to Oxford including the new NaturalMotion graduate scholarships specific to the Zoology Department (see 'Studentships' section); other fellowship and funding schemes that the potential student can apply for (e.g. from charities and agencies); self-funding.

(2) Doctoral-Training Programmes. These are four year courses, the first of which is usually a mixture of training and small projects (potentially in different departments). At the end of (or during) this first year, you join a research group and supervisor for three years of research (hopefully in the Department of Zoology!). These programmes offer a large number of funded scholarships and we encourage you to apply. Zoology takes students from four doctoral training programmes.

Potential supervisors can advise on which would be most appropriate training programme to apply to. Many of these training programmes offer open days when you can come and investigate the possibilities - see their websites for details.

The application process is described in detail elsewhere. If you are in any doubt, please contact potential research supervisors, who will be more than happy to help you.

MSc by Research in Zoology

In exceptional cases, the department also takes students who wish to study for a Master of Science by Research (MSc Res) in Zoology, which typically takes two years. Since few students are accepted to this degree, there must be a strong academic case.

The minimum time in which a student can submit for an MSc (Res) is one year, and the maximum fee liability for an MSc (Res) is two years, but the overall programme length is three years.

The first step in applying is to contact a potential supervisor or supervisors to discuss potential projects. For further details and to apply to the MSc by Research, please contact Heather Green.

* In Oxford, the degree qualification commonly referred to as a Doctor of Philosophy or Ph.D. is known as a D.Phil.