University of Oxford Graduate Prospectus 2014-15

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University of Oxford Graduate Prospectus 2014-15

Text of University of Oxford Graduate Prospectus 2014-15

  • Graduate Prospectus


  • inside front cover - separate fileinside front cover - separate file

    Photograph by Michael Camilleri, MSc Computer Science (St Annes College)

    The majority of photographs used within this prospectus were taken by current and recent graduate students and were submitted to University photography competitions in 2011, 2012 and 2013. All photographs are credited to the photographer where they appear.

    Produced by University of Oxford Design Studio, Public Affairs DirectorateDistributed by University of OxfordGraduate Admissions and Funding, University Offices, Wellington Square, Oxford OX1 2JD+44 (0)1865

    The University of Oxford 2013

    All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior permission.

    Do you need this prospectus in another format?Braille, large print and audio formats are available on request from:

    Graduate Admissions and FundingTel: +44 (0)1865

    Cover photograph by Oxford University Images/Greg Smolonski

  • New graduate students at Oxford in 201415 will benefit from over 850 scholarships, worth over 70 million, from the University, its colleges and other supporters.

    Oxfords world-famous collegiate system means that all students benefit from being part of a small, multidisciplinary academic and social community as well as being part of a large internationally-renowned institution.

    The University attracted 409 million from external research sponsors in 201112. Oxford has a deep commitment to close working relationships between supervisors

    and students, and small group teaching on Masters courses.

    The University offers outstanding careers support and has one of the largest alumni networks in the world.

    Oxford is ranked first in the UK and joint second in the world in the Times Higher Education Supplements World University Rankings 201213.

    Our graduate students are vital to the University of Oxford. They form part of the academic research community, and the teaching and train-ing they receive sets them up to join the next generation of leaders and innovators.

    Graduate study at Oxford is a very special experience. Our graduate students have the opportunity to work with leading academics, and the University has some of the best libraries, laboratories, museums and collections in the world. Our colleges are an outstanding feature of an Oxford education. As multidisciplinary academic and social communities within a large university, they offer a wonderfully rich and supportive environment to all our undergraduate and graduate students.

    Our graduate students are committed, resourceful and innovative, and they demonstrate great independence of thought. They come from

    all over the world, bringing different perspectives to their subject areas and helping create a uniquely stimulating academic environment.

    I hope this prospectus gives you an inspiring glimpse into life as a graduate student here at Oxford, and that it will lead you to find out more about what the University has to offer.

    Dr Sally Mapstone, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Education)

    Welcome to Oxford

    Graduate Prospectus 201415 | 3




    Why Oxford?

  • 6 Oxfords graduate students8 Oxfords graduate courses10 Funding opportunities12 Oxfords academic divisions

    and departments

    14 Academic lifee16 Masters-level degrees18 Doctoral degrees20 Part-time and flexible study22 Research impact24 Sharing knowledge26 Oxfords colleges28 Colleges as communities30 A supportive environment

    32 Living in Oxford34 Arriving in Oxford36 Settling in to life at Oxford38 Making the most of

    your time at Oxford

    40 Sport in Oxford42 Nightlife and music44 Museums and Botanic Garden46 Libraries48 Careers50 Continuing support in your career52 Joining Oxfords alumni54 How to apply56 Maps


    4 | Graduate Prospectus 201415

    Photograph by Selma Mezetovic, Magister Juris (Lady Margaret Hall)

    Photograph by Yasemin Sengul, DPhil Mathematics (The Queens College)

  • There is no such thing as a typical Oxford graduate student. Our graduates are different ages, representing many different countries and cultures, and from a wide variety of academic and professional backgrounds. We attract graduate students of the highest calibre and offer them a vibrant environment in which to study and learn.

    As a graduate student at Oxford, you will join a thriving research community of more than 9,800 other graduates, around 60 per cent of whom come from outside the UK. Oxford is one of the most international universities in the world. Our graduate student body represents 147 nationalities and our academics are drawn from more than 70 countries.

    Graduate students at Oxford are central to the Universitys research efforts, which span all areas of the globe and tackle issues of international significance. Research carried out at Oxford has, over the centuries, made an enormous impact on the world of ideas, on our fundamental understanding of the physical world, on disease prevention and treatment, on public policy, international affairs, the arts, business and much more. Graduate students carry out a lot of research at Oxford, helping to push the boundaries of knowledge and understanding in their fields, and joining academics in tackling some of the major challenges facing the world in the twenty-first century.

    Oxfords graduate students

    6 | Graduate Prospectus 201415

    9,800 graduate students

    147 nationalities

    Oxford is much more than a simple academic experience, it is a chance to meet the brightest, passionate, critical and innovative group of people from all over the world.Eunsong Kim, MSc Comparative Social Policy (Linacre College)

  • Graduate qualifications from Oxford are recognised and valued all around the world. Our graduate students go on to work in some of the worlds finest organisations. Whether you want to join the next generation of academic researchers and teachers or build a successful career outside academia, you will benefit from the exceptional people and resources that Oxford has to offer.

    Find out more about our students by taking a look at our online Wall of 100 Faces.

    Graduate Prospectus 201415 | 7

    I was amazed to find the different nationalities. Ive never been in an environment where people ask: Where are you from? Im from Iran. Where are you from? Im from Iceland. Even within Africa, Ive not had the opportunity to meet and interact with people from such diverse backgrounds.Nelson Oppong, DPhil International Development (Green Templeton College)

    Photograph by Emily Dolmans, MSt English Literature (Exeter College)

  • 8 | Graduate Prospectus 201415

    Photograph by Joseph Caruana, DPhil Astrophysics (Christ Church)

    Graduate students at Oxford not only come from all kinds of different backgrounds, they also have diverse career goals and study a broad array of subjects, from archaeology to zoology. Graduate study falls into two broad categories: taught masters courses and doctoral research programmes.

    Taught masters coursesStudents on taught masters degrees study a range of core and optional courses, supported by lec-tures and seminars. Work is assessed through a combination of coursework, written examinations and a dissertation. Some taught programmes prepare students for further research, while others are more oriented towards a particular profession, leading to a career in law, finance or development, for example. Some courses are delivered in a part-time format and are aimed at particular groups of professionals, such as diplomats and senior managers, who want the opportunity to develop their knowledge and understanding of their field, while also catalysing their career development. Taught programmes usually lead to a masters or masters-level qualification and last one or two years.

    Doctoral research programmesStudents on doctoral programmes focus on a specific research project. Working closely with an aca-demic supervisor who oversees their studies, students produce a thesis that represents a significant and substantial piece of work. Students in the experimental sciences are also likely to collaborate with their supervisor on shared laboratory work as part of a research team. After completing their DPhil (Oxfords term for a PhD), research students frequently pursue academic careers or careers requiring advanced research skills. Most commonly, doctoral degrees last between three to four years.

    Academic qualifications

    To be eligible to apply for graduate study at Oxford, you need to have a record of academic excellence. As a minimum, you will usually need to have a bachelors degree with first or strong upper second class honours, usually equivalent to a US GPA of 3.5 to 3.8. However, there are some courses that will take relevant experience or alternative backgrounds into consideration. Some doctoral courses also require a Masters degree in a relevant subject.

    If English is not your first language you will also need to provide evidence of a high level of linguistic competence, since English is the language of instruction and examination for all courses at Oxford.

    Oxford places emphasis on academic rigour and our graduate students are able to study independently and take the initiative, whether in exploring a new area of research, making connections, extending t