Graduate Admissions

STFC studentship available

The Department has one studentship funded by the Science and Technology Facilities Council available for 2017 entry.  The deadline for applications is Friday 17 February.  Further details can be found here:

Project EARTH-17-STFC-AH1: Accretion and Core Formation in the Inner Solar System


Please note: graduate admissions is now closed for 2017 entry, unless you are able to provide your own funding or are applying to a funded project.

Oxford Earth Sciences in general accepts applications for DPhil study via three mechanisms: direct application, NERC Environmental Doctoral Training Programme (DTP), and NERC Oil & Gas Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT). Further information on each is given below.

General information on graduate admissions for the University of Oxford can be found on the main university website.

Direct Application

Students with alternative funding, including scholarships, industry or government backing, or those who are self-funded, can apply directly to the department to study for a DPhil in Earth Sciences. Those considering this route are advised to look at the projects available for the coming year, and to contact their prospective supervisor before submitting an application.

To keep up with news and updates from the Department, please follow us on Twitter: @OxUniEarthSci.

NERC Doctoral Training Programme (DTP)

The University of Oxford offers a number of NERC-funded DPhil studentships as part of the Doctoral Training Programme. These studentships support research students across the full remit of NERC’s research portfolio, which includes the full breadth of research activities in Earth Sciences. DTP studentships are open to home applicants, or EU applicants who have lived in the UK for three years or longer.

Further details can be found here and on the DTP website Updates on the DTP can be followed on Twitter: @OxfordEnvRes.

NERC Centre for Doctoral Training in Oil and Gas (CDT)

The University is a core partner in the UK’s Centre for Doctoral Training in Oil and Gas, with a small number of NERC-funded DPhil studentships available. Further details can be found here.

For these studentships, we can consider Home and EU applicants.  International applicants can only be considered if they are able to cover the fee differential.

Multiple Applications

You may submit applications for any combination of the DPhil in Earth Sciences, DTP in Environmental Sciences and CDT in Oil and Gas, or all three courses if you wish, but only pay one application fee.  If you are unsure which programme to apply for, it may be appropriate to apply to more than one.  Please contact Emma Brown with any queries about multiple applications.

DPhil Projects

A list of all projects available for 2017 entry can be found here.

Please ensure you contact the project supervisor to discuss your proposed project.  This is essential if you are not applying to a listed project. A list of Faculty and their contact details can be found here.

Deadlines and Interviews

Generally, applications are made in January, with interviews in February, for study commencing in October. Some funded opportunities can be available as late as April, and students with their own funding (private, industry or other) may be able to apply still later in the cycle.

Most interviews are held in Oxford in mid to late February. Interviews typically last about 30 minutes. Your application will be discussed in detail, and you may expect a challenging conversation with panel members. We hope you find this a stimulating opportunity to discuss your work.

During your visit to the Department, we try to arrange for you to meet with your potential supervisor and discuss project-related matters with them, as well as meeting current graduate students.

For international or EU candidates unable to come to Oxford, a Skype interview can be arranged.  You may also like to take a virtual tour of our department.


We welcome applications from those with, or working for first degrees, or Masters-level degrees, in

  • Earth Sciences
  • Physics
  • Mathematics
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Engineering
  • other related subjects.


UK/Home students are eligible for full support through the research councils. A range of support is available for EU and international students. Further information on funding, scholarships and bursaries, living costs and other financial considerations can be found on the University website.

Please follow the appropriate link below for further details on how to apply:

Research Council funding for the DTP in Environmental Research and the CDT in Oil and Gas is available for 4 years. Therefore we advise potential candidates to budget for at least 3.5 years when considering a direct application.

Please contact Emma Brown with any queries.