Graduate Admissions

Please note graduate admissions is now closed for 2016 entry, unless you are able to provide your own funding.

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

To keep up with news and updates from the Department, please follow us on Twitter: @OxUniEarthSci. General information on graduate admissions for the University of Oxford can be found on the main university website.

NERC Doctoral Training Programme (DTP)

The University of Oxford offers a number of NERC-funded 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

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 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.

DPhil Projects

A list of projects available for 2016 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:

Please contact Emma Brown with any queries.

Multiple Applications

You may submit multiple online applications to different programmes in a single admissions cycle, although you may only apply to any individual programme once per cycle. Details of how to submit multiple applications are available in the ‘Instructions’ section of the Embark online application form.

If you want to apply for more than one programme, you will need to submit a separate application for each, along with full supporting materials and the application fee.

However, where the Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) or Doctoral Training Programme (DTP) have associated non-CDT DPhil programmes, it is possible to submit up to two additional applications for related courses from a set of permitted options without paying additional fees.

Please note that you cannot apply to more than one non-CDT DPhil without paying further application fees.

The permitted options will depend on the course you select in your initial application and are listed on the individual entries in the Course Guide. Once you have submitted an application to your first programme, please request a fee waiver from Graduate Admissions and Funding using the online query form, stating which further programmes you intend to apply to. Applicants wishing to make multiple applications for non-CDT DPhil programmes or any programmes which are not included in the permitted options will need to pay a separate fee for each application.