DPhil in Continuing Education

Course details


The Department for Continuing Education offers part-time DPhil programmes in a number of specific subjects but we admit doctoral students in other areas where we can provide appropriate supervision and research training. Such students are admitted to our DPhil in Continuing Education programme. The designation ‘Continuing Education' is used for administrative purposes, and does not affect subject content or appear on the degree certificate.

Admissions are arranged on an exceptional basis under the University's Education Committee. They are otherwise governed in all aspects under the standard part-time DPhil regulations.

The Department is only able to consider research proposals from applicants to whom it would be able to offer supervision, as well as appropriate support for training, assessment and examination throughout the programme.

The supervision team for a DPhil student on the Continuing Education programme involves at least one academic from within the Department for Continuing Education (who would normally be the main supervisor) but may include co-supervisors from other departments (subject to the relevant department's approval). You are recommended to refer in the first instance to the research interests of the Department’s academic staff.


Please note that it is not always possible to accommodate the preferences of incoming graduate students to work with a particular supervisor. It is also necessary to ensure that appropriate resources are available throughout the programme for the various assessments and examinations which are required.

If suitable supervision and examination could in principle be available, you may be advised to apply. More information will be sent to you at that point. You would be expected to demonstrate an outstanding record in your previous higher education and the skills and commitment to pursue research to the highest level over an extended period of time.

Level and demands

We must stress that all applications are considered on their academic merits. Any enquiry or application in no way guarantees that we shall offer you a place. Please note that the application fee is non-refundable and we strongly suggest that you should not apply before being advised that supervision is, in principle, available and before carefully considering the following points:

  • Acceptance on a part-time DPhil programme would not qualify a student for a Tier 4 entry visa.

  • Continuing Education DPhil students are not required to be resident in Oxford, but will normally be required to attend for at least 30 days per year and to meet their supervisors at least once per term.

  • Your academic record will have to meet the entry requirements. As guidance, you should have achieved at least 2.1 honours, 3.5 GPA, or equivalent in an undergraduate degree. Successful applicants have also normally achieved a distinction in a master’s degree.

  • The level of English language required for postgraduate study in Oxford for those for whom English is not their first language is a score of 7.5 IELTS or equivalent.

Apply for this course

Before submitting an application you first need to identify a potential supervisor within the Department for Continuing Education who has the expertise in your chosen research field. You also need to discuss your research ideas before you apply.

This is an important step, as you will need to find out whether we have an appropriate supervisor.

If you are interested in pursuing your enquiry further, please send a copy of your CV and a research proposal to gradschool@conted.ox.ac.uk

Guidance on writing a research proposal can be found to the right of this page. If supervision and examination are, in principle, available, you will be notified and informed about how to make an application, should you wish to do so.