DPhil programmes

Oxford's Department for Continuing Education offers part-time DPhil programmes in the following disciplines:

What is a DPhil?

The term 'DPhil' stands for 'Doctor of Philosophy', sometimes referred to as a 'doctorate' or 'PhD'. This is an advanced research degree awarded on the basis of a thesis and an oral examination called the viva voce. The thesis must be a significant and substantial piece of research, make an original contribution to its field, and be presented in a lucid and scholarly manner. In the viva, the candidate is required to defend their thesis and to demonstrate a good general knowledge of their field of study.

A DPhil is the highest level of a degree that a student can achieve.

Level and demands

All DPhil applications are considered on their academic merits. 

As guidance, you should have achieved at least 2.1 honours, 3.5 GPA, or equivalent in an undergraduate degree. On some programmes, successful applicants have also normally achieved a distinction in a master’s degree. More information about entry requirements can be found on each individual programme page.

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.

College affiliation

All students studying for a degree (including DPhil) must be a member of a college. There is single application process to the DPhil programme within which you can specify a college choice. Your choice of college is up to you, and does not affect the academic viability of your application to the DPhil itself.  A number of Oxford colleges accept applications from part-time postgraduates, whereas others do not: please consult the graduate prospectus or enquire with individual colleges. (Even if you are accepted onto the degree, please note that you are not guaranteed a place at your first choice of college).

Applicants may wish to note that the majority of students on part-time degree programmes are members of Kellogg College and most of the tutors and lecturers are Fellows of the College. Kellogg is dedicated to graduate part-time students and has developed a unique expertise in attending to the intellectual, social, IT and welfare needs of part-time, mature graduate students. The College is based a short distance from the Department on the Banbury Road.

Libraries and computing facilities

Registered students receive an Oxford University card, valid for one year at a time, which acts as a library card for the Departmental Library at Rewley House and provides access to the unrivalled facilities of the Bodleian Libraries which include the central Bodleian, major research libraries such as the Sackler Library, Taylorian Institution Library, Bodleian Social Science Library, and faculty libraries such as English and History. Students also have access to a wide range of electronic resources including electronic journals, many of which can be accessed from home. Students on the course are entitled to use the Library at Rewley House for reference and private study and to borrow books. More information about the Continuing Education Library can be found at the Bodleian website

The University card also provides access to facilities at Oxford University Computing Service (OUCS), 13 Banbury Road, Oxford. Computing facilities are available to students in the Students' Computing Facility in Rewley House and at Ewert House.

DPhil student spotlights

DPhil student spotlights

Discover what our students have to say about their experience of undertaking a part-time DPhil programme with the Department.

Graduate School

Graduate School

The Graduate School facilitates a stimulating and enriching learning and research environment for all of the Department’s diverse range of graduate students.



The Department has an active interdisciplinary research community, with a strong focus on the humanities and social sciences.