Applications - Overseas (for entry in 2018/19)


For guidance on your status as a home, EU or overseas/international student please see the relevant pages of the Graduate Studies Prospectus, available at:

Applications for postgraduate study within the Department of Materials are all processed centrally through the Oxford University Graduate Admissions Office.  Please find below details of how to apply for a DPhil/MSc degree.  If you are applying for a DPhil with one of our EPSRC CDTs please also read the information on how to apply that is provided on the CDT's webpages.


The University graduate studies prospectus can be viewed at the following website address


Your attention is drawn to our Graduate Student Admissions Criteria, available at:


A principal concern for overseas students is funding. For information on fees and living costs see the Graduate Prospectus webpages at:

Further information on living costs can be found at

For a standard DPhil programme full fees are payable for 3 years and a continuation fee thereafter, and we advise applicants to budget for 3.5 years, although some students do finish within 3 years. For a CDT DPhil programme full fees are payable for 4 years and a continuation fee thereafter.

Please note that if offered a place you will need to self certify that you have enough funds for the entire period of study. (see It is also important to add a contingency to allow for fluctuating exchange rates.


We have relatively few funding opportunities for overseas students, and the limited number of scholarships are extremely competitive, being awarded only to the top students in any country for a given year.  To be successful in a scholarship competition, normally you would need to be at the top of your year and have some independent evidence of your excellence such as national prizes or awards. Further information about Scholarships can be found on the website at where an Oxford funding search tool is also available together with details about applying for scholarships. Individual colleges also offer a number of scholarships for which Materials applicants are eligible – please see the individual college webpages or the scholarship webpage for details, taking care to note the deadlines for such applications. In particular please note the early deadlines for applications for Rhodes Scholarships These vary by country of origin, for example for entry in October 2018 the Rhodes (India) deadline was 31 July 2017 and Rhodes (Australia) 14 September 2017 and the Rhodes (Hong Kong) deadline 30 September 2017. For Commonwealth Scholarships please see the website at - the deadline is usually early in the academic year.


If you wish to apply to the Department, you will need to complete the standard University application form, which can be found on the University’s admissions website at Having first carefully read the application guide you should apply using the online application form. If you have a problem with using the online form, please contact the Graduate Admissions and Funding Office as indicated in the Application Guide. All applications require the payment of an application fee.

Applicants who are also entering separate scholarship competitions must ensure that their University Applicants who are also entering separate scholarship competitions must ensure that their University application is submitted in time.  The Department of Materials strongly advises scholarship and other overseas applicants to apply to the University in the first application field (closing date 17 November 2017) although applicants who apply in the second field (closing date 19 January 2018) will also be considered for scholarships.


On the graduate application form, you may choose to either (i) indicate that you have no college preference, in which case a college will be selected on your behalf, or (ii) state a college preference.  You will not be able to amend your choice after submitting your application.  Whether or not you state a college preference will not affect the Department’s assessment of your application.  For further information, please refer to the Application Guide at You can find out which colleges accept Materials research students at the 'colleges' tab of the relevant course page (


When completing the application form, under the ‘Supporting Materials’ section entitled ‘statement of purpose/personal statement’, you must list in order of preference up to five preferred research topics/supervisors. Guidance can be found on the Department’s website at In this part of the application you must also include a short statement (up to 400 words) to outline your research interests and to indicate the rationale behind your choice of projects. We do not require a research proposal.

On the website mentioned above we describe available projects in two categories, ‘funded projects’ and ‘other projects’.  Generally, the projects do not have specific deadlines, as we intend to consider applicants within the University of Oxford’s Graduate Admissions standard application cycles.  Some of the descriptions on this website are of projects that carry earmarked funding and in these cases the eligibility of home, EU and overseas applicants is indicated.  New projects are added from time-to-time, so please review the list regularly.


Until the middle of March applications will be considered in three gathered fields, as advertised in the Oxford University Graduate Studies Prospectus.  Deadlines for the receipt of fully completed applications and references are: 17 November 2017, 19 January 2018 and 9 March 2018.  Applications received after 9 March will be considered on an individual basis soon after receipt.  Overseas or scholarship applicants are strongly advised to apply in the November cycle, home/EU applicants in the January cycle. In addition, project studentships with specific closing dates may be advertised on our website.


Please note that funding and places may be exhausted after the first two application fields: applications received after 19 January 2018 will be considered only if places and/or funded projects remain unfilled.We expect to make a small number of offers, to outstanding candidates, following evaluation of the November applications.  The remaining good candidates from November will be considered automatically in January, along with the new applicants for that deadline, and we normally expect to offer the majority of available places following evaluation of the January applications.

The Department of Materials strongly advises applicants for scholarships available to overseas applicants, eg Clarendon awards, to apply in the first application field (application deadline 17 November 2017), although those who apply in the second field (application deadline 19 January 2018) will also be considered

Applicants who are unsure of their status should contact the International Office, details can be found at Information about immigration and visas can also be found at the same web address. If you have specific questions about visas or immigration, then please contact the Student Information and Advisory Service by e-mailing

Please note that is is essential for the visa process that you wait until the Department sends you the agreed research statement for the ATAS certificate (ATAS Certificates are required for all overseas students undertaking a Materials research degree). At the time of writing the UK Government Officers take at least 20-30 working days to process an ATAS application. We stress, you must NOT apply for an ATAS certificate without the approved research statement from this Department.


It is very important that at the earliest possible opportunity you take steps to meet the University’s standard minimum English language requirement. ( If you have yet to attain this minimum level any offer of a place we may make to you will be conditional on your achieving the standard minimum requirement.  Students who require a visa will not be able to apply for this visa until they have met the conditions of their offer.  If you do not meet the conditions of your offer by the deadline we set, normally our offer will lapse.

Please note that it can take up to three months to obtain an examination date for IELTS or TOEFL, so we strongly recommend all applicants who need an English test to apply for one at the earliest opportunity and preferably sufficiently in advance that you would have time to obtain a date for a retake examination should this be necessary.  In this respect please note also that we require not only a minimum overall score in the English test but also minimum scores in the individual components of the tests.  By way of an example, for IELTS the minimum requirement is an overall score of 7.0 and 6.5 in each component.

Please bear this in mind when choosing your start date on your application form – if in doubt please consult our Graduate Studies Secretary