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DPhil in International Development

Enquiries about research degrees should be addressed to The Graduate Student Administrator, admissions@qeh.ox.ac.uk.

This programme provides the opportunity to study at Oxford for a doctorate in development studies, including forced migration, on topics requiring an interdisciplinary approach. There are close links with other Oxford departments that provide opportunities to study development at the doctoral level in the framework of a single discipline.

Video interviews with current Doctoral Students are available at the links below:

Successful applicants are admitted initially as Probationer Research Students (PRS) and then transfer to full DPhil student status, usually near the end of their first year. This transfer is conditional on completing any required coursework (usually one course in research methods or from an Oxford master’s degree relevant to their research) and on departmental approval of a fully developed research plan. This course is the only formal class teaching received by doctoral students.  Once the transfer is complete, DPhil students continue their course by conducting their own research under the guidance of their supervisor(s) whom they meet regularly to discuss progress. Students are expected to be resident in Oxford for the whole PRS period.

Assessment of progress is made during supervision sessions and also, more formally, in the viva meetings which form the Transfer of Status and the Confirmation of Status processes which take place usually in the third term (for transfer) and ninth term (for confirmation).  More information on these two meetings can be found in the Course Handbook which can be downloaded from this website.

Students are expected to complete their degrees in a period of three years plus up to one year of fieldwork (if needed), as are students who transfer to the DPhil after a one-year Oxford master’s course. For students who transfer to the DPhil after the MPhil in Development Studies or other two-year Oxford master’s courses, the expected period is two years plus time needed for fieldwork. Students are expected to be resident in Oxford for part of this time.Further information on the structure can be obtained from the Course Handbook.

Applicants for the doctoral programme should have a Master's degree in a relevant subject, preferably with distinction, and a first degree in a social science, normally with first class honours or a 3.8 GPA or equivalent. Research experience in a developing country is desirable. See the Admissions Criteria PDF for further information.

Availability of an appropriate supervisor in the department is a vital consideration in assessing applications, because a close fit between the research interests of supervisor and student greatly enhances the prospects of successfully completing the degree. The topics for research proposed in applications should thus be explicitly related to the expertise and current research interests of specific members of ODID's academic staff (information about which can be found on the 'Research' and 'People' pages of this website). However, it is not necessary for applicants actually to have secured a potential supervisor before submitting an application for the DPhil, nor is it necessary for applicants to have contacted potential supervisors.

Sufficient funding is also crucial for successful doctoral research, and applicants will need secure sources of finance for full-time study. Students are encouraged to undertake some teaching and research assistantship, but as part of their professional development rather than as a major income source.

Those who are eligible and who would like to be considered for ESRC funding should refer to the Fees and Funding page for further information.

Many ODID DPhil students go on to develop academic careers in universities and research institutions across the world. Others have taken up positions in the major international institutions, including the World Bank and the UN organisation, or in NGOs.

For further information on the kinds of careers our students pursue, see the ODID Graduates page.

Introduction

This programme provides the opportunity to study at Oxford for a doctorate in development studies, including forced migration, on topics requiring an interdisciplinary approach. There are close links with other Oxford departments that provide opportunities to study development at the doctoral level in the framework of a single discipline.

Video interviews with current Doctoral Students are available at the links below:

Structure

Successful applicants are admitted initially as Probationer Research Students (PRS) and then transfer to full DPhil student status, usually near the end of their first year. This transfer is conditional on completing any required coursework (usually one course in research methods or from an Oxford master’s degree relevant to their research) and on departmental approval of a fully developed research plan. This course is the only formal class teaching received by doctoral students.  Once the transfer is complete, DPhil students continue their course by conducting their own research under the guidance of their supervisor(s) whom they meet regularly to discuss progress. Students are expected to be resident in Oxford for the whole PRS period.

Assessment of progress is made during supervision sessions and also, more formally, in the viva meetings which form the Transfer of Status and the Confirmation of Status processes which take place usually in the third term (for transfer) and ninth term (for confirmation).  More information on these two meetings can be found in the Course Handbook which can be downloaded from this website.

Students are expected to complete their degrees in a period of three years plus up to one year of fieldwork (if needed), as are students who transfer to the DPhil after a one-year Oxford master’s course. For students who transfer to the DPhil after the MPhil in Development Studies or other two-year Oxford master’s courses, the expected period is two years plus time needed for fieldwork. Students are expected to be resident in Oxford for part of this time.Further information on the structure can be obtained from the Course Handbook.

Entry Requirements

Applicants for the doctoral programme should have a Master's degree in a relevant subject, preferably with distinction, and a first degree in a social science, normally with first class honours or a 3.8 GPA or equivalent. Research experience in a developing country is desirable. See the Admissions Criteria PDF for further information.

Availability of an appropriate supervisor in the department is a vital consideration in assessing applications, because a close fit between the research interests of supervisor and student greatly enhances the prospects of successfully completing the degree. The topics for research proposed in applications should thus be explicitly related to the expertise and current research interests of specific members of ODID's academic staff (information about which can be found on the 'Research' and 'People' pages of this website). However, it is not necessary for applicants actually to have secured a potential supervisor before submitting an application for the DPhil, nor is it necessary for applicants to have contacted potential supervisors.

Sufficient funding is also crucial for successful doctoral research, and applicants will need secure sources of finance for full-time study. Students are encouraged to undertake some teaching and research assistantship, but as part of their professional development rather than as a major income source.

Those who are eligible and who would like to be considered for ESRC funding should refer to the Fees and Funding page for further information.

Careers

Many ODID DPhil students go on to develop academic careers in universities and research institutions across the world. Others have taken up positions in the major international institutions, including the World Bank and the UN organisation, or in NGOs.

For further information on the kinds of careers our students pursue, see the ODID Graduates page.

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Photo: E Schak, MPhil 2006-08

Related Information

International Development: increasing well-being and reducing inequality in global society