M.St./M.Phil. Admissions Criteria

Admissions Criteria for M.St./M.Phil. in General Linguistics and Comparative Philology

Within equal opportunities principles and legislation, applications will be assessed in the light of a candidate’s ability to meet the following criteria:

Academic ability: Proven and potential academic excellence. Applicants are normally expected to be predicted or to have achieved a first-class or an upper second class undergraduate degree (or equivalent international qualifications; if you hold non-British qualifications, you are advised to check with the National Recognition Information Centre for the United Kingdom (UK NARIC: www.naric.org.uk) how your qualifications match these requirements. ). Most students admitted to read for the M.St. or M.Phil. have some background in linguistics or philology, but few will have taken a full undergraduate course in these subjects. Appropriate indicators will include:

  • Academic references/letters of recommendation, which demonstrate the applicant’s intellectual ability, academic achievement, motivation, and ability to work in a group.
  • Written work: Two essays or extracts from dissertations, 2000 words in length, written in English. These will be assessed for a comprehensive understanding of the subject area, understanding of problems in the subject area of the essay, ability to construct and defend an argument, powers of analysis, and powers of effective expression in English.
  • Personal statement: Approximately 1-3 pages in English. This will be assessed for: your reasons for applying; evidence of motivation for and understanding of the proposed area of study; the ability to present a reasoned case in English; commitment to the subject, beyond the requirements of the degree course; capacity for sustained and intense work; reasoning ability; ability to absorb new ideas, often presented abstractly, at a rapid pace. The personal statement should be as specific as possible about the applicant’s background in Linguistics and study aims.
  • Interviews are not normally held as part of the M.St./M.Phil.admissions process.

Availability of supervision, teaching, facilities and places The following factors will govern whether candidates can be offered places:

  • The ability of the Faculty of Linguistics, Philology and Phonetics to provide the appropriate supervision, research opportunities, teaching and facilities for your chosen area of work.
  • The minimum and maximum limits on the numbers of students who may be admitted onto Oxford’s research and taught programmes.

The provision of supervision is subject to the following condition:

  • The allocation of graduate supervision is the responsibility of the Faculty of Linguistics, Philology and Phonetics, and it is not always possible to accommodate the preferences of incoming graduate students to work with a particular member of staff. Under exceptional circumstances, a supervisor may be found outside the Faculty of Linguistics, Philology and Phonetics.

English language requirement Applicants whose first language is not English are usually required to provide evidence of proficiency in English at the higher level required by the University Link

Deadlines and required full set of application materials Please refer to the Graduate Admissions website Link for information on the deadlines which must be met, and the full set of supporting materials required, in order for applications to be guaranteed to be considered.

Whether you have yet secured funding is not taken into consideration in the decision to make an initial offer a place, but please note that the initial offer of a place will not be confirmed until the college which gives you an initial offer of a place is satisfied that you have sufficient funding to cover your fees and living costs for the standard period of fee liability for your course.

Disability, health conditions and specific learning difficulties Students are selected for admission without regard to gender, marital or civil partnership status, disability, race, nationality, ethnic origin, religion or belief, sexual orientation, age or social background. Decisions on admission are based solely on the individual academic merits of each candidate and the application of the selection criteria appropriate to the programme of study.

Further information on how these matters are supported during the admissions process is available here: Link

Assessors All applications will be assessed by more than one member of the academic staff with relevant experience and expertise.

Course webpage: http://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/postgraduate_courses/course_guide/linguistics.html

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