D.Phil. Admissions Criteria

Admissions criteria for D.Phil in Linguistics, Philology and Phonetics

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 expected to have a background in Linguistics comparable to Oxford’s M.Phil. degree in General Linguistics and Comparative Philology and to be predicted or to have achieved a very good result or a distinction in their master’s degree. 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. If you are a current Master’s student or have completed a Master’s degree, one of your referees should be your supervisor or course director on the Master’s programme. If you do not provide a reference from your Master’s supervisor or course director, the department will usually ask you to do so before completing the assessment of your application.
  • Written work: Two relevant academic essays or other writing samples from the applicant’s most recent qualification, 2000 words in length, written in English. These will be assessed for: comprehensive understanding of the subject area; understanding of problems in the area; ability to construct and defend an argument; powers of analysis; and powers of expression in English. The written work should demonstrate the applicant’s competence in the proposed area of study.
  • Research proposal: written in English; should include information about the applicant’s background in Linguistics and degree of preparation already achieved for the research, as well as an outline of the thesis and of how the research will be conducted. This will be assessed for: the applicant’s reasons for applying; the coherence of the proposal; the originality of the project; evidence of motivation for and understanding of the proposed area of study; the ability to present a reasoned case in English; the feasibility of successfully completing the project in the time available for the course (a maximum of 4 years); commitment to the subject, beyond the requirements of the degree course; preliminary knowledge of research techniques; capacity for sustained and intense work; reasoning ability; ability to absorb new ideas, often presented abstractly, at a rapid pace. The statement should focus on the research itself rather than personal achievements, interests and aspirations.
  • Performance at interview(s): Interviews of selected candidates are normally held as part of the admissions process. The faculty receives comparatively large numbers of applications for a small number of places. Therefore, only those candidates who have scored highly in the paper-based assessment are invited for interview. Interviews are generally conducted by telephone or Skype, or in person if the candidate finds that convenient.

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 can be found 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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