Research Degrees in the School of Interdisciplinary Area Studies

  • 1. Transfer to DPhil status

  • Students will normally be admitted as Probationer Research Students. Applications for Transfer of Status should normally be submitted to the Graduate Studies Committee of the School of Interdisciplinary Area Studies no later than the end of week 4 of the third term after admission.

  • The student will be required to show that the research already accomplished shows promise of the ability to produce a satisfactory DPhil. For this purpose, applications will comprise the following:

    • a) a transfer of status form, signed by the student’s supervisor and an appropriate officer of the candidate’s college;

      b) a paragraph summary of the research question, methodological and theoretical approaches;

      c) a research proposal of approximately 5,000 words consisting of (i) a short description of the project as a whole and a provisional list of chapter headings; (ii) a brief account of the relevant literature and how the research question and data analysis fit into it; (iii) the methodological approach, paying particular attention to practical and ethical issues relevant to the research; (iv) an account of how the proposed research and analysis bear on the questions posed, and (v) a tentative timetable for the research;

      d) a draft chapter of between 5,000 and 7,000 words;

      e) evidence of the seminar presentation given as part of the 1st Year DPhil Seminar Series;

      f) confirmation that the course(s) set out in the Training Needs Analysis plan agreed with the student’s supervisor have been satisfactorily completed.

    The application will be considered by two assessors appointed by the Graduate Studies Committee of the School of Interdisciplinary Area Studies. The panel will read the work, interview the student and make a recommendation to the committee in a written report.

    The committee will decide in the light of the assessors’ report whether to approve Transfer of Status. A student whose first application for transfer is not approved (including whether the outcome is a recommendation to transfer to the MLitt) is permitted to make one further application and will be granted an extension of one term if necessary.  If after a second unsuccessful attempt, the Committee can neither approve transfer to the DPhil or the MLitt, the student will be removed from the Register of Graduate Students.

    2. Confirmation of status

    Application for Confirmation of DPhil status should normally be made no later than the end of week 4 in the seventh term from admission as a research student, but not normally earlier than the sixth term or later than the ninth term. Any student who does not submit an application for Confirmation of DPhil status by the end of their ninth term will be required to apply for deferral of Confirmation of Status. No candidate may submit a thesis for the doctoral degree without having first obtained confirmed doctoral status.  

    The student will be required to show that the research already accomplished shows the required potential to produce a satisfactory DPhil. Applications should be submitted to the Graduate Studies Committee of the School of Interdisciplinary Area Studies and will comprise the following:

    • a) a confirmation of status application form signed by the student’s supervisor and an appropriate officer of the candidate’s college;

      b) an outline structure of the thesis, consisting of chapter headings, and a brief statement of the intended content;

      c) an outline timetable detailing what work has already been carried out and what activities are planned for the remaining stages;

      d) two completed draft chapters intended to form part of the final thesis;

      e) confirmation that required courses and seminars agreed with the student’s supervisor have been satisfactorily completed;

      f) confirmation that the student has presented part of their work at a seminar series, workshop or a conference in Oxford or elsewhere in the UK.

    The application will be considered by two assessors appointed by the Graduate Studies Committee of the School of Interdisciplinary Area Studies. The panel will read the work, interview the student and make a recommendation to the committee in a written report.

    The Committee will decide in the light of the assessors’ report whether to approve Confirmation of Status. A student whose first application is not approved will be permitted to make one further application. If after a second attempt the Committee can neither approve Confirmation of Status nor transfer to the MLitt degree, the student will be removed from the Register of Graduate Students.

    3. Thesis

    The DPhil thesis must not exceed 100,000 words, the limit to include the abstract, all notes and appendices but not the bibliography.

    MLitt theses should not exceed 50,000 words, the limit to include the abstract, all notes and appendices but not the bibliography.