What makes a successful DPhil and MSc by Research application?
A number of factors contribute to the likely success of your application:
- Academic ability. We expect candidates to be predicted or have achieved a first-class or strong upper second-class undergraduate degree with honours (or equivalent international qualifications), as a minimum, in psychology or a related discipline that is relevant to your proposed research. For applicants with a degree from an overseas institution, equivalent grades are required (for example, from the USA, the minimum GPA sought is 3.5 out of 4.0). Candidates’ references are also used to assess their academic track record. Please ensure that potential referees are contacted well in advance of the deadline.
- Support of supervisor. Candidates whose applications are strongly supported by a senior staff member within the Department of Experimental Psychology will be considered more favourably. Please ensure that supervisors are contacted well in advance of the deadline, are aware which programme you are applying to, and are willing to support the proposed research. Proposals that fall well outside of the supervisor’s core area(s) of expertise may be considered less favourably, unless suitable explanation is given.
- Research experience. Candidates' research experience is taken into account when evaluating their application. A proven track record of having conducted research is not a requirement for application to the course, but will help the panel assess the likely success of the proposed research project. A record of having published past research or presented work at academic conferences is also considered positively.
- Performance at interview. At interview, candidates asked to give a short presentation about a past research topic. The panel will not judge the outcome of the research presented per se, and are not concerned about whether the project has been completed or is still in progress. Rather, they interested in candidates’ ability to describe their work clearly and respond to questions about it. Successful candidates are often able to give a good assessment of both the strengths and weaknesses of the research project described.
- Written and spoken English. All DPhil and MSc by Research candidates in Oxford are assessed in English. It is therefore important that students can speak and write in English to a sufficient level. Applicants whose first language is not English are required to provide evidence of proficiency in English at the standard level required by the University.