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Oxford Graduate Application 2012/13

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    I've already asked elsewhere and got no answer so if anyone can help I'll be really grateful.
    I'd like to apply to do a DPhil following an MA (Humanities field), my question is: do they take the MA into consideration? The closing date for applications is early January, by which time I'll have been on Masters course for three months. Isn't that a bit early for references and results? I'm assuming this is normal procedure but how can the MA really count so early on? Would they base their decision on my BA result, and of course a research proposal?

    If there is someone with experience of this I'd love to hear about it.
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    You can't do a DPhil at Oxford without doing an MA first. Ideally, you should provide at least one reference from your supervisor or tutor on your Master's course. If you get an offer from Oxford, it will almost certainly be conditional and will depend on your Master's results. This is generally the same for all universities.
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    Thanks for replying!

    This is sort of what I thought, what still worries me though is the fact that my course will last 11 months, do they give conditional offers based on courses that end so late? I thought they had to have all the required information by July. If this were the case it would mean applying the following year and losing a year between, disturbing...
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    When does your Master's officially end? If there is any question of overlap with the beginning of Oxford's academic year, you will need to get on the phone to them and ask what the procedure is. They would never make you wait a year extra though - they would just be unable to make your offer unconditional for a little while longer. Good luck
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    (Original post by the_alba)
    You can't do a DPhil at Oxford without doing an MA first. Ideally, you should provide at least one reference from your supervisor or tutor on your Master's course. If you get an offer from Oxford, it will almost certainly be conditional and will depend on your Master's results. This is generally the same for all universities.
    I was under the impression that you could do a D.Phil at Oxford without a master's - you can apply after an undergrad to achieve probationer research student status and then progress to D.Phil status without doing the master's. At least three of my dad's friends did this after St Andrews...
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    (Original post by lucho22)
    I was under the impression that you could do a D.Phil at Oxford without a master's - you can apply after an undergrad to achieve probationer research student status and then progress to D.Phil status without doing the master's. At least three of my dad's friends did this after St Andrews...
    Maybe it varies from course to course, and maybe the fact that it was a Scottish university (four years at undergrad?) made a difference too.

    For most humanities subjects, Oxford insist you have a Master's before DPhil;plus, if your Master's is from any other university, they often make you audit a relevant Oxford Master's course in the first year of your DPhil.
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    I lived with somebody who had a first class MA (Hons) in History from St. Andrews as well as a postgrad. Masters in History from Exeter (with distinction I believe). This women applied to Oxford for a PhD. Her interviewer told her that Oxford's History department usually want their PhD students to hold a Masters in History from Oxford. She declined and she didn't get a place. She's now at Dublin instead. Wierd eh?
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    (Original post by The Boosh)
    I lived with somebody who had a first class MA (Hons) in History from St. Andrews as well as a postgrad. Masters in History from Exeter (with distinction I believe). This women applied to Oxford for a PhD. Her interviewer told her that Oxford's History department usually want their PhD students to hold a Masters in History from Oxford. She declined and she didn't get a place. She's now at Dublin instead. Wierd eh?
    Yeah, that's pretty ****e. Surely no university can stipulate that they don't accept PhD students without them doing a Master's with them first. Aside from everything else, it's blatant financial discrimination - obtaining extra fees by stealth and snobbery.
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    i was thinking the same thing myself. cash. then i thought about an arrogance factor - staff assuming that non-oxford students require additonal help before they start their phds. i know two history lecturers at oxford with non-oxford phds (i.e. dublin and liverpool) so the arrogance rule clearly doesn't apply to recruitment of staff. the whole thing is utter *******s. i've heard from international academics that an arrogance factor underpins various american universities (suny particularly) but i've not had first hand experience of this and it could simply be a reflex to a competitive culture which the aforementioned academics are not used to. it's hard to think positive thoughts with the oxford history department if the oxford masters rule applies to all outside of oxbridge.
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    (Original post by lucho22)
    I was under the impression that you could do a D.Phil at Oxford without a master's - you can apply after an undergrad to achieve probationer research student status and then progress to D.Phil status without doing the master's. At least three of my dad's friends did this after St Andrews...
    I can confirm that this is true of the sciences, at least, for I am due to start my D.Phil at Oxford next week and I do not have a masters. However, I am lead to believe that whilst this is increasingly common in the sciences, the same cannot be said of humanities subjects where the requirement for a masters is the norm.
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    "Utter *******s" is right. I know two people at my college (out of three) who are doing DPhils in history with a master's degree from another university.

    If you actually bothered to look at the website
    http://www.admin.ox.ac.uk/postgraduate/caz/hist.shtml
    instead of believing what someone you don't know says their flatmate says, then you would see that 1) the Ox history department usually asks for "some form of Master's qualification" (ie NOT specifically the Ox MSt) and 2) that people who "can outline a well-conceived research proposal, and who are confident from the start that they wish to proceed to doctoral research, may apply for immediate admission as research students".
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    (Original post by Tamurlane)
    "Utter *******s" is right. I know two people at my college (out of three) who are doing DPhils in history with a master's degree from another university.

    If you actually bothered to look at the website
    http://www.admin.ox.ac.uk/postgraduate/caz/hist.shtml
    instead of believing what someone you don't know says their flatmate says, then you would see that 1) the Ox history department usually asks for "some form of Master's qualification" (ie NOT specifically the Ox MSt) and 2) that people who "can outline a well-conceived research proposal, and who are confident from the start that they wish to proceed to doctoral research, may apply for immediate admission as research students".
    The website is the official line, individual academics have different ideas about who they want to take on as a PhD student, however. Remember that the official line and what actually goes on inside academic departments are two different things.
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    (Original post by Tamurlane)
    "Utter *******s" is right. I know two people at my college (out of three) who are doing DPhils in history with a master's degree from another university.

    If you actually bothered to look at the website
    http://www.admin.ox.ac.uk/postgraduate/caz/hist.shtml
    instead of believing what someone you don't know says their flatmate says, then you would see that 1) the Ox history department usually asks for "some form of Master's qualification" (ie NOT specifically the Ox MSt) and 2) that people who "can outline a well-conceived research proposal, and who are confident from the start that they wish to proceed to doctoral research, may apply for immediate admission as research students".
    As CB said, the official line often differs greatly from actual experience of applying for these things. Oxford is notoriously tricky about admitting people without a relevant Master's. These Master's generally do come from outside Oxford, of course: but that doesn't stop Oxford insisting that these students audit classes from an Oxford Master's in the first year of their DPhil.
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    (Original post by nikk)
    I can confirm that this is true of the sciences, at least, for I am due to start my D.Phil at Oxford next week and I do not have a masters. However, I am lead to believe that whilst this is increasingly common in the sciences, the same cannot be said of humanities subjects where the requirement for a masters is the norm.
    Can I ask you about the application process? I'm in my 2nd yr of a science degree at the moment and would like to apply for post grad. There is a prof in biochem at Oxford and Cell biology at Cambridge that I'd love to work under, but do you actually get to select your supervisor? Or do you just apply to the dept and similar to the college lottery system, if you have the right criteria you are selected for a post grad degree and then just allocated to a Prof in that dept?
    Which dept will you be starting your D.Phil in?
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    (Original post by nikk)
    I can confirm that this is true of the sciences, at least, for I am due to start my D.Phil at Oxford next week and I do not have a masters. However, I am lead to believe that whilst this is increasingly common in the sciences, the same cannot be said of humanities subjects where the requirement for a masters is the norm.
    One last question if I may... did you already have a great deal of lab experience i.e. outside of the std labs at uni?
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    (Original post by arod)
    Can I ask you about the application process? I'm in my 2nd yr of a science degree at the moment and would like to apply for post grad. There is a prof in biochem at Oxford and Cell biology at Cambridge that I'd love to work under, but do you actually get to select your supervisor? Or do you just apply to the dept and similar to the college lottery system, if you have the right criteria you are selected for a post grad degree and then just allocated to a Prof in that dept?
    Which dept will you be starting your D.Phil in?
    I can answer a few of those and I'm not at Oxford. Yes, you get to select your supervisor you don't simply apply to a department and they give you a project at random! A PhD is 3 years of research and so you've got to be entirely happy with the project you are taking on so that you can be successful in it.

    In the sciences, most people go straight into a PhD after their first degree and whilst some might have a bit of experience in labs over the summer, academics are really looking for evidence of good academic achievement during your degree. Of course if you've spend a few years working in your area prior to taking on a PhD then the profs will be more than happy, but for most people in science a PhD is part of the training process before beginning your career.
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    I'm going to apply to the Oxford Internet Institute MSc program, and I'm wondering if you have any suggestions of what might work for writing samples for this program.
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    What they ask for (as you almost certainly have checked at http://www.oii.ox.ac.uk/teaching/msc/apply.cfm) is:

    * Interest and enthusiasm for study of the many social aspects of information, and communication technologies (as evidenced by a personal statement of not more than 500 words showing why the application is being made)
    * A research interest in an area of study covered by at least one member of the academic and research staff at the OII, or its associated faculty in departments and Colleges participating in this programme (see supervisors below).

    I don't see what one could add to that. You'll have your own reasons for applying to the course: write about them. 500 words.

    DtS
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    Sorry I wasn't clear. They also request two writing samples in addition to the personal statement. I have published several articles in this field, but all are longer than the suggested 2,000 words. I'm wondering if I should excerpt (or truncate) the articles and what topics might be beneficial to include.
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    My writing samples were:
    1) a short essay (500 words below the limit to show how I write short essays--very straightforward)

    2) an excerpt from my undergrad thesis. The thesis is 150+ pages so I just chose an excerpt that showcased how I went about the lit review.

    I haven't published anything so I'd think you should stand a good chance having several(!) articles. Just take a good excerpt from an article. One of my advisors urged me to submit at least one "full" paper to be read from beginning to end (#1). I think the Internet Institute seems like a fascinating place to study. I almost want to apply for a program there :o:

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