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What are my prospects? US student applying to Oxford for DPhil in Education. Watch

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    I'm seeking any and all well informed opinions and advice regarding my postgraduate application to Oxford, and specifically to DPhil in Education.

    Here's the facts: BA with 4.0 GPA from small private liberal arts college with good rep., graduating with 4.0 GPA from small public university (not ranked, no reputation to speak of- could be viewed as a negative judging from other TSR comments). Positives: both a fellowship and a scholarship for MA, strong CV with work experience, very solid doctoral thesis topic/proposal that fits in with 2 academic staff interests (have been in constant contact with each), strong single author papers to go with proposal, excellent references, quantitative background. I grew up in England until I was 17, most of my relatives are British (grandparents, aunts, etc.), not that makes any difference.

    So... given my postgraduate discipline (education: educational assessment in particular) probably has been seldom discussed, even in TSR forums, but is a social science, how competitive does my application appear to be, what are the odds I'll be accepted (and yes I can PAY, will tap my savings if need be). Thanks.
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    You have the highest possible score in your undergraduate degree, first author publications, and what sounds like faculty that are willing to supervise your thesis within the department... I don't know anything about the DPhil in Education specifically but, if you are willing to go regardless of funding (e.g. a scholarship), then I can't see an obvious barrier to you being accepted.

    As UK PhDs aren't quite like their US equivalents (no taught courses...) the number of places isn't really fixed and will often expand to include all of the students they want to accept. The one exception to this is that potential supervisors might have a limit (e.g. no more than 5 doctoral students per supervisor) but that's clearly not an issue if faculty are expressing an interest in supervising your thesis.
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    (Original post by MonteCristo)
    You have the highest possible score in your undergraduate degree, first author publications, and what sounds like faculty that are willing to supervise your thesis within the department... I don't know anything about the DPhil in Education specifically but, if you are willing to go regardless of funding (e.g. a scholarship), then I can't see an obvious barrier to you being accepted.

    As UK PhDs aren't quite like their US equivalents (no taught courses...) the number of places isn't really fixed and will often expand to include all of the students they want to accept. The one exception to this is that potential supervisors might have a limit (e.g. no more than 5 doctoral students per supervisor) but that's clearly not an issue if faculty are expressing an interest in supervising your thesis.
    Thanks for input MonteCristo, I am familiar with the traditional British PhD (no coursework usually other than research sequence) of little or no extra course, what I was unaware of is the fact a dept. may extend beyond the number of fixed places. I am hoping to court a studentship through the dept. if granted a place, the stipend is decent and would be commensurate with the cost of overseas fees.
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    (Original post by Ernest1)
    Thanks for input MonteCristo, I am familiar with the traditional British PhD (no coursework usually other than research sequence) of little or no extra course, what I was unaware of is the fact a dept. may extend beyond the number of fixed places. I am hoping to court a studentship through the dept. if granted a place, the stipend is decent and would be commensurate with the cost of overseas fees.
    Funding is going to be your biggest problem. Funded doctoral study is highly competitive in the Humanities, so you need to be researching this for your department as soon as possible. You don't say when you're planning to start, but most funding deadlines will have passed for Sep 16 Oxford starters. Someone I studied with at Masters level has won six doctoral research places, including Oxford. However, they didn't win any funding and had to turn all of the offers down. There are some scholarships aimed at US students at Oxford, so do look into those as well.

    If you can be self-funding as per your initial post, that would resolve this key issue. Your results to date certainly indicate that you're a good candidate. I would say that the ranking of your former organisation isn't an issue. I've known students from middle-low ranked UK unis who went on to postgrad study at Oxford. At doctoral level, it's more about your personal potential - which you have in spades, to judge by the profile you outline.
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    You are very correct, and in applying to a social science PhD programme I'm under no illusions about funding. Also, I will have some time to cultivate or locate funding since I'll be applying for the 2017-18 year. The research unit I'm applying to within the Dept. of Education is well funded, especially for individuals such as myself whose thesis is quantitative based. That may enhance my odds, and the ESRC research council has for overseas postgrad students opened up more funding lines. This being said though, I'm very realistic about just how difficult achieving funding is, especially at Oxford.

    Actually my first choice choice is Warwick, and actually I may be able to succeed in locating more funding there than Oxford. Of course Oxford has the worldwide reputation, and more resources and ties to the professional opportunities worldwide, but Warwick's rep and status is rising quickly. And yes whilst Warwick is not a household name like Oxbridge in the U.S., my intentions are to remain in the UK to finally be with family, and If offered a post in a European country of course I'll work there. That's the one aspect about the possibilities of graduating with a PhD in educational assessment and evaluation, there is a high demand for graduates, especially if you're a quantitative researcher such as myself, but that's a long way off.
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    (Original post by Ernest1)
    my intentions are to remain in the UK to finally be with family
    If you're a US citizen, it may not be that simple. Once your student visa exipres or you complete your PhD (whichever happens first), you will be expected to leave the UK promptly. You will then re-apply for either a work or residential visa in order to live/work back in the UK. If the graduate recruitment situation is still as good for your field as it is now, this hopefully shouldn't be an issue.
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    (Original post by Klix88)
    If you're a US citizen, it may not be that simple. Once your student visa exipres or you complete your PhD (whichever happens first), you will be expected to leave the UK promptly. You will then re-apply for either a work or residential visa in order to live/work back in the UK. If the graduate recruitment situation is still as good for your field as it is now, this hopefully shouldn't be an issue.
    Oh yes, don't remind me, been there done that, with a previous work stint in Guildford and a student visa when I took a couple of research courses at Essex in the summer. For that reason, and in general, whichever PhD programme I enroll in, I'll start working on the employment aspect as soon as I finish my research course sequence in my first year so that perhaps gainful employment may be in the cards before I graduate. I have no illusions about that situation either! Any overseas student that actually intends to earn their PhD at a British university basically should research and tray to map out carefully that 3 years during which she or he will be a student. The advice I was given: 1) try to get into a top shelf uni, 2) work your arse off, get what you came for, and 3) start cultivating possible opportunities as soon as you arrive.
 
 
 
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