The Student Room Group

Applying for a DPhil at Oxford without a supervisor

Hello, I've applied for a DPhil at Oxford without a supervisor but did suggest some names. Assuming my application is strong (completed my MSt at Oxford with a First), what are the chances of being accepted? Does the University seek to find a relevant supervisor?

In most cases a DPhil application requires you to already have some form of communication with your proposed supervisor(s) before applying. There may be exceptions depending on what kind of DPhil you're applying for, but it is a very standard and recommended practice to have some form of prior agreement with potential supervisor(s). Oxford is really competitive and I'd imagine another applicant with the same qualifications as you would have a leg-up on you if they already contacted supervisor(s) prior.
I can’t speak about other disciplines but in my area (Humanities) this wouldn’t matter - there’s no expectation of having made contact with a supervisor before you submit your DPhil application and doing so doesn’t give you an advantage. Making contact doesn’t mean you’ll get that supervisor anyway as it gets allocated by a committee and some supervisors are over subscribed if they work on trendy areas. So unless it explicitly says on the Oxford materials that you are meant to have contacted someone, I wouldn’t stress about it.

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