Graduates: Applying

The Department encourages enquiries from students who wish to study for a DPhil (the Oxford equivalent of a PhD*). The first step is to identify the areas of research that interest you, and the name of a potential supervisor or supervisors. Once you have identified a potential supervisor or supervisors, you should contact them to discuss potential projects and funding routes. The director of graduate studies responsible for admissions is Professor Alex Kacelnik.

There are a variety of routes to fund a DPhil, and supervisors will help you to identify the best possibilities. Briefly, there are two major routes.

(1) Direct. Start a project, typically lasting three years with a specific supervisor. These can be funded in a number of ways, including: funding already obtained by the supervisor (usually advertised in the 'Studentships' section and on findaphd.com); various scholarship and fellowship schemes that are special to Oxford including the new NaturalMotion graduate scholarships specific to the Zoology Department (see 'Studentships' section); other fellowship and funding schemes that the potential student can apply for (e.g. from charities and agencies); self-funding.

(2) Doctoral-Training Programmes. These are four year courses, the first of which is usually a mixture of training and small projects (potentially in different departments). At the end of (or during) this first year, you join a research group and supervisor for three years of research (hopefully in the Department of Zoology!). These programmes offer a large number of funded scholarships and we encourage you to apply. Zoology takes students from four doctoral training programmes.

Potential supervisors can advise on which would be most appropriate training programme to apply to.

The application process is described in detail elsewhere.

In exceptional cases, the department also takes students who wish to study for a Masters by Research (MSc Res), which typically takes two years. Since we accept few students for this degree, there must be a strong academic case. Again, the first step is to contact potential supervisors.

* In Oxford, the degree qualification commonly referred to as a Doctor of Philosophy or Ph.D. is known as a D.Phil.