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Entry requirements for 2018-19
DPhil and MSc by R esearch in Primary Health Care


Within equal opportunities principles and legislation, applications will be assessed in the light of an applicant’s ability to meet the following entry requirements:

1. Academic ability

Proven and potential academic excellence

Applicants are normally expected to be predicted or to have achieved a first-class or a strong upper second class undergraduate degree with honours (or equivalent international qualifications) as a minimum in a relevant subject. For applicants with a degree from the USA, the minimum GPA sought is3.5 out of 4.0. No Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or GMAT scores are sought.

If you hold non-British qualifications, you are advised to check how your qualifications match these requirements with the National Recognition Information Centre for the United Kingdom (UK NARIC)

However, entrance is very competitive and most successful applicants have a first-class degree or the equivalent (e.g. a GPA of at least 3.7 out of 4.0).

A previous master's degree is desirable.

Other appropriate indicators will include:

Academic references/letters of recommendation
Your references will support intellectual ability, academic achievement, motivation, and ability to work in a group.

Professional references/letters of recommendation
Unfortunately we cannot accept professional references.

Written work and/or portfolio produced by the student
Applicants should provide two relevant academic written pieces of work from their most recent qualification of 2,000 words each; or 2,000 word extracts of longer prefaced by a note which puts them in context. The written work should be written in English.

This will be assessed for:

  • A comprehensive understanding of the subject area;
  • An understanding of problems in the area;
  • An ability to construct and defend an argument;
  • Your powers of analysis; and
  • Your powers of expression.

It is not important that the written work relates closely to the proposed area of study.

Research proposal
Your research proposal should normally be two pages in length and cover areas such as background to research, aims, methodology, expected results, contribution to the field of learning. The research proposal should be written in English.

This will be assessed for:

  • The coherence of the proposal;
  • The originality of the project;
  • Evidence of motivation for and understanding of the proposed area of study;
  • The ability to present a reasoned case in English; and
  • The feasibility of successfully completing the project in the time available (maximum four 
  • years).

It will be normal for your ideas subsequently to change in some ways as you investigate the evidence and develop your project. You should nevertheless make the best effort you can to demonstrate the extent of your research question, sources and method at this moment.

Performance at interview
Candidates’ applications will be shortlisted based on the above indicators. Candidates who are shortlisted are normally interviewed as part of the admissions process; there will be a minimum of three academics on the interview panel, only one of whom can be a potential supervisor. During the interview, you will be asked to make a brief presentation based on your research proposal; this will be followed by questions from the panel.

Interviews will normally be conducted in person but can be conducted by Skype if necessary.

It is not essential to have a history of previous publications but it would be to an applicant's advantage if they did have.

Other qualifications and experience
Evidence of a prior interest in the area of research proposed is likely to advantage a candidate’s application.


2. English language requirement

Applicants whose first language is not English are usually required to provide evidence of proficiency in English at the higher level required by the University.


3. Availability of supervision, teaching, facilities and places

The following factors will govern whether candidates can be offered places:

  • The ability of the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences to provide the appropriate supervision, research opportunities, teaching and facilities for your chosen area of work.
  • Minimum and maximum limits to the numbers of students who may be admitted onto Oxford’s research and taught programmes.

The provision of supervision is subject to the following points:

  • The allocation of graduate supervision is the responsibility of the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences and it is not always possible to accommodate the preferences of incoming graduate students to work with a particular member of staff.
  • Under exceptional circumstances a supervisor may be found outside the Nuffield Department of


4. Disability, health conditions and specific learning difficulties

Students are selected for admission without regard to gender, marital or civil partnership status, disability, race, nationality, ethnic origin, religion or belief, sexual orientation, age or social background.

Decisions on admission are based solely on the individual academic merits of each candidate and the application of the selection criteria appropriate to the programme of study.

Further information on how these matters are supported during the admissions process is available in our guidance for applicants with disabilities.

5. Assessors

All recommendations to admit a student involve the judgement of at least two members of the academic staff with the relevant experience and expertise, and additionally must be approved by the Director of Graduate Studies. Admissions panels or committees will always include at least one member of academic staff who has undertaken appropriate training.

6. Other information

Whether you have yet secured funding is not taken into consideration in the decision to make an initial offer a place, but please note that the initial offer of a place will not be confirmed until you have completed a Financial Declaration.

We recommend that DPhil and MSc by Research candidates should contact a potential supervisor(s) before submitting an application. Questions about the process should be addressed to the Postgraduate Training Administrator, Daniel Long (

We encourage prospective applicants to communicate with us in order to refine their application, especially where scholarships are involved.

Course webpages

Our course webpages can be found here:
DPhil -
MSc by Research -