How to Apply for Graduate Study

Applications for courses offered for admission in 2022-23 are now closed


This page provides a full breakdown of the entry requirements and tips from Faculty staff and students about making the most of your application. The application process for both the Masters courses and the DPhil require similar requirements, so the below information is relevant to all graduate study offered by the Faculty.

Further information about application to specific programmes can be found on the University of Oxford website

Entry requirements and application documents

Masters Study

  • a first-class or strong upper second-class undergraduate degree with honours in a relevant discipline in the humanities or social sciences.

DPhil Study

  • a master's degree with distinction or a high pass; and a first-class or strong upper second-class undergraduate degree with honours in history or in a relevant discipline in the humanities or social sciences.

Application Documents required for Masters and DPhil study:

  • official transcript(s) of the individual grades received in your University-level qualifications to date;
  • a CV/resume
  • at least two references; 
  • a personal statement (masters programmes only);
  • your proposal (viability of topic and level of background research already done);
  • written work made up of two essays of exactly 2000 words each or one essay of 4000-5000 words (research and writing skills).

The Faculty will specifically look for evidence of:

  • a capacity to work at a high intellectual level;
  • preparedness for your proposed programme of study; 
  • the ability to identify and formulate an appropriate project for individual research (excellence in this regard will always increase your competitiveness for funding); 
  • how your proposed topic will fit with our programme and supervisory capacity.

Advice on your proposal

Your proposal should show your academic potential and convince us that you have the right intellectual qualities, academic knowledge and skills. Do spend a lot of time on this, as it will be the centrepiece of your application.

We suggest that you:

Depth and structure of this explanation will naturally differ with the nature of the programme for which you are applying. A proposal for a DPhil should be more detailed, but not necessarily longer.

Be as precise and concrete as you can – though be assured that assessors will bear in mind that what you are submitting is a proposal for research yet to be undertaken.

Your Supervisor

You do not need to try to recruit your own supervisor. 

The faculty will appoint supervisors on the basis of our assessment of their fit with your research interests and their spare teaching capacity.

However, you should ensure that the Faculty has the ability to support your interests by having academic staff with matching expertise. You can check what research interests Faculty staff have using the links below:

Top Tip

The application form is available from the opening of the admissions window, but there is nothing to be gained from applying early, as we assess all applications together after the deadline.

However, we would advise not to leave submitting your application form until the last minute, as you may encounter last minute delays that can impact your application.

Useful links to guide you through the application process


For help with the application form, uploading of supporting material or queries about the course content, you can contact our Graduate Admissions Officer.