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University of Oxford Course/Program Name
Application closes on
National :20 Jan 
International :20 Jan 
EU :20 Jan 

DPhil Astrophysics

 Course Level
PhD
 Type
Full Time

 Duration
4 Years
 Start month
October

 Tuition fee

International
19335 GBP
National
4250 GBP
EU
4250 GBP

Application fee

International 75 GBP
National 75 GBP
EU 75 GBP
Department
Department of Physics
Scores accepted
IELTS (min)7
TOEFL-IBT (min)100
2

World University Ranking

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About this course

The DPhil in Astrophysics is a research-based degree offered by the astrophysics and theoretical physics sub-departments, available to students interested in carrying out research in observational or theoretical astrophysics, or in instrumentation. The course has a strong track record of preparing students for careers in academia and beyond.

Check further details on University website

Eligibility Criteria

Academic Requirements

Proven and potential academic excellence

Applicants are normally expected to be predicted or have achieved a first-class or strong upper second-class undergraduate degree with honours (or equivalent international qualifications), as a minimum, in physics, astrophysics or astronomy, mathematics, engineering or related fields. 

For applicants with a degree from the USA, the typical minimum GPA sought is 3.3 out of 4.0. However, selection of candidates also depends on other factors in your application. Entry is competitive and most successful applicants have achieved higher GPA scores. 

The equivalent of a UK four-year integrated MPhys or MSci degree is also typically required.

If you hold non-UK qualifications and wish to check how your qualifications match these requirements, you can contact the National Recognition Information Centre for the United Kingdom (UK NARIC).

Directly-related professional expertise may be a substitute; for example, significant instrument-building experience.

No Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or GMAT scores are sought.

Other appropriate indicators will include:

Supporting documents

You will be required to supply supporting documents with your application, including references and an official transcript. See 'How to apply' for instructions on the documents you will need and how these will be assessed.

Performance at interview(s)

Interviews are normally held as part of the admissions process.  

Interviews are normally held during February and March, following a shortlisting procedure which takes into account your academic qualifications (and professional track record if applicable), research statement and references. You will receive either one or two interviews with two members of staff, either in person, via Skype or on the phone. 

Publications

If you have publications, make sure they are highlighted in your research statement; the committee will consider your track record in light of your professional experience. However, many candidates with no peer-reviewed publications receive offers each year.

 

ENGLISH LANGUAGE REQUIREMENTS

You must supply suitable evidence that you meet the English language requirement for your course (or, if eligible, you can request a waiver of the requirement), if:

  • your first language is not English, or 
  • your first language is English, but you are not a national of a majority English-speaking country recognised by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI).

Score requirements
The University applies either a standard or a higher level of required ability in English depending on the course. The level you will need is shown on each course page.

The University only accepts certain standardised tests, with results at or above the following scores:

IELTS Academic 
Institution code: 0713

  • Standard level scores 7.0 Minimum,6.5 per component 
  • Higher level scores 7.5 Minimum,7.0 per component 

TOEFL iBT 
Institution code: 0490

  • Standard level scores - 100 Minimum component scores Listening: 22,Reading: 24,Speaking: 25,Writing: 24
  • Higher level scores - 110 Minimum component scores Listening: 22,Reading: 24,Speaking: 25,Writing: 24

 

Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE)

  • Standard level scores - 185 Minimum 176 per component
  • Higher level scores - 191 Minimum 185 per component

 

Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE)

  • Standard level scores - 185 Minimum 176 per component
  • Higher level scores - 191 Minimum 185 per component

All of these tests are accepted for both admissions and visa purposes; you will not be required to provide additional evidence of your English language ability in your visa application. Whilst UKVI may accept lower minimum scores for visa purposes, the University still requires you to meet these minimum scores.

Your test must have been taken no more than two years before the start date of your course.

You do not need to submit an English language test result at the same time as your application if you have not yet taken a test or received your results; your application will still be considered by the academic department, provided that all other required documents have been submitted. Any offer of a place will be conditional on you submitting English language test results at the required level by a deadline set by the department in their offer letter. 

The University will verify all IELTS and TOEFL results directly with the test provider. If you have uploaded a CPE or CAE, you will be asked to supply the original document if you are admitted to the course. 

Asking for a waiver of the requirement
At the discretion of the academic department, the requirement to provide English language scores may be waived if you have completed, or are currently completing, a degree-level course that is:

  • full-time
  • at least nine months long
  • undertaken at a recognised institution where the medium of instruction and assessment throughout the course is entirely in English.

To request a waiver, you need to write a letter or statement giving the reasons for your request and upload it to your application. If successful, you will not be required to supply English language test results as a condition of any offer made.

If you are still completing your course and you are offered a place and a waiver of the requirement, you will usually need to provide evidence that you have successfully completed your course as a condition of your offer by a date set by your department in your offer letter (no later than 31 August and generally earlier). If you are due to complete your course after this deadline, you will usually be expected to submit results of an English language test meeting the University's usual requirements.

Check further details on University website

Course Modules

The DPhil is a research-based course that normally takes three to four years of study. You will be expected to carry out your own research in areas drawn from the sub-department's exceptionally broad range of research, exploiting access to high performance computing and to the full range of space and ground-based facilities where necessary.

You should closely consult the the sub-department's areas of research interest and the list of available projects; particular strengths are the study of cosmology, galaxies and black holes, instrumentation and large telescope projects and stars and exoplanets.

You will be a member of a lively research environment, and the department places great emphasis on matching student and supervisor so that work on the main research project can begin as soon as possible. A taught graduate course in the first year runs in parallel to this work, providing a comprehensive overview of both the state of modern astrophysics and the necessary skills required to make progress in 21st century research. Students are also expected to attend a suitable short course from the MPhys or other courses. Neither part of this graduate program is examined. 

The lively programme of seminars, colloquia and discussion meetings held in the department ensures that you remain in touch with the cutting edge of the subject and provide an opportunity to interact with staff and with the large number of visitors who pass through the department each year. They also provide plenty of opportunity for you to gain experience in presenting their science, a critical part of a modern researcher's life.

Check further details on University website

How to Apply

SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS

The following documents are compulsory for all applications:

  • three references (letters of recommendation)
  • official transcript(s) of previous university-level degrees
  • CV/résumé
  • statement of purpose and/or research proposal (upto 2 pages)

You may also need to submit one or more of the following, depending on the course:

  • academic written work
  • portfolio (eg of artwork, performance recordings)
  • GRE results
  • mathematics admissions exercise
  • evidence of proficiency in a language essential to the course, eg Japanese-Language Proficiency Test (JLPT)

The set of documents you should send with your application to this course comprises the following:

  • Official transcript(s)
  • CV/résumé
  • Statement of purpose/personal statement:Up to two pages
  • References/letters of recommendation:Three overall,academic

All your documents must be in PDF, JPG or PNG format

  • Files must not be sent as Word documents. If you are not sure how to convert your files to PDF format no larger than 4MB (for upload to your application form)
  • Documents larger than 4MB are acceptable, but they are larger than the capacity of the upload facility in the application form itself. Instead, create a PDF with the following statement and upload it to the relevant document slot in your application:"My document is over 4MB and will be sent separately."
  • After you submit your application, send the document via ouroversize document form by the deadline you are applying to.in English (unless otherwise permitted by the department)
  • Documents you have written yourself, such as a personal statement, research proposal or written work, must be written in English unless otherwise permitted by the department. An English translation by a third party is not acceptable unless explicitly permitted by the department. These documents must be entirely your own work, except where clearly indicated, and may be checked using plagiarism detection software as part of the admissions process. Further information on this requirement is available in our guidance on plagiarism.
  • Official transcripts which are not issued in English should be translated by either a professional translator, the relevant issuing body of the original document, or an authorised notary. 
  • accessible, clear and legible
  • easily identifiable
  • Please clearly indicate your name as well as the type of document, eg research proposal, on the document.
  • You should not upload documents which are not required for your course, eg degree certificates.
  • Please do not send original and/or paper documents unless specifically requested. If you are offered a place, you will later be asked to send the original(s) of any official documents sent as a digital file in your initial application.

Check further details on University website

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