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University of Oxford Course/Program Name
Application closes on
National :06 Jan 
International :06 Jan 
EU :06 Jan 

DPhil Biochemistry

 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 Biochemistry
Scores accepted
IELTS (min)7
TOEFL-IBT (min)100
2

World University Ranking

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About this course

This programme aims to train students in cutting-edge laboratory research applying techniques in bionanotechnology, biophysics, computational biology, microscopy, molecular biology, structural biology and systems biology to a broad range of fields including cell biology, chromosome biology, drug discovery, epigenetics, host-pathogen interactions, membrane proteins, ion channels and transporters, and RNA biology.

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 biochemistry, chemistry, biology, cell biology, molecular biology, biophysics, physics, mathematics or computation.

For applicants with a degree from the USA, the minimum GPA sought is 3.5 out of 4.0.

However, entrance is very competitive and most successful applicants have a GPA of 3.7, a first-class degree or the equivalent. 

A previous master's degree is not required in order to be considered for the programme.

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).

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.  

Applications are reviewed by a panel of academics associated with the course. A short-list of applicants is confirmed, based on assessment of achieved or predicted undergraduate degree grade, academic references, personal statement and CV.

Interviews are in person or by video link/Skype, take approximately 30 minutes, and are conducted by a panel of at least two interviewers. Applicants are asked to talk about any research project(s) that they may have pursued and questioned on aspects of their research training to date, understanding of the proposed area of study and motivation for undertaking a DPhil. 

Publications

Whilst not required, publications demonstrating previous research success in a relevant field is likely to advantage your application.

Other qualifications, evidence of excellence and relevant experience

  • Research or working experience in an area related to your proposed DPhil project would be an advantage.

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

Applicants are strongly advised to visit the Medical Sciences Graduate School website to help them identify the most suitable course and supervisors. 

You will be admitted directly to a particular research area led by departmental members who will be appointed DPhil supervisors. If you are admitted to a particular research supervisor you will not normally do laboratory rotations. You will be based in a research lab and undertake research on a subject agreed with your supervisor.

There are no taught courses examined by written papers, however you will have access to a wide range of lecture courses at taught master’s level and foundation or preliminary level, as appropriate. If you have changed fields, this will allow you to fill in gaps in your background knowledge. There is also a wide range of courses and workshops which you can attend to acquire skills that will be necessary for the prosecution and presentation of your research, as well as your professional development as a research scientist.

You will begin your course as a probationary research student (PRS) and near the end of the first year you will write a report to transfer to DPhil (PhD) status. To transfer your status you must make a formal application which will include a research report and statement of future research plans. You will also take an independent assessment by two assessors. Continuation in the programme is subject to passing the Transfer of Status exam.

After eight terms of study you will need to apply formally to confirm your DPhil status. You will be required to present your on-going work in a formal context where it will be reviewed by two independent assessors. Continuation in the programme is subject to successfully completing the Confirmation of Status.

The length of the programme ranges from three to four years with the exact duration depending on the following factors as judged by your supervisor(s) and assessors:

focus and rate of your research development and progress
achievement of acceptable focus and scope of thesis
publication quality research
length of available funding
A small proportion of DPhil students (about 5%) submit their theses within 3 years from starting, however on average most students submit within 3.5 years. By the end of the fourth year, 70-90% of students have submitted their theses.

Research areas for the DPhil in Biochemistry currently include:

  • molecular biochemistry and chemical biology
  • structural biology of cell surface and nuclear signal transduction processes, cell adhesion, cell cycle, membrane proteins, receptors and ion channels, drug design, protein folding and dynamics
  • modelling and simulation of biological membrane systems
  • bionanotechnology and its application to cancer
  • targeting viral morphogenesis in antiviral strategies
  • integrative systems biology (dynamics of molecular regulatory networks, multidimensional optical proteomics)
  • bacterial and parasite respiratory proteins
  • bacterial cell biology, protein transport
  • control of eukaryotic gene expression
  • kinase signalling to gene induction
  • mRNA localisation in Drosophila
  • epigenetic control of chromatin and gene expression
  • developmental epigenetics
  • DNA recombination and repair
  • bacterial chromosome dynamics
  • sister chromatid cohesion
  • genetic modelling of human disease
  • genetics of nematode immunity and development
  • cell biology of innate immunity in Drosophila
  • genetic defects of mitochondrial energy metabolism
  • cell proliferation and cell fate determination during C. elegans development

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 1,000 words
  • 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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