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Applying to Study for a DPhil

The next application deadline will be in early January 2024 for a start in October 2024.

Apply online

Everything you need to know about the application requirements: http://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/graduate/courses/dphil-fine-art

Application Guide: http://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/graduate/applying-to-oxford/application-guide

Technical questions: graduate.admissions@admin.ox.ac.uk

Course questions to the department: graduate@rsa.ox.ac.uk


All supporting documentation, including letters of reference, must be received by the deadline. It is not possible to consider incomplete applications.

You will be able to complete and submit your application online and upload electronic copies of supporting materials (including written materials, curriculum vitae etc). You can save the application as you go along. 

It is a good idea to submit the reference section early to give your referees plenty of time to prepare and submit their supporting statements by the deadline. They will receive an invitation link by email to submit their references.

Also, submitting your application in good time gives you more chance to be alerted in case there are any issues with your uploaded documents.


Portfolio Submission

Portfolio (practice-led DPhil only):

Your digital portfolio should consist of recently-completed studio work documented through up to 15 images and/or 12 minutes of moving image or sound work. You should add one URL linking to your portfolio at the beginning of your written work document. This should occupy a page by itself, with the written work starting on a new page.

Portfolios should be hosted on a website or service that is publicly accessible via the internet, eg via Vimeo, YouTube, Flickr, Google or your own website.

Your portfolio will be assessed for evidence of creative thinking and artistic accomplishment, clarity in the exposition of ideas, and a comprehensive understanding of the subject area.

  • Important things to note:
  • Do not upload your portfolio as a file or it will be removed and your application not assessed.
  • Please avoid ad-heavy platforms and/or password-protection if you can.
  • It is your responsibility that the link works in January and February.
  • We cannot accept any content other than the requested URL. The department will not accept portfolios submitted via email. If you cannot provide a web-based portfolio, please send an email to graduate@rsa.ox.ac.uk  to discuss alternative arrangements in good time well before the deadline.



The Admissions panel assesses all complete applications in January. Shortlisted candidates will be invited for an online interview to be held in mid-February. 


Fees & Funding

As in most places in the UK, funding for the Humanities is thin, but we only offer a few DPhil places every year and we try our best to get at least 2 of them some funding. However, it is a good idea to have an external backup plan before applying. 

Here are some useful links:


If you filter for DPhil Scholarships a list will appear, showing the Scholarships that need a separate application. All students are considered for AHRC/Clarendon funding automatically. Note: Do not enter anything in the dropdown lists (Division and Subject Area), just enter Fine Art in the Course keywords field and then highlight your course in the course list (it goes green) that will activate the Scholarship list below.

Please note that the scholarships shown there are the ones that need a separate application process. There is a number of funding sources that those who are eligible get automatically considered for if they have an offer. Have a look here https://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/graduate/fees-and-funding/oxford-funding and find the ‘A-Z of Scholarships’ on that page.

DPhil students can apply for small material grants while on course, and the amount varies, depending on whether you are on the written-only DPhil or the practice-led one.


English Language

If your first language is not English, or if your first language is English but you are not a national of the UK, Ireland or a majority English-speaking country recognised by the UK Home Office, you must supply suitable evidence that you have reached the relevant higher or standard level before any offer of a place can be confirmed. For more details please visit: https://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/graduate/applying-to-oxford/application-guide/qualifications-languages-funding#content-tab--4


Collegiate System

All fully-enrolled students at Oxford belong to both a college and a department.  Each college has its own distinctive character, so you may well have a preference. You can specify a college choice on your application, but there is no guarantee that that college will have space, in which case you will automatically considered by another. You can also select 'no college preference' and a place will be found for you. All postgraduate offer holders are guaranteed a college place.


Any questions?

Please drop our Graduate Studies Administrator (Susanne Heinrich) a line if you are unsure about anything: graduate@rsa.ox.ac.uk

last edited: November 13th 2023