Both in Classical languages and literature, and in ancient history, the DPhil programme is a research degree intended to make it possible for the successful candidate to aspire to a career in research and teaching at university level anywhere in the world where the Classical subjects are studied.
When details on graduate destinations were last collected, the faculty found that an unusually high percentage of their successful DPhil students (56%) were in university teaching or research posts five years after finishing their doctorates. Others go into a variety of occupations, including teaching, publishing, administration, business and other professions.
The DPhil takes the form of the composition of a substantial dissertation, of up to 100,000 words, based on new research on a subject of your choice. You will be appointed a supervisor or supervisors with relevant expertise, who will support you throughout your doctoral work, beginning with the formulation of the topic and ending with the final examination.
The best dissertations are published, many in the Oxford University Press series of Classical Monographs which exists for this purpose.
The vision of the DPhil as a necessary stage of an academic career, following on from master's-level education and preparing for postdoctoral work and beyond, is reflected in five other ways:
Doctoral students are required to set the topics of their individual specialisation in a larger understanding of developments in the field across the world.
They are encouraged to pursue a diversity of scholarly interests on the side of working on their doctoral dissertation, so as to start building a larger portfolio of specialities. They may produce articles or review books in areas somewhat different from that of their dissertation, and towards the end of their doctoral may begin to contemplate a postdoctoral project.
The Classics Faculty assists doctoral students in continuing to develop necessary research skills, and acquiring or improving knowledge of relevant ancient and modern languages. Competence in Latin and/or Greek is an admission requirement.
Doctoral students can be trained and given experience (with mentoring) in undergraduate teaching of several different kinds, eg class, lecture, tutorial.
There are other structures, within the Classics Faculty, the Humanities Division and the wider University, to help with career-development and with academic placement.
Finally, it is fully recognised that some students will choose not to pursue a professional career in Classics, and the structures mentioned in the points above are tailored to their needs too. The experience of the Classics DPhil programmes is intended to be personally fulfilling and intellectually enriching in itself, and the cognitive skills required are highly transferable to other walks of life.
Examples of recent DPhil thesis titles include:
|Thesis title||Supervisor name(s)|
|Cardinal Bessarion And The Transmission And Interpretation Of Plato In The Fifteenth Century||Dr S Gertz, Dr N Wilson and Dr S Heyworth|
|The Hesiodic Aspis: Introduction and Commentary on vv. 139-237||Dr R Rutherford|
|Seneca's De ira: a study||Professor T Reinhardt|
|Latin Poetry And The Idea Of Rome In The Greek Novel||Dr S Heyworth|
|Standardisation and Variation in Latin Orthography and Morphology (100 BC-AD 100)||Dr J Adams|
|Cato The Censor And the Creation Of A Paternal Paradigm||Professor M Leigh|
|A Commentary On Pindar's Emmenid Odes: O.2, O.3, P.6, I.2||Dr M Davies|
|Manilius on the Nature of the Universe: A Study of the Natural-Philosophical Teaching of the Astronomica with Select Commentary||Professor T Reinhardt|
|Questioning The Patient, Questioning Hippocrates: Rufus Of Ephesus And The Limits of Medical Authority||Professor C Pelling and Professor H King|
|Telamonian Ajax: A Study of His Reception in Archaic and Classical Greece||Dr F Budelmann|
|Repetition and Internal Allusion in Lucretius' De Rerum Natura||Professor T Reinhardt and Professor S Harrison|
The faculty welcomes applications for part-time study on the DPhil. Part-time students are fully integrated into the research culture of the Classics Faculty and afforded all the same opportunities and support as full-time students.
The faculty appreciates that part-time research students will have non-standard attendance and work patterns. Although there is no requirement to reside in Oxford, part-time research students must be able to commit to attendance in Oxford at least once a week during Weeks 0 to 9 of each term, in order to meet with their supervisor, participate in research seminars and undertake skills training.
It is not possible to study for the DPhil in Classical Languages and Literature by distance learning.
Universities in the United Kingdom use a centralized system of undergraduate application: University and College Admissions Service (UCAS). It is used by both domestic and international students. Students have to register on the UCAS website before applying to the university. They will find all the necessary information about the application process on this website. Some graduate courses also require registration on this website, but in most cases students have to apply directly to the university. Some universities also accept undergraduate application through Common App (the information about it could be found on universities' websites).
Both undergraduate and graduate students may receive three types of responses from the university. The first one, “unconditional offer” means that you already reached all requirements and may be admitted to the university. The second one, “conditional offer” makes your admission possible if you fulfill some criteria – for example, have good grades on final exams. The third one, “unsuccessful application” means that you, unfortunately, could not be admitted to the university of you choice.
All universities require personal statement, which should include the reasons to study in the UK and the information about personal and professional goals of the student and a transcript, which includes grades received in high school or in the previous university.
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 Classics or a similar course of academic study with substantial course components in the area of Classics.
For applicants with a degree from the USA, the minimum GPA sought is 3.7 out of 4.0.
You are normally expected to have a master's degree in a relevant subject with scores at the same level as first-class or high upper second-class honours. If you apply whilst studying for a master's degree, these scores may be required as a condition of any offer made.
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).
Degree-level competence in at least one ancient language is a requirement for admission.
No Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or GMAT scores are sought.
Standard level scores
Higher level scores
|7.0||Minimum 6.5 per component||7.5||Minimum 7.0 per component|
Minimum component scores:
Minimum component scores:
|Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE)||185||
Minimum 176 per component
Minimum 185 per component
|Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE)||185||
Minimum 176 per component
Minimum 185 per component