Graduate Admissions Criteria

Graduate Admissions Selection Criteria


Within equal opportunities principles and legislation, applications will be assessed in the light of a candidate’s ability to meet the following criteria:

Academic ability

Proven and potential academic excellence

Applicants are normally expected to be predicted or to have achieved a first-class or an upper second class undergraduate degree (or equivalent international qualifications) in Engineering or a related subject.

If you hold non-British qualifications, you are advised to check with the National Recognition Information Centre for the United Kingdom (UK NARIC) how your qualifications match these requirements.

For applicants with a degree from the USA, the minimum GPA we seek is 3.5 out of 4.0. The minimum Graduate Record Examination (GRE) score we seek is 750 (quantitative).

For DPhil applications, a previous Master’s qualification is not required. Appropriate indicators will include:

Academic references/letters of recommendation

These should support intellectual ability, academic achievement, motivation, ability to work in a group.

Research proposal or personal statement

This must be written in English and will be assessed for: your reasons for applying; the coherence of the proposal; the originality of the project; evidence of motivation for and understanding of the proposed area of study; the ability to present a reasoned case in English; the feasibility of successfully completing the project in the time available for the course.

It will be normal for your ideas subsequently to change in some ways as you investigate the evidence and develop your project. You should nevertheless make the best effort you can to demonstrate the extent of your research question, sources and method at this moment. Your statement should focus on research rather than personal achievements, interests and aspirations.

Performance at interview(s)

Interviews are not normally held as part of the admissions process. However applicants are encouraged to contact potential supervisors by email, telephone or in person.


Prior publications may be an advantage when applying for a graduate programme in Engineering Science.

Other qualifications and experience

  • Research or working experience in an area relevant to the proposed field of study may be an advantage.

Availability of supervision, teaching, facilities and places

The following factors will govern whether candidates can be offered places:

  • The ability of the Department of Engineering Science to provide the appropriate supervision, research opportunities, teaching and facilities for your chosen area of work.
  • There are minimum and maximum limits to the numbers of students who may be admitted onto Oxford’s research and taught programmes.

The provision of supervision is subject to the following points:

  • The allocation of graduate supervision is the responsibility of the Department of Engineering Science and it is not always possible to accommodate the preferences of incoming graduate students to work with a particular member of staff.
  • Under exceptional circumstances a supervisor may be found outside the Department of Engineering Science.

English language requirement

Applicants whose first language is not English are usually required to provide evidence of proficiency in English at the higher level required by the University – for further details visit the Graduate Admissions web site at

Deadlines and required full set of application materials

Please refer to the Graduate Admissions website at for information on the deadlines which must be met, and the full set of supporting materials required, in order for applications to be guaranteed to be considered.


Whether you have yet secured funding is not taken into consideration in the decision to make an initial offer a place, but please note that the initial offer of a place will not be confirmed until the college which gives you an initial offer of a place is satisfied that you have sufficient funding to cover your fees and living costs for the standard period of fee liability for your course.

Disability, health conditions and specific learning difficulties

Students are selected for admission without regard to gender, marital or civil partnership status, disability, race, nationality, ethnic origin, religion or belief, sexual orientation, age or social background. Decisions on admission are based solely on the individual academic merits of each candidate and the application of the selection criteria appropriate to the programme of study. Further information on how these matters are supported during the admissions process is available at

Contacting academic members of staff

Applicants are encouraged to contact potential supervisors by email, telephone or in person.


All applications will be assessed by more than one member of the academic staff with relevant experience and expertise.

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