Teaching & Supervision

Gargoyle at BodleianOxford's approach to graduate study reflects an emphasis on a student's ability to work independently, to take the initiative in exploring a line of research or acquire a new skill or identify and remedy a perceived area of weakness. 

Taught programmes

Taught programmes usually involve a range of core and optional courses and the submission of a dissertation. Assessment may be by coursework, as well as by examination papers, a dissertation and oral examination. These courses reflect a mixture of traditional Oxford tutorial teaching (where one or two students discuss their work with a faculty member) with lectures, seminars and classes. The termly lists of lectures can be found online. Students should also receive formal notice of invitations to classes and seminars.


Students carrying out postgraduate research are largely self-directed. Supervisors provide advice about the specific project, the nature of research, data collection methods, and the standards expected. You will attend courses on specific research skills as well as a range of seminars and lectures.  New PRS students are likely to be supervised more closely, with supervisors perhaps requiring submissions of work quite regularly initially.  All PRS students should familiarise themselves with Research Degree Stages and Progression Forms found in the appropriate Handbook.

Graduate students receive a report of their termly supervision from their Supervisor through the Graduate Supervision System from Week 8 of term. This system also offers students the opportunity to contribute to their termly supervision reports by reviewing and commenting on their own academic progress. The student reporting window opens Monday Week 6 and closes Friday Week 7 of each term.