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Doctoral Program in Architectural History 2017, University of Oxford, UK

Publish Date: Mar 01, 2017

Deadline: Mar 10, 2017

About the program

Architectural history has been taught within the Department for many years. The subject is defined broadly to include the built and designed landscape, and aspects of interior design. The programme is designed to enable students, including mature students, to undertake individual research. Past students have studied for the intrinsic interest of the subject as well as in connection with careers in heritage management and conservation.

The programme draws on considerable experience in providing advanced tuition in architectural history. It profits from the close links within the Department between the disciplines of architectural history, art history, design history, English local history and landscape archaeology. It also has links with other parts of the University, particularly the Faculty of History, the Department of the History of Art, and Kellogg College, amongst the Fellows of which is the concentration of architectural historians associated with the University.


Supervision on the DPhil programme is provided by specialist tutors from the Department and elsewhere in Oxford. In broad terms, supervision is possible in most areas of British architectural history (as defined above) from the middle ages to present, and some European topics. In terms of Great Britain, academic staff currently have particular research interests in ecclesiastical buildings; medieval castles, great houses and their landscapes; country houses; vernacular architecture; urban and institutional architecture, especially of London and Oxford, from 1660 to the present.

Programme content

The part-time DPhil regulations require a period of five to eight years’part-time study (equivalent to three years' full-time). Research students may be required to undertake appropriate research training provided within the Department. In addition, they will be strongly encouraged to participate in seminars and informal meetings with staff and other researchers both within the Department and elsewhere in the University. The major commitment of time will be to individual study and research, involving wide and intense reading, data collection (which may include fieldwork) and analysis, and writing.

College affiliation

All students studying for a master’s degree or DPhil must be a member of a college. Applicants may wish to note that the majority of students on part-time degree programmes are members of Kellogg College and most of the tutors and lecturers are Fellows of the College. Kellogg is dedicated to graduate part-time students and has developed a unique expertise in attending to the intellectual, social, IT and welfare needs of part-time, mature graduate students. The College is based a short distance from the Department on the Banbury Road. Applicants may, however, also wish to note that Lady Margaret Hall, St Catherine’s, St Cross, St Stephens House and Campion Hall have an interest in students on this programme.

Libraries and computing facilities

Registered students receive an Oxford University card, valid for one year at a time, which acts as a library card for the Departmental Library at Rewley House and provides access to the unrivalled facilities of the Bodleian Libraries including the central Bodleian, major research libraries such as the Sackler Library, Taylorian Institution Library, Bodleian Social Science Library, and faculty libraries such as English and History. Students also have access to a wide range of electronic resources including electronic journals, many of which can be accessed from home. Students on the course are entitled to use the Library at Rewley House for reference and private study and to borrow books. The loan period is normally two weeks and up to eight books may be borrowed. Students will also be encouraged to use their nearest University library.

The University card also provides access to facilities at Oxford University Computing Service (OUCS), 13 Banbury Road, Oxford. Computing facilities are available to students in the Students'Computing Facility in Rewley House and at Ewert House.

Entry requirements for entry in 2017-18

Within equal opportunities principles and legislation, applications will be assessed in the light of an applicant’s ability to meet the following entry requirements:

1. Academic ability

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 a related subject, or to have completed the OUDCE Postgraduate Certificate in Architectural History, or a master’s degree.

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

No Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or GMAT scores are sought.

Applicants who have a Level 4 vocational qualification, rather than an undergraduate degree, may also be considered, as, in exceptional circumstances, may those who have substantial experience in a relevant profession (eg one related to building analysis and recording or to historic conservation). 

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.

Applicants who fully meet the criteria, and for whom the programme directors determine suitable supervision can be arranged, may be invited for interview. If the number of potentially suitable candidates significantly exceeds the number of places available, preference will be given to those whose research proposals best match the research interests of such supervisors as are available. No applicant may be admitted to the programme without attending an interview in person, with at least two academic interviewers, one of whom will normally be a director of the programme.


Previous publications are not essential.

Other qualifications, evidence of excellence and relevant experience

You need not necessarily have studied architectural history previously, but should be able to show evidence of prior serious interest in the subject, eg through work-related activities, voluntary work in a related field, completion of previous courses (including evening classes), or membership of relevant local or national societies.

You must have a sound research proposal,  be up to date with previous work in the field, and aware of the academic context of your proposed research.

2. 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.

3. Availability of supervision, teaching, facilities and places 

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

  • The ability of the Department for Continuing Education to provide the appropriate supervision, research opportunities, teaching and facilities for your chosen area of work. 
  • Minimum and maximum limits to the numbers of students who may be admitted to Oxford's research and taught programmes.

The provision of supervision, where required, is subject to the following points:

  • The allocation of graduate supervision is the responsibility of the Department for Continuing Education 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 for Continuing Education.

Where possible your academic supervisor will not change for the duration of your course. However, it may be necessary to assign a new academic supervisor during the course of study or before registration for reasons which might include sabbatical leave, maternity leave or change in employment.

If you have any questions about the progress of your application, please contact the OUDCE Award Programme Administrator (tel: 01865 280154 / 270369;

or the Graduate Admissions Office (tel: 01865 270059;

For more information click "Further official information" below.

This opportunity has expired. It was originally published here:

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