Regulations and University Policy

The Department of Physics comes under the remit of the Mathematical, Physical & Life Sciences (MPLS) Division of the University of Oxford, and members of the Department are also a member of the MPLS Graduate School. The Department is bound by the regulations of Oxford University's Education Committee. On this page you will find links to the most relevant regulations which you will engage with during your time as a Graduate student here in Physics.

Physics Statement of Provision for Graduate Students

Research Supervision

The Research Supervision Website is intended as a convenient resource for supervisors, doctoral students and others. It was developed following discussions with Directors of Graduate Studies, supervisors and students about the developmental needs created by the changing context of doctoral education at Oxford.

DPhil regulations

  1. Exam Regulations
  2. MPLS Special Regulations from the Exam Regs
  3. Education Committee Policy and Guidance on Research Degrees
  4. EPSC Guidance on Plagiarism
  5. MPLS Handbook

DPhil hurdles

Graduate Progression Forms

End of 1st year: Transfer

End of second year: Confirmation

End of DPhil: Thesis submission

(M.Sc. by Research, M.Litt., D.Phil.)
Having transferred to D.Phil. status (or M.Litt./M.Sc. status) within your first six terms and then, secondly (if holding D.Phil. status), confirmed your D.Phil. status in your ninth term, you are permitted to submit a thesis for examination. Please see the following document which maps the process involved in the research degree examination. Research Degree Examination Process.

You are strongly advised to apply for the appointment of examiners at least four weeks before you submit your thesis. Two copies of your thesis must be submitted to the Examination Schools, High Street, Oxford OX1 4BG. You are not permitted to submit a copy of your thesis direct to the examiners.

A few months before a thesis is to be submitted for examination a student should download the appropriate forms (see below) or contact the Graduate Office to request ‘An Application for Appointment of Examiners’ form (GSO.3) and the accompanying guides to the examination. (If your thesis title has changed, it is your responsibility to request approval of the new title on your GSO.3 application.)

The GSO.3 form should be completed by the student, the supervisor and the college and submitted to the relevant Graduate Studies Assistant (refer to this page for contact details). You are strongly advised to hand the form in prior (by four to six weeks) to the submission of the thesis to the Examination Schools. The examiners have to be approved by the relevant board and the examiners’ formal acceptance received before a thesis can be sent out. In accepting an invitation to examine they are deemed to have accepted the University’s procedures and conditions regarding the examination, in particular those relating to copyright and confidentiality. These clauses, among other things, protect you and your work. A thesis will not be sent out by the Examination Schools until the University has a written acceptance to examine. This process of board approval and letter writing usually takes four weeks.

Therefore, please bear in mind, if a GSO.3 form and thesis are submitted on the same date, the thesis will not be sent out to the examiners until these preliminaries have been completed.

Word limits

Theses submitted by candidates for the Degree of D.Phil. in Physics (except Theoretical Physics) must not exceed 250 pages, A4 size, double spaced in normal-size type (elite), the total to include all references, diagrams, tables, etc.

The text of theses submitted for the degree of D.Phil. in Theoretical Physics must not exceed 150 pages as defined above.

Theses submitted by candidates for the Degree of M.Sc. in Physics must not exceed 150 pages as defined above.

In special circumstances the Graduate Studies Committee of the appropriate sub-faculty may, on application made before the thesis is submitted, grant leave to exceed the limit by a stated amount. Applications to exceed these limits must explain why the candidate believes the nature of the thesis is such that an exception should be made, and must be supported by the supervisor.

Information for Examiners

The documentation required may be found at:
Graduate Progression Forms