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DPhil in Area Studies

Different course options

Study mode

Full time


3 years

Start date


Key information

Qualification type

PhD/DPhil - Doctor of Philosophy

Subject areas

Area Studies

Course type


Course Summary

About the course

The DPhil in Area Studies offers the opportunity to undertake a doctoral project dedicated to the study of a specific country or region, or else to compare more than one region, using social science approaches whilst also generating theories and propositions that are of value across regions.

The Oxford School of Global and Area Studies is recognised as the top centre for area studies in the world, carrying out cutting-edge research within a vibrant and exciting environment. As a DPhil student at the school, you will have access to outstanding research projects, seminar series, workshops and conferences and will have the chance to develop your work alongside academic staff who are experts in their fields.

Admission to this course is via one of seven strands and you will need to select one stand before starting your application. The strands are.

  • DPhil in Area Studies (Africa)
  • DPhil in Area Studies (China)
  • DPhil in Area Studies (Japan)
  • DPhil in Area Studies (Latin America)
  • DPhil in Area Studies (Middle East)
  • DPhil in Area Studies (Russia and East Europe)
  • DPhil in Area Studies (South Asia)


Candidates for the DPhil are normally admitted with Probationer Research Student (PRS) status. As a PRS, you will develop your research proposal and skills, and produce a draft section or sections of your thesis, in order to apply for Transfer of Status which will end your probationary period as a research student. Students who are successful at transfer will also be expected to apply for and gain confirmation of DPhil status, normally within nine terms of admission, to show that your work continues to be on track. Both milestones normally involve an interview with two assessors (other than your supervisor) and therefore provide important experience for the final oral examination.

Once you have been admitted to full DPhil status, you are normally expected to complete your studies by the end of your ninth term as a doctoral student.

Graduate destinations

This course is completing its third year and there are no alumni as yet. However, area studies graduates have found employment in many and diverse fields including business, finance, law, civil service, journalism, government and industry.

Many OSGA graduates have also undertaken further research into subjects linked with area studies and have pursued successful careers in the academic world and education.

Tuition fees

UK fees
Course fees for UK students

For this course (per year)


International fees
Course fees for EU and international students

For this course (per year)


Entry requirements

As a minimum, applicants should hold or be predicted to achieve the equivalent of the following UK qualifications: a master's degree with distinction in a relevant subject which includes appropriate research methods training; and a first-class or strong upper second-class undergraduate degree with honours in any relevant subject. Where a distinction has not been achieved for the master's degree, an overall grade of 67% or above in the course examinations and a distinction in the thesis element may be considered. For applicants with a degree from the USA, the minimum GPA sought is 3.6 out of 4.0.