Recognised Students

The status of Recognised Student is intended primarily for graduates of some years’ standing engaged in research elsewhere who wish to work in Oxford on a specific topic under the guidance of an academic familiar with their chosen area of study.  Recognised Students will be able to meet with their appointed Academic Advisor to discuss their research, although they do not receive supervision as such. 

Recognised Students do not follow any formal course of study and are not awarded a qualification.  As well as meeting with their appointed Academic Advisor, Recognised Students with the Faculty of Philosophy are allowed to attend lectures and seminars at the Philosophy Centre, and to use the Philosophy and Theology Faculties Library, but they will not have a formal association with an Oxford college and are responsible for finding their own accommodation in Oxford.     

Recognised Student status may be held for a maximum of three terms and these three terms can be spread over two academic years if necessary.

Further information on Recognised Student status.  

If you are a doctoral student in philosophy currently engaged in research at another institution, you are eligible to apply for Recognised Student status with the Faculty of Philosophy.  You are expected to be sufficiently advanced in your studies to undertake research largely unsupervised.  

It is not possible to be admitted as a Recognised Student if you have already been matriculated as a member of the University. In such a case, the only possibility is to return as a matriculated non-award student, which requires a college place, and incurs the full overseas fee rate on both the University and college side.

Applicants whose first language is not English are usually required to provide evidence of proficiency in English at the standard level required by the University.

University tuition fees are payable to cover the cost of access to the University facilities and the guidance provided by your academic advisor.  Tuition fees do not include college fees (as you are not affiliated with any college), accommodation, or other course and maintenance fees.

Please Note: The Faculty of Philosophy do not waive the Recognised Student tuition fees under any circumstances.

If you would like to make an application you will need to complete an application form and submit it by email, along with all of the required supporting paperwork, to the Graduate Studies Officer (references may be emailed separately but please note that your application will not be processed until these are received). Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we are currently unable to accept hard copies of application materials.

We require the following supporting documentation:

  • Exam Transcripts from your previous degrees (with official English translations if they are in a foreign language)
  • A statement of between 500 and 1,000 words outlining the proposed subject of your research
  • Two references from Faculty members at your current university
  • An English Language Test Certificate (if applicable) 

Along with the standard application paperwork stated above we ask applicants to nominate two potential advisors, one of whom will be assigned as your advisor if your application is successful.  Please see the list of Faculty Members for guidance.

The Faculty of Philosophy does not require that you include a letter of support from the Head of Department or from your proposed academic advisor so it is not necessary for you to approach your nominated advisors yourself.     

However, if you would like to make contact with the Faculty member(s) you plan to nominate in advance of your application, please feel free to do so using the contact details that can be found on the Faculty Members’ pages.  If your nominated advisor is willing to provide a letter of support you may include this in your application, but it is not required.  Please note that any informal agreement you may receive from a potential advisor does not guarantee that your application will be accepted.  All applications are assessed by the Philosophy Faculty’s Graduate Studies Committee and their decision on all applications is final.

2021-2022 Entry

Recognised Student Application Form - 2021-2022 entry

Useful Links

University of Oxford - Recognised Students

Other options for Graduate Students


If you have any further queries regarding Recognised Student status in the Philosophy Faculty or if you would like to make an application, please contact the Graduate Studies Officer, as they are the main point of contact for this scheme.