DPhil in Statistics

Research students

The Department of Statistics admits doctoral students each year to a programme of instruction and research leading to the Doctor of Philosophy (DPhil) in Statistics degree. A doctorate normally requires between three and four years of full-time study. In the DPhil in Statistics, you will investigate a particular project in depth and write a thesis which makes a significant contribution to the field. 

The Department of Statistics in the University of Oxford is a world leader in research in probability, bioinformatics, mathematical genetics and statistical methodology, including computational statistics and machine learning. Much of the department’s research is either explicitly interdisciplinary or draws its motivation from application areas, ranging from biology and physics to the social sciences.

You will be assigned a named supervisor or supervisors, who will have overall responsibility for the direction of your work on behalf of the department. You will have the opportunity to interact with fellow students and other members of your research groups, and more widely across the department. Typically, as a research student, you should expect to have meetings with your supervisor or a member of the supervisory team with a frequency of at least once every two weeks averaged across the year. The regularity of these meetings may be subject to variations according to the time of the year, and the stage that you are at in your research programme.

There are formal assessments of progress on the research project at around 12 to 15 months and at around 30 to 36 months. These assessments involve the submission of written work and oral examination.

The final thesis is normally submitted for examination during the fourth year and is followed by the viva examination.  

You will be expected to acquire transferable skills as part of your training, and to undertake a total of 100 hours broadening training outside your specialist area. Part of that broadening training is obtained through APTS, the Academy for PhD Training in Statistics; this is a joint venture with a group of leading university statistics departments which runs four weeks of appropriate courses a year. You will give a research presentation or prepare a research poster each year in the department.

student poster session Our research students are actively involved in a lively academic community by means of seminars, lectures, journal clubs, working groups and social events. They receive training in modern probability, stochastic processes, statistical methodology, computational methods and transferable skills, in addition to specialised topics relevant to specific application areas. In particular, a broad structured programme of training in modern statistical methodology is available via courses in the Academy for Postgraduate Training in Statistics (APTS), of which the Department is a founding member.

Queries about the DPhil in Statistics or MSc by Research should be sent to graduate.admissions@stats.ox.ac.uk