PhD

Information Communication and the Social Sciences

Study mode:Full-time Languages: English Duration:4 years
Local:$ 14.5k / 1 Academic year(s) Foreign:$ 29.4k / 1 Academic year(s) Deadline: Jan 20, 2022
StudyQA ranking:708

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The DPhil (doctoral) programme in Information, Communication and the Social Sciences provides an opportunity for highly-qualified students to undertake cutting edge multidisciplinary Internet-related research.

Graduate destinations

Employers recognize the value of a degree from the University of Oxford, and the OII's doctoral students regularly go on to secure excellent positions in academia, industry, government, and NGOs.

Recent alumni who have pursued academic careers have taken up positions at universities such as the University of Leicester, University of Leeds, University of Hong Kong, Imperial College London, Michigan State University, Dalhousie University and Durham University, whilst others who have chosen non-academic roles have found success in organizations including Cisco, McKinsey and Google.

The multidisciplinary research OII's students undertake ranges across the social sciences, with most projects falling into the following broad themes:

  • digital knowledge and culture
  • digital politics and government
  • education, wellbeing and digital life
  • ethics and philosophy of information
  • information geography and inequality
  • information governance and security
  • Internet economics
  • social data science.

Over the course of this three- to four-year programme, you are expected to produce an important and original piece of scholarship that will make a significant contribution to the dynamic area of Internet research. On completion, you will have the qualities and transferable skills necessary to excel in teaching, research, policymaking or business.

OII faculty work on cutting-edge research in their fields. This innovative research is fully reflected in their teaching and supervision. As a doctoral student at the OII, you will address research questions from across the spectrum of disciplines. You will draw both on the multidisciplinary faculty and on the complementary strengths of your cohort of peers, who are building on literature from different disciplines to answer their research questions.

This system allows doctoral students to dig deeply into disciplinary questions in, for instance, politics or sociology, while also being able to place these questions into a broader picture of how the Internet can be theorized and researched.

The DPhil programme at the OII is also available on a part-time basis. The part-time version of the degree has the same high standards and requirements as the full-time degree, but spread over 6-8 years. The degree is particularly well suited for students who are seeking the flexibility of part-time study. Part-time study also provides an excellent opportunity for professionals in high tech industries to undertake rigorous long-term research that may be relevant to their working life. 

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 any subject.

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

It is expected that all applicants will hold a taught masters or other advanced degree, normally passed with a mark of at least 67% (or a grade point average GPA of at least 3.5 out of 4.0), or an equivalent level of distinction- normally in one of the social sciences, including law- but candidates from other disciplines embracing the social study of technology will also be considered.

If you hold non-UK qualifications and wish to check how your qualifications match these requirements, you can contact the National Recognition Information Centre for the United Kingdom (UK NARIC).

Strong analytical abilities in understanding the social aspects of the Internet, World Wide Web and related technologies, as shown by the candidate’s writing sample and/or the reports of referees, is required.

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

  • Official transcript(s)
  • CV/résumé
  • Research proposal: Up to 2,500 words
  • Written work:One essay of 2,000 words
  • References/letters of recommendation:Three overall, generally academic

ENGLISH LANGUAGE REQUIREMENTS

Higher level

Test

Standard level scores

Higher level scores

IELTS Academic 
Institution code: 0713

7.0 Minimum 6.5 per component  7.5  Minimum 7.0 per component 

TOEFL iBT 
Institution code: 0490

100

Minimum component scores:

  • Listening: 22
  • Reading: 24
  • Speaking: 25
  • Writing: 24
110

Minimum component scores:

  • Listening: 22
  • Reading: 24
  • Speaking: 25
  • Writing: 24
Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) 185

Minimum 176 per component

191 

Minimum 185 per component

Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE) 185

Minimum 176 per component

191 

Minimum 185 per component

  • Global Education
  • Hill Foundation Scholarships
  • A number of Research Council awards are available each year from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), and Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).
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