DPhil in Migration Studies

We are pleased to announce the newly launched DPhil in Migration Studies led by COMPAS and based in the School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography (SAME) and Oxford Department of International Development (ODID).

This course offers the opportunity to undertake an interdisciplinary, in-depth project focused on a specific and crucial contemporary challenge facing the world by drawing on excellent research departments, centres and scholars.

Applications from prospective part-time and full-time students are now open.


About the course

As a DPhil student, you will undertake your original research project under the guidance of your supervisor, with whom you will typically meet two to three times a term. The supervisor will help develop and guide your project and, at later stages, provide feedback on chapter drafts. However, you will work to a significant extent on your own, and you will need high motivation and self-discipline.

Academics from COMPAS and the RSC, as well as SAME and ODID, can offer supervision in a wide range of subjects, including linking newly emergent economies in China and India to new flows of people, the multiple dimensions of mass mobility at the heart of Europe’s ‘migration crisis’, or the interface of new urban science and the dynamics of migrant settlement.

You will also benefit from established research and teaching programmes on migration, each focusing on collaborating with non-academics and generating research ‘impact’. In addition, the DPhil programme offers the opportunity to link research training to research practice at both research centres.

You will be admitted initially as a Probationer Research Student (PRS), with full-time students transferring to full DPhil status by the end of their first year and part-time students transferring by the end of their second year.

You will develop and begin work on your thesis topic during the probationary period. You will be offered training in appropriate research methods, language, computing and other skills. You can also attend lectures, seminars and classes in your general topic area. Full-time students are expected to be resident in Oxford for the probationary period.

Regarding research methods training, you are likely to have already completed appropriate research training at the Master’s degree level within Oxford or (when recognised by relevant research councils) another University. For example, there is a joint ‘Quantitative Research Methods for Migration Studies’ course on the MScs in Migration Studies and Refugee and Forced Migration Studies and separate ones in qualitative methods. Graduates who have followed this route will therefore have completed the necessary training. We expect students new to Oxford to attend and pass this course unless they can demonstrate equivalent research training or experience.

As part of Oxford University’s programme to transform our graduate population by creating more funding opportunities for under-represented groups, a significant new PhD scholarship scheme, the Black Academic Futures Scholarships, offers UK Black and Mixed-Black students financial support to pursue graduate study at Oxford.

Find out more about funding opportunities for under-represented groups and the University’s graduate access initiatives on the Graduate Access website.


DPhil in Migration Studies: reflections on the first year
2021 | Daisy Pollenne, DPhil candidate in Migration Studies

Are you looking to embark on doctoral research on a topic related to migration?
2020 | Carlos Vargas-Silva, DPhil Course Director

Further details

All the technical information on what the course includes, entry requirements and the application process can be found on the University of Oxford’s Graduate Admissions page.

Various funding sources are available, but we draw your attention to the Doctoral Training Partnership Studentships Migration Pathways, particularly for Home and EU students.

Applications are invited for an ERC studentship in migration studies or anthropology for a project on emptying towns and villages in Eastern Europe and Russia; read more here.

The potential supervisors for the DPhil in Migration Studies at COMPAS are:

For up-to-date details about the course, entry requirements, applications and deadlines, please visit the University’s DPhil in Migration Studies page.