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.  

Applicants whose first language is not English are required to provide evidence of proficiency in English at the standard level required by the University. If you don't have a valid certificate which confirms you have met the required level at the time of applying, then any offer will be conditional upon providing this before your place is confirmed. When you apply, please take into consideration the length of time you may need to book a test and obtain your test certificate.

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. Matriculated non-award fees are set and published by each individual college; for further information you should contact your preferred college directly.

If you are currently studying a master's-level degree, then you are not eligible to join us as a recognised student, and would need to look into attending a college as an undergraduate visiting student. Further information is available here.

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. Recognised students in Philosophy are not eligible for University scholarships, so your stay will need to be self-funded.

You will be invoiced for tuition fees at the start of each term, and these must be paid by the end of Week 2.

Students interested in joining the Faculty of Philosophy as a Recognised Student should read the eligibility criteria and guidance notes before applying.

To apply for entry as a recognised student you will first need to complete the recognised student application form (for entry in 2024-25) and provide an application payment reference number; payment can be made via the University's Online Store. You must then also remember to upload the required supporting documentation before your application is considered by the Faculty. 

We require the following supporting documentation:

  • Certificate of enrolment or similar which indicates current enrolment in a PhD course at another institution (or a recent PhD certificate if you are applying as a postdoctoral researcher, as well as confirmation of employment at your current institution)
  • Exam transcripts from all of 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. 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.

Your application must be submitted by the following deadlines in order to guarantee consideration for your preferred term of entry:

  • For entry in Michaelmas Term 2024 (i.e., to join in October), please submit your application and supporting documents by no later than 19 July 2024
  • For entry in Hilary Term 2025 (i.e., to join in January), please submit your application and supporting documents by no later than 18 October 2024
  • For entry in Trinity Term 2025 (i.e., to join in April), please submit your application and supporting documents by no later than 24 January 2025

If you fail to apply by the above deadlines, we may, at our discretion, be able to offer you a place to join us in a later term, but this is not guaranteed.

The majority of students who require a visa to enter the UK as a recognised student will be eligible for a student visa. When submitting your recognised student application, please ensure you take into account the time it will take for a student visa to be granted once your place is confirmed, and factor in additional time if your offer will be conditional upon provision of satisfactory English test scores (we cannot start the CAS process until your offer is fully unconditional).

For students who will be here for less than six months, a visitor visa may be an alternative option.

For further information on visa requirements, please refer to these comprehensive pages at the central student website. Visa-related queries should be addressed to


2024-2025 Entry

Recognised Student Application Form - 2024-2025 entry

Upload supporting documentation

Pay the application fee

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.