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DPhil in Sustainable Urban Development

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Mon 11 October 2021
4 - 8 years part-time
(See Description)
The DPhil is designed for those working in a range of urban contexts worldwide - public, private or third sector organisations
Oxford University Department for Continuing Education, Rewley House, Oxford, OX1 2JA, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom


The DPhil in Sustainable Urban Development is a part-time doctoral programme that provides outstanding students an opportunity to pursue in-depth and rigorous research about the pressing challenges of urban sustainability and the processes of environmental, economic, and social development in urban environments around the world.

Students admitted to the programme are usually motivated to undertake detailed research in preparation for an academic career and other research-intensive occupations; to have a substantial impact on future policy-making processes; or to pursue and/or advance their professional career at organizations and institutions operating in the field of sustainable urban development. The course provides the student with support and an intellectual environment by leading scholars in the field to pursue independent research.

Programme details

This part-time DPhil programme is taken over a minimum of four years (12 terms) and a maximum of eight years (24 terms). Students are required to attend a minimum of 30 days of university-based work each year for the duration of the studies, to be arranged with the agreement of the supervisor. As part of the minimum 30 days per year requirement, students are expected to take part in three termly Doctoral Weeks.

Students admitted to this degree conduct their own research under the guidance of a University supervisor, who will advise on all aspects of training, development and academic progress. Students must be prepared to work independently a good deal, and will need considerable personal motivation. Students are required to have a good general knowledge of the field within which research falls and of the methods appropriate to the study of this field. Throughout the period of study, students are part of a thriving international graduate community of peers engaged with sustainable urban development, including students in our part-time MSc in Sustainable Urban Development.


Award of the DPhil is dependent upon completion of a 100,000-word doctoral thesis within an area of Sustainable Urban Development to the satisfaction of two examiners (neither of whom are supervisors) and defending that thesis in a more formal viva voce with the two examiners.


Fee rates for the academic year 2020-21

Annual fees for 2020-21 can be found on the Graduate Admissions website.


Details of funding opportunities, including grants, bursaries, loans, scholarships and benefit information are available on our Fees and Funding page.


Applications are now closed for October 2020 entry. The next admissions cycle for October 2021 entry will re-open on 1 September 2020.

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