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This section contains information about fee liability, continuation charges, and what do to if you face financial hardship.

Fee liability

Length of fee liability means the length of time that you have to pay tuition fees to the University.

DPhil and MSc by Research students are liable to pay fees up to their maximum fee liability or up until the term in which your thesis is submitted (whichever is sooner), subject to the minimum fee liability for your degree.


Minimum Fee Liability

Maximum Fee Liability

MSc by Research

3 terms

6 terms

DPhil - ‘Standard’

6 terms

9 terms

DPhil (immediately after completing an Oxford MPhil)

3 terms

6 terms

DPhil - ‘Doctoral Training programme’

6 terms*

12 terms*

*Subject to any specific regulations

Further information on the number of termly fees (composition fees) payable to the University can be found in the Examination Regulations.

Fees are charged for each term in which the student is working for a graduate qualification, whether or not they are working in Oxford. That is to say, even if a candidate is dispensed from any part of the residence requirements, they will nevertheless remain liable for fees for each term from admission until the course is completed or the maximum fee liability is met. (The only circumstance in which the series of fee payments is broken is when a student’s status is formally suspended).

From 2019/20 the University introduced combined course fees. The course fees paid by matriculated students* are for the provision of tuition, supervision, academic services and facilities by the University (including your department or faculty) and the colleges, but do not include residential or other living costs. Up to and including the academic year 2018/19, separate figures have been published on the University website for University fees and for college fees: the total payable is the sum of these two figures. From the academic year 2019/20, course fees for all matriculated students are published as a single figure. The change was introduced to ensure that the total level of fees payable in every case was completely clear. Home undergraduate and PGCE students can access a tuition fee loan from the UK government to cover their course fees in full.

*Read an explanation of the term 'matriculated students'.

Continuation charges

What is the continuation charge?

A continuation charge is a charge levied once you have reached the end of your standard period of fee liability. It is only payable by students registered on research programmes.

Am I liable for the charge?

All graduate research students who have reached the end of their standard period of fee liability may be liable for a college continuation charge. The amount varies by college so you should check details with your college.

All graduate research students who started their research programme in or after September 2011 and who have reached the end of their standard period of fee liability are liable for the University continuation charge. Students who started graduate research programmes before September 2011 will not be expected to pay the charge.

How much is the charge?

The University continuation charge for the 2023/24 academic year will be £572 per term. The amount will be reviewed on an annual basis as part of the annual fee review process.

MPLS continuation charge waivers:

For programmes within the MPLS Division (i.e. those programmes in the Departments of Biology (nee Plant Sciences & Zoology), Chemistry, Computer Science, Earth Sciences, Engineering Science, Materials Science, Mathematics, Physics, and Statistics) the University continuation charge is waived for all students in the fourth year of their DPhil programme, and in the third year of their MSc by Research programme. That will be the full extent of the bursary provision associated with the University continuation charge within the Division. The University continuation charge will be levied on all students in the fifth and subsequent years of their DPhil programme and in the fourth and subsequent years of their MSc by Research programme, without any provision for bursaries.

Doctoral Training Programmes within the Division are each of four years duration, and a student under active supervision is liable for fees in each of the four years; the University continuation charge and its waiver therefore do not apply to the fourth year of these programmes, but the University continuation charge will be levied on all students on these programmes in the fifth and subsequent years without any provision for bursaries. Any students on the doctoral training programmes who have transferred to the MSc by Research, the charge will be levied in the fourth and subsequent years of their MSc by Research programme, without any provision for bursaries.

Other Financial Matters

Ensuring you make adequate financial provision

It is essential that you make adequate provision in advance to cover your fees and expenses for the whole of your expected stay in Oxford. A small number of graduate scholarships are offered by certain colleges and details may be found in the University Gazette. There are also some special funds to assist overseas students to pay fees and living expenses. However, most University and College funds are awarded during the admissions process, and there are very little funds to apply for once you are here. Details of the available funding can be found on the University’s student funding web pages.


If you need assistance, you should seek funds through your department and your college, and through your grant awarding body. In the case of serious unexpected financial hardship students are advised to consult their colleges in the first instance.

The University also has a Hardship Fund, which exists to help in cases of unforeseen personal financial hardship.

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