University of Oxford: Environmental Research NERC DTP

InstitutionUniversity of Oxford
Department Geography and the Environment
Telephone 01865 270059
Study type Research


**The information provided on this page was correct at the time of publication (November 2019). For complete and up-to-date information about this course, please visit the relevant University of Oxford course page via**

The NERC-Oxford DTP in Environmental Research is a four-year DPhil programme which offers a novel training environment across three broad science streams. The DTP focuses on finding solutions to real-world problems in collaboration with its outside partners. You will carry out your research projects in one of nine departments after an initial training period.

The three streams of the NERC-Oxford DTP are as follows:
- Biodiversity, ecology and evolutionary processes

- Physical climate system

- Dynamic Earth, surface processes and natural hazards

You will either be recruited to a research stream or to a pre-determined project, but in either case you will begin your course based with the DTP. During the first two terms, you will undergo an intensive training programme during which you will have the opportunity to gain experience and skills in all nine departments and acquire an understanding of how researchers in other disciplines operate before writing your own research proposal in collaboration with your supervisor and in most cases an external partner. You will also carry out a short interdisciplinary group project in the second term, before you start on your DPhil project.

You will be trained in 'hard' skills such as mathematics, programming and scientific computing, as well as being offered a broad-brush understanding of the Earth system across all disciplines of the DTP. There will also be course modules in softer transferable skills such as project design, proposal writing, communication and problem solving to underpin the exploration of research methodologies.

Elective training will continue throughout the degree and you will be able to select from a portfolio of advanced training courses to create your own tailored training programme. Later in the course modules will include thesis writing and paper writing. You will remain a member of the DTP even after transferring out to a department.

Your work will be informally assessed on these training modules and you will need to attain a certain number of attendance and submission credits before you begin your research degree, and each year thereafter.

You will gain your DPhil from the department in which you carry out your research project. The eight departments of the DTP are as follows:
- Research Laboratory for Archaeology and the History of Art

- Department of Physics (sub-department of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Planetary Physics)

- Department of Earth Sciences

- School of Geography and the Environment

- Department of Plant Sciences

- Department of Zoology

- Mathematical Institute

- Department of Chemistry

- Department of Engineering Science.


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