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University of Oxford: Plant Sciences

Institution University of Oxford
Department Plant Sciences
Telephone +44 (0)1865 270059
Study type Research


The information provided on this page was correct at the time of publication (November 2020). For complete and up-to-date information about this course, please visit the relevant University of Oxford course page via

The DPhil in Plant Sciences allows graduates to undertake both fundamental and applied research in topics across the breadth of plant science. You will gain a wide range of research skills as well as in-depth knowledge and expertise in your chosen field of research. At the end of this course you will have developed the skills needed for independent critical enquiry and made a significant contribution to understanding in the specific area of investigation.

As a graduate student you will be expected to develop an original research project under the guidance of your academic supervisor(s) and normally on a topic related to their areas of expertise. The vast majority of your time will, therefore, be spent in independent self-directed research and will involve a mixture of experimental, computational and observational activities in either the laboratory or field locations, depending on the precise nature of your project. Alongside your research work, you will have the opportunity to attend a range of short training courses (mainly in your first and second years) designed to develop skills you will need as a scientist and more general transferable skills. These include courses on critical analysis of the literature, scientific writing, presentation skills, as well as foundation courses in plant biodiversity, bioinformatics and statistics, if appropriate. Such training courses are expected to take up no more than 10% of your time.

The department has a friendly and vibrant graduate community which provides a welcoming network to new students. The graduate student community offers a supportive environment, both social and scientific, allowing new graduates to develop into well-rounded and confident scientists. Graduates are a valued part of the department’s research community and their work is showcased annually at the departmental Graduate Symposium.


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