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Musculoskeletal Sciences DPhil

University of Oxford

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Course options

  • Qualification

    PhD/DPhil - Doctor of Philosophy

  • Location

    University of Oxford

  • Study mode

    Full time

  • Start date


  • Duration

    3 years

Course summary

About the course

The DPhil in Musculoskeletal Sciences is intended to provide clinical and non-clinical graduates with a wide variety of research skills, in-depth knowledge, understanding and expertise in specific musculoskeletal-related fields of research. Furthermore, as part of your training you will be exposed to a range of topics such as critical appraisal, epidemiology and medical statistics.

After a very short induction period in Michaelmas term, during which some basic training is provided, you will start a research project in your supervisor’s unit.

Most research groups have weekly meetings where members present and discuss their research results with other members of their team. You are likely to be asked to regularly present your work in progress seminars, which are attended by other research groups working in related areas. Whilst working on your research project you will participate in a comprehensive, flexible skills training programme which includes a range of workshops and seminars in transferable skills, generic research skills and specific research techniques. There are also numerous seminars and lectures by local and visiting scientists and you are provided with many opportunities to meet leading scientists.

Your training will be tailored to your particular needs, drawing from the vast range of training available at Oxford and covering both specialist scientific methods and techniques and transferable skills. Please note that there is no formal taught component of the DPhil in Musculoskeletal Sciences. However, you will develop your research skills through a range of research training in your first year, including compulsory attendance to core subjects with lectures on a variety of topics such as an introduction to “pathophysiology of musculoskeletal disorders, epidemiology, basic immunology, clinical trials and rehabilitation”.


Your attainment will be monitored regularly via.

Completion of termly reports by you and your supervisor(s) through Graduate Supervision Reporting (GSR)
Transfer of Status, to be completed before the end of the fourth term (eighth term for part-time students). The process includes preparation and submission of a 5000-word transfer report and assessment in a viva.
Confirmation of Status, to be completed before the end of the eighth term (sixteenth term for part-time students). This process includes assessment in a viva including presentation of findings and an outline of the thesis.
Submission and defence of the final thesis by viva, no later than twelfth term (twenty fourth term for part-time students - depending on funding duration).

Stages 2, 3 and 4 will be assessed by two independent senior academics to ensure you are on track with your research and that you are receiving adequate guidance.

Graduate destinations

According to the department's records, DPhil in Musculoskeletal Sciences alumni are employed, across a wide range of clinical professions (eg rheumatology, orthopaedics or physiotherapy) and non-clinical related professions (eg in postdoctoral academic and industrial research, teaching, pharmaceuticals, marketing and scientific writing). A number of alumni have set up their own businesses or changed paths completely into banking or medical writing, a group which constitutes around 1% of the total number.

The Director of Graduate Studies and Graduate Studies Assistant follow the department's alumni to establish the long-term career paths of past students.

Tuition fees

Students living in United States
(international fees)

£ 27,460per year

Tuition fees shown are for indicative purposes and may vary. Please check with the institution for most up to date details.

University information

University of Oxford

  • University League Table


  • Campus address

    University of Oxford, University Offices, Wellington Square, Oxford, Oxfordshire, OX1 2JD, England

Subject rankings

  • Subject ranking

    2nd out of 35 1

  • Entry standards

    / Max 239
    208 86%


  • Graduate prospects

    / Max 100
    98.0 98%


  • Student satisfaction

    / Max 5

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