Embarking on the application process for a Master of Philosophy (MPhil) in Economics at the University of Oxford is an experience brimming with eagerness, thrill and a hint of ambiguity. This article seeks to clarify the procedure, offer perspectives from candidates’ encounters, and give a sneak peek into what upcoming applicants could anticipate with a focus on the intake for 2024.

The Process of Applying for MPhil in Economics for Potential Students

Getting into a program like the MPhil in Economics at Oxford involves a thorough and challenging application process. The journey begins with ensuring you submit your application by the January deadline, marking the crucial stage for aspiring candidates. After that, the waiting period starts, characterized by excitement and apprehension among the candidates.

Based on the posts I’ve seen, it’s clear that people have experience receiving job offers. Some candidates mentioned receiving their offers as soon as mid-January, suggesting a quick response time for specific applicants. The differences in how responses are given may stem from the admissions team’s thorough evaluation process. They carefully assess each application to choose candidates best aligned with the program’s requirements.

Interestingly, there is a difference in the notification timeline between those applying solely for the MPhil and those opting for the combined MPhil+DPhil route. Candidates who applied for the program mentioned that they received their outcomes sooner. The admissions process may have criteria or procedures for these two paths because of the longer time commitment needed for the DPhil portion.

The posterboard reflects the online portal’s conspicuous absence of a familiar algorithmic element, the upload button. That feature on the site is meant to allow for the electronic submission of supplemental documents and officially disappears once the admissions committee has decided on one’s application. Without going into the highly paranoid online subreddit – where every anomaly is defective equipment, and every missing button must represent a pending update – its sudden absence has come to be interpreted as a sign, suggesting that a decision might be on the verge of being generated elsewhere on the site.

As the discussions among applicants unfolded, some shared the joy of receiving informal offers via email. The messages serve as a two-for-one opportunity for the successful candidates. First, they confirm acceptance—nothing more and nothing less. However, they also invite the lucky individual to special events, such as offer-holder events. This isn’t just marketing, then. It further integrates the lucky few into the Oxford community before they arrive on campus.

Where you can seek assistance and exchange stories while going through the application procedure


The application journey can feel isolating as applicants wait in agony for a response. However, they never have to go it alone. Online forums and threads have become a lifeline for applicants to share updates, questions, and congratulations. They quickly become a vital resource for real-time information, which can be invaluable when schools lack communication or give little back.

These forums have also allowed them to share their profiles: many successful applicants have published accounts of their backgrounds and experiences. They can give valuable tips about how else to approach the application to boost one’s chances. This can range from providing information about their pasts (such as their undergrad and work experiences) to sharing details about what they wrote in their design statements and other application materials.

This trade of raw information is essential to prospective applicants seeking to gauge the competitiveness of their profiles and refine their application strategies. It also builds more intimate channels to exchange recruiting war stories, such as how we all found out the “Upload” button from the app doesn’t appear actually to work (submit!) or that “See you in the fall!” means you’ve been waitlisted, not admitted.

What to Expect After Receiving an Offer for the MPhil in Economics

Receiving an offer—be it a verbal one or a written contract—initiates a new stage of preparedness, where candidates seek to grasp all the details, such as the nature and conditions of the contractual agreement (e.g., required exams or funding) and what options are available in terms of scholarships, teaching assistantships, or other sources of financial assistance.

College allocation looms large for students studying at Oxford. The collegiate system is a unique feature of study at Oxford. It plays a central role in both academic and social student life. The timeline for college allocation can vary, with some candidates receiving their placement 8-10 weeks after the offer, doubtless adding another layer of excitement and uncertainty.

Ultimately, applying to the MPhil in Economics at Oxford is characterized by nested deadlines, decisions and social rituals. Through these activities intersecting communal knowledge and a web of mutual revelation – from blog entries and forum posts to dinner parties and pub meet-ups – applicants collectively bring themselves closer to their academic goals. The collective Oracular memory grows with each new cohort, and the plight of the next clutch of hopeful graduate students gets a little easier.

Understanding the nuances of this process from application to acceptance and, eventually, college allocation will be crucial for applicants. This exciting process will involve engaging with the applicant community, seeking funding opportunities, preparing for the formal aspects of the offer, and moving forward excitedly about beginning an academic journey.

Engage further with the world of Economics and its academic pathways through authoritative resources such as the Department of Economics at the University of Oxford, the Oxford Graduate Admissions and the Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization for scholarly articles and insights into current economic research trends.


What is the procedure for applying to the MPhil program at Oxford University?

Candidates must apply for the MPhil in Economics at Oxford by the January deadline. After that, there is a waiting period while the admissions team reviews applications. According to the Oxford website, decisions may be relayed to candidates. Some receive early offers as soon as mid-January, while others must wait longer to see where their application stands.

How has a decision been reached regarding my application?

One indirect sign that the decision has been made is removing the upload button for documents at the application portal. Once this happens, the admissions team should no longer decide about your file.

Where can candidates seek assistance? Exchange their stories?

Such applicants will use online forums and string blogs to post updates on their application, ask questions and support others going through the process. These forms of digital community are the primary sources of information at a critical time in the lives of those who wish to apply to Oxford.

When do applicants typically receive offers?

Offers may be dispatched starting mid-January, though the exact timing can differ based on applications and the evaluation procedure. Applicants to the combined MPhil+ applicants to the DPhil program might make their decisions sooner than those who are only applying for the MPhil.

What happens after receiving an informal offer?

It’s an informal offer, but still. Students will receive formal acceptance later, following completion of any offer conditions, applications for funding, and college allocation (this takes up to eight or ten weeks from the date of an offer).

What is the best way for candidates to grasp the funding options provided for the MPhil program?

Applicants are invited to visit the University of Oxford and Economics Department websites for details regarding scholarships and funding. They may also consider forums to find tips and experiences of earlier applicants and better understand the process.

1 Comment

Melissa · 28 March 2024 at 12:40

I checked out Oxford’s website for scholarship info. Forums helped me grasp the application process better.

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