Academic progress

Academic progress

This page contains information for current students on residency requirements, graduate progression, exams and advice about suspension of student status or withdrawal from a course.

Residency requirements Fieldwork Graduate progression forms
(GSO forms)
Exams and assessments Suspension
University guidance
and regulations

Residency requirements

All students are required to live in Oxford (within 25 miles of Carfax Tower) unless they have applied for and been granted permission to live outside that area. You must be in residence for at least six weeks of every term for which you are paying University and College fees. Dispensation will only be granted for exceptional reasons; please contact the College Registrar for more information.


DPhil students going on fieldwork don’t need to apply for permission to live outside the prescribed area as fieldwork forms an integral part of doctoral research. However, students must inform the Senior Registry Administrator of the dates they will be away from Oxford, and their fieldwork contact details. 

Students planning to undertake fieldwork must put suitable insurance arrangements in place, and plan any vaccinations needed well in advance. See the following University guide for the steps to take.

Graduate progression forms (GSO forms)

DPhil students in particular will become well-acquainted with the graduate progression forms that mark their progress through the research degree milestones. Forms available cover: transfer of status, confirmation of status, examination of research degrees and more. Forms must be completed and signed by both student and supervisor before they are emailed to the Senior Registry Administrator,  brought to the Registry Office, or left in the College Registrar's pigeonhole. The forms are available at:

Exams and assessments

Entering for examinations

Students are automatically entered for compulsory units, but must complete an examination entry form for any optional units taken. An email will be sent inviting students to log into the Student Self-Service to complete their examination entry. Students who submit their form after the deadline will be subject to pay a late exam entry fee of £60. There is also a fee of £60 for any options changed after the form is submitted. See

Exam regulations

Students are required to read and understand the regulations for their course. The Examination Regulations are available here: Exam Regulations - Search (

Further useful information about exams is available here:

Alternative examination arrangements

Students who wish to request alternative examination arrangements should contact the College Registrar as soon as possible. Alternative arrangements are not automatically granted and must be requested well in advance (by the end of 4th week of Hilary term for exams in Trinity term). Examples of alternative arrangements include:

  • Extra writing time
  • Rest time 
  • Use of a wordprocessor to type exams
  • Ergonomic or other seating arrangements

Alternative exam arrangements may be requested on the grounds of a longstanding diagnosed condition or disability (e.g. dyslexia, anxiety) or owing to a short-term illness or condition (e.g. a broken leg). Where applicable, requests must be substantiated by medical or other relevant evidence. See also

Illness/Special circumstances before or during an examination

There is a procedure under which the examiners can be informed of any special circumstances (e.g. ill-health) which may have affected performance before or during an examination. Information, usually accompanied by a medical certificate from the College Doctor, needs to be sent in writing to the College Registrar as soon as possible after your final exam and before the papers are marked. See for further information. 

Submitting formal assessments

Formal assessments must be submitted on time and to the required standards. Work that is submitted after the deadline will give rise to a financial penalty and potentially also an academic penalty. Refer to your Course Handbook and see

If an extension to a deadline is required for medical reasons, students must contact the College Registrar as soon as possible in advance of their deadline with a medical certificate from the College Doctor. 

Timetables and results

Provisional examination timetables are available well in advance, with final timetables published no later than five weeks before exams. See

Mock exams are organised every year to give students the opportunity to practice writing exams in timed conditions. See

Students will receive an email once your results are released, and will be able to log in to Student Self Service to see the assessment results and result for the year (if applicable). See

Suspension and withdrawal

Students considering a temporary break in their studies ('suspension of status') or withdrawing from their course should speak to their College Advisor or the Senior Tutor in the first instance. They may also wish to consult with the College Registrar.

Suspension of status is an option to consider if you cannot work for a particular reason (e.g. illness, family circumstances, financial hardship). Master's students must suspend for a year owing to the taught nature of Master's courses. DPhil students can can apply for suspension of status for not less than one and not more than three terms at any one time. Overall, no student can suspend status for any more than six terms. 

Suspension of status temporarily ‘stops the clock’ for all elements of a degree, including residence, fees, and terms for which a particular status may be held. Students who are funded by a research council or charity may need to make a separate application to the funding body in parallel to that being made within the University. The funding body’s regulations for suspension of status will not necessarily be the same as those of the University. The supervisor, Director of Graduate Studies, or Graduate Studies Assistant will advise on this.

Please also refer to University guidance on suspension.

Withdrawing from a course is a permanent decision to stop studying for that course. Following a withdrawal, students may not re-start the course at a later stage. Note that it is not possible to withdraw from examinations after the conclusion of the last paper or by the time a dissertation/other written material is due, whichever is the later.

Please also refer to University guidance on withdrawal.

University guidance and regulations

All new students are given a copy of the University Student Handbook at the start of their course, and it can be found online at The Handbook is an important guide, covering topics including welfare to examinations to making a complaint.