Advice for students applying to Oxford

We asked some of the graduate students at Oxford if they had any advice for students currently thinking about applying to Oxford to study the food system.

See what Oxford can offer

"Oxford offers a variety of ways to engage with food system issues across multiple disciplines. Whether you seek an interdisciplinary degree or a specific disciplinary course, at Oxford you can work on research and policy initiatives that bridge departments and address food system questions with the requisite diversity of perspectives. Moreover, research at Oxford spans both food system challenges in the developed world and issues relevant to developing nations, especially Africa."

Know what you want

"Like any institution, when you know what you want, you will know how to make the best of the experience. Make sure you know why you are applying to Oxford. The reputation is great but that’s not what’s going to get you through your doctorate.”

Visit Oxford if you can

"I recommend that you come and visit Oxford at least once if not twice before coming to make sure you like your department, your college and the city in general. You will be here for at least two years, so you want to make sure that you like living here."

Research the Department you want to study in

"Make sure that being in the department/program/institute will help to build your career network. A vibrant and thriving research environment that has international contacts will serve you well. Understanding how your department is viewed within your field is critical."

Get to know your potential supervisor

"Make sure you research the interests of your possible supervisors and department to make sure you have similar interests. You will be spending a lot of time working very closely with them, so being sure that your interests are compatible will make it much more enjoyable and give you some common ground to discuss at your interview."

"Choose your supervisor wisely!"

"Most importantly, meet or chat at length with your potential supervisor a few times before applying. Your supervisor will make or break your experience. Make sure you understand how many students your supervisor will have, his/her teaching obligations, as well as how many grants they are managing. Some supervisors have three students and some have seventeen and as result the time they can spend with you widely varies."

Make the most of being in Oxford

"Finally, once you get here be open to the experiences of the University. This is one of the most diverse intellectual and cultural atmospheres I have ever been in. You will be constantly learning and constantly be surprised by the people you meet if you are open to the encounter."