Frequently Asked Questions


The Embark Application Form

What is the Programme Code (or course code)?

The course code for the DTP in Environmental Research is 004005.

How do I indicate which stream I'm interested in?

Use the field entitled "Research applicants only: Proposed field and title of research project:"

What if the college I want to attend is not on the list?

Only colleges that have indicated that they would be prepared to accept students on this course are included in the list. You should therefore check with the appropriate college office whether they would be prepared to accept you if you received an offer from the DTP.  If they agree, then you should contact Graduate Admissions for their assistance with completing this part of the form.

What funding arrangements should I select on the Embark application form?

In the section entitled "Proposed Funding Arrangements" you should click on the pop down menu and select "Natural Environment Research Council NERC".  The period covered should be 4 years, the status "applied to".

Is there a departmental studentship code for this programme?

No, this is for a different type of studentship and you can leave this part of the form blank.

Does the application deadline include receipt of references?

Yes it does, but this does not mean that you have to submit your application earlier than 24th January.  As soon as you have completed your name, programme of study, the date by which you would like references received, and registered your referees on the application form, an automatic request for references will be sent to your referees by the system.

Can I apply for more than one programme of study and do I have to pay?

Yes you can apply for related programmes of study without having to pay a second application fee.  But, if you want to apply for, e.g. the DTP in Environmental Research, and a D.Phil in Mathematics, you would have to apply twice and pay two application fees.  The list of related programmes is on the Application Procedures page.

What should I put in my statement of purpose?

The statement of purpose, requested on the online application form, is another name for a personal statement. We do not wish to be too prescriptive about what goes in the statement of purpose.  The idea is to give the panel a more rounded idea of who you are than the application form and CV can do.  What motivates you, what are your outside interests, have you had any interesting experiences? You can also add here which stream you are interested in applying to.

What is the written work for?  Is it like a research proposal?

The written work is not intended to be research proposal for your project.  It can be completely unrelated to the subject you hope to study.  It will form the basis of a conversation should you be invited to interview.  The intention is for it to be a starting point for a discussion, and to give an idea of how your mind works in approaching problems.

I am an overseas student, but have previously studied in the UK.  Do I need to provide an IELTS score with my application? 

You can apply for an English Language waiver if you have studied at degree level for nine months or more at an institution where the language of instruction is entirely in English.  To do this you should upload a letter with your application outlining the reasons why you should be exempted from the language requirement.

Click Here for full details


I am not a UK citizen, but I studied for my bachelor's degree here.  Am I eligible for funding?

If you have been living in the UK for three years or more you may be eligible for a full studentship under the residency rules.  The full details of who is eligible for what funding are available in the NERC studentship Handbook.

What funding am I eligible for as an EU student?

EU students are entitled to have their university fees paid for by the NERC DTP.  However, they can qualify for additional funding under the residency rules if they have lived in the UK for three years or more for the purposes of work and/or full-time education.  The eligibility rules are in the NERC studentship Handbook.

What is the difference between a Research Council Scholarship and a Clarendon Scholarship?

A Research Council scholarship is funded by a Research Council (RC), which is a government agency.  In the case of the DTP the RC is NERC (Natural Environment Research Council).  RCs do not fund overseas students, and only fund EU students as far as their university fees (not their college fees).

The Clarendon Scholarships are funded by Oxford University, from a grant by the Oxford University Press.  This scholarship provides full funding to Overseas students as well as EU students and UK students.  All applicants are automatically entered into the Clarendon competition.  There are over 100 scholarships available every year, some in the gift of colleges, some in the gift of departments and some which are awarded through divisional competitions.  The DTP does not have its own Clarendon scholarship to award, but we can enter candidates into the Divisional competition, and we also have some Clarendon funds from one of our colleges.

I am an overseas student and therefore not eligible for Research Council funding.  I am confused about what scholarships I can apply for and how to do it.

All applicants are automatically entered into the Clarendon Scholarship competition.  In addition to the Clarendon fund, there are scholarships available in some of the colleges, and some of these offer partial or full funding.  To find out which of these you can apply for you should visit the scholarship search on the fees and funding website.  You can apply for funding in a college that is not on the DTP list of colleges.  If they offer you the funding they will also offer you a place, as long as you get a place on the course as well.

The course

Is the list of projects on the website the final list?

No, new projects are being submitted all the time.  These projects will evolve as the partners discuss them with the supervisors, and once students are recruited who also have their own ideas.  They should be viewed as a starting point for the development of the projects.  If there are projects you would like to see on the list, you are free to contact appropriate potential supervisors and to discuss your ideas with them and whether they might be interested in submitting a project proposal to the DTP.  You can search for potential supervisors by going to the individual department websites.