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As a graduate student you will be assigned an academic supervisor, who is responsible for your academic well-being and progress. In addition to academic supervision, you will also have a college pastoral advisor.

You would expect to meet with your supervisor at least four times a term. In the early stages, your supervisor will assist you in settling into the pace of academic study, helping you identify your training needs in order to fulfil your research and will facilitate appropriate networking across the Collegiate University. As your research progresses, your supervisor will advise you on research design, comment on chapter drafts and provide guidance on any fieldwork.

In the final stages, your supervisor will comment on your final drafts as you progress to submission of your thesis and help you prepare for any viva examination. Your supervisor may also provide career guidance as you plan your future beyond your period of study.

“The responsibility of an MPhil supervisor is to ensure students make the most of the excellent academic opportunities that Oxford has to offer. It is as much about providing formal guidance through their programme of studies, as it is about posing rigorous intellectual challenge, and encouraging students to find their own voice as they undertake their first major research project. Each student supervisor relationship has its own dynamic, but the starting point is similar: we are there to act as sounding boards for new ideas, and critical commentators on more developed drafts. We are there to keep students on track in pursuing their projects to the highest standard.”

Noa Schonmann, Departmental Lecturer in the Politics and International Relations of the Middle East

“The DPhil supervisor’s role is to provide guidance and support throughout a student’s career. The precise nature of engagement will vary depending on the individual needs of the student and his or her stage of development. The relationship is often mutual: when you have excellent students working on interesting questions, you benefit enormously from their research.”

Richard Caplan, Professor of International Relations