Q: Is this an American-style PhD?
A: Yes and no. The first year has an intensive taught course, with assessed work submitted for each module, and you need to successfully complete this in order to proceed into the rest of the course. It’s not structured quite like a “qualifying exam” but is intended to give you the grounding you need to complete a good research project later – and one that takes proper account of the broad cyber security context.
Q: Can I study this part-time? Can I stay in my existing job?
No. At least, not yet. At the moment we are fully focused on our full-time students who commit to spending four years in Oxford (apart from short internships and placements). Getting a DPhil from Oxford is hard work: it needs your full attention, and you will not be able to combine study in the CDT with any substantial other employment. We want to explore ways to make the Centre available to a broader group of potential students, but that is at least a couple of years away.
Q: Can I have a place at the CDT if I bring my own funding?
We have up to twelve scholarships available each year. The CDT does have desks for a few more students than that, so there is scope to take students who have funding from elsewhere. These places are limited, however, and are subject to the same competitive academic standards as the scholarships. Having your own funding is certainly not an automatic route into the centre.
Q: Can I gain teaching experience while I’m in the CDT?
If you are aiming for an academic career, then it is very useful to gain and practice teaching skills while you are studying for a DPhil. Oxford has quite a few opportunities for this, after your first year is over. You could even find yourself being the teaching assistant for the following year’s CDT students.