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A CDT is a cohort of students that receive a year of cohort based training in the first year, before they start their DPhil, so the duration is four years instead of three years. If you start a DPhil straight away you don't have the year of expert training plus you won't necessarily have other DPhil students joining with you. Therefore, the benefits of a CDT are that you get to be with a group of like-minded students and you can have an additional year to bolster your skills while investigating what types of research areas are available, by reaching out to potential supervisors. But, for some people that's a disadvantage if they know exactly what they want to research and want to start straight away and complete their DPhil in 3 years.

Most students have either undertaken a 4 year honours degree or a Masters so they have some research experience but they do not need to have previously had a research post, although some do. While it is not a prerequisite to have experience working with health data, there must be a clear motivation as to why they want to take up study in a CDT explicitly focused on applying machine learning to health.

Yes, some have prior work experience, but it is neither a requirement nor a negative thing.  Everyone is judged on their merit and potential.

The interview lasts for about 30 minutes and the panel will consist of at least three CDT Directors. This will take place online. You will be asked about yourself, your previous experience and ambitions and there will be some technical questions. It would be a good idea to read through your personal statement before the interview, you will have a chance to ask questions at the end.

Beyond saying what interests you and what you would like to do, there is no right or wrong way to structure this. This is to give the committee some idea about what makes you intellectually excited and why.

You can leave this field blank or write Health Data Science as a generic answer, or attach your research proposal if you already have one. It is by no means binding to what you will end up studying once you start your DPhil, so feel free to use it to offer a taste of what your interests are to the panel assessing your application.

You usually have classes running from weeks 0 to 9, followed by two weeks of data challenge. So expect to have contact hours for about 12 weeks in a row for the first couple of terms, there is a lot to teach in the initial training year! Courses are run in the Big Data Institute on Oxford’s Old Road Campus, a ~15 minute bike ride from main campus. You can apply to live in college accommodation or find something close to the BDI in the Headington area.

In January (start of second term), you will be given a list of rotation projects to choose from which have been submitted by potential supervisors after a call for projects is announced by the CDT in the Autumn. You must select two short projects to complete in the third term and summer. However, you can also choose to arrange your own 'bespoke' placement project with a professor. This is good if you already have a specific research interest and/or project in mind. However, be sure to discuss this with the prospective supervisor and CDT directors no later than December. All projects (including bespoke ones) are reviewed to ensure they fit within the remit of developing machine learning methodology for health data and that suitable data is ready and available to use.

Work life balance is very dependent on your own working patterns, as well as your supervisor. For the training year, classes run from 9-5 and there is never homework assigned over the weekend, therefore the work-life balance is well built in. Once you start your research however, it will be based on how/when you want to work. This is one of the benefits of a PhD is that you get to set your own working hours and can maintain the work/life balance you want to achieve.

The program definitely fosters a collaborative spirit through the cohort training structure and through various group workshops, afternoon practical sessions and the data challenge. There are a lot of team working exercises and opportunities to engage with each other even after the training year.

No, but the more you can demonstrate prior experience, either through work experience or coursework, the more your application will stand out.

No but if you are unsure whether you fit the criteria for the course or have any other questions, please email:

Whatever you want to do you should put in this section, you will/may change your mind along the way.

After the application deadline, it takes 7-10 days for central graduate admissions to check applications are completed correctly and notify us that all applications are now ready to assess. The Directors will then go through all the applications and shortlist those that they want to interview. You should be notified of whether you have been shortlisted within 3-6 weeks of the closing date.

There are a limited number of studentships for international students, but if you can apply for your own scholarship that is also good. Funding options can be discussed at interview. Please also see the Scholarships page on the University website.