Are you a graduate wondering whether Christ Church is the place for you? Read on to explore what it’s like to be a grad at Christ Church. 

Graduate life at Christ Church

Life as a grad student

Each year Christ Church welcomes 80–85 new graduate students. Some of them will have completed an undergraduate degree at Oxford, but most come from elsewhere – including many from overseas.

College Advisor

As a graduate student, you’ll belong to an academic department or faculty that will provide your teaching and supervision. However, the College will also play an important role in your studies. At Christ Church you’ll be assigned a College Advisor – a senior member of the college working in a similar field to you. 

Your College Advisor will meet with you at least once a term to offer guidance and discuss your progress. In addition to contact with senior members in College, through your college membership, you will also meet graduates working across a range of fields. This network will contribute to your broader intellectual development. 

Graduate facilities

Christ Church offers excellent facilities for its graduate students. Grads have full access to the College Library, as well as a separate Law Library. There’s a Graduate Common Room situated in the main quad, which offers a sitting room, study room and computing facilities. 

Events and activities

The GCR holds regular social events including guest dinners (with a speaker), wine tastings, theatre visits and movie nights. Graduates play a full part in the wider social and sporting life of the College. There are art and music rooms on site and an excellent sports ground nearby. The boathouse is a short walk away across Christ Church Meadow. 

Graduates also have free access to Christ Church Picture Gallery, which contains a collection of Old Master paintings and drawings of international importance. 

What our DPhil students do

Christ Church offers a wide range of graduate courses. See below for a taste of our DPhil candidates’ diverse research topics.


“In the UK roughly 80% of wasted energy is in the form of heat. Direct waste heat-to-electricity energy conversion represents a promising route to making our electricity base more sustainable. Waste heat from homes, automotive exhausts and industrial processes could be converted into electricity using thermoelectric generators – silent and dependable, solid-state devices that don’t rely on chemical reactions or produce toxic by-products.

“My project offers a special opportunity to join groups in two different Oxford departments (Chemistry and Physics). The hope is that novel solid-state compounds will be discovered, measured and controlled chemically with the aim of understanding the relationships between the composition, structure and thermoelectric performance.”

Lemuel, a DPhil candidate

“I'm researching how playing video games might influence the ways we think, know, and make meaning. As games become more widespread and integrated into people's daily lives, it's important to understand how they shape our relationships with knowledge. I take an ethnographic case study approach to do this, involving in-game interviews, diary studies, and semi-structured ethnographic interviews.

“My research builds off a pilot study I ran last year, where I interviewed players of ‘Animal Crossing: New Horizons’ inside of the game itself. I explored how players use the game to reflect on their identities, express themselves creatively, connect with their friends and loved ones, and think critically about their own lives. In addition to examining player experiences, I’ll be interviewing game designers to understand their intentionality into such meaning-making experiences through play. I plan to develop design guidelines to consider what the future of everyday play can and should look like.”

Amanda, a DPhil candidate

“Temperatures in Southern Africa are rising at twice the global rate and the prevalence of hot temperature extremes, coupled with extended periods of drought, is increasing. Having contributed to the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Sixth Assessment Report highlighting the impacts of climate change on ecosystems globally, I was made aware of the lack of understanding of how climate extremes are affecting the unique systems of the Southern Hemisphere. As a South African and former climate change researcher at the University of Stellenbosch, this question greatly concerns me. 

"I’ll be compiling a first-of-its-kind dataset for Southern African savannas on the physiological response of dominant tree species to a range of temperatures, including extended heatwaves, under varying levels of water stress along a temperature and rainfall gradient in Southern Africa.”


Learn more

If you have any questions about graduate life at Christ Church and Oxford, please get in touch with us at

Prospective students are always welcome to come and have a look around Christ Church. It’s helpful for us if you can let us know in advance that you’re coming by emailing or Please come to Tom Gate on St Aldates (typing 'Tom Tower' into Google Maps should get you here) and tell the staff there that you are a prospective student.  

If you have any accessibility requirements, please let us know before your visit so that we can make any necessary arrangements. Information about wheelchair accessibility is available on our website.