Recognised Students

Recognised Students: Affiliation with African Studies


Graduate research students who are registered with another university who are conducting postgraduate research on African Studies who want to do research in Oxford without registering for a degree, can apply for Recognised Student status with the African Studies Centre. 

It is possible to apply to be a Recognised Student for a minimum of 1 term and up to a maximum of 3 terms (or 1 academic year). There is no formal course of study or formal association with an Oxford college with this status and Recognised Students are responsible for finding their own accommodation in Oxford. Recognised Students may use University libraries and can attend lectures and seminars with permission. Please see our Events page for details of our seminars. Admission is at the discretion of the Admissions Board of the African Studies Programme, which is responsible for appointing the student’s Academic Advisor. 

If admitted by the African Studies Centre, you will be allocated an Academic Advisor, who will give general advice about the research topic, but not systematic instruction, as you are expected to be sufficiently well advanced in your studies to undertake research largely unsupervised.Recognised Students cannot necessarily expect feedback on written work from their advisor, since the amount of support available from an advisor will vary according to their availability.

Full information on fees, as well as on timing your visit and the recognised student experience, can be found on the main OSGA website, here.

The recommended application deadlines are:

Term of admission       EU/Swiss Applicants         All other applicants

Michaelmas 2019          Friday 30 August 2019         Friday 26 July 2019

Hilary 2020                    Friday 29 November 2019    Friday 25 October 2019

Trinity 2020                    Friday 21 February 2020      Friday 1 February 2020

Please note that it is your responsibility to check how long it will take to obtain a Visa in your country and to plan the submission of your application accordingly.

You should ensure that the start of your stay corresponds with the start date of any particular academic term

In order to start the application process, you should contact the Administrator at and send the following documents:

1. Original transcripts from the degrees you have previously obtained

2. A 500–1000 word statement of your research proposal

3. Two reference letters from senior members of faculty at your current university

4. A letter of application, including the dates you would like to be at the African Studies Centre and with details of any funding that you have secured (source and amount). The letter should explain how you envisage your stay in Oxford contributing to your doctoral study and what resources you aim to consult.

5. Evidence of English language competency (if you intend to apply for a Tier 4 visa; please see specific requirements below)

6. A current C.V.

If African Studies is able to support your application, and has an Academic Advisor available to provide appropriate supervision during your proposed visit, you will then be asked to complete a separate application form and we will send you a letter of support from African Studies. You should then send all of the completed documentation together to the Graduate Admissions Office, PO Box 738, University of Oxford, Wellington Square, OX1 9FB, United Kingdom.

Thereafter, you will receive a formal offer letter specifying the terms for which you have been admitted, as well as a student contract. This should be completed and returned to the Student Information & Advisory Service, Examination Schools, High Street, Oxford, OX1 4BG before you arrive at Oxford.

It is not possible to be admitted as a Recognised Student if you have already been matriculated as a member of the University of Oxford.

If you are a non-EEA /Swiss national, then you have two options for visa entry into the UK.

Option 1: 

Come to the UK as a ‘Short-Term Student

Under this option you may stay in the UK up to six months, but no more (e.g. October to March, or two academic terms). You would not be allowed to take any employment in the UK, and you would not be able to stay any longer than six months, or to transfer to another programme of study.

Option 2:

Apply for a ‘Tier 4 (General) student visa

More information about the Tier 4 (General) student visa can be found here.

As soon as you receive your Offer Letter, you will need to start applying for your visa. On your request, the African Studies will arrange for a Confirmation of Acceptance to Study (CAS) number to be provided to you.

It is recommended that for detailed information about Tier 4 Visa and Student Visitor Visa, you consult the UK Border Agency website.

Finally, in line with requirements from the UK Border Agency, you must have your passport scanned when you report to the Student Information & Advisory Service on your arrival. If applicable, you should also ensure that you register with the police.

The department student visitor charges are £2,000 per term (£6,000 per academic year).  For further details please see OSGA Visitor Fees.

This covers the cost of the access to the University facilities and the cost of the guidance provided by your Academic Advisor. Tuition fees do not include college fees (as you will not be affiliated with any college), accommodation, or other course and maintenance fees. Fees must be paid within fourteen days of the start of Full Term and failure to do so will result in the cancellation of your admission. You may pay for more than one term at a time if you wish.

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