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Confirmation of Status  (gso.14)

FULL-TIME​ (before the end of your ninth term)                PART-TIME (before the end of your sixteenth term)

Confirmation of Status

The purpose of the Confirmation is to help you bring your research together and prepare for writing up. The assessment is carried out on the basis that a student should be at a standard that were their experimental work to be complete and written up, they would be in a position to submit a thesis for a DPhil at the University of Oxford. The process can also identify if your plans for completion are not suitable and offers an opportunity to provide additional guidance to help you towards a successful completion.

Confirmation Admin

Students have 9 terms in which to complete the Confirmation process, so for most students this will be the end of Trinity (which is usually the first week in October) of their third year. You will receive reminders from the MSD graduate office and from the Academic Administration team well in advance of this date!

GSO.14 (MSD)

Confirmation requires two people with sufficient scientific expertise to assess the quality of your work. You will need to decide with your supervisor which two assessors to invite to your interview, neither of whom should have acted in a supervisory capacity for you. Assessors should normally be internal to Oxford and one needs to have seen a student to completion at Oxford.

Once the assessors have been approached and confirmed, complete a GSO.14 (MSD) form and arrange for your supervisor and your college to sign it before submitting to the Academic Administration Team (AAT) via email at or hand it in to the AAT office, Room 67-11, (opposite Room D), Level 6, West Wing. You will also need to include your updated Training Needs Analysis Form (TNA) and a full thesis contents list (approx. a page and a half) with milestones of any remaining work to be undertaken.

The  AAT team will then arrange for the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) to add the final signature and then the completed form, together with a blank assessment form will be emailed to your assessors in preparation for your presentation and interview.

Confirmation process

The date and location of your interview should be arranged by you and your supervisors. Please note that no member of your supervisory team should be present. You will be required to give a presentation on your research followed by an interview with your two assessors.

After the interview

Following the confirmation interview, assessors are required to complete a confirmation assessment form. An additional written report is only required in cases where the assessors feel the students' work falls below the standard required.

The assessment form should be signed by both assessors and then emailed to the Academic Administration team at The team will then send all the paperwork to the MSD Graduate Office who will submit the forms to the Board for consideration. It is the Graduate Office who will then inform you, your supervisor, your college tutor and the AAT via email, of the Board's decision on the assessor's recommendation, usually 2-3 weeks following submission of the paperwork and assessors' recommendation