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Examination Fellowships : Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I apply if I have not done an undergraduate degree at the University of Oxford?
Yes, so long as you are registered for a higher degree at the University of Oxford and also fulfil the other conditions mentioned in the Further Particulars.

Am I allowed to sit the fellowship examination at the same time as I am joining the University of Oxford to study for a higher degree?
Yes, so long as you have matriculated at the University of Oxford or have registered for a higher degree there by 1st October in the year in which you are applying, you can sit the Fellowship Examination that year (typically in late September and/or early October).

If successful in the examinations, can I defer taking up the fellowship?
To date all those securing a Fellowship by Examination have taken up their Fellowship immediately after their election but it is possible for a Fellow by Examination to defer the start of the Fellowship by up to one year from the date of election.

Am I eligible to apply if I did not get a first (or equivalent) for my undergraduate degree?
Yes, so long as you have successfully completed a BA (or equivalent) and fulfil the other conditions mentioned in the Further Particulars, you can apply. When we assess applicants, we do not take account of their undergraduate degree result. However, because the standard of the Fellowship Examination is high, the successful candidates are likely to be ones who either (I) obtained a high First Class undergraduate degree and won an undergraduate prize, or (ii) deserved to, even if, for one reason or another, they did not.

I have a BSc but not a BA. Am I eligible to apply?
Yes, anyone with an undergraduate Bachelor’s degree is eligible to apply, so long as they also fulfil the other conditions mentioned in the Further Particulars. The reason why we specify ‘BA or equivalent degree’ is simply because at the University of Oxford all undergraduate Bachelor’s degrees are called BAs.

I have two undergraduate degrees. When do the ‘ten terms from graduation’ start?
They start from the date of completion of your first degree; you will only be eligible to sit for a Fellowship by Examination if you are within ten terms of the completion of your first degree.

Can any exceptions be made to the eligibility criteria?
Exceptions to the eligibility criteria can sometimes be made, but very rarely and only in exceptional circumstances (e.g. documented long-term illness).

Can I sit the Fellowship Examination more than once?
You can sit the Examination as many times as you wish, as long as you continue to meet the eligibility criteria.

Can scientists and mathematicians sit the examinations?
The General Papers test wider thinking and reasoning skills as well as kinds of knowledge that anyone curious about the world might be expected to have. On the other hand, the specialist subject papers do require specialist knowledge in the relevant fields (Classical Studies, Economics, English Literature, History, Law, Philosophy, and Politics) in order to be answered well, though there is no requirement that candidates have to have done (or be doing) a degree in the subject(s) in which they choose to sit their two specialist papers. Some Fellows of All Souls do work in Mathematics and the Natural Sciences (see website Research pages), but for the Fellowship Examination there are no specialist subject papers in the sciences, only in certain humanities and social science subjects.

Examination Fellowship Frequently Asked Questions PDF Document PDF of FAQs