Where do I find information on fees, scholarships, and application procedure for the MSc in Taxation?
Information on fees, scholarships and application procedure can be found on the main University of Oxford graduate admissions website here.
MSc in Taxation students will be automatically considered for all Law Faculty scholarships open to the Faculty's taught graduate students (unless eligibility is covered by further restrictions which exclude MSc Taxation students - for example scholarships available only to BCL and MJur students). No separate application form is required. In addition, there is one dedicated scholarship for MSc in Taxation students--the James Bullock Scholarship. This scholarship was established by the Oxford Law Faculty in memory of James Bullock, partner in Pinsent Masons, who died before his time in 2015 and who did so much to support tax teaching and research in Oxford. The James Bullock Scholarship is restricted to students taking the MSc in Taxation and provides an award of £5,000 which will be paid in two instalments of £2,500 over the two years of the programme (the second instalment will be conditional upon satisfactory progress during the first year of the course). All MSc in Taxation students will be automatically considered for this scholarship; no separate application form is required.
Why is this degree an MSc?
Oxford degree titles differ from those elsewhere and we do not have LLMs. This degree title is used for specialist further degrees, as in our MSc in Law and Finance.
I understand that the MSc in Taxation is a part-time degree, but is there also a full-time option?
The MSc in Taxation is a part-time degree only. The Oxford law faculty does not offer a full-time tax specialist degree. Students on our full-time masters-level degrees (the BCL, MJur, and the MSc in Law and Finance) may be able to take one or more taxation-based subjects, however. For details see the main Oxford law website.
Approximately how much time will I be expected to devote to my MSc in Taxation studies?
The student is responsible for the successful completion of his/her MSc in Taxation programme and playing an appropriate part in working with tutors and supervisors to that end. He/she is also responsible for making appropriate use of the teaching and learning facilities available within the University (including online facilities), and following the relevant procedures concerning registration for and assessment of MSc in Taxation courses. The student is also responsible for ensuring that he/she has a standard of English sufficient for successful completion of the degree.
It is not possible to translate these expectations into a workload that can be expressed in terms of a weekly timetable – the work patterns dictated by the three compulsory courses and the combination of electives a student chooses will not be even but will fluctuate across the two years (though overall, the work-load of each course will be broadly similar). In addition, student’s individual approaches to their work will differ greatly. But as a very general guideline, we would expect work to average out at around 8-10 hours per week over the two years of the MSc in Taxation studies. This includes time spent in lectures and seminars in Oxford, in reading assigned materials before and after attending the lectures and seminars, and in preparing written assignments and preparing for other forms of assessment.
How do I decide which college to put on my application?
All students on the MSc in Taxation must also be members of one of the Oxford colleges. The collegiate system is at the heart of the University of Oxford’s success, giving students and academics the benefits of belonging to both a large, internationally renowned institution and to a smaller, multidisciplinary, academic college community. Colleges enable leading academics and students across subjects and year groups, and from different cultures and countries, to come together and share ideas. Membership of an Oxford college can add a whole new dimension to your experience of graduate study.
On your application you can state a college preference or you can let us find a college for you. For a list of participating colleges that have agreed to accept applications from MSc in Taxation students see the admissions page here and click on the 'Colleges' tab.
Whether you let us find you a college or you state a college preference, it will not affect how we assess your application and whether we decide to make you an offer. If you receive an offer for a place on the MSc in Taxation then you will also receive an offer from a college, although this might not be the college you stated as your preference (if you indicated one).
For information about the colleges see here.
I don't think that I can satisfy the application requirement for a strong second class undergraduate degree or overseas equivalent. Should I still apply?
There is some flexibillity on admissions for this degree, particularly for someone with work experience and/or a professional qualification in tax but subject to the competitive application environment. We recommend emailing the MSc in Taxation Course Administrator (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have specific questions about your ability to satisfy the academic or other application requirements.
How many compulsory courses will I take and when will I take them?
The three compulsory courses are Tax Principles and Policy, Principles of International Taxation and the Tax Research Round Table.
Tax Principles and Policy is taught during the first residential, held in Oxford in late September at the start of the first year.
Principles of International Taxation is taught during the second residential, held in Oxford in early January of the first year.
The Tax Research Round Table is taught during the third residential, held in Oxford in late September at the start of the second year.
*Please note that the description of each compulsory course is preliminary and illustrative at this stage and has not been finalised. Course content, assessment methods and teachers are subject to change.*
How many electives will I take and when can I take them?
Students must take six electives over the two years. A list of available electives can be found here. A preliminary timetable showing when electives will take place will be uploaded to the website soon. The list of electives will vary from year-to-year and not all electives are taught every year. Every effort will be made to confirm the current list of eligible electives and timing as far in advance as is practicable. Exceptionally, electives or timing may need to be changed at a later date, in which case students will be informed as soon as possible.
Typically students will take three electives each year. Exceptionally, students may be able to defer one elective to their second year--and thus take two electives in their first year and four in their second year. Students seeking to defer an elective must obtain permission from a designated MSc in Taxation programme director. Normally it is not possible to take more than three electives in the first year.
*Please note that the description of each elective course is preliminary and illustrative at this stage and has not been finalised. Course content and teachers are subject to change.*
Can I write a long dissertation?
It is possible to write a 12,000 word dissertation in the second year of the programme in lieu of taking two electives. This is subject to obtaining the permission of a designated MSc in Taxation programme director, which will depend on an assessment of the student's capacity to produce a long piece of written work and whether a suitable topic and supervisor can be found.
What methods of assessment are used on the MSc in Taxation?
The MSc in Taxation uses a combination of assessment methods. Tax Principles and Policy will be assessed by way of an exam in Oxford in January of the first year. Principles of International Taxation will be assessed by way of two 3,000-word assignments. The Tax Research Round Table will be assessed by way of a an extended essay. Elective courses typically will be assessed by way of two 3,000 word assignments. A 12,000-word dissertation in lieu of two elective courses is also available, with the permission of a designated MSc in Taxation programme director.
Where can I stay when I'm in Oxford for the residentials? Are meals and accommodation included in the course fee?
Please be aware that the MSc in Taxation course fee does not include accommodation in Oxford during the residentials. Students must pay for their own accommodation. The three five-day residentials will be held in Oxford, generally at one of the colleges. Rooms will be reserved for students on a bed and breakfast basis. The MSc in Taxation Course Administrator will contact students in advance of the residentials to confirm accommodation arrangements.
Lunches and one evening meal (formal course dinner) are provided at no extra charge during the residentials. Students must make their own arrangements, and pay for, their other meals.
Where can I stay when I'm in Oxford for the electives?
Please be aware that the MSc in Taxation course fee does not include accommodation in Oxford during the electives. Students must arrange and pay for their own accommodation and meals in Oxford. If you need accommodation in Oxford for your electives we suggest first checking with your college to see if rooms are available. Other colleges may have rooms available -see here.
Further information on other short-stay accommodation options in Oxford, including hotels, B&Bs, etc. can be found here.
The MSc in Taxation Course Administrator can also help students find suitable acccomodation.
Where do I find information on travelling to Oxford?
Travel to Oxford from London, Paddington by train takes one hour and from London Marylebone, by train takes just over one hour. There are regular direct coach links from Heathrow and Gatwick airports.
Travel information to Oxford from road, air and coach links can be found here.
I live outside the UK. How much time would I need to spend in Oxford? Is there a distance-learning option?
The MSc in Taxation is a two year part-time degree taught in Oxford. There is no distance-learning option because we consider that discussion and interaction between students as well as contact with Oxford staff and visiting lecturers is an important part of the degree. Students do not need to be resident in Oxford for the full two years, however.
Attendance is required for the three five-day residential periods held in Oxford when the three compulsory courses will be taught. Attendance is also required for the lectures/classes for the six electives chosen. The electives will be taught in Oxford over two weekends or in four-day blocks. Electives are taught at various times over the two years (see timetable on the course website). It is possible to write a 12,000 word dissertation in the second year of the programme in lieu of taking two electives, which might be attractive to someone based a long way from Oxford. This is subject to obtaining the permission of a designated MSc in Taxation programme director, which will depend on an assessment of the student's capacity to produce a long piece of written work and whether a suitable topic and supervisor can be found.
We must emphasise that the degree is not designed for distance learning but for people who will attend the courses in Oxford in person.
Can I complete an individual elective without applying for the full degree?
We are planning to offer a very limited number of places on the MSc in Taxation elective courses to a select group of non-degree students interested in attending the lectures but not able/willing to pursue the full degree. An information sheet containing further information can be found here.
I live outside the UK. Where can I find information on admissions specific to my country?
Country-specific admission requirements for the University of Oxford can be found here.
Would I be eligible to apply to undertake a doctorate in tax law at the Oxford Law Faculty after completing the MSc in Tax?
Applicants applying to the Oxford Faculty of Law to undertake a doctorate (DPhil) must satisfy the entry requirements as set out on the admissions webpage for the DPhil in Law, here: www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/graduate/courses/dphil-law
As noted on the website, applicants are normally expected to have achieved a first-class undergraduate degree with honours (or equivalent international qualifications), as a minimum, in law. However, in exceptional circumstances, performance at Distinction level in a master's qualification in law may be regarded as a demonstration of academic excellence in the absence of first class performance at undergraduate level. Further, in the absence of an undergraduate degree in law, candidates may be admitted with a postgraduate diploma or master's qualification in law at Distinction level. A Distinction on the Oxford MSc in Taxation, as a master's qualification awarded by the Faculty of Law, would satisfy this requirement.
It should also be emphasised that there are a very limited number of DPhil places available each academic year and the Law Faculty typically receives in the region of 10 applications for every available place. Thus, completing the MSc in Tax with a Distinction does not guarantee you would be offered a place on the DPhil. That decision will be made by the Admissions Committee for the DPhil, taking into account all the entry requirements including your complete academic history and the supporting documents provided in your application.
Can I apply for a Tier 4 visa?
Due to the part-time nature of the MSc in Taxation, it is not eligible for a Tier 4 visa. Successfull applicants will need to apply for a Short-Term Student Visa; further information can be found here.
I live outside the UK. Where can I find information about UK visas?
Information on visa requirements for students applying to study in Oxford can be found here.
**Note: The information on this page is not legal advice and is subject to change. The University of Oxford assumes no responsibility for the information on, or bookings made through, external websites.**