The Oxford MSc in Taxation is a two-year part-time postgraduate degree offered by the Oxford University Faculty of Law, and is taught in association with the Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation based at Saïd Business School. 

MSc Tax course teachers at a conference

Unusual among Masters in Taxation degrees, the MSc in Taxation has been designed by a combination of lawyers and economists. The degree is taught by lawyers and economists from the Faculty of Law and the Centre for Business Taxation, as well as a select group of practising lawyers and other leading academics. This combination ensures that students not only acquire a detailed understanding of technical law, but also the ability to think deeply about the underlying policy considerations. An element of interdisciplinarity runs through the whole degree and, in addition, the in-built flexibility of the course allows students to tailor their studies to their individual preferences.

This flexibility is particularly important because the MSc in Taxation has been designed as a part-time degree to appeal to a range of students from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds. The degree aims to accommodate both those who are engaged in full-time careers and those who are taking a break but have other duties and responsibilities.

These unique features of the MSc in Taxation make it the ideal degree for practitioners in law and accounting firms who wish to move from a technical to a deeper understanding of taxation: insights that will help propel their career forward. This approach also makes this the degree of choice for those working in revenue authorities and treasury departments, as well as for those contemplating an academic career in taxation. Teaching is planned so that the many skills-sets and knowledge bases represented in the class are accommodated and developed to enhance class discussion.

The increased focus on taxation by politicians and the media, as well as the ever-increasing technical demands of the subject and the pace of change at an international level, means that there has never been a more important time to study taxation from a range of perspectives.

Structure

Teaching is undertaken in Oxford in intensive periods, primarily during three residential weeks and at weekends, or in other short blocks of time. Care has been taken in designing the degree to ensure that, despite its part-time nature, students still enjoy the unique Oxford experience, including Oxford teaching methods, small class sizes, college life and interaction with Oxford faculty and students. 

The degree is not designed for distance learning but for people who will attend the courses in Oxford in person.

Key Elements

  • The MSc in Taxation is open to both lawyers and non-lawyers, and can be tailored to meet different interests

  • Students take nine courses over two years - three compulsory core courses and six elective courses. The norm is for students to take five courses in Year 1. With permission they may take four courses in Year 1 and five in Year 2

  • A 12,000 word dissertation in lieu of two elective courses is also available*

  • Teaching is mainly in lectures and interactive classes, and is structured to enable students to fit their studies around work and other commitments

  • A virtual learning environment provides students with access to course materials and research resources, and enables them to remain in contact with teachers and other students during periods away from Oxford

  • Attendance at all core courses and chosen electives is mandatory

*In cases meeting the criteria specified by the CIOT, students electing to write an extended dissertation may be able to submit that dissertation separately, once they have completed their degree, for a CTA Direct Fellowship. Interested applicants are encouraged to contact the Education Team at CIOT on 020 7340 0550 or education@ciot.org.uk 

Compulsory Core Courses

Core courses are taught in three five-day residential periods held in Oxford, generally in one of the colleges.

CourseTimingAssessment
Tax Principles and PolicySeptember, Year 1Exam
Principles of International TaxationSpring, Year 1Two 3,000 word assignments
Tax Research Round TableSeptember, Year 26,000 word essay

Elective courses

Electives are taught in Oxford as intensives, usually over two weekends or in other short blocks of time, and typically are assessed by way of two 3,000 word assignments. Please note that the courses, content and teachers are subject to change.

Student experience

Photographer: John Cairns

I am currently Head of Tax at one of the largest equities hedge fund managers in Europe. Having specialised in tax for the past 12 years as a tax advisor in one of the big four accounting firms and presently in the hedge fund industry; I have been looking to pursue graduate study to further enhance my knowledge of tax, thus was excited to hear of the launch of the part-time MSc in Taxation by the world-renowned Faculty of Law at the University of Oxford

Students on the Oxford MSc in Taxation will be members of one of the participating Oxford colleges. Long term accommodation in college is not provided as this is a part-time degree. However, some colleges may be able to let out guest rooms for some of the electives. Arrangements are made with the colleges for the three mandatory courses.

Students will find that college membership enriches their time at Oxford, offering the chance to interact with faculty and students from diverse academic backgrouds in situations varying from high table dinners to college balls. Students will be able to attend a wide range of conferences and guest lectures at the Faculty of Law and Centre for Business Taxation, and have access to University facilities, including the Bodleian Law Library - one of the largest and most important open-access law libraries in Europe. Students also have distance access to an extensive range of online databases, including Westlaw, LexisNexis, IBFD, OECD and Tax Analysts.

The programme is ideal because of its part-time format. As I do not have to take two years off from work, I would be able to immediately put into practice the knowledge acquired while staying close to my young family

Photographer: John Cairns

Admissions

Applicants are normally expected to be predicted or have achieved a first-class or strong upper second-class undergraduate degree with honours (or equivalent international qualifications) in law, economics or accounting; or, if in another subject, applicants should have a suitable professional qualification and/or experience, or other evidence of an interest in taxation. 

Applicants who cannot satisfy the upper second-class degree requirement may be considered in exceptional circumstances where there is alternative evidence of real academic strength and aptitude for the degree, such as professional qualifications from the Law Society, ICAEW, CIOT or overseas equivalent professional body plus at least two years professional tax experience; or at least five years experience working in tax and other evidence of academic capacity (eg having written articles or a book).

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Governance

MSc in Taxation Programme Directors

Course Administrator: Hannah Donohoe, Faculty of Law

Additional Oxford Faculty Members

Other Faculty

Oxford University has strong links with a world-wide network of leading academics and practitioners, many of whom will be contributing to the teaching on the MSc in Taxation, including:

Leading academics and practitioners are involved in the governance of the MSc in Taxation, including:

**Please note that the list of faculty is subject to change**