How to apply


Guiding you through the application process

Admission requirements

Applicants need to meet the following criteria:

  • A 2:1 or higher undergraduate degree or equivalent international qualifications. We will consider applicants who do not hold such a qualification but can demonstrate a particularly strong employment record and/or hold certain professional qualifications.
  • At least 7 years' relevant professional experience.
  • English language proficiency (either TOEFL or IELTS, with minimum scores met if English is not your first language). A previous degree or work experience in English may be sufficient.

Contact the MSc in Major Programme Management team to discuss your suitability for the programme and find out more about the application process.

It's a MSc in Major Programme Management, but it's not just for programme managers, it's for senior leaders in any industry or sector wanting to lead their complex programmes or businesses more successfully and for developing themselves as leaders.

Sara Krauss

Head of Engineering, EU Agency for the Space Programme

When to apply

Applications for the MSc in Major Programme Management 2024 class are open.

We operate a rolling admissions process, evaluating applications as they are received. The stage deadlines below are a guide for the approximate timing of interviews. 

  • 27 November 2023
  • 19 January 2024 (first scholarship deadline for the Director's Awards and Women's Scholarship)
  • 25 March 2024 (second scholarship deadline for the Director's Awards, Women's Scholarship and Rewley Scholarship)
  • 3 June 2024
  • 15 July 2024

Successful applicants will only be able to select a college once they have received and met the conditions of their offer. Places in some colleges are limited, therefore early application to the programme is advised if you wish to be considered for a particular college.

You can only apply once for applications and scholarships in an admissions year. You will not be reconsidered for a scholarship in the second deadline to ensure fair consideration of all applicants. If you would like to re-apply, you are welcome to do so in the following admissions year.

How to apply

Contact the recruitment team to discuss your suitability for the programme and find out more about the application process.

You will need the following to complete your application:

  • Transcripts of higher education qualifications – your official record of modules and grades. A certificate of completion is not sufficient and proof of test scores are required in certain instances.
  • At least two referees – current line manager and professional or academic reference. We are unable to accept previously prepared reference letters.
  • Three essays.

Your application essays give you the opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge, curiosity and insight within the field of major programmes. The essay topics are:

  1. Major Programmes are large-scale, complex and transformational. Describe two examples of major programmes that interest you and explain why. (Approximately 2000 words)
  2. What qualities are essential in a major programme manager? (Approximately 500 words)
  3. What unique contribution will you make to the MSc in Major Programme Management if you are offered a place on the programme? (Approximately 500 words)

Please note if you refer to or use any material from other sources (print/online) please reference the source in the document somewhere. 

We are looking for you to demonstrate your knowledge and opinions but also encourage you to include evidence to support your arguments. Be sure to include references for any quoted material within your essays. References will not count as part of your essay word limit. 

Every piece of written work is put through plagiarism detection software. Read the University's guide on how to avoid similarities when writing your essay.

Selecting your college


The collegiate system makes studying at Oxford a truly special experience.

Oxford colleges are small, intimate communities, where you meet academics and fellow students from around the world. 

Once you have received an offer and paid your deposit you will be sent a list of colleges and can select your college preference. Although we cannot guarantee you will be accepted at your preferred college, we can guarantee you will receive membership at one of the colleges.

English language proficiency

If English is not your first language or you are not from a majority English speaking country, you must take a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or an International English Language Test Scheme (IELTS) and meet all minimum scores.

Alternatively, you must have a Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) or a Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE).

Your test must have been taken no more than two years before the start date of your course.


Minimum score 110

Minimum required on each component

  • Listening: 22
  • Reading: 24
  • Writing: 24
  • Speaking: 25


Minimum score 7.5

Minimum required on each component 7.0

Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) 

Minimum score of 191

Minimum required per component: 185

Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE)

Minimum score of 191

Minimum required per component: 185

English language test waivers

At the discretion of the academic department, the requirement to provide English language test scores may be waived.

You may apply for a waiver if you have completed, or are currently completing, a degree-level course that is:

  • Full-time
  • At least nine months in duration
  • Undertaken at a recognised institution where teaching and assessment throughout the course is undertaken entirely in English; and
  • Has been completed no more than 2 academic years before the start date of the course to which you are applying.

You may also apply for a waiver based on substantial professional experience if:

  • You have worked for a minimum of two years in a majority English speaking country where the main language for the role was English;
  • Your role involved daily professional use of each of the four language components (reading, writing, listening and speaking);
  • You worked in an appropriately technical context to demonstrate the ability to communicate effectively in an academic environment; and
  • Your role has ended no more than two years before the start date of the course to which you are applying.

If you meet either the criteria based on your previous education or your professional experience, you will need to indicate this by answering yes or no to the English language waiver questions on the ‘Languages’; tab of the application form. If you choose the professional experience option, you will need to summarise your role and use of English to enable the assessors to judge whether it meets the criteria.

The academic department will consider your request if you are offered a place. If your request is accepted, you won't be required to provide English language test results as a condition of your offer. Otherwise, you will still have to provide English language test scores at the required level for your course, by a deadline stated in your offer letter.


If you require a visa to enter the UK, please allow sufficient time for your visa to be processed.



The total course fee for both home and overseas students for the September 2024 programme is £57,760

Programme fees cover tuition costs, course materials, essential reading texts, assessments and college membership (for two years). Lunch and refreshments are provided daily and there is an evening dinner at a different Oxford college during each module.

Accommodation, travel and additional living costs are not included in the fee. You should make arrangements to stay in Oxford during the modules. As part of your course requirements, you will need to choose a dissertation topic. Depending on your choice of topic and the research required to complete it, you may incur additional expenses, such as travel expenses, research expenses and field trips. You will need to meet these additional costs.

As you will be studying part-time your living costs may vary depending on your personal circumstances, for example, your choice of accommodation, but you must still ensure that you will have sufficient funding to meet these costs for the duration of your course.

Applicants who are offered and accept a place on the programme are asked to pay a £8,660 non-refundable deposit, which is offset against their fees. The deposit is due 30 days after notification of acceptance. The remainder of the programme fee is due in two instalments: 50% to be paid before the first year of study and 35% before the second year of study.

The Fees and Funding section of the University of Oxford website provides further information about course fees, including information about fee status and eligibility and your length of fee liability.

Scholarships and funding


We believe that greater team diversity positively affects the outcome of a project.

We are pleased to offer six scholarship awards for this programme: one Rewley Scholarship, two Women’s Scholarships and three Director’s Awards.

The Rewley Scholarship, made possible by the generosity of Saïd Business School alumni, is awarded on the basis of academic excellence and covers 50% of course fees.

The Women's Scholarship is awarded to outstanding female candidates from each intake, covering 50% of the total programme fee. This is designed to further support greater diversity within the cohort and increase the flow of talented women into senior roles in the industry.

We also offer three Director's Awards, covering up to 50% of the total programme fee, are open to candidates who can effectively demonstrate how they will enhance the diversity of their cohort, as well as exemplify the positive impact this MSc will have on their sector/country/region in the long term.