NUSI is designed for students in the penultimate year of an undergraduate degree programme. Applications will be considered from undergraduate students at any stage of their course, but preference may be given to those who are in their second year (or third year of a four-year course) at the time of application.

You do not have to be an Oxford undergraduate to apply. We strongly encourage applications from students studying outside of Oxford.

A prior background in the social sciences is not mandatory, and the programme is appropriate for students with little prior background and training in statistics and research design.

However, a confirmed interest in the social sciences is advantageous, as is an interest in training in quantitative methods. As part of their application, candidates should demonstrate an interest in and potential for conducting research in the social sciences.

Applicants should be UK residents settled in the UK, with no restrictions on the period for which they may stay in the UK. They must have been ordinarily resident for three years before attending NUSI, and their residence should not have been wholly or mainly for the purpose of receiving full-time education during any part of it. Verification may be requested for shortlisted candidates.

Applicants must:

  • come from a household with a combined income at or below £42,875 per annum. We will usually take household income to mean the combined earnings of your parents/guardians, or your own annual income if you are living independently. If this is not appropriate to your circumstances, you will have the opportunity to explain this in the application form. £42,875 is the level that the University of Oxford has set as a cut off point for undergraduate bursaries (see here for information); we take this threshold as an indicator of socioeconomic background.

  • have lived in a neighbourhood which is classed as ACORN 4 or 5 and/or POLAR4 Quintile 1 or 2 in the final calendar year of their secondary education (this would normally be at age 18). ACORN and POLAR are ways of assessing the levels of socio-economic wealth or participation in higher education in different areas of the UK. You can check the ACORN category of a postcode on the ACORN website You will need to register with ACORN, which is free. You can check the POLAR4 quintile of a postcode on the POLAR website You do not need to register for POLAR.
    There is more information about how to check ACORN and POLAR data in our FAQs.

  • have been in the care of the local authority for at least three months at some point in their lives.


Verification of eligibility may be requested for shortlisted candidates.

NUSI is open to applicants of all ethnicities, but, all else being equal, preference may be given to Black and Minority Ethnic applicants, who are typically underrepresented in graduate study in the social sciences in Oxford and the UK more broadly.