Natalie Ham

Natalie Ham

Communications and Marketing Officer

Admissions update: the final countdown

Estimated reading time: 3 Minutes
Catte Street and the Radcliffe Camera (left)

Whenever you ask a member of the Blavatnik School admissions team how they are at this time of year, you can guarantee the answer will be: “Busy!” Since the application deadline for the Master of Public Policy closed, they’ve been working to process well over 700 applications from 99 countries and territories. Each year, the team put so much effort into making sure the application process runs smoothly, processing admissions data and answering your questions. If you receive an offer, you’ll continue to be in touch with them as they support you through to arrival at the School.

Catte Street and the Radcliffe Camera (left)
Catte Street and the Radcliffe Camera (left)

In my role as Communications and Events Assistant, I work
with the admissions team to make sure we attract outstanding applications
displaying exceptional academic ability, commitment to public service, and
evidence of leadership and impact – and the calibre of this year’s applicants
has been as high as ever. We continue to receive applications from an
incredibly international mix, with a few new countries represented this year:
Tonga, the Maldives, Burundi and Bahrain. Once the offers have been sent out,
our work on attracting applicants for the next cycle begins again!

I know how stressful the waiting period can be, with the
uncertainty being in some ways the most difficult part of the application
process! But rest assured that the wait is nearly over – you’ll hear about the
outcome of your application by 20 March.

If the outcome is positive and you choose to accept your offer, congratulations! We look forward to welcoming you to the Blavatnik School community in September. In the meantime, why not take a look at some of the blog articles on life at the School, and find out how our current students are finding their time on the MPP. The University’s Graduate Study at Oxford account on Medium also has some really nice insights into life in Oxford.

Now is also the time to make sure you know your funding options. Along with your offer letter, you’ll receive a link to the Blavatnik School Scholarship Questionnaire, which you need to fill in if you want to be considered for any of the departmental scholarships. Take a look at the fees and funding page on our website for more information on scholarships, including those administered by the University as a whole and by external institutions. It’s also worth doing some wider research and getting creative – you never know where you might find funding opportunities!

If you’re unsuccessful in your application this year, please
don’t be too disappointed. The admissions team see so many brilliant
applications every year and it’s always worth considering applying again. While
some of our students have finished their undergraduate studies within the last
couple of years, most come with more substantial professional experience. If
you are towards the beginning of your career, you may have more to gain from
the MPP once you can apply some existing experience to the course. The
peer-to-peer learning that many of our students mention as a key element of
their time at the School is another reason why it helps to come with a bit more
practical experience, giving you more to bring to discussions both in the
classroom and outside of it.

On the other hand, if you are already at a senior level in
your career, you might want to consider one of our programmes for senior leaders.
These are short courses aimed at senior policymakers and practitioners who may
find an intensive course more suited to their professional circumstances.
Participants benefit from the outstanding teaching of our academics, excellent
networking opportunities and the chance to establish an ongoing connection with
the School.

We hope the application process has gone smoothly, and we’re
always keen to know what’s been done well and if there’s anything that we could
be doing better.

And finally – best of luck!

Natalie Ham is Communications and Events Assistant at the Blavatnik School of Government, where she works as part of the external relations team to promote the School's activities to a range of audiences.