What Is an Oxford Curriculum Vitae?

An Oxford Curriculum Vitae (CV) is a document that showcases a person’s academic and professional achievements. It’s typically used when applying for academic roles, research opportunities, or specialised positions in fields like academia, research, or certain industries. The Oxford CV format may have some differences from standard CV formats due to the academic focus and expectations associated with Oxford University and its rigorous standards.

Here’s what you’d typically find in an Oxford Curriculum Vitae:

Emphasis on academic achievements

Oxford CVs strongly emphasise academic achievements such as degrees, awards, scholarships, research experience, publications and presentations. These details help demonstrate a candidate’s intellectual ability and suitability for academic or research roles.

Education section

The education section is extremely important and can include details of the academic institutions the candidate has attended, degrees obtained (including specific awards), relevant courses, thesis topics and supervisors.

Research experience

Oxford CVs usually include a section on research experience, particularly for PhD candidates. This section highlights research projects undertaken, research assistantships, publications, conference presentations and other contributions to academic or scientific research.

Teaching experience

For candidates applying for academic positions, teaching experience is important. This may include details of courses taught, teaching assistantships, mentoring roles and any innovative teaching methods or approaches used.

Professional experience

While academic performance is important, an Oxford CV can also include relevant work experience, particularly if it relates to the candidate’s academic field or demonstrates skills useful in an academic or research environment.

Additional sections

Depending on an individual’s experience and achievements, an Oxford CV may include additional sections such as awards, professional memberships, language proficiency, technical skills, community involvement and personal interests.

Formatting and length

Oxford CVs are usually well-structured, concise and professional. They may follow specific formatting guidelines preferred by academic institutions or funding bodies. Although there is no strict rule on length, Oxford CVs tend to be thorough but not overly long, focusing on relevant information and achievements.

In a nutshell, the Oxford Curriculum Vitae serves as a comprehensive summary of an individual’s academic and professional background. It’s tailored to showcase their qualifications and suitability for academic or research roles within the academic environment of Oxford University or similar institutions.

Oxford CV samples

For those looking to get started, we offer a range of sample Oxford CV templates. Explore our collection and find the perfect format to showcase your credentials. You can also learn more about our full range of CV templates.


    oxford cv guide

    How to write an Oxford CV step-by-step

    • Organise your CV layout:

      • Ensure your CV has a clean and professional appearance by selecting a readable font and structuring it into distinct sections. Common sections include:
      • Personal details: Start with your name, contact information, and optionally, a brief summary of yourself.
      • Education: List your academic qualifications in reverse chronological order, providing details such as degree, institution, graduation year, and any relevant thesis or dissertation titles.
      • Work experience: Detail your employment history, internships, or research positions, including job titles, company names, locations, and dates of employment. Use bullet points to highlight key responsibilities and achievements.
      • Skills: Showcase your relevant skills, including technical abilities, language proficiencies, and software competencies.
      • Additional information: Include any extra details such as certifications, awards, volunteer experience, or professional memberships.
    • Highlight your education:

      Your education section should prominently display your academic qualifications. Start with your most recent degree and work backwards. Include details such as the full name of the qualification, the institution you attended, your graduation year (or expected graduation year), and any notable achievements or projects undertaken during your studies. If applicable, mention any thesis or dissertation titles relevant to your field.

    • Showcase your experience:

      Your work experience section is where you demonstrate your practical skills and accomplishments. Provide a concise overview of your employment history, focusing on roles that are relevant to the job you’re applying for. For each position, highlight key responsibilities, achievements, and contributions using bullet points. If you have internships or research roles, include them as well, emphasising any hands-on experience or projects you’ve undertaken.

    • Emphasise your skills:

      Identify the most relevant skills to the job you’re applying for and highlight them in your CV. These can include technical skills, such as proficiency in specific software or tools, as well as soft skills like communication, teamwork, and problem-solving. For each skill listed, provide examples or instances where you’ve successfully applied it in previous roles or projects. This helps to demonstrate your competence and suitability for the position.

    • Proofread and tailor:

      Before submitting your CV, thoroughly proofread it to ensure it’s free of grammatical errors, typos, and formatting inconsistencies. Consider asking a friend, colleague, or career advisor to review it as well for feedback. Additionally, tailor your CV to each job application by emphasising the most relevant qualifications and experiences. Research the company or organisation to understand their specific requirements and preferences, then customise your CV accordingly to make it stand out to potential employers.

    Free Oxford University CV examples by major

    Free Oxford CV template (word format) with a major in Engineering

    Emma Johnson
    24 Rose Lane, Oxford, OX2 6ST
    +44 7890 123456

    Personal Statement:

    A dynamic and innovative engineer with a passion for problem-solving and a commitment to sustainable solutions. Dedicated to applying technical skills and creativity to tackle complex engineering challenges and contribute to advancements in the field.

    Professional Experience:

    • Structural Engineering Intern, Smithson Engineers Ltd., London,

    Summer 2022

    • Assisted in structural analysis and design calculations for various construction projects.
    • Contributed to the preparation of engineering drawings and specifications.

    Research Assistant, Oxford Centre for Sustainable Engineering, Oxford

    • Conducted research on sustainable materials and construction techniques for infrastructure projects.
    • Assisted in data collection, analysis, and report writing for research publications.


    • MEng in Engineering Science (Civil Engineering), University of Oxford,


    Thesis Title: “Innovations in Sustainable Infrastructure Development”

    • BEng (Hons) in Civil Engineering, University of Birmingham, 2021


    • Proficient in structural analysis and design software (e.g., SAP2000, ETABS).
    • Strong problem-solving skills, with experience in structural engineering principles and calculations.
    • Excellent communication skills demonstrated through technical reports and presentations.
    • Ability to work effectively in multidisciplinary teams and collaborate with stakeholders.
    • Familiarity with sustainability principles and their application in engineering projects.

    Additional Information:

    • Certification: Autodesk Certified Professional (AutoCAD)
    • Languages: Conversational proficiency in French
    • Volunteer Experience: Habitat for Humanity, Construction Volunteer

    Free Oxford CV template with a major in Economics

    John Smith
    12 Oxford Street,
    Oxfordshire, OX1 1HP
    +44 1234 567890

    Personal Statement:

    A motivated and detail-oriented individual with a keen interest in applying economic principles to real-world challenges. I am committed to continuous learning and professional development, aiming to make a positive impact in the field of economics and finance.

    Professional Experience:

    Financial Analyst Intern, Smith & Co., London
    Summer 2022

    • Conducted financial analysis and prepared reports to support investment decisions.
    • Assisted in evaluating potential investment opportunities and conducting market research.

    Research Assistant, Oxford Institute of Economic Research, Oxford

    • Contributed to research projects on topics such as monetary policy and economic development.
    • Assisted in data collection, analysis, and literature reviews for academic publications.


    MSc in Economics, University of Oxford

    • Dissertation Title: “The Effects of Fiscal Policy on Income Inequality”

    BSc (Hons) in Economics and Mathematics, London School of Economics and Political Science 2021


    • Proficient in financial modelling and analysis using Excel and statistical software.
    • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills, with experience in quantitative research methods.
    • Excellent written and verbal communication skills demonstrated through academic presentations and reports.
    • Ability to work effectively both independently and as part of a team, with a proactive approach to learning.
    • Familiarity with econometric techniques and statistical analysis.

    Additional Information:

    • Certification: Financial Modelling Certificate (FMVA), CFI
    • Languages: Fluent in Spanish (DELE B2)
    • Volunteer Experience: Tutor, Local Youth Centre

    Free Oxford CV template with a major in Biology

    Alexandra Patel
    36 Meadow Lane,
    Oxford, OX4 2AB
    +44 7890 987654

    Personal Statement:

    A dedicated and curious biologist with a passion for scientific research and discovery. Possesses academic and research experience which, combined with a passion for science, provides the skills necessary to tackle complex biological questions and contribute to advancements in the field of biology.

    Research Experience:

    Graduate Research Assistant, Oxford Centre for Cancer Research, Oxford,

    • Investigating the epigenetic mechanisms underlying cancer progression using molecular biology techniques.
    • Analysing genomic data and conducting experiments to elucidate novel targets for therapeutic intervention.

    Research Intern, Institute of Genetics and Molecular Biology, Cambridge,
    Summer 2020

    • Investigated the genetic basis of neurodevelopmental disorders through genetic mapping and functional analysis.
    • Assisted in laboratory experiments and data analysis for research projects.

    Teaching Experience:

    Teaching Assistant, Molecular Biology Laboratory, University of Oxford,

    • Supervising undergraduate students in laboratory sessions, guiding experimental techniques and data analysis.
    • Assisting in the preparation of laboratory materials and assessments.


    • DPhil in Biology (Genetics), University of Oxford,
      Expected Completion: 2025
      Research Topic: “Exploring the Role of Epigenetic Regulation in Cancer Development”
    • MSc in Molecular Biology, University College London
    • BSc (Hons) in Biology, University of Manchester


    • Proficient in molecular biology techniques, including PCR, Western blotting, and next-generation sequencing.
    • Strong data analysis skills, with experience in bioinformatics tools and software (e.g., R, Python).
    • Excellent written and verbal communication skills demonstrated through scientific presentations and publications.
    • Ability to work independently and collaboratively in a research environment, with a proactive approach to problem-solving.
    • Familiarity with laboratory safety protocols and good laboratory practices.

    Additional Information:

    • Publications: Co-author on two peer-reviewed research articles in cancer biology journals
    • Awards: Recipient of the Biology Excellence Award, University of Manchester (2018)
    • Volunteer Experience: Science Outreach Program, Volunteer Presenter

    Free Oxford CV template with a major in History

    Daniel Thompson
    45 High Street, Oxford, OX1 4BJ
    +44 7890 543210

    Personal statement:

    A passionate and detail-oriented historian with a love for uncovering and interpreting the past. My academic background and research experience have equipped me with the skills necessary to analyse historical events critically and communicate complex ideas effectively.

    Research Experience:

    Graduate Research Assistant, Oxford Centre for Victorian Studies, Oxford

    • Conducting archival research and primary source analysis on Victorian social and political history.
    • Analysing historical documents and literature to uncover new perspectives on social movements and reform.

    Research Intern, National Archives, London,
    Summer 2019

    • Assisted in cataloguing and digitising historical documents related to British colonial history.
    • Conducted preliminary research for archival exhibitions and educational programs.

    Teaching Experience:

    Teaching Assistant, Introduction to Modern European History, University of Oxford, 2021-Present

    • Assisting in course planning and development, including designing lectures and seminar activities.
    • Providing feedback and guidance to undergraduate students on historical research and writing.


    • DPhil in History, University of Oxford,
      Expected Completion: 2026
      Thesis Title: “Revisiting the Political Landscape of Victorian England: A Study of Social Movements and Reform”
    • MA in History, University of Edinburgh
    • BA (Hons) in History, University of Leeds


    • Proficient in archival research methods and historical analysis techniques.
    • Strong written and verbal communication skills, with experience in academic writing and presentation.
    • Excellent critical thinking and problem-solving abilities, with a keen eye for detail.
    • Ability to work independently and collaboratively in a research environment, with a proactive approach to learning.
    • Familiarity with historical research tools and databases, including digital archives and library catalogues.

    Additional Information:

    • Publications: Co-author on a book chapter in a collection on Victorian social history
    • Awards: Recipient of the History Prize, University of Leeds (2018)
    • Volunteer Experience: Historical Society, Volunteer Event Organiser

    Expert tips for formatting an Oxford CV

    • Keep it concise

      Focus on including only the most relevant information that directly relates to the position or programme you’re applying for. Avoid lengthy descriptions or unnecessary details that may distract from your key qualifications and experiences. Use concise language and bullet points to convey information efficiently, allowing recruiters to quickly grasp your key points.

    • Choose a clean and professional font

      Select a font for your CV that is clear, easy to read, and professional in appearance, such as Arial, Calibri, or Times New Roman.

      Maintain consistency in font size throughout the document, typically using a size between 10 and 12 points for body text.
      Avoid decorative or overly stylish fonts that may detract from the professionalism of your CV.

    • Use clear headings and subheadings

      Organise your CV with clear and descriptive headings and subheadings to create a logical structure and guide the reader through the document.

      Use bold or slightly larger font sizes for headings to make them stand out and draw attention to each section of your CV.

      Ensure that headings accurately reflect the content that follows, providing a clear indication of what the reader can expect in each section.

    • Utilise blank space effectively

      Ensure there is adequate blank space between sections and paragraphs to improve readability and avoid a cluttered appearance.

      Use margins effectively to frame your content and create a balanced layout, avoiding overly narrow or crowded text blocks.

      Blank space helps to create visual clarity and allows the reader’s eyes to move smoothly across the page, making it easier to absorb information.

    • Bullet points for clarity

      Use bullet points to present information in a clear and structured manner, particularly when listing skills, experiences, or achievements.

      Bullet points help to break up dense blocks of text, making it easier for recruiters to scan your CV and identify key points.

      Be concise and specific in your bullet points, using action verbs and quantifiable achievements to demonstrate your skills and accomplishments effectively.

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    What you need to know about the Oxford CV template

    What Is the best style for an Oxford CV?

    When writing an Oxford CV, aim for a polished and professional style of a simple CV template. Your priority should be clarity and ease of reading.

    Choose a standard font such as Arial or Times New Roman and keep the formatting consistent throughout the document.

    Break up your CV into separate sections with headings in bold or slightly larger font sizes to make them stand out.

    Use bullets to effectively highlight key details in each section.

    Make sure there is also enough blank space so your CV doesn’t look heavy or overwhelming. This will ensure that relevant information is easily accessible to the reader.

    What Are the top verbs to use in an Oxford CV?

    The choice of words for your CV is very important. In an Oxford CV, using strong action verbs can effectively highlight your accomplishments and demonstrate your skills and capabilities.

    Here are some top action verbs to use in your Oxford CV:

    • Achieved
    • Developed
    • Implemented
    • Managed
    • Analysed
    • Collaborated
    • Created
    • Led
    • Organised
    • Improved
    • Researched
    • Solved
    • Coordinated
    • Executed
    • Presented
    • Innovated
    • Negotiated
    • Mentored
    • Optimised
    • Facilitated
    • Communicated
    • Evaluated
    • Demonstrated
    • Devised
    • Trained
    • Strategised
    • Advised
    • Reviewed
    • Implemented
    • Drafted

    How long should my Oxford CV be?

    The optimal length typically ranges from one to two pages for a standard professional Oxford CV for non-academic positions. This length allows you to provide enough information to highlight your qualifications and experiences effectively while keeping the document concise and easy to read. Aim to include only relevant and impactful details that directly support your application, prioritising quality over quantity.

    However, if you’re preparing an academic CV for roles within academia or research, it’s common for the document to be longer. Academic CVs often extend to three or more pages to accommodate comprehensive details about your education, research experience, publications, presentations, grants, awards, and other relevant academic activities. In academia, thoroughness is key, but it’s also important to balance this with readability. Ensure your academic CV remains well-organised and easy to navigate despite its length.

    Ultimately, the length of your Oxford CV will depend on its purpose and the expectations of your field or institution. Tailor the length and content of your CV to meet the requirements and preferences of the intended audience, whether it’s for professional or academic purposes.

    Compose an Engaging Oxford CV

    The University of Oxford is one of the most prestigious universities in the world, so the CV of someone who has graduated from, or wants to work at, Oxford needs to be not only highly professional, but impeccable in every detail.

    With our expert Oxford CV templates, detailed CV examples and additional guidance, you can be sure to create a CV that will catch the eye of recruiters.


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