University of Oxford Supporting an Oxford applicant: A parents' and carers' guide
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Table of Contents
[Copyright notice] 1
[Transcriber's Note] 1
Table of Contents 1
Why come to Oxford? 2
Who studies at Oxford? 4
What are the entrance requirements? 5
How do you apply? 6
How do you choose a course? 7
How do you choose a college? 8
What is the selection process? 9
What’s the work like? 10
What study support is there? 10
Where do students live and eat? 11
What about welfare support? 12
What do students do in their spare time? 13
How much will it cost? 14
How does Oxford help with careers? 16
Starting at Oxford 17
Finding out more 18
As well as being the Director of Undergraduate Admissions and Outreach, I am the mother of two teenage sons; I know that young people seem to have more choices than ever before. It's not always easy to know how best to help them navigate their options. My approach is always to make sure I'm as informed as possible – at least then I have half a chance of being listened to! We have written this guide to give you as much information as possible about studying at Oxford University – especially how your son or daughter can choose their course, and then make the strongest possible application. We want you to know that students are in safe hands at Oxford, so we have given details of all the support we offer, both during their time here, and after they have graduated. There's support for you too: if you've got any questions, please get in touch. We really are happy to help.
Dr Samina Khan, Director of Undergraduate Admissions and Outreach
'There's an overwhelming amount of information out there, and your child may need some sort of parental magic to sort through it all. Just make sure they find out the truth, that Oxford students are a normal bunch of brighter-than-average students, who oversleep, waste time slouched in front of the TV, leave their work to the last minute and have friends from every kind of school, social background and area imaginable – just like students everywhere else!' Alison
Why come to Oxford?
Oxford is recognised as one of the most exciting and rewarding places to study by many of the best and brightest students in the world. The University has been famous for its academic and research excellence for hundreds of years and it retains a special place in the hearts of those who live, study and teach here. These are just some of the aspects of Oxford that make the University a great place to spend your student years:
World-class teaching and resources
Find out more about these at www.ox.ac.uk/resources
Oxford makes significant contributions to society – regionally, nationally and internationally – through its research.
Hundreds of course options
Oxford offers traditional courses and more unusual ones, some of which are unique to us.
Generous financial support
Oxford is committed to providing generous financial support to eligible students from lower – income households to ensure that those with the academic ability to achieve a place here are not held back by their financial circumstances.
See p17 [print edition page number] and www.ox.ac.uk/funding
Top career outcomes
Oxford graduates are highly valued by employers for their communication, leadership and problem solving skills. See p19 [print edition page number] and www.careers.ox.ac.uk
Oxford's colleges give the University its character. They make up the heart of Oxford, and are a source of pride and loyalty for staff and students. These small academic communities foster and facilitate the learning and development of Oxford's students, as well as carefully monitoring their welfare
The Oxford experience
There are around 40,000 students at Oxford's two universities, making up a big part of the city's 150,000 population. The city is youthful and cosmopolitan and well suited to students who like to play as hard as they work. See p16 [print edition page number].
'I didn't know what to expect from Oxford other than a great education. In fact those three years have stayed with me in all sorts of ways. But perhaps most importantly I left university feeling able to choose who I wanted to be and what I wanted to do. I still feel lucky to have been there.' Matthew, graduate
'Oxford gave me confidence to argue my point and think for myself, and opened doors to the best employers in the country.' Gary, Managing Director CD (UK) Ltd
No. 1 in the World Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2016-2017
Nearly 250 courses
In groups of 2 or 3 for specialises tutorial teaching
From over 30 faculties and departments
Oxford and Cambridge: similarities and differences
Oxford and Cambridge are very similar in many ways, but there are some differences too.
For more information, please see www.ox.ac.uk/oxford-and-cambridge. You can't apply to both Oxford and Cambridge at the same time.
'Oxford helped make me who I am today. Yes, that's corny but it's true and it's wonderful.' Heather
UNIQ Summer School
Applications to our UNIQ summer schools are welcome from students currently in their first year of A-levels (or equivalent) at UK state schools/colleges, from low socio-economic backgrounds and/or areas with low progression to higher education. The summer schools are free, week-long intensive academic programmes run by current tutors at Oxford. Participants live in an Oxford college and take part in a variety of social activities. The UNIQ application deadline is in January. www.uniq.ox.ac.uk
Whoever you are and wherever you're from, Oxford wants to welcome you. See p5 [print edition page number] and www.ox.ac.uk/equality
Who studies at Oxford?
Contrary to popular belief, there is no Oxford type. There are nearly 12,000 undergraduate students here from all types of UK school, and from more than 140 countries. Oxford is committed to recruiting the very best students nationally and internationally through an equitable process based on achievement and potential.
Does it matter where my child is at school?
Definitely not. We currently spend over £5m a year on outreach activities to encourage able students to apply, whatever their background. We run events in Oxford, across the UK and around the world to make sure that potential applicants know how to apply, and how to make the most competitive application. See p22 [print edition page number].
Oxford believes that, where possible, it is important to consider a student's application within the context it is made. When considering each application, we take into account the performance of the candidate's school at GCSE and A-level; socio-economic circumstances by home postcode; and whether an applicant has been in care. For more information please see www.ox.ac.uk/context
Would Oxford be the right choice for my child?
There is no simple answer to this question but it might be helpful to ask yourself the following about your son or daughter:
Do they have a good academic record, and often come top in their class?
Do they love to talk about their favourite subject with their teachers and friends?
Do they spend time reading beyond their school syllabus?
Are they keen to be taught by world experts?
If this sounds like your child, then they would probably enjoy studying at Oxford.
Oxford has over 2,800 students registered with our Disability Advisory Service. We welcome applications from those with disabilities and make reasonable adjustments to facilitate their access to our courses. Find out more at www.ox.ac.uk/swd
Oxford is committed to supporting students from a care background to ensure that they receive the help they need in order to have a successful university experience. Find out more at www.ox.ac.uk/students/shw/careleavers
Your child might like to listen to Oxford students talk about their experiences at www.ox.ac.uk/100faces
Encourage your child to talk to tutors at our open days www.ox.ac.uk/opendays
What are the entrance requirements?
Choice of A-levels (or equivalent qualifications) can be critical in determining which university courses will be open to your child. This means it is really important they think ahead to what they might like to study later and make sure they are taking the right combination of subjects. Your child will need to get top grades to be able to make a strong application, so encourage them to study subjects they enjoy and where they are likely to do well.
A-levels: ranging between A*A*A and AAA depending on the course, excluding General Studies. Applicants need to have taken and passed any practical component in their chosen science subjects.
Scottish Advanced Highers: AA if taking two subjects, AAB if taking three.
Pre-U: ranging between D2, D2, D3 and D3, D3, D3 depending on the course.
International Baccalaureate: 38-40 points, depending on the course (including core points).
Other equivalent qualifications are also acceptable. For further information please contact us or see www.ox.ac.uk/enreqs
For specific subject requirements see www.ox.ac.uk/courses
Do extra-curricular activities help?
Some universities look for applicants who demonstrate a wide range of skills and interests such as sport, drama or music. Oxford tutors are only interested in applicants' academic ability and potential. Extra-curricular activities are only taken into account in so far as they demonstrate the selection criteria for the course.
How many subjects should my child study?
Oxford offers are usually based on three A-levels, or equivalent qualifications. Some candidates take a fourth or fifth subject as this can be one way of demonstrating the academic abilities required for an Oxford degree. However, this may not be the best way for your child to demonstrate their abilities. Tutors may prefer a candidate who has read around their subject beyond their school work and who can discuss this with enthusiasm and depth.
If your child applies to us in their last year at school or college, any offer they receive will probably be conditional on their final grades.
Age and Stage
We support the general principle of an accelerated curriculum but still expect students to achieve at the highest level.
Advise your child against spreading themselves too thinly across too many subjects if they risk dropping a grade or two in their results.
How do you apply?
Oxford applicants must submit a UCAS online form and register for our admissions tests anytime from mid-September to 15 October in the year before they hope to begin their degree course. This is earlier than most other universities.
October: UCAS application and admissions tests
Your child can start working on their UCAS form anytime from June at www.ucas.com – so encourage them not leave it to the last minute.
For most courses, they will also be required to take a test, normally at their own school or college: see www.ox.ac.uk/tests. Make sure they speak to their school about registering in plenty of time before the final registration deadline: 6pm UK time on 15 October.
Law: the test for Law has different arrangements – see www.ox.ac.uk/tests for details.
November: Written work
They may also need to send in written work as part of their application. See www.ox.ac.uk/writwork.
Shortlisting decisions are made in late November or early December. If shortlisted, your child will be invited to come to a college in December for their interview(s).
See p10 [print edition page number] and www.ox.ac.uk/interviews.
By mid-January your child will be told whether or not their application has been successful. If they have not yet completed the necessary qualifications, then any offer made will be a conditional offer, and they will have until August to achieve the required grades.
Student finance applications open in the spring. See p17-18 [print edition page number] and www.ox.ac.uk/funding for more information.
Have a look at the UCAS Parent Guide at www.ucas.com and sign up to receive their parents' newsletter.
If your son or daughter is thinking of taking a gap year, make sure that they have some plans in mind. Tutors will want to see that students will be working, travelling or doing further study, rather than just wanting to take time out.
Encourage your child to leave lots of time to write their personal statement – www.ox.ac.uk/ucasps.
How do you choose a course?
Choosing their course is the most important decision that your child will need to make about applying to university. They will spend the next three or four years studying for their degree so it is really important that they are doing a course they love. All courses have some compulsory topics plus lots of options to suit every student and their particular interests. There are more details on our course pages, including videos of tutors and students talking about their subjects.
Will course choice affect my child's employment prospects?
Students and parents often believe that vocational degrees like Medicine and Law offer better career outcomes. However, employment surveys show that Oxford graduates in all subjects are highly sought after for their valued skill sets. Most graduate job adverts do not specify a degree subject. See p19 [print edition page number] and www.ox.ac.uk/courses for more on the exciting range of careers that Oxford graduates go on to do.
Are some courses easier to get into?
The average success rate is around one in five but this does vary – for example, it's around one in ten for Medicine. However, fewer candidates does not mean weaker candidates: all courses at Oxford are very competitive.
These offer the chance to study two or more subjects together and an opportunity to examine the connections between them.
'The vast majority of jobs do not specify the subject studied at university; all degree courses equip you with a wide range of valuable employability skills.' Jonathan Black, Careers Service
We've provided videos online for each course so that you can hear more from Oxford students and tutors. www.ox.ac.uk/courses
Suggest your child reads about lots of courses, including some subjects they haven't considered before. See www.ox.ac.uk/courses and www.ucas.com
If possible, bring your child to one of our open days so that they can talk to tutors and students about their courses. See www.ox.ac.uk/opendays
Make sure your child checks the subject requirements for any course they are interested in. See www.ox.ac.uk/courses
Encourage them to choose something they love. Tutors look for enthusiasm and commitment to the chosen course.
How do you choose a college?
Most students love their college, and will tell you that theirs is the best. All colleges have signed up to a Common Framework on Admissions which means the same application process for each course at every college. Whichever college your child goes to, they will be studying for the same degree at the end of their course. Most colleges offer most courses but it's a good idea for them to check which colleges offer the course they want to study at www.ox.ac.uk/whichcolls.
Your child can express a preference for one college by entering a college campus code on their UCAS application. Each college is different so they may like to consider their:
size and age
location: how close to the city centre, their department, the park, the river, the sports centre
accommodation: number of years of college accommodation, where it is, how much it will cost
grants or other funding: as well as any support provided by the University
facilities: all colleges have a library, dining hall and common room but other resources do vary (all students can also use the University's facilities)
access: most colleges have facilities and accommodation for disabled students; however, given the age of the buildings, some areas of some colleges are not accessible for students with mobility issues.
Even if your child does specify a college, other colleges may also interview them, and any of the colleges may offer them a place.
What if my child doesn't mind?
No problem. Your child can make an open application. They will then be allocated to a college which has relatively fewer applications for their course.
Almost one in five applicants makes an open application. This does not affect their chances of being offered a place.
'Don't let your child stress about this – I ended up flipping a coin. The tutors will never ask why you chose their college.' Rohan
'I found choosing a college really hard! I chose one to apply to but was interviewed at two colleges and ended up being offered a place at the other one.' Imogen
There is more detailed advice about choosing a college at www.ox.ac.uk/collegechoice
You can also explore colleges online at www.ox.ac.uk/ugcolls
What is the selection process?
College tutors consider over 19,000 applications for around 3,250 places each year. They look carefully at each, taking into account any existing and predicted grades, the personal statement, academic reference, and performance in any test or written work required for the course. Around 9,700 candidates will be shortlisted and invited to interview in December; most will be interviewed at least twice.
Interviews are an important part of the selection process as they are designed to assess academic ability and potential - not manners or etiquette, appearance or background. Rather like a mini-tutorial, they provide tutors with a valuable opportunity to assess students' potential and motivation in person.
'By far the best way to prepare for an interview is to do a few trial runs with a friend or teacher.' Physics tutor
'Fundamentally the question is: can we teach this person in a tutorial situation and will they thrive in this environment?' Italian tutor
'I interview to find what we call 'potential' and disentangle it from poor schooling or coaching.' Physics tutor
We understand that interviews do concern people so we offer plenty of guidance including sample questions and a video. See www.ox.ac.uk/interviews
'The interview weekend was a nervous, adrenaline-filled but ultimately (and unexpectedly!) very fun experience. I met friends who I am still in contact with now – in fact, just last week I met up with a girl that I met from the interview process, and she doesn't even go to Oxford.' Louise
What happens next?
By mid-January, all shortlisted candidates receive a letter or email telling them whether or not they have been successful. For more information please go to www.ox.ac.uk/decisions
Encourage your child to read around their subject. Tutors are looking for candidates who show this level of commitment and enthusiasm for their course.
What’s the work like?
Oxford students do work hard, as there is a lot to pack in to each eight-week term. Students need to prepare an essay or other work for weekly tutorials as well as going to lectures, classes and lab work (depending on their subjects).
Tutorials are central to teaching at Oxford. They give students the chance to discuss their subject with a tutor who is an expert in the field. Tutors encourage students to develop their full potential. See www.ox.ac.uk/tutorials
Oxford courses have two stages. There are exams at the end of the first stage (usually at the end of the first year) that your child must pass, but this won't count towards their final degree grade. However, their tutors will need to be happy with their work for them to progress throughout the course.
After this, assessment depends on the course they are studying. Your child might sit their Finals (written exams on which their final grade is based) at the end of each remaining year or just at the end of their last year. Some exams may be replaced by a project, extended essay or dissertation, or there might be an oral exam.
International study and research
While at Oxford there are lots of opportunities for students to gain international experience to further their academic, career and personal development. These include studying, working or undertaking research abroad. See www.ox.ac.uk/students/goabroad
What study support is there?
Tutorials are at the heart of study support at Oxford, as students discuss their work with tutors every week. If your child needs any extra help with their course, their tutor will know immediately. Oxford also offers its students unparalleled study support through its extensive facilities and resources.
Oxford has seven world-class museums and collections which benefit students in many subject areas. See www.museums.ox.ac.uk
Oxford is home to over 100 college and department libraries, including the world-famous Bodleian Library. Your child will have free access to every book they will ever need and plenty of inspiring places to study. See www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk
All colleges have computer rooms, and the central University IT services also offer computer facilities and support including free training. The University Wi-Fi network covers most of central Oxford. See www.it.ox.ac.uk
All students may use the Language Centre, even if they are not studying for a language degree. It provides study materials for over 190 languages as well as English language support for international students. See www.lang.ox.ac.uk
'Sitting in the Bodleian Library at the same desk that might once have been occupied by John Locke and Robert Hooke, I feel part of the University's rich history.' Olinga
'I have never needed to buy my own textbooks.' Alex
Where do students live and eat?
All students are guaranteed accommodation in college for the first year of their course. This is arranged by the college, so your child won't need to sort it out themselves. All colleges offer accommodation for at least one other year, and some offer accommodation for the whole of a student's course. This may be in the heart of the college or off-site somewhere nearby. College rooms are good quality, furnished and may have their own bathroom. Students never have to share a bedroom in college accommodation.
Some students decide to share a house with friends in rented accommodation, normally during the later years of their course. This can be a good option if your child wants to live with friends from another college. It does tend to be more expensive as houses are normally rented for a year; during the vacation periods as well as term time. However, it means that your child would have somewhere to stay if they wanted to study out of term time or take a holiday job in Oxford. Rental accommodation is rarely more than a few minutes from the centre of Oxford and students still have use of all their college's facilities including regular hot meals and washing machines. Many parents feel it is the perfect way for their child to experience a first taste of independent living. The University Accommodation Office helps students find suitable houses to rent.
All parents know that busy children (whatever their age!) sometimes forget to eat or prefer to spend their money on socialising. However, you may be reassured to know that colleges offer three meals a day; generously subsidised. All colleges have dining halls and most colleges also have kitchen facilities where students can prepare their own meals.
Out of term
During the vacations, colleges may be able to provide storage, particularly for international students. If your child wants to stay in Oxford, they may be able to arrange to stay in college, or to stay with friends. Some people use this time to work; others just enjoy being in Oxford.
It is important to let the college know as soon as possible if your child has particular needs.
Contact our Disability Advisory Service for an informal chat or come and talk to them at an open day. www.ox.ac.uk/students/shw/das; www.ox.ac.uk/opendays
'In the first year it's nice to have the support of living in college: it's very easy to meet people but then when we lived out we all lived on the same streets anyway. It's liberating, you feel like you grow up a bit, having to do the washing up and pay the bills. You also get to see a whole other side of Oxford.' James
Go to www.ox.ac.uk/ugcolls for more about college facilities.
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What about welfare support?
Student support and welfare are important priorities for Oxford. We are committed to maintaining an environment in which the rights and dignity of all members of the University community are respected.
A ready-made support network
One of the benefits of being part of a college community (see p3 [print edition page number]) is that there is lots of help on hand if your child runs into difficulty. People available for support would normally include their subject tutor, student 'peer supporters', staff in designated welfare roles, a National Health Service doctor and a college nurse. Colleges are very safe environments. Each has a lodge staffed by college porters who fulfil reception and security duties 24 hours a day.
The University has a counselling service staffed by fully trained counsellors, psychologists and psychotherapists. Alongside individual and group sessions there are workshops and self-help materials available. www.ox.ac.uk/students/welfare/counselling
Nightline is a confidential listening, information and support service run by students, for students. It is open 8pm-8am, every night in term time. www.oxfordnightline.org
Student Advice Service
The Student Advice Service is the independent advice, information and advocacy service exclusively available to Oxford University students. Independent of colleges and the University, they can provide information and support to students facing any difficult situation. www.ousu.org; www.ousu.org/advice
'The welfare reps at my college are amazing. And the counselling service is there too. There's support in every direction – it's brilliant. The welfare service was one of the things that I was most impressed with – as was my mum – it definitely put her at ease!' Isla
'I am one of six trained peer supporters in my college... Oxford is an incredibly welcoming and supportive environment, and my job is to make it even more so.' Daniel
'I was convinced somebody had made a mistake letting me into Oxford... My counsellor helped me to understand why I felt a fraud and we worked on how I could change the way I thought about myself. I got a first in Finals!' Zara, graduate
What do students do in their spare time?
Oxford students are known for playing hard as well as working hard. There are so many clubs and societies to choose from, that the challenge generally lies in not signing up for too many, rather than finding one that is interesting. Many of these opportunities help students acquire useful life skills that will enhance their CVs.
Clubs and societies
All students are invited to attend a 'Freshers’ Fair' at the start of their first term so that they can join any clubs and societies that interest them. These include societies for music, drama, debating, student journalism, volunteering activities and the Oxford University Student Union (OUSU), as well as groups for students from particular countries or religious backgrounds. www.ousu.org
All colleges have a wide variety of sporting teams that students of any ability can join. If your child wants to represent Oxford, they will also have the chance to compete against other universities in some very successful teams. As well as college sports facilities, there is a large University sports complex with an all-weather running track, an Olympic astroturf pitch and a 25-metre swimming pool. Oxford is currently ranked amongst the top universities for sport. www.sport.ox.ac.uk
How much will it cost?
Oxford is committed to ensuring that any UK student offered a place here is not held back by their financial circumstances. Oxford's reputation for excellence sometimes leads people to assume that it must be more expensive than other universities. In fact, our tuition fees are in line with other top universities and the excellent resources provided by the University and the colleges can actually help to lower students' living costs
What students pay each year is determined by their fee status (based on their nationality and where they usually live). For the latest categorisations, see www.ox.ac.uk/ugfeestatus.
UK students can receive a loan to cover their tuition fees and do not have to pay any fees upfront. Fee rates for EU students beyond 2017 entry are currently unknown. Overseas students pay a higher rate of tuition fee, which varies according to subject.
Students will need to budget for living costs such as food, accommodation, personal items, social activities and study costs. These will obviously vary depending on lifestyle but for approximate figures go to www.ox.ac.uk/uglivingcosts.
Some students may also need to make additional provision for: a student visa, international travel to and from Oxford, and fieldwork.
Funding from the UK government
UK students are eligible for:
A loan to cover the full cost of tuition fees
A basic maintenance loan towards living costs. In addition, students from lower-income households can access an increased amount of maintenance funding to help with more of their living costs.
There are also non-repayable supplementary grants for UK students with dependants or a disability.
UK government support arrangements for EU students beyond 2017 entry are currently unknown. For latest eligibility details, see www.gov.uk/apply-for-student-finance.
'The bursary has offered me the financial security I've needed to be able to focus on the academic and social sides of my degree without fear of becoming overdrawn or needing to seek employment during term time' Matthew
To access government support, your son or daughter should apply to your regional funding agency, e.g. Student Finance England, from the January preceding the autumn they expect to start at Oxford.
If your child has a disability, either seen or unseen, please find out more about financial support available to them by visiting www.ox.ac.uk/swd
Funding from Oxford
Oxford is committed to offering generous non-repayable bursaries to qualifying students from lower-income households. Information on Oxford bursaries and the latest eligibility details are available at www.ox.ac.uk/funding. Students who meet the criteria for support from Oxford are notified from mid-September before their arrival at Oxford.
We make it as easy as possible to access our funding – there is no separate application process. We use information from your child's funding agency to assess them for Oxford funding – you will be required to support their student finance application with information on your household income.
There is limited funding available for students from outside the UK. For information on scholarships, please see the Oxford support page at www.ox.ac.uk/funding.
Each year, up to 175 eligible UK first-year students from households with an income of £16,000 or less are invited to become Moritz-Heyman scholars. This generous scholarship programme provides enhanced funding, opportunities for volunteering, and access to internships during the summer vacations. www.ox.ac.uk/mh
'I think the big realisation for me was that you actually don't need to buy that much. So much is provided for you, for example as a History student I've never ever had to buy a book or course materials. Everything I need is in a library, somewhere!' Chloe
'The rise in fees makes it doubly important to receive a good-value education in return for spending such large amounts of money. What better place to ensure good returns than at Oxford? Socio-economic barriers are not a handicap in the Oxford application process, and can in fact present opportunities.' Hibba, Moritz-Heyman Scholar
'Funnily enough, Oxford was actually the cheapest place for me to go to university. Even before I was aware of the Moritz-Heyman Scholarship, the Oxford Bursaries scheme was the most comprehensive one at the time of my application' Bertrand
How does Oxford help with careers?
Oxford graduates are highly sought after by employers – whatever their degree subject. Undertaking an intellectually demanding academic course will ensure your child has extensive career options. Employers report that Oxford students are 'better', or 'much better', than the average UK student at key employability skills such as problem solving, leadership, and communication. Hundreds of recruiters visit the University each year, demonstrating the demand for Oxford students. Our Careers Service offers support to students and alumni for life, free of charge, to maximise your child's opportunities in a competitive job market.
Skills for the workplace
Our tutorial system will teach your child to research, summarise, present and defend an argument. Time spent with student clubs or societies can also be really helpful: an elected position in a society is an easy way of showing leadership and teamwork. Juggling academic study with extra-curricular activities is powerful proof of time management and organisation. Throughout their time here, Oxford students have numerous opportunities to prove or improve other employability skills – such as communication, financial numeracy, and business awareness.
'For the past five years we've sponsored interns from Oxford... Without exception, they've all been absolutely fantastic: hard working, agreeable, and fun to have around. You'll be surprised the insight you'll gain seeing your business through the fresh eyes of a young Oxford student.' Morgan Murphy Media
'Oxford students are self-starters, who are able to intelligently apply themselves to a range of tasks - they are often able to manage their time effectively, and confidently present themselves in professional situations.' Academic Research Think Tank
Our Careers Service is an invaluable resource that helps all Oxford students with almost anything to do with their career, at and after Oxford. They can help your child find work experience, make job applications and get inspiration for the future.
They organise careers fairs, as well as workshops and clinics on CVs, cover letters and interview skills. Their experienced careers advisers help with all aspects of making job applications. Each year the Careers Service advertises thousands of opportunities on CareerConnect – a job board that can only be accessed by Oxford students and alumni. For more on careers go to www.careers.ox.ac.uk
'I had never been to the Middle East before and it was a fantastic experience. I spent my weekends in the desert, the Dead Sea, Petra and Jerusalem. I feel very privileged to have had such an amazing time thanks to the Oxford University International Internship Programme.’ James, intern, Umniah Mobile
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'I had an amazing two months teaching in Thailand and the internship was honestly one of the best experiences of my life... I've become a lot more independent and adventurous.' Intern, British Council, Thailand
'I had a very good insight of Ocado's business and the current market in the UK, and got a very engaging project to work on. In the end what makes it better was that I was offered a full-time job with them (and I took it).' Son, intern, Ocado
Starting at Oxford
If your child receives an offer from Oxford, and meets the conditions of that offer, their place will be confirmed. Their college will be in touch with lots of useful information about what to bring, reading lists, IT services, library membership and many other things. This should answer many of your child's questions, though at this stage you may have more questions than they do. You can always ask their college if you need more information.
The first week
Your child will be sent a timetable of events for Freshers' week which will include orientation activities for new Oxford students including the annual Freshers' Fair, introductions, registration, tours, and social events.
Each academic year at Oxford is made up of three eight-week terms: Michaelmas term in the autumn, Hilary term in the spring, and Trinity term in summer. You can find the term dates online.
'It was a glorious sunny day and on arrival at college he was greeted by a welcome party of students. We barely had time to help him in with all his belongings before he was whisked away to enjoy the first of many events organised for Freshers. He had worked so hard and it felt wonderful to leave him in the place he most wanted to be.' Alex's mum
[Transcribers’ Note: text box displaying an email message; text is transcribed below]
To: Mum and Dad
Subject: Hello from Oxford!
I can’t quite believe it’s almost the end of term – it’s been a rollercoaster. I’ve barely stopped to think since that morning in Freshers’ Week when I said goodbye to you: I’ve just been hurtling from essay to tutorial to lecture to the pub to dinner to the cinema to the sports ground to essay and then briefly to bed basically! That might sound exhausting but it’s been absolutely incredible. I’ve met so many people: some great friends; tutors who are terrifyingly clever but also lovely in a deeply nerdy way, and the college staff, like porters, who have looked after me and kept me from missing anything - well, almost.
So excited to see you next week!
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Direct your son or daughter to our online pages for new students at www.ox.ac.uk/students/new
Find out more before they arrive at www.ox.ac.uk/students/new/beforeyouarrive
Finding out more
Two in June or July and one in September, with smaller events throughout the year.
Departments and colleges also run smaller events aimed at school and college students. See www.ox.ac.uk/outreachevents
Most colleges welcome visits from potential applicants all year round. See www.ox.ac.uk/ugvisit
You don't have to visit Oxford to contact one of our experienced and knowledgeable staff. +44 (0) 1865 288000; www.ox.ac.uk/ask
'I came to Oxford, daunted that I would fail and not fit in. My fears were soon put to rest, as I met fellow Geographers, my college parents and became part of my college community. My new 'parents', two second-year students chosen by the Junior Common Room to look after me and support me through my Oxford career, took me out for a meal early on. They talked me through the tutorial system, and gave me hints and tips as I settled down to my first essay. At the end of Freshers' Week I went to the much-anticipated Freshers' Fair and signed up for way too many societies.' Rachel, graduate
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