Oxford offers both traditional courses and more unusual ones, some of which are unique to the University. Read more about them on pp 16–117 [Transcriber’s Note: page number of the printed edition. End of note].
How will I be taught?
You will be taught in small groups by experts in your subject. There are also lectures and, depending on your subject, classes or practicals. See An Oxford degree (p 4) [Transcriber’s Note: page number of the printed edition. End of note].
What is a college?
Oxford University is made up of many different colleges. All students are members of a college, which provides welfare support and academic supervision. See Oxford colleges (p 124) [Transcriber’s Note: page number of the printed edition. End of note].
Where will I live?
Your college will provide accommodation for your first year. After this, you can choose to live in college for at least one more year, or move out and rent a place with friends. See Where will I live? (p 164) [Transcriber’s Note: page number of the printed edition. End of note].
Will I be happy?
Oxford scored 91% for student satisfaction in the 2013 National Student Survey – well above average. There is lots of support available if you need it – see Support and well-being (p 177) [Transcriber’s Note: page number of the printed edition. End of note].
Will an Oxford degree help me get a job?
95% of Oxford leavers are employed six months after graduating, and those in full-time jobs have a median salary that is 20% higher than the UK average. See Your career after Oxford (p 122) [Transcriber’s Note: page number of the printed edition. End of note].
Can I afford it?
In 2012 and 2013, Oxford provided the most generous, no-strings attached financial support to UK/EU students from the lowest-income backgrounds. The exact financial support package for 2015 has not yet been confirmed, but Oxford remains committed to providing generous funding. See Student finance (p 120) [Transcriber’s Note: page number of the printed edition. End of note]
Is it just hard work?
Oxford is famous for its student social life. It’s quite hard to have an interest which you can’t pursue here – there are over 600 clubs and societies, and you can always start your own. See Clubs and societies (p 168) [Transcriber’s Note: page number of the printed edition. End of note].
FAQs about applying...
Am I clever enough?
If you expect to achieve AAA or more at A-level (or similar grades in an equivalent qualification – see ox.ac.uk/enreqs) then you could make a competitive application to Oxford. The exact grades required will depend on the course – see pp 16–117 [Transcriber’s Note: page number of the printed edition. End of note].
What subjects do I need?
That depends on the course – see Subject requirements (pp 14–15) [Transcriber’s Note: page number of the printed edition. End of note]. Apart from any specific requirements, we accept almost all subjects – particularly those which can demonstrate that you have the necessary skills for your chosen degree.
Can someone from my school ever get in?
Absolutely yes. Oxford does not care where you have been to school as long as you can show academic potential.
Do I have to be an all-rounder?
No – selection at Oxford is purely academic. Unless your extra-curricular achievements can help demonstrate your passion for and commitment to your subject, they won’t influence whether or not you get a place.
Do I have to choose a college?
When you apply, you can specify which college you’d prefer, but it is not required; in 2013, 34% of successful applicants got an offer from a college they didn’t specify. See Oxford colleges (p 124) [Transcriber’s Note: page number of the printed edition. End of note].
Is there a test?
Many courses require you to take an admissions test, for which separate registration is required. It is your responsibility to make sure you register for any test in time. Details of tests are on the individual course pages (see pp 16–117) [Transcriber’s Note: page number of the printed edition. End of note], or at ox.ac.uk/tests.
What about the interview?
If you are shortlisted, we will invite you to interview. Interviews are held in December and are designed to see if you are likely to enjoy studying here. Find out more at ox.ac.uk/interviews.
What if I don’t live in the UK?
All students compete for the same places and apply in exactly the same way. If you are shortlisted for interview, this may happen by telephone or Skype. See International students (p 178) [Transcriber’s Note: page number of the printed edition. End of note]
Here are some examples of what a typical day can be like as an Oxford student. Of course the details are different for different subjects, and will vary depending on what you like to do in your spare time. Visit our website to see some more weekly timetables at ox.ac.uk/week
James: 4th-year Physics student
8.30am Gym - it’s a great way to start the day, wakes me up and gets the endorphins going.
12pm Lunch - I’m trying to do packed lunches at the moment to save a bit of cash, but I might buy a coffee.
1pm Library – I might do a bit of admin for Teach Green – a volunteering project where we go into primary schools and teach them about the environment – or work on a job application, until I get settled. Then I get on with my problem set: a series of questions to work through in preparation for next week’s tutorial, drawing on things I’ve learnt in lectures and studied in labs.
6pm Teach Green committee meeting
6.45pm Dinner in college – it's a nice time to get everyone together and catch up on the day.
Evening If it’s a busy week, I’ll go and work in the college library; if not, I’ll meet up with some friends.
9am Lecture - 9am is usually when teaching starts, although we have a few precious 10am starts! I grab breakfast on the go and usually sneak in at the back of the lecture. The lecture is on virology.
10am Living anatomy - we get to prod and poke each other! Today, we’re looking at cranial nerves so we test sensory reactions like taste.
11 30am An optional Computer Aided Learningclass - I popped in and then went to the Biochemistry café for lunch with some friends.
2pm Tutorial in college – We discussed essays and then did a short presentation on a pathogenic bacteria. Everyone picked the most gruesome thing they could. I went for syphilis. The tutorial was bigger than usual, because we were doing presentations.
3.30pm Home – finished off my essay work and prepared for an upcoming tutorial.
7pm Rehearsal – I play trombone in the Jazz Orchestra so I cycled down to the Music Faculty for the rehearsal.