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Studying at Oxford

Our students receive an intensive education, including our distinctive tutorials, and are taught by academic leaders in their field. Colleges provide multidisciplinary communities within which students are supported and intellectually challenged, and have the opportunity to meet people from all walks of life and many different countries. 


In tutorials our undergraduates meet their tutor alone or with one or two other students, meaning greater personal attention and the tailoring of learning to meet students' individual needs. Tutorials take place at least once per week, in addition to lectures and labs.

Tutorials foster the skills of hard work, self motivation, and confidence. They also foster the ability to process and synthesise large amounts of material, subject-specific skills of research and argument, and the ability to write coherently and under time pressure.
Dr Emma Smith, English tutor at Hertford College

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Emma Smith
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Researching and writing essays or preparing solutions to set problems, for discussion with the tutor, requires self-motivation and excellent time management. Unlike lectures, or even group seminars, there is nowhere to hide. Ideas are subjected to close scrutiny and challenge.

Students learn how to think for themselves, formulate and defend arguments and accept constructive criticism – skills which are highly valued by employers.

One-on-one with eminent academics, Oxford teaches you to have the courage to stand up for your ideas and the humility to back down when proven wrong. You are taught not just the subject matter, but how to present, persuade and explain. It's a personalised, world-class education.
Beth Tibble, PPE at Worcester College; Alumni Events Manager, University of Oxford Alumni Office
Beth Tibble
© BT

Securing the future of the tutorial system is one of the University's highest priorities. In order to sustain this system we subsidise each undergraduate's education using endowments, philanthropic and commercial income.

For more information about our financial support for undergraduates please visit our Undergraduate Student Funding web page

In 2013 Oxford is offering the most generous financial support of any university to those on a family income of less than £16,000.

World-leading academics

Oxford has a world-class reputation for academic excellence. Our students are taught by academic leaders in their field.


I found it incredible that world-class academics would spend their time discussing my views on their subject. It felt like a huge privilege, especially for someone who came from a state school and was not used to that level of personal attention.
Andrew Baxter, Law at Keble College; Head of Commercial Policy at BBC Worldwide

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Andrew Baxter
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The course's range of modules and staff specialties, when considered alongside Oxford's research facilities and library system, are nothing less than superb. You could stay here forever and never get bored.
Benedict Hayes, MSc in Latin American Studies at St Antony's College

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Benedict Hayes
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Outstanding facilities

Superb libraries, museums and collections also enrich our students' experience.

College libraries are open 24 hours a day in most cases, and provide large collections including all the key texts for undergraduate courses.

University-wide libraries, museums and collections include:

The Pitt Rivers Museum

Where else but the Pitt Rivers can you see 100,000 artefacts from all periods in human history and all corners of the world, where 19th-century displays jostle with 21st-century understandings of anthropology and archaeology, curiosity with creativity, and imagination with inquiry?
Dr Michael O'Hanlon, Director of the Pitt Rivers Museum
Michael O'Hanlon, Pitt Rivers
© OU

The Botanic Garden

Holding tutorials in the Botanic Garden means that the words in the scientific papers come to life and in just one hour the students and tutor can travel together through the biology of the world and touch the world of biology. This cannot be achieved in any other way
Timothy Walker, Director of the Botanic Garden
Timothy Walker
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Bodleian Libraries

Oxford's Bodleian Libraries offer exceptionally rich and diverse printed collections which are complemented by one of the largest collections of electronic resources in the UK. As one of six legal deposit libraries in the UK, the Bodleian Libraries offer students and researchers access to first editions, e-books and critical monographs across all subjects. For example, an English graduate might read a first edition of Milton's Paradise Lost while consulting an electronic periodical on a library computer and a critical textbook from library open shelves. A medical researcher might ask a librarian to undertake an online search for peer-reviewed clinical studies.
Dr Sarah Thomas, Bodley's Librarian
Sarah Thomas, Bodleian
© OU

The Ashmolean Museum

The Ashmolean has long been recognised as the greatest university museum in the world. In 2009 we opened a spectacular new building – a source of pleasure and inspiration to anyone who walks through the door. What we offer to students is really very special: the chance to learn from the material culture of the great civilisations of the world. Here, students can sit with a box of Michelangelo drawings, examine the coins and vases of ancient Greece and Rome and have access to some of the finest collections from Asia and the Islamic Middle East. The opportunities are unequalled.
Dr Christopher Brown, Director of the Ashmolean Museum
Christopher Brown, Ashmolean
© OU

The Colleges

College life is one of the University’s greatest assets. All of our students are members of a college where they live - often for the first and final years of their course, sometimes for the full duration of their course. The college community provides a friendly and welcoming home for students, and exposes them to a multidisciplinary environment where ideas are debated over meals and in common rooms.

The thing I value most about Oxford is the community of scholars that I have become a part of by coming here – both in my college and in my department. With every meal I sit down to in hall, or discussion I have in the common room at the Oriental Institute, I'm really challenging myself intellectually in a way I don’t think I could anywhere else.
Megan Robb, MPhil in Modern South Asian Studies at Wolfson College

Students meet people from all walks of life and from many different countries. There are more than 22,000 students at Oxford, from 140 countries and territories.

The melting pot that is Oxford – people from all walks of life, literally all races, colours, creeds and classes – is extraordinary. That certainly hadn't happened to me in my education up to that point.
Stephen Garrett, Law at Merton College; Executive Chairman of Kudos Film and Television

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Stephen Garrett
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Undergraduate students each have a college tutor, who remains a consistent and important point of support throughout their degree.

As a college tutor I can tailor my approach to suit the particular needs of the individual student, bearing in mind the ultimate demands of University assessment. It's hard to convey how closely we know our students given the small numbers involved at a college level.
Dr Emma Smith, English tutor at Hertford College

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Emma Smith
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The college tutor provides continuity of guidance and support throughout a student's degree.

When I came to Oxford I transitioned from an A-level environment where I was given all the information I needed to succeed and I was never sufficiently challenged, to an environment where the pace of learning was greatly accelerated and a requirement to succeed was independent study. With the help of my college tutor, I progressed from feeling inferior to confident in a relatively short period.
Dr Daniel Walker, MEng in Engineering Science at St Catherine's College and DPhil in Engineering Science at Magdalen College; Engineering/Project Manager for BP

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Dan Walker
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