International students

Oxford's university community is truly international. Students currently come from 138 countries around the world and study a wide range of subjects. They make up one third of our student body, including 14 percent of our full-time undergraduate students and 63 percent of our full-time postgraduates.

Why study at Oxford University? 

Undergraduate education

Oxford offers a distinctive form of undergraduate education, unique in the world to Oxford and Cambridge. What makes us distinctive is:

  • The English form of higher education. Students apply for a 3 or 4 year degree in 1-3 subjects and they study those subjects exclusively. At Oxford, they do so in depth, and to a very advanced level. We do not have 'general education' or 'core curriculum' requirements that, for example, require humanities students to do science courses.
  • Admission on academic ability and academic potential alone. We attract many future leaders to Oxford. Our students run numerous extracurricular clubs and engage in community service. But like most U.K. universities, we do not assess our applicants on those characteristics. We select for academic ability and academic potential, as judged by secondary school results (examination results and/or predicted grades), a personal statement, an academic reference and, if required for the subject, an admissions test or written work.
  • Tutorial teaching. Oxford students attend lectures and seminars, and have practical laboratory sessions in the sciences. But a major focus of their learning is in small teaching groups, known as tutorials. Every week, an Oxford student meets with his/her tutor - typically a leading academic - and 1 or 2 other students and engages in an intensive exchange of ideas about the week’s work.
  • College communities. All Oxford undergraduates live, eat and study in one of Oxford’s 38 residential colleges or 6 permanent private halls. These small communities of typically 30-70 academics and 300-500 students from across disciplines are the focus for teaching and for social and sporting life.
  • The research university setting. Oxford is a research-intensive university where academics are conducting cutting-edge research in disciplines ranging from art history to zoology. The University's collegiate system allows academics and students across subjects and year groups and from different cultures and countries to come together to share ideas.
  • The global strength of our reputation and qualifications. Our qualifications are recognised and valued around the world. Graduates of Oxford go on to further study and/or to work in a range of professions in some of the world's finest organisations.

Postgraduate education

Oxford is an exciting place to pursue postgraduate/graduate education. We offer two types of programmes:

  • Master’s: these are 1 or 2 year degrees. Many people take these degrees as a professional qualification, and then leave to work. For others, usually in the humanities and social sciences, these are the essential first step on the road to a doctorate and an academic or research-based career.
  • Doctorate: our doctorate is known as a D.Phil rather than a Ph.D. It is a research-intensive degree, lasting 3-4 years.

What makes us distinctive for postgraduate study is:

  • Outstanding researchers across disciplines. Few universities in the world can match Oxford for breadth and depth of research across all the major disciplines: humanities, social sciences, mathematics, physical and life sciences, and medicine.
  • College communities. As a postgraduate student, your department will be your main academic home. But you will also be a member of a college, another intellectual and social community within this large university. College life will give you the chance to engage with academics and fellow students across disciplines. This is a distinctive advantage over universities organised solely on departmental lines.
  • The international character of the university. With the majority of our postgraduates coming from outside the U.K., you will encounter a more international peer group at Oxford than at almost any other top university in the world. Our European location gives us a distinctly international outlook. Presidents and prime ministers, academics and commentators come to Oxford to talk about the leading issues of the day.
  • The global strength of our reputation and qualifications. Our qualifications are recognised and valued around the world. Graduates of Oxford go on to further study and/or to work in a range of professions in some of the world's finest organisations.
For more details, please visit our country-specific information page.