Choosing a college | University of Oxford
Cjoosing a college
Oxford city.
(Image credit: Greg Smolonski / Oxford University Images).

Choosing a college

Oxford applicants often put a lot of effort into choosing a college, but we'd advise you not to worry too much.

In 2014, 33% of successful applicants got an offer from a college they didn’t specify.


I made an open application as I really couldn’t decide. I love the college I was assigned to.

Nicole, 1st year

Does it matter which college I go to?

Not really. Colleges have a lot more in common than they have differences, and whichever college you go to, you will be studying for the same degree at the end of your course.

Do I have to choose a college?

No, although you can express a preference by entering a particular college’s 'campus code' on your UCAS application. You might do this if you’d prefer a particular size, age, or location of college. Check the college page to find the UCAS campus code.

What if I don’t want to choose?

No problem. You can make an open application by choosing campus code '9' on your UCAS application. This means we will randomly assign your application to a college or hall that offers your course.

Making an open application does not affect your chances of getting a place. In 2014, 18% of applicants chose to make an open application.

Even if you do specify a college, other colleges may also interview you, and any of them may offer you a place.

What’s the best college for...?

Colleges don’t specialise, and most colleges offer most courses. They all have the same high academic standards. Extra-curricular opportunities don’t vary as much as you’d think, either – facilities may vary between colleges, but whatever you’re interested in, you can probably find clubs and societies somewhere in the University.

Which college is easiest to get into?

It is a myth that some colleges are easier to get into than others. Application numbers change from year to year, and the difference is filled up with people who have made an open application. Sometimes, if a college is very oversubscribed for a particular course, it might pass you to another college for interview instead.

Many applicants will be interviewed by several colleges. Tutors are looking for the strongest applicants, regardless of whether or not you applied to their college.