Independent visits | University of Oxford
Group of students walking through Oxford
Group of students walking through Oxford

Independent visits

Come and see us and find out for yourself what Oxford is really like.

In addition to the main University Open Days, several departments run course-specific open days and there are also many outreach events

We hope very much that you will be able to visit during one of our Open Days, but if this is not possible, you are still welcome to visit the University at any time.  Before travelling to Oxford, we recommend that you print our short 'Visiting Oxford' guide, which includes a map and suggestions of places to visit. You could also download our 'Know your Oxford' audio tour where an Oxford student will guide you round central Oxford giving you the insider's view of student life here.

Getting around

Oxford is a city best explored by foot or bicycle. There is no central campus so it is important to plan your visit in advance, perhaps drawing up a list of places to visit and planning your route between them.  The following resources may be useful:

Visiting colleges

University Open Days are the best time to visit and most colleges will be holding events on these dates. However, most colleges are open throughout the year, at least for potential applicants to walk around the grounds.

Our Visiting colleges page gives details about opening times and any admissions charges which may apply, though many colleges waive these for potential applicants, so make sure they know this applies to you. 

Not sure which colleges to visit?

The first thing to do is check which colleges offer your course. Then you can read more about each college on our college pages, which have links through to colleges’ own websites. You might like to read our advice on choosing a college.

Link colleges

In order to make it easier for you to establish a first point of contact with our University, every Oxford college is ‘linked’ to a particular region of the UK. The ‘link’ college will know their region particularly well and already have contact with schools and students in the area. You may like to contact your link college to see if it's possible to arrange a visit. 

Visiting subject departments

Unfortunately, departments are rarely open to visitors except during Open Days. Some departments also hold their own open days and other events throughout the year. 

Open Day programmes often include admissions talks, demonstration lectures, demonstration interviews, tours of the department and an opportunity to meet tutors and current students. Department open days are particularly recommended for science applicants as much of their teaching takes place in the department.  

Please see our course pages for more on opportunities to visit subject departments. 

If you have questions about a particular department you might like to contact them before you visit as it's not always possible to arrange personal meetings, especially during term-time.

Visiting museums and libraries

The University museums are an important resource for many courses, so you may wish to include one of these in your itinerary. There are also over 100 libraries here, some of which are open to the general public. Visit our Mindgrowing website for suggested activities and itineraries, and check details of tours and exhibitions at museums and libraries

Other ways to find out about Oxford University

There are many other online resources available, including a collection of video interviews of students called Wall of 100 Faces, our podcasts, our YouTube channel, our Facebook page and our undergraduate admissions Instagram and Twitter feed.

Virtual tours of colleges are also available, which will give you an idea of what our colleges are like.